Dr. Hale’s Home Remedy and Recipe Book
This unique handwritten book was found in a collection of books left to me by my grandmother. The book refers to J. H. Hale, Lucy H. Hale in Cass County, Michigan, and also Wallace A. Hale, Fannie E. Hale and B. F. Hale, Ann Arbor Michigan. There is a date in it of Aug. 17, 1846 concerning a rental agreement of $35.00 per year between Philip Wears and B. F. Hale. Also there was a date of 1848 for Housel’s Washing Solution, and another 1863. Like many script books of this era, it reflected the life of the individuals who used this book for their livelihood. An archivist from Michigan State University told me that because this book would have been almost used daily by this doctor, it is rare to find one in this condition. It is likely this book came from the lumberman’s house in Lewiston my grandmother owned years ago, inherited from her uncle Elmer Thompson.
It would be interesting to have a doctor evaluate some of these cures. Some of them seem quite nasty, poisonous, or painful.
After 25 years of searching, I found a reference to the Hale family. Lucy Hale’s father Nathaniel Wallace was an aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. This is from a history of Calhoun County published in 1913. It is apparent that Walter F. Hale, son of the authors of this book, owned a farm near my great-great uncle Elmer Thompson in Clarence Township near Albion, Michigan. I have speculated how this book came into the possession of grandma’s uncle Elmer. Since they were neighbors, I suspect that he borrowed the book and never returned it, just like one of the “little cusses” Wallace referred to in the beginning of the book. Here are the references to the book: Hale Family History A Hale Family History B
I have had an opportunity to meet one of the descendants of the Hale family, Lois Reid, and she has another book like it. Her book is referenced on page 16 of this book. Wallace Hale was a doctor in Ashley, Michigan, and she said that she had Wallace’s doctor’s bag until someone in her family accidentally got rid of it.
This book was donated to the Archives of Michigan on November 28, 2018, and is available for the public to view there. We have now published a print version of this book where we have transcribed each handwritten page onto a facing page. We have also indexed the ingredients and diseases listed in this book.
NOTE: The spelling below is the way it appears in the book. Recipes of particular interest are highlighted in bold.