Up front, I had never heard of this poster before a friend sent it to me because he knew I worked in Helena. That got me interested and I started doing a little research into the document.
“Eight Cotton Bale Remedies, Crowned with Merit and Success.” The actual poster is a 2 page set which can be found in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division at Washington D.C. Copyright is owned by Z.W. Patrick and it was produced by G.H. Dunston in Buffalo, New York. It is dated 1888. Products advertised include blood elixir, tonics, liver pills, heating balm and even worm and liver shots.
Zebulon W. Patrick, who had the advertisement poster created, was born in 1856 in Mississippi. His family moved from Covington County, Mississippi to Drew County, Arkansas prior to the 1870 U.S. Census. He married Lena M. Gleason on May 8, 1879 in Drew County. Z.W. Patrick then moved to Pine Bluff around 1876 where he clerked in a local business called Scull & Brothers. His residence was listed as being on the corner of Heckatoo and Little Rock streets. By the 1880 U.S. Census, he and his family are living in Helena where he listed his occupation as “druggist.” The couple identified their residence as being on Rightor Street. Lena and Zebulon would have three children. Lester was born around 1880, Jewel born about 1883 and Zula in 1887. Not much is known about the Cotton Bale Medicine Company which Z.W. Patrick owned, but it was evidently closed before the start of the 20th century. Zebulon passed away before 1900 and Lena identifies herself as being widowed. The family lived in Phillips County for several more years, but eventually moved to Little Rock. Although the Cotton Bale Medicine Company didn’t survive long, Patrick’s poster is his legacy and another example of the greatness of past economic times in Helena, Arkansas.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C.