Friday, February 3, 2012

Brazilian Balm Update

Inquiry: an antique bottle circa 1900s with this info: Brazilian Balm - manfactured by B.F. Jackson in Arcade, N.Y.

A quick look in our AHS obit file found one Rev. Benjamin F. Jackson, born in Franklinville, NY in 1834. He attended school in Arcade (his parents had a farm outside of town) and died in Arcade in 1920 - living here the last ten+ years of his life. His last occupation was as a businessman in the proprietary medicine trade.

Previously he spent time in South Carolina after the Civil War working with freed slaves and helping to divide up plantations during the reconstruction. A sermon delivered by Rev. B.F. Jackson was found in the archives at the research library of the Congregational Church in Boston, MA. Rev. Jackson gave the sermon in the Plymouth Congregational Church of Charleston, SC on November 28, 1867; it was a Thanksgiving Sermon, preached to a congregation of freedmen.We also obtained copies of pages from Bleser's "Promised Land", a history of the SC Land Commission, a body set up to purchase lands for subdivision and sale to freedmen and others, and has references to B.F. Jackson as a Surveyor of the Commission.

New information was revealed in an obituary from a 1917 Wyoming County Herald newspaper which led to our discovery of the exact address where B.F. Jackson and his wife lived: it is now numbered 436  West Main Street. He married Myra (Waldo) Hitchcock in 1909; daughter of a well known local pioneer family. Also found in the 1917 newspaper were advertisements for Brazilian Balm, sold at the local (Cottrill's) pharmacy. We are hoping to eventually find out where he produced this "proprietary medicene" in Arcade.

1 comment:

  1. BF Jackson was my first cousin, 4 times removed. I have recently started researching his family line. You may have seen this notice published in several New York newspapers:

    On petition of Allen W. Jackson of Buffalo the will of Benjamin F. Jackson, late of Arcade has been admitted to probate and letters testamentary granted the petitioner. The deceased died in Arcade March 29, 1920 leaving property valued at $1500. By the terms of the will the money in the bank is left to his wife, Myra T. Jackson, the business of manufacturing and selling Brazilian Balm is left to his son, Allen Jackson to be held in trust for the rest of the children, Lillian Pyle of Wilmington, Del., Albert H. Jackson of Buffalo, Carrie VanKneile of Pittsburg and W. S. Jackson of Buffalo. The remainder of the property is to be divided equally between the children except an amount sufficient to publish the book, The Restoration as Foretold by Prophecy.

    Source: "Surrogate's Court," announcement, Perry (New York) Herald, 23 June 1920, Petition of Allen W. Jackson on will of Benjamin F. Jackson, p. 8; digital images, Fulton History ( : viewed 14 September 2012).

    He moved around the county selling his medicine. Of his children by his first wife, Mary Emma Jocelyn, they were each born in different locations: Emma Lillian (Jackson) Pyle in Brooklyn, NY (1865); Albert H. Jackson in Martha's Vineyard, MA (1867); Caroline "Corrine" (Jackson) Smith von Kneile in Charleston, SC (1871); William Starr Jackson in Pittsfield, IL (1875); and Allen Webster Jackson in Wilmington, DE (1879).

    Feel free to email me privately at gnesileah at gmail dot com for more information.