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Ben Johnson - One of Emanuel County's "Old Doctors"

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Ben Johnson - One of Emanuel County's "Old Doctors"

Posted: 1350164872000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Johnson, Roberts
Today, my father reminded me about a tonic that Benjamin Johnson had patented that people ingested to heal various illnesses. He said that he can remember that people would come from other states to purchase the tonic. He said that Grandma (Bessie Johnson Roberts) would mix the tonic in the kitchen of their home. He said that she did so until the ingredients became difficult to find.

I remember Grandma telling me that one of the key ingredients of the tonic was a "teench (pinch)" of nux vomica (strychnine), and that the tonic would kill anything born with its eyes closed.

Does anybody know of anyone else who was familiar with the name of the tonic or anyone who used it? Or about Ben Johnson as an "old doctor" in general?


In 1952, Louis Proctor in his "I Remember When" column in the Forest-Blade says there were seven doctors in the County at that time. He does not list the names, but he does recall the names of many "old doctors":

Whitehead, Kirkland, LaGrone (LaGrene), Bailey, Ben Johnson...

SOURCE: Memories of Emanuel: 1776 - 1976 Swainsboro Forest-Blade Publishing Company, 1976 Pg. 220
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