John Uri Lloyd

Inside a book entitled “History of Pharmacy,” John Uri Lloyd is hailed as “America’s most versatile pharmacist”… a pharmaceutical chemist, researcher, teacher, and author of scientific articles numbering into the thousands. John Uri Lloyd’s professional works have resulted in new and better medicines and chemicals that have enhanced people’s lives immensely. His theoretical work introduced colloidal chemistry to the sciences, while on the more practical level, John Uri Lloyd was a major proponent and contributor to the creation and enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act. All of these works improved the lives and health of the people of northern Kentucky. However, the important achievements of a national and international figure of the stature of John Uri Lloyd generally obscure the local activities and achievements of the person. John Uri Lloyd was an important figure on the northern Kentucky stage. He was one of a very few novelists that concerned themselves with life in the area. Certainly he was the first to bring early northern Kentucky and its people to national attention. Lloyd’s northern Kentucky links go back to his boyhood. Although born in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York and residing in Cincinnati for most of his adult life, Lloyd always referred to northern Kentucky as “a land of which I am a part.” He sought to recapture those halcyon days of his youth in six local color stories involving the manners, customs and people of Stringtown (i.e. Florence, Kentucky). Professor Lloyd’s “Stringtown” novels published over a period from 1900-1934, recorded a lifestyle that today exists only in echoes. These literary works are important as historical and ethnographical documentation, and have preserved that which quite likely would otherwise be lost. John Uri Lloyd and his wife, Emma, were major contributors to churches and social organizations in northern Kentucky, and often were instrumental in the erection of new churches and centers, as well as furnishing like musical instruments and, on one occasion, an auto for a pastor who had to walk! Lloyd’s charitable work extended to individual families where he gave money to rebuild homes, find positions for young people, and give medical care to the sick and needy. He also established funds for libraries and historical societies, and aided area schools when there was a need. John Uri Lloyd was an international figure that never lost his appreciation for his northern Kentucky home. He was active through philanthropic works, literature and science. Though he is gone, his influence continues in myriad ways. The Lloyd Library and Museum in Cincinnati began in 1864 as the personal collection of John Uri Lloyd. Over the years, it has expanded to its current location at 917 Plum Street and houses many of his books and papers as well as research on the history of Kentucky and the surrounding region. Lloyd and his wife had three children, John T. Lloyd, Ann Lloyd Welbourn and Dorothy Lloyd Brett.


This biographical sketch is from A Salute to Northern Kentuckians, a souvenir program book to the Kentucky Bicentennial Celebration in Kentucky, 1792-1992. There's no author was credited.