Who's the most famous citizen Boone County has ever produced? Well, actually, today it's probably Steve Cauthen, or maybe Shaun Alexander. But fifty years ago, and for many folks today, there is absolutely no question. It was John Uri Lloyd (April 19, 1849 – April 9, 1936).
Lloyd was one of America's leading scientists of his day, and, with his two brothers, turned his science into a lucrative company. He was a leading pharmacist in the days when the profession was transforming from quackery to science. He was also a famous novelist. Go to your favorite search engine, type in his name, and you will find, literally, over 500 sites. Or, you can visit the Lloyd Library in Cincinnati. They're here.
FYI, “Uri” is pronounced “your-eye;” not “your-ee.” Stress the “your” syllable.
The back of this one says:
“Lloyd Cabin, Erlanger, Kentucky Scene of Stringtown on the Pike” but it's
almost certainly Florence - we don't believe Lloyd ever lived in Erlanger. It's from 1929.
|As Lloyd grew more prosperous, his housing got better. That's his Norwood home on the left, and his latter Clifton home on the right. The Norwood house is long gone (the Norwood Lateral took it out), but more on the still standing Clifton house is at this site.|
|Many of Lloyd's books contained line drawings but Warwick of the Knobs and Stringtown on the Pike both contained photographs, generally of Florence, Kentucky, taken by his wife, Emma. You can see those photos by clicking here.|
Curtis Lloyd Pictures from Crittenden are in our Grant County Pages, here
|The 1930 Boone County Recorder's Historical Edition ran this profile of John Uri Lloyd, and his wife Emma.|
|John Uri Lloyd wrote this 1902 article about witnessing a Civil War battle in Florence.||There's a very short biography of Lloyd here.||There's a more
detailed bio here.
|The Northern Kentucky Bicentennial commission published this bio of Lloyd in 1992. (pdf)|
The Erlanger Christian Church asked Lloyd for a contribution for their new building.
They got cash, but Lloyd also gave them a history of the fishing holes where they were building a new church.
|In 1933, Frank Y. Grayson, a reporter for the Kentucky Times-Star, took the opportunity to tour Boone County with John Uri Lloyd. The tour prompted a three-part series in the Times-Star, and you can read it here. (pdf) Good stuff.||Lloyd's novel Felix Moses, The Beloved Jew, is based on an actual person named Felix Moses, a peddler. Read all about him in this Cincinnati Enquirer article, here. (pdf)|
|“Mrs. Mary Herbestreitt, aged 60, who formed one of the principal types depicted in Dr. John Uri Lloyd's novel, Stringtown on the Pike is dead at her home in Florence, Ky.” from the Maysville Public Ledger, October 20, 1909||The obituary of the real Felix Moses is here.|
|The success of Lloyd and his brothers was due to the diverse yet complimentary natural skills and talents of each. John Uri was the creative one - whether with a pen or a microscope, and his creativity allowed him to do all the research and development necessary to create successful drugs, as well as novels.|
|Not as famous, but perhaps a more interesting person was the youngest Lloyd brother, Curtis Gates Lloyd (17 July 1859 – 11 November 1926), who had a talent for spending the money the other two made, but he spent it touring the world, lavishly, collecting plant samples for John Uri's research, and his own, and buying every old book on plants and medicines he could find (think sixteenth century, Italian, hand made; we're talking rare books). His work, and his endowment, is what gave Cincinnati's Lloyd Library the world's greatest collection of plant and medical books in the world. He was also a world class pharmacist, and created a Wildlife Refuge in Grant County.||Nelson Ashley Lloyd (November 17, 1851 - January 27, 1925), in addition to also being a pharmacist, was an astute businessmen, and had a head for turning John Uri's research into a marketable product, and making sure the cash came in. He was also an early owner of the Cincinnati Reds, and the most philanthropic of the brothers.|
|Read more about Curtis Gates and Nelson Ashley, at this site.|
|Both sides of Curtis Lloyd's tombstone.|
|According to his wishes, Curtis Gates Lloyd's body was cremated and his ashes spread on property in Crittenden, which he had inherited and established as the Lloyd Library Botanical Park and Arboretum, now Lloyd Wildlife Management Area. Already on the property was Curtis' tombstone (where it still resides today). He's the author of the inscriptions on both sides: “Curtis G. Lloyd: Born in 1859 - Died 60 or more years afterwards - - The exact number of years, months, and days that he lived nobody knows and nobody cares,” and on the other side “Curtis G. Lloyd: Monument erected in 1922 by himself, for himself, during his life to gratify his own vanity - - What fools these mortals be.”|
|Want to buy John Uri Lloyd novels? They're all out of print, but show
up regularly on eBay. $10
apiece will usually buy the common ones (for Etidorhpa, expect to pay more).
The Boone County Library has most of them on the shelves, or, you can simply go to Google Books, search for John Uri Lloyd, and download the entire texts of any of his novels, and much of his scientific writing.