Corneau & Diller Drug Store
Apothecaries in the mid-19th century carried a surprising variety of drugs and remedies---potassium iodide for rheumatism and syphilis, sulphate of quinine for tooth powder, opium elixir for toothache, and camphor for an aphrodisiac. "Cure-all" patent medicines were popular. Dr. Hoofland's Balsamic Cordial was touted for dysentery and colic. Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills cured "headaches, hysterics, weak nerves, low spirits, female complaints, and stomach and lung disorders." Sarsaparilla was prescribed for "ringworms, lumbago, pains of the bones and joints, neuralgia, nervous debility and pale complexion." "Brown Mixture," named for its color, was Corneau & Diller's own remedy for colds and coughs. Because Springfield's first soda fountain was installed here, Robert Lincoln later recalled that he and his friends considered Corneau & Diller "a good place to go."
In 1849 partners Roland W. Diller and Charles S. Corneau opened their store on the east side of the public square. With its big stove and circle of chairs amid cluttered shelves of drugs, pills, patient medicines and other articles, it became a favorite place for men---including Abraham Lincoln---to congregate and discuss politics, social happenings, and swap stories.
Ledger records of Lincoln's store account show that Mary Lincoln purchased toiletries such as bear's oil, ox marrow, "French Chalk" for her complexion, a patent hairdressing called "Zylobalsam," and "Mrs. Allen's Restorative." She made cosmetic paste out of Castile soap and Indian meal. Because daily bathing was not yet customary, the Lincolns---like most other people---brought cologne by the quart! For the children, Mary purchased "Pennyroyal" to prevent flea and mosquito bites, Hive Syrup for coughs and croup, Wistar's Balsam of Wild Cherry for asthma and bronchitis, and sweet oil for chest rubs. It seems the Lincoln children often suffered respiratory ailments. Three of them eventually died prematurely from fevers or lung disease.
Photo of Roland W. Diller
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 48.05′ N, 89° 38.883′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is at the intersection of S. 6th Street and E. Adams Street on S. 6th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cook's Hall (here, next to this marker); Old State Capitol (a few steps from this marker); The Lincoln Boys in 1854 (a few steps from this marker); Streetscape 1859 (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln's Springfield (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices (within shouting distance of this marker); In Their Springfield Prime (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bath & Barber Shop (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Springfield.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 20, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 541 times since then and 21 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on October 20, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.