Dr. Franklin L. Miles
Location: 403 West Franklin Street, Elkhart (Elkhart County, Indiana)
Installed: 2007 Indiana Historical Bureau, Elkhart County Historical Society Radiology Inc., and Ruthmere Foundation Inc.
ID# : 20.2007.2
Born circa 1845 in Ohio. Graduated from Rush Medical College 1874. Moved medical practice from Chicago to Elkhart 1875. Began The Dr. Miles Medical Company 1885 to sell Dr. Miles' Nervine, Restorative Nerve and Liver pills, and other medicines; Miles was a Director and President of company. Purchased land here, on corner of Fourth and Franklin, 1900.
Began Dr. Miles New U.S. Weather Almanac and Handbook of Valuable Information 1902. Incorporated Grand Dispensary Medical Company 1904; sold drugs and diagnosed patients by mail. Miles moved to Florida 1906; became a farmer. Medical Company's original incorporation was dissolved 1912. Miles died 1929; is buried in Grace Lawn Cemetery, Elkhart.
Business, Industry, and Labor , Medicine
Born circa 1845 in Ohio. (1) Graduated from Rush Medical College 1874. (2) Moved medical practice from Chicago to Elkhart 1875. (3) Began The Dr. Miles Medical Company 1885 to sell Dr. Miles' Nervine, Restorative Nerve and Liver pills, and other medicines; Miles was a Director and President of company. (4) Purchased land here, on corner of Fourth and Franklin, 1900. (5)
Began Dr. Miles New U.S. Weather Almanac and Handbook of Valuable Information 1902. (6) Incorporated Grand Dispensary Medical Company 1904; sold drugs and diagnosed patients by mail. (7) Miles moved to Florida 1906; became a farmer. (8) Medical Company's original incorporation was dissolved 1912. (9) Miles died 1929; (10) is buried in Grace Lawn Cemetery, Elkhart. (11)
(1) Franklin Lawrence Miles was born November 15, 1845 in Olmsted Falls, near Cleveland, to Charles Julius and Electa Lawrence Miles. "Dr. Miles Dead in Florida, " Elkhart Truth, April 1, 1929 (B050288); Martha M. Pickrell, Dr. Miles: The Life of Dr. Franklin Lawrence Miles: 1845-1929 (Carmel, Ind., 1997) (B050023) cited U.S. Census, school records, and County histories (B050198), (B050201), (B050206), (B050207) as having conflicts on birth date, but 1845 appears to be correct.
Miles moved to Indiana circa 1860 to live with his father, a storeowner in Elkhart. Pickrell, 5 (B050023) cited Family correspondence.
(2) Thirty-Second Annual Announcement of Rush Medical College (Chicago, 1874), p. 16 (B051093). Arthur W. Hafner, Fred W. Hunter, and E. Michael Tarpey, eds., Directory of Deceased American Physicians: 1804-1929, Vol. 2 (Chicago, 1993) (B051094).
(3) Miles began a private eye and ear practice in Chicago, 1874, then in Elkhart, 1875. "Round Town, " Elkhart Observer, May 6, 1874 (B050372) and "Round Town, " Elkhart Observer, May 12, 1875 (B050373).
(4) The Dr. Miles Medical Company, of Elkhart, was incorporated on October 28, 1885 initially to sell Dr. Miles' Nervine, Restorative Nerve and Liver Pills, Tonic, and Blood Purifier. Incorporation Papers, The Dr. Miles Medical Company, Indiana State Archives, 58-D-2, Box 51, packet 1103-18 (B051061); William C. Cray, Miles, 1884-1984: A Centennial History (Elkhart, Ind., 1984), 266 (B050167); Elkhart City Directory, 1890 (B050294), 1904-1905 (B050295). Cray's book carries many illustrations (drawings and photographs) of Dr, Miles' offices and factories in Elkhart, on pp. 3, 11, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 32, 40. It also provides, mostly unsourced, historical background for his medical business ventures.
Perhaps the widest known drug manufactured by the company that Miles founded was Alka-Seltzer. The first use of the drug was December 20, 1930. The Alka-Seltzer name was registered as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office June 9, 1931. United States Patent and Trademark Office, http://tess2.uspto.gov, accessed December 5, 2006.
(5) Elkhart County Recorder, Deed Record, 103, p. 380 (B051095). The deed shows that Miles purchased lot 211 of Second South and Western Addition to the town of Elkhart on September 17, 1900 for $9, 500 subject to the payment of taxes. Ogle, George A., Standard Atlas of Elkhart, Indiana (Chicago, 1915), p. 19. The atlas confirms that lot 211 is the same as 403 W. Franklin, Elkhart, IN. This is the address where the marker will be installed.
(6) To support advertisements for his companies, provide weather service, and dispense advice and information on various topics, Dr. Miles published his Dr. Miles New U.S. Weather Almanac and Handbook of Valuable Information, 1902-1938.
The 1904 edition of the Dr. Miles New U.S. Weather Almanac (B050332) and William C. Cray, Miles 1884-1984: A Centennial History (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1984) 265 (B050167) claimed the first edition of the Almanac appeared in 1902.
Publication of the Almanac ended in 1942. Cray, 265 (B060167) and National Library of Medicine, Time, Tide, and Tonics: The Patent Medicine Almanac in America: Almanacs at NLM, www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/almanac/almanacs.html#M (accessed 2/19/2007) (B051098).
Dr. Miles New Weather Almanac, 1904-1938 issues in Indiana State Library (B050332).
(7) Miles founded The Grand Dispensary Co., of Elkhart and Chicago; it was incorporated in 1904 to dispense drugs and medical advice through the mail; it closed in 1922. Index to Articles of Association and Incorporation on file in the Office of Secretary of State, Indiana State Archives (B051063); Nostrums and Quackery, 3 vols. (Chicago, 1912-1936), 2:147-48, 521-24 (B050281); Pickrell, 85 (B050023), Cray, 4 (B050167).
(8) Miles and his family moved to Florida in 1906 to regain his health. Pickrell, 65-66 (B050023); Pickrell cited Lee County Recorder, Fort Myers, Closed Grantee Index to Deeds, 1887-1922, p. 75. "Dr. F. P. Miles Dies in Florida, " Miami Herald, April 2, 1929 (B050319).
For accounts of what Miles farmed and certain techniques he used, consult, Franklin L. Miles, personal papers (copies), formerly in the Miles Corporate Archives, Notes on his Florida Farms, Ruthmere Museum Archives, Elkhart, IN.
(9) Incorporation Papers, The Dr. Miles Medical Company, Indiana State Archives, 58-D-2, Box 51, packet 1103-18 (B051061).
The 1911 Corporation Report to the Indiana Secretary of State stated the corporation changed to a co-partnership June 1, 1911 and that the corporation would relinquish the charter to its original charter soon. Ibid. (B051061).
On November 22, 1911, Franklin Miles granted power of attorney to Charles F. Miles to attend all meetings relating to the dissolution of the company. Ibid. (B051061).
On December 15, 1911, the Board of Directors voted to dissolve the company. Ibid. (B051061).
On December 27, 1911, Franklin Miles through Charles F. Miles, along with the five other stockholders consented that the Dr. Miles' Medical Company be dissolved. Miles had the most stock, owning 164 shares. Ibid. (B051061).
On February 19, 1912, 2nd Vice President Herman Compton and Secretary Andrew Beardsley provided papers to the State of Indiana certifying the board had settled the affairs of the corporation, dissolving the company. Secretary of State L.G. Ellingham filed the report February 20, 1912. Ibid. (B051061).
Bayer AG (West Germany) acquired Miles Laboratories, Inc. (West Germany) in the period of 1977-1979. Bayer AG website: http://bayer.com/about-bayer/history/1974-1988/page121 (B050299); Cray, 266-69 (B050167).
The name Miles was dropped in 1995. Ibid.
In 1911, The Dr. Miles Medical Company was involved in a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding price fixing. Dr. Miles Medical Company v. John D. Park & Sons Company, No. 72. Supreme Court of the United States, 220 U.S. 373; 31 S. Ct. 376; 55 L. Ed. 502; 1911.
The case was argued January 4, 1911 and decided April 3, 1911. It is considered to be a classic anti-trust case.
(10) Miles died in Fort Myers, April 1, 1929. Elkhart Truth, April 1, 1929 (B050288); Miami Herald, April 2, 1929 (B050319).
(11) Miles' body was returned to Elkhart and is buried in the Grace Lawn Cemetery. Elkhart Truth, April 2, 1929; Patricia K. Johnson, Jeffrey L. Klein, compilers, Grace Lawn Cemetery, Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana (Elkhart, Ind., ), 256 (B050354).