J. D. DOYLE & ASA T. SOULE : HOP BITTERS
J. D. Doyle was granted a patent for his medical compound in Rochester, New York in 1872. This is according to the June 29 1872 Rochester Union and Advertiser. Doyle lived in Canadaiqua were he also had a medical company.
Asa Titus Soule was born in Duanesburg, New York on August 2 1824. He was the eleventh child of a Quaker family. He would dabble in the farming trade, banking, real estate, hotel management and even peddled a cough cure before locating to Canadaquia in 1872. He eventually gathered enough money to purchase the J.D. Doyle Medical Company in 1872. He was forty eight years old at the time.
In 1873 Soule moved the company to Rochester, New York. He would strengthen the formula and change the name to Hop Bitters. Hop Bitters came in a semi cabin bottle with either Doyle's or Soule's name on one of the roof panels. Soule would do very well selling his Hop Bitters eventually making him a millionaire credited to his marketing skills. Soule would take Dr. Warner from Reading, Michigan to court over the use of a similar semi cabin roofed bottles and the wording Hop Bitters along with Doyle's bottles with Dr. Warner's labels. The court would side with Asa Soule in this matter.
The H.H. Warner Medicine Company started to produce his Warner's Safe Kidney and Liver cure and eventually started to out sell Soule's Hop Bitters. Asa Soule would add his Soule's Hop Cure, Soule's Hop Ointment, Soule's balm Syrup, Soule's Hop Pad for distressed abdomen and his Soule's Absolute and Irresistible Cure which was for narcotic and tobacco habit. This was the last product the company made before his death. He also started to open branches in London, England, Melbourne, Australia, Toronto, Canada and in Antwerp, Belgium. Asa Soule would die on Jan 17 1890. Below are photos of Doyle's and Soule's Hop Bitters 1872 bottles in different shades of colors.
Below is a Doyles ad from the 1873 Rochester, NY. Directory.
Below is a Soules ad from the 1878 Rochester, NY. Directory.
There are two variants of the Doyle bottles with Doyle spelling backwards. These are listed as extremely rare. Also there is a Dr. Soule's Hop Bitterine and a Soule's Hop Bitters with a Backwards S in the word Soule and a smaller size that is 7 ¾ inches tall.
Here is a little bit more about Asa Soule when he located to Kansas in 1882. Asa Soule would see a opportunity, the government was selling land in Western Kansas. Asa Soule now being one of the richest men in Kansas would establish the town of Engall, Kansas. He would use his skill of promoting the town as he did with his Hop Bitters Co. to compete with other towns in the area for new settlers and investors. By 1882 he would purchase the Dodge City Water Works and founded the Eureke Irrigating Canal Co. He thought he could divert the Arkansas River into a 96 miles canal going throw Gray and Ford Counties. The project would take two years to complete. But the flow of the Arkansas River often failed to fill up the canal and what water that was there would absorb into the sandy soil. Asa would recover his investment by selling bonds to a group of English investors.
Even though the canal was a failure the speculation of it would help make Kansas population grow by 500 percent in year. Asa Soule wanted to make his town of Engall the County Seat but the town of Cimarron was established four years earlier in 1878. Asa was the President of the Dodge City First National Bank. He would promise voters of Gray County to build a sugar mill in Ensign, a city hall in Montozuma and gave forty acres of land in Dodge City to build the Soule College which would open in 1888.
In spite of all the money Asa Soule spent in Oct 31 1887 the town of Engall would lose the election for the county seat. Soule found out that the town of Cimarron fraudulently purchased a number of votes. Soule would obtain a court order to delay the outcome from being ratified. By November 1888 both towns declared victory. Soule would lose his patience and hire a gang of former law man and gun fighters to raid the court house and retrieve the court records to the town of Engalls. Soule would hire Jim Masterson Pat Masterson young brother. Bill Tilghman, Fred Singer, Neal Brown, Ben Daniels, George Bolds and Ed Brooks. On Jan 12 1889 Soule's gang of mercenaries rode into the town of Cimarron with the intention of seizing the documents. While loading the documents into the wagon they found themselves surround by an estimate of 200 city folks armed with rifles and shotguns. Shots were fired and Soule's gang of mercenaries found refuge in the county clerk's office. Eventually Soule's gang would give up and surrender their weapons. A prominent citizen of Cimarron John Wesley Englishman would die and several others were badly injured.
Asa would return to Rochester, New York to release his last product for his Hop bitters Co. Soule's Absolute and Irresistible cure. Soule would die barely a year later after the gunfight of Cimarron.
Once Upon a Time in America by Tony Storey.
Dr. Cannon Medicine Chest Article.
Bitters Bottles by Carlyn Ring & W. C. Ham.
Rochester Union and Advertiser, June 29 1872.
Frank & Frank Jr. (Wicker) Bottle Collection.