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date: 16 October 2019

Hurty, John Newelllocked

(21 February 1852–27 March 1925)
  • David L. Cowen


Hurty, John Newell (21 February 1852–27 March 1925), pharmacist and sanitarian, was born in Lebanon, Ohio, the son of Josiah Hurty, a teacher and school superintendent, and Irene Walker. In 1869, while still in high school in Paris, Illinois, Eli Lilly, as Hurty was later to write, “beguiled” him into the “drug business,” and he became an apprentice in Binford and Lilly’s Red Front Drug Store. There he learned chemistry as well as pharmacy in 1871–1872, and, with the encouragement of Lilly, he studied at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. In 1873 Hurty followed Lilly to Indianapolis, where Lilly began to manufacture pharmaceuticals in partnership with Dr. John Johnston. Hurty was responsible for determining the purity of raw materials and assaying finished products. When the firm of Johnston and Lilly dissolved in 1879, Hurty, who had in 1877 married Johnston’s daughter, Ethel (with whom he had two children), opened his own pharmacy in Indianapolis. He became a prominent pharmacist, a founding member in 1882 of the Indiana Pharmaceutical Association and its president in 1890. Attached to his shop he developed an analytical chemistry laboratory and devoted considerable time to the assaying of items such as water, coal, and wine and did some work in forensic toxicology. In 1891 Hurty was appointed chemist and toxicologist at the Indianapolis City Hospital. He remained active in his pharmacy and laboratory until he became secretary of the Indiana State Board of Health in 1896. He then turned over the management of the pharmacy to an assistant and in 1901 sold him his entire interest....

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