William Weld’s Grippe Remedy

Date in History: Early 20th century

In 1927 when the Mayor of Fort Atkinson – the Honorable Dr. William Weld – died in office, he was best known, not for his politics, but for a remedy.

William Weld was born in New York, but grew up in Fort Atkinson after coming here with his mother and new stepfather. Weld got his medical degree from Louisville Medical College, and eventually settled in the infamous town of Deadwood, South Dakota. During an epidemic of the grippe – what today we’d call influenza or flu – Weld developed an effective medicine, winning a patent on his so-called “Marvelous Grippe Remedy.”

After his stepfather died, Weld moved back to Fort Atkinson to be near his mother, and though he practiced some medicine here, he mostly promoted the sale of his grippe remedy. Certainly the people of Fort Atkinson and Jefferson swore by the stuff. Folks said it was as necessary to lay in a supply of Weld’s grippe pills in winter as it was to lay in a supply of coal.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 04/11/2005.

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