Daniels House - 1850s
Naperville’s Dr. Hamilton C. Daniels treated patients in his home and medical office.
Nineteenth-century medical science offered three main options for treating diseases: bloodletting, purging the stomach and blistering the skin. Some patients preferred patent medicines to these traditional cures. Patent medicines were tinctures made from plants and minerals, suspended in alcohol and sweetened to taste. Most recipes were rooted in old folklore remedies and used ingredients familiar to patients.
Dr. Hamilton C. Daniels provided both traditional medical care and patent medicines to his Naperville patients. He worked out of his home and medical office for over forty years after receiving his professional training at Chicago Rush Medical College. Dr. Daniels’ prescriptions included hair dyes, asthma remedies, tonic for fever and cures for skin problems. After his death, Dr. Daniels’ sons published a catalogue of fifty recipes for his medicines, confirming the scientific basis of his prescriptions at a time when medical practitioners were criticizing patent medicines in favor of traditional treatments.
The Daniels House was built on Washington Street in 1852 in the Greek Revival style of architecture popular in the mid-nineteenth century. It was moved to Naper Settlement in 1974.
Volunteers invested hundreds of hours of labor in the restoration of the Daniels House, which is currently only open to the public during Weed Ladies sales. The house serves as the workshop for the Naperville Heritage Society's Weed Ladies, who create beautiful dried and silk floral arrangements that are sold during their annual sales.
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