Old newspaper advertisements are fascinating. They offer a rare glimpse into the daily lives of those before us. In an old 1860 issue of the Fulton Southern Herald is an advertisement (click image for larger view) for The Medley Mineral. Called a great discovery, a reality and no humbug, the mineral was described as follows:
The wonderful cures that have been made with the Medley Mineral, has led us to prepare, and offer for the relief of many of the Diseases to which flesh is heir to, some of this unparalleled Mineral Compound, accidentally discovered by William Medley, forty feet under ground, when digging a Well at his residence, 10 miles South of Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi.
First our attention was called to the Medical Properties of this Mineral by some accidental applications made to Sore Eyes, and Old Ulcers, which led to its application in various Diseases, in most of which it has proved most signally beneficial.
By a thorough Chemical Analysis, it proves to contain Eight distinct Medical Properties, without in the least being mixed with any known poison; consequently it is safe, both internally and externally.
It is offered to the public in Fluid form, for the relief of all Skin Diseases, all forms of Sore Eyes, Old Ulcers, Sore Mouth, &c.
The advertisement was signed “Medley, Stovall & Co.
William Medley is believed to be the son of John Medley and Ann Carter who married in Henry County. Virginia, October 30, 1797. William married Elizabeth McWilliams in neighboring Monroe County on April 25, 1823 and moved to Itawamba County shortly after its organization in 1836, settling on a farm in the southern part of the county, ten miles south of Fulton. William Medley died on his farm in Itawamba County, during 1868, eight years after this advertisement was published.