- Colonel Eli Lilly
name = Eli Lilly
caption = Colonel Eli Lilly in 1885
birth_date = July 8, 1838
death_date = June 6, 1898
Crown Hill Cemetery
nationality = American
known_for = Eli Lilly & co.
Pharmaceutical Chemist Soldier Industrialist
title = Founder
parents = Esther & Gusatavus Lilly
United States Army
18th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery
American Civil War
Colonel Eli Lilly (July 8, 1838–June 6, 1898) was a
soldier, pharmaceutical chemist, and industrialist, founder of the eponymous Eli Lilly and Companypharmaceutical corporation. The company has grown to be one of the largest and most influential pharmaceutical companies in the world, offering key pharmaceutical products in almost every key therapeutic area. In 2005, the company registered global revenues of $14.6 billion.
Eli Lilly was born the son of Gustavus and Esther Lilly in
Baltimore, Marylandon June 8, 1838. The Lilly family moved to Kentuckyat a young age. His family moved in 1852 to Greencastle, Indianawhere Lilly became a printer's apprentice.cite book|title=National Cyclopedia of American Biography|author=White, J.T|year=1899|pages=p. 83|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=nl8oAAAAYAAJ] He studied pharmacologyat Asbury College (now Depauw University) and served an apprenticeship at the Good Samaritan Pharmacy in Lafayette to became a chemist and pharmacist. Lilly opened a drug store in Indianapolis in 1860.
Lilly fought in the
Union Armyduring the American Civil War, recruiting and organizing the 18th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery, known as the Lilly battery, and serving as its captain from August 1862 until the winter of 1863. Lilly's only prior military experience was in a militiaunit in Lafayette, Indiana, and several of his artillerymen considered him too young and intemperate to command. Despite his initial inexperience, he became a competent artillery officer and his battery was instrumental in several important battles, including Chickamauga. Lilly resigned from the battery to become a colonel of cavalry, and was captured by Nathan B. Forrestin Alabama in 1864. He was paroled and returned home.
He attempted two other business ventures, including a
Mississippi cotton plantation, before returning to his interest in pharmacology. In 1869, he opened a drug store in Paris, Illinois, before moving back to Indianapolis in the mid-1870s. In 1879, Lilly proposed the idea for a public water supply company to meet the needs of the city. The Indianapolis Water Company resulted from his ideas. Influenced by his wife's premature death from malaria, Lilly founded a pharmaceutical company at 15 W. Pearl St., Indianapolis, May 10, 1876. He had only 3 employees (including his 14-year-old son Josiah) and $1400 in working capital. His first products were gelatin-coated pills and capsules. Following on his experience of medicines used in the Civil War, Lilly committed to producing only high quality prescription drugs, in contrast to the common patent medicinesof the day.
In 1892 Lilly built the Wawasee Inn on
Lake Wawasee, Indiana. By the time Colonel Lilly died of cancer in 1898, his company had 2,005 products and annual sales topping $300,000.
Lilly was buried in
Crown Hill Cemeteryin Indianapolis. His grave is not far from that of former President Benjamin Harrison.
Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museumin Indianapolis is named in his honor. It opened in October 1999.
History of Indiana
*Eli Lilly & co.
*findagrave|1903 Retrieved on 2008-09-28
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20040815040557/http://www.ccs.k12.in.us/mte/mt/HoosierWeb/HoosiersI-Q/page6.html On-line biography]
* [http://www.lilly.com/about/history.html Eli Lilly & co. website]
NAME= Lilly, Colonel Eli
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Union Army officer
DATE OF BIRTH=
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