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John N. Hurty papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 24, Placement: 19
Identifier: MSF 185

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one folder containing articles by Dr. John N. Hurty and a memorial about him.


  • 1897 - 1925


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Material in this collection is in the public domain.

Biographical Information

John Newell Hurty, M. D., Phar. D., was born February 21, 1852, at Lebanon, Ohio. Doctor Hurty came to Indianapolis in 1875 after having been a student in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and the Jefferson Medical College. In 1879, Hurty opened his own drugstore at the corner of Ohio and Pennsylvania streets in Indianapolis. In the basement, he set up one of the first analytical laboratories in Indiana where he tested the purity of wines for local hotels, paints and lubricants for the railroads, coal for the power company, and water for the Indianapolis Water Company. He also created cosmetics. A few years later, he worked for Eli Lilly.

In Indianapolis he established himself as a pharmacist and chemist. From the beginning he took an active interest in questions of sanitation and conducted an aggressive campaign for the improvement of the city water supply and the eradication of typhoid fever. In 1882 he was appointed lecturer on analytical chemistry and sanitary science in the Medical College of Indiana, and continued as a teacher in that institution and its successors the remainder of his life.

During the same year, 1882, Hurty proposed the idea to then Purdue President James H. Smart, to start a pharmacy program at Purdue University. Smart agreed to start the program if Hurty would serve as its head for at least two years. Hurty agreed, and the Purdue College of Pharmacy opened its doors in 1884, with seven students and four faculty members, becoming the third state-supported school of pharmacy in the United States. Hurty received his Doctor of Pharmacy from Purdue.

In 1886 he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Indiana and later was licensed as a physician. In 1881 Doctor Hurty became teacher of chemistry in the Indiana Dental College and remained an active and influential member of the faculty until his death. From 1890 to 1893 he was chemist for the Indianapolis City Board of Health and was secretary of the Board from 1893 to 1896. In these positions he demonstrated his character and exceptional understanding of sanitary problems. This led to his appointment as secretary of the Indiana State Board of Health in 1896.

Hurty died at his home in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 27, 1925.


0.025 Cubic Feet (One folder)


Items are in chronological order.

Processing Information

The articles are in an acid-free folder and acid-free box.
John N. Hurty papers
Under Review
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2009-06-10.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States