everyone’s medicine chest. In some households, it still is. Its active
ingredients of petrolatum, lanolin, methyl salicylate and oxyquinoline
benzoate combine to soothe chapped skin and minor abrasions and
bruises. Although this is one of the many products Hess and Clark
manufactures, it is probably most popular, at least for city dwellers.
How did the company which led the world in the production
of animal and poultry medicines in 1920 get its start?
Dr. Gilbert Hess and J.L. Clark formed a partnership in 1894.
Prior to that time, Dr. Hess had a veterinarian practice and small
animal hospital in a wooden building of Second Street. Dr. Hess, who was also an M.D., often made his own animal remedies. Sales were not brisk, so when Clark offered to buy a half-interest ($250) in the business, Dr. Hess agreed.
Clark, who had been a salesman for the R.E. Myers and Bro. Co., got his own horse and buckboard and traveled over the dusty roads to 10 surrounding counties. He used the sales technique of leaving a sample. When he returned, more often than not, the general store operator or the farmer purchased several products.
The wives, Nettie Hess and Mary Clark, women who were later to have maids and chauffeurs, often went back to the plant at night to help fill orders.
It wasn’t long before they had outgrown the first building and then a second before building the large plant on Orange Street.
Will Duff, in his 1915 Centennial book, notes the following successes: