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East Tennessee Medicine Company


Administrative History

The East Tennessee Medicine Company was started in 1890 by Dr. Marie Hendrick Phillip Panhorst (1847-1932). Panhorst's father, Dr. George Phillip Panhorst, a surgeon in the Royal Dutch Navy, had formulated home remedies which he used in his private practice in both Europe and India. During the 1860s, the elder Panhorst died; his formulae then became the property of his son, who was trained as a physician in Amsterdam but moved to Galesburg, Illinois (date unknown). In Galesburg, M. H. P. Panhorst met his future wife, married and moved to her hometown, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Panhorst made indigestion powders, cough syrups, and other medicines.

On November 18, 1890, in exchange for 25 shares in capital stock, he transferred the rights to make and sell medicines to the East Tennessee Medicine Company. Panhorst, however, remained president of the company. After an initial period of prosperity, the company took a turn for the worse. On January 27, 1894 Panhorst borrowed $1200 on a 30-day note with interest from Mrs. Joanne L. Hunt of Jonesborough, the widow of J. J. Hunt. Regardless, the East Tennessee Medicine Company could not meet its financial obligations. On March 5, 1894, Theodore B. Hacker, trustee, announced that the company would be sold to the highest bidder for cash in hand. There were no takers and, on March 10, 1894, Theodore B. Hacker of Jonesborough became the company's owner. During Hacker's ownership, the company moved its headquarters from Jonesborough to Johnson City, Tennessee.

In 1901 Lewis W. Cass and Joseph Worley Cass bought the East Tennessee Medicine Company for $6000. Elizabeth Cass inherited half of the company upon the death of her father, Joseph Worley Cass on February 5, 1923. Lewis W. Cass turned over his interest in the company to Elizabeth on December 6, 1923. Elizabeth could not afford to keep the company open and closed it in 1924 but continued to give away drugs until 1938. In that year Congress passed the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act which increased labelling requirements. Since Ms. Cass's medicines did not meet the new requirements, she stopped giving away her medicines.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Cass Family Business Collection

 Collection — other: Boxes 1-4
Identifier: AppMs-76
Arrangement The collection is arranged in three series: Series 1, Papers of East Tennessee Medicine Company, 1891-1925; Series 2, Papers of the Ferguson Drug Company, 1916-1921; Series 3, Papers of Joseph W. Cass, 1907-1923. The contents of all series are organized alphabetically by subject, with correspondence being arranged alphabetically by author, and then chronologically when there is more than one piece by an author.