Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SO... what IS Dr. Hess Udder Ointment??

Glad you asked. Pull up a seat and I'll tell you our story:

In 1893, Dr. Gilbert Hess, having trained and received degrees both as a Medical Doctor and a Doctor of Veterinary Sciences, teamed up with Ashland, Ohio business man J. L. Clark and the business of Hess & Clark farm remedies was born.

Hess was the inventor and remedy developer and Clark was the salesman; and oh, did he sell! The duo became almost instantly successful due, in part, to Dr. Hess’ education, projecting superiority over inventors who produced “unscientific” medications, and Clark’s outstanding marketing skill, travelling from town to town with horse and buckboard leaving free samples with owners and farmers which ensured later sales.

By 1897, the company had begun building what was to become one of the largest factories in Ohio and by 1915 employed 260 workers and 30 full-time salesmen. The two men became wealthy and used this wealth to benefit their community; building a hospital, starting a student endowment, supporting the County Children's Home, the American Red Cross, and several other local charities.

After the deaths of Dr. Hess in 1923 and Mr. Clark in 1942, the company of Hess & Clark continued but was finally purchased by Vick Chemical in 1955. Over the years several subsequent buyouts have occurred.

One of the best known products ever produced by Hess & Clark was Udder Ointment. Originally developed for treating chapped teats and udders of dairy cattle, farmers were soon remarking as to the healing effect it had on their own hands. Chronic dryness and cuts were quickly healing on both cow and farmer. Udder Ointment was widely used as both a veterinary remedy and a home remedy all across the country.

With each buyout of the Hess & Clark product line, Udder Ointment became more and more of a tangent product with each business focusing more and more on chemical production such as pesticides and powder treatments for agricultural use. Finally, in 1999 ( approx.) the production of Udder Ointment was discontinued completely. When the formal announcement was made, pleading calls from around the country riddled the company with testimonial after testimonial of Udder Ointment healing not only skin abrasions and dryness but burns, bruises, and especially effective on diaper rash!
After hearing of the discontinuation, Polly (our owner and great-granddaughter of J.L. Clark) began to purchase from local dealers over 200 cases of Udder Ointment product to ensure that she had enough for generations of her family and extended family members to use.  Word spread that she had a generous supply and soon she was turning down callers from anxious customers, keeping the remaining 4 cases for herself. 
The idea thus was born to recover the original formula and begin remanufacturing Dr. Hess Udder Ointment.  Polly and her husband, Tyler, began the company organization and the manufacturing process in the Fall of 2006.  First sales of the product began in January 2008 with the reemergence of Dr. Hess Udder Ointment.  During the Spring of 2008 we also developed the Udder Stick, our healing lip balm, after the request of several consumers who wanted the original formula in a more solid form.  Our sales since 2008 have skyrocketed due to rediscovery from past customers and the new awareness to our products from new customers. Our most recent addition to the Dr Hess product line occured in 2010 with the introduction of Dr. Hess Udder Ointment for Diabetic Skin Care.
Past customers who rediscovered us were elated to see its return.  Story after story of this “miraculous” healing ointment used many years ago came to us by letter, email and phone calls. In fact, just recently, Polly received an email from a son of a thankful elderly mother who has used Udder Ointment for the past 50 years.  He even included pictures of her old Udder Ointment jar which she keeps by her bedside revealing only the slightest amount of the treasured ointment remaining.
Dr. Hess Udder Ointment was part of Polly's childhood.  It was what her family relied on for skin dryness to cuts and burns.  When she began having children herself, it was the instant remedy for her own tired and cracked feet.  Simply put, it was hard to imagine her children and their children not having the benefits of Udder Ointment that she and thousands of other users have enjoyed for over 100 years.

As Dr. Hess Products, LLC, we are continuing in the tradition of our fathers and believe in the American spirit of hard work and giving back.  Polly's Great-Grandfather, J.L. Clark, using only a $250 partnership investment, a buckboard horse and buggy and pure American determination, built a thriving business in the early 1900's with MD and Veterinarian, Dr. Gilbert Hess.  He built and equipped the town hospital before building his own home, reduced his own salary to not even a single penny during the Great Depression saving every job in the company, and served his community through countless hours of volunteer work until his early death in 1942.

We have been pleased to continue the spirit of giving by sending cases of udder ointment to Iraq for soldiers dealing with the harsh dryness of the heat and abrasions of the sand.  We have also sent many samples to cancer clinics for patients to try who are confronted with the side effects of chemotherapy.  Our company is also thrilled to be continuing in the tradition of Polly's Great-Grandfather, by forming a non-profit arm of Dr. Hess Products, in his name, which will give a percentage of profit to various charities annually.

We appreciate your interest in our story of Dr. Hess Products.  We hope you will become part of the Dr. Hess Family.


Polly & Tyler Tribe, Owners
Mary Murphy, Sales Manager
Jamie Schipaanboord, Account Rep
Dr. Hess Products, LLC 

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