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24 May 2022, last revised 29 May 2024

Hafenreffer's pharmacy bottle was not listed in Old Copper Country Bottles. Its few examples were found in the Copper Country, but without a town name embossed on the bottle, we must rely on local history information to confirm its provenance.

Charles Hafenreffer was born in Mannheim, Germany on 31 Jul 1823 (1). In 1847, he graduated from the University of Heidelberg with an M.D. (1). After practicing medicine for the German government for five years, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1852 (1). He practiced medicine in St. Clair County, MI for one year (1,4), in Eagle River in Keweenaw County for two years (1), in Missouri for two years, and then in Sheboygan County, WI for two years (4). In 1859, he moved to Houghton and continued to practice as a surgeon and physician (1).

Dr. Hafenreffer started a drug business in Houghton in 1870 (1), but it was not until the 1881 and 1883 volumes of the Polk directory that he was listed as "physician and druggist" (2,3). In May 1870, he purchased the building alongside Miller's Hall and would relocate there (5). An ad from 1876 specified that his residence (and presumably his business) was on Shelden St. He was appointed health officer of the township in 1879 (6), and was re-appointed annually at least twice (7,8). As health officer, he vaccinated people for small pox (9). He was also the instructor and principal member of the Hancock Maennerchor (4). In Jun 1880, he announced that he had moved his office to "Mr. Washburn's building" (10), but it is unknown if his drug store also moved. In 1883, he, along with other German townspeople, endeavored to host a series of concerts to raise relief funds for flood sufferers in Germany (14).

It was announced on 01 May 1884, that Dr. Maclane had purchased Hafenreffer's drug business and medical practice, and that Hafenreffer was going to settle in Milwaukee (11). "Maclane" or "Maclean" continued the practice (12), but then in Aug 1884, he sold the drug stand to Dr. J. P. Mason (13). Maclean found the winters to severe and was moving to Detroit (13).

After nearly a year in Milwaukee, Hafenreffer returned to Houghton in Mar 1885 (4,19). By Apr 1885, he was again the health officer of Portage Township (20). His ad showed that he had opened a practice and drug store again. His son, Adolph, was his partner in the drug store (21,1).

Newspaper ad - <i>Portage Lake Mining Gazette</i>, 01 Jun 1876
Newspaper ad - Jun 1876
Newspaper ad - <i>Portage Lake Mining Gazette</i>, 07 Jan 1886
Newspaper ad - Jan 1886

Hafenreffer started suffering a serious illness in Jul 1889 (15,16). After being confined to his house for two months, he died on 29 Aug 1889 at the age of 66 (17) and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Houghton (4,18). He was noted to be "one of the oldest and best known physicians in the copper district" (17). Prescriptions of Dr. C. Hafenreffer & Son were sent to Shelden Bros. & Co. to be refilled in their new drug store (23).

His one bottle has a maker's mark of W. T. & CO. with "1" below it. Lockhart et al. (22) dated this configuration to c.1880-1895, but most commonly to 1885-1895. Since his bottle was uncovered alongside beer bottles from the early 1880s, it probably came from his first drug store.

References

  1. anonymous. 1883. The History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Western Historical Company. Chicago, IL.
  2. R. L. Polk & Co. 1881. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1881. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  3. R. L. Polk & Co. 1883. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1883. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  4. anonymous. (1889, Sep 05). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  5. anonymous. (1870, May 05). Condensed items. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  6. anonymous. (1879, May 01). untitled. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  7. anonymous. (1880, Apr 14). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  8. anonymous. (1882, May 11). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  9. anonymous. (1882, Jan 19). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  10. anonymous. (1880, Jun 03). Local notices. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  11. anonymous. (1884, May 01). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  12. anonymous. (1884, May 15). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  13. anonymous. (1884, Aug 21). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  14. anonymous. (1883, Feb 08). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  15. anonymous. (1889, Jul 25). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  16. anonymous. (1889, Aug 01). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  17. anonymous. (1889, Aug 29). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  18. Find A Grave. accessed May 2022. Dr Charles Hafenreffer. www.findagrave.com/memorial/166698431/charles-hafenreffer
  19. anonymous. (1885, Mar 19). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  20. anonymous. (1885, Apr 23). Local jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  21. anonymous. (1887, Mar 03). Around town. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  22. Lockhart, B., P. Schulz, B. Schriever, B. Lindsey, C. Serr, and B. Brown. 2020. Whitall Tatum - Part I - Whitall Tatum & Co. In: Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles. posted on Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/WhitallTatum1.pdf
  23. anonymous. (1889, Sep 12). untitled. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.

s53
bottle image
color: colorless
top: cork top
base outline: base shape _
date: c.1880-1889
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
1 oz - 5.8 x 3.2 cm - W. T. & CO. / 1 - extremely rare
3 oz - 11.7 x 4.8 cm - W. T. & CO. / C - extremely rare
4 oz - 12.7 x 5.4 cm - W. T. & CO. / P - extremely rare
  • capacity not marked on bottle