Colonel Eli Lilly

Colonel Eli Lilly

Infobox Person
name = Eli Lilly

image_size =
caption = Colonel Eli Lilly in 1885
birth_date = July 8, 1838
birth_place = Baltimore, Maryland
death_date = June 6, 1898
death_place = Indianapolis, Indiana
death_cause = Cancer
resting_place = Crown Hill Cemetery
resting_place_coordinates =
nationality = American
known_for = Eli Lilly & co.
education = Pharmacology
alma_mater = Asbury College
employer =
occupation = Pharmaceutical Chemist
years_active =
home_town = Indianapolis, Indiana
title = Founder
boards =
religion =
spouse =
partner =
children =
parents = Esther & Gusatavus Lilly
relations =

branch= United States Army
commands=18th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery
battles=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 Company pharmaceutical 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, Maryland on June 8, 1838. The Lilly family moved to Kentucky at a young age. His family moved in 1852 to Greencastle, Indiana where Lilly became a printer's apprentice.cite book|title=National Cyclopedia of American Biography|author=White, J.T|year=1899|pages=p. 83|url=] He studied pharmacology at 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 Army during 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 militia unit 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. Forrest in 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 medicines of 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 Cemetery in Indianapolis. His grave is not far from that of former President Benjamin Harrison.


The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum in Indianapolis is named in his honor. It opened in October 1999.

ee also

*History of Indiana
*Eli Lilly & co.


External links

*findagrave|1903 Retrieved on 2008-09-28
* [ On-line biography]
* [ Eli Lilly & co. website]

NAME= Lilly, Colonel Eli
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Union Army officer

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Colonel Eli Lilly — Demande de traduction Eli Lilly → …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eli Lilly and Company — Eli Lilly Logo de Eli Lilly and Company Dates clés 1876 : Création Personnages clés Eli Lilly fondateur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eli Lilly (industrialist) — Eli Lilly (April 1, 1885 – January 24, 1977) was a pharmaceutical industrialist and philanthropist from Indiana, United States. Business Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Eli Lilly was President of Eli Lilly and Company. He was named for his… …   Wikipedia

  • Eli Lilly — This article is about the person. For the business, see Eli Lilly and Company. Eli Lilly Colonel Eli Lilly in 1885 Born July 8, 1838(1838 07 08) …   Wikipedia

  • Eli Lilly and Company — Infobox Company company name = Eli Lilly and Company company company type = Public (NYSE: [ LLY] ) foundation = 1876 company slogan = Answers that matter location = Indianapolis, Indiana,… …   Wikipedia

  • Eli Lilly — Logo de Eli Lilly Dates clés 1876 : Création Personnages clés Eli Lilly fondateur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eli (name) — The given name Eli has several origins, all from Hebrew: # with spelling he. עֵלִי, a reference to Eli, the high priest in the Books of Samuel. Traditional English speaking Christian uses of the name are generally based on this Eli. The usual… …   Wikipedia

  • Lilly — Family name related names=LilleyInfobox Given name 2 meaning=lily alternative spelling=Lily: For Lily, the common English name for plants, see Lilium (genus) or Liliaceae (family). Lilly is a surname and a female given name, and may refer… …   Wikipedia

  • Josiah K. Lilly Sr. — Josiah K. Lilly, Sr. (1861 1948) was a pharmaceutical industrialist and President of Eli Lilly and Company. His father, Colonel Eli Lilly founded the family business. Josiah Lilly, Sr. was known for his philanthropic activities, and founded the… …   Wikipedia

  • Ruth Lilly — Infobox Person image size = 150px name = Ruth Lilly caption = birth date = birth date and age|1915|8|2 birth place = Indianapolis, Indiana, United States death date = death place = occupation = Philanthropist spouse = parents = children =Ruth… …   Wikipedia