Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte



Dr Willis Toledo created drugs to cure everything– from constipation to distemper.

Sept 8 1889 Almonte Gazette

We the undersigned do hereby agree to refund the money on a 25 cent bottle of Dr. Willis’ English Pills. Only if after using 3/4 of the contents of the bottle they do not relieve Constipation and Headache. We also warrant that four bottles will permanently cure the obstinate case of constipation. Satisfaction or no pay when Willis English Pills are used.

P.C. Dowdall, Chemist and Druggist– Almonte, Ontario and M Patterson Chemist and Druggist Almonte, Ontario.


This was the other choice- which would you have chosen? Standing at six inches tall, it was claimed that the RECTO ROTOR would “reach your vital spot to such good purpose,” which kind of insinuates that there are some other products out there that reach the “vital spot” with nothing but malevolence in its heart and world domination plans tucked under its arm. I would have gone with the good druggists of Almonte.

Historical Notes:

Druggist P.C. Dowdall opened his Almonte store in 1880, and was was still serving those with constipation in 1935.

Druggist Manassah Patterson (also known as John) 

Manassah was a druggist and owned Patterson’s Drug Store on Mill Street in Almonte. He initially came to Almonte and took a position with Mr. Shaw, a druggist, and shortly afterwards he bought the business and conducted it for a time in the building now occupied by Mr. Therien.


Lower Mill Street from the roof of the Victoria Mill –Photo from

In later years he built the brick store on Mill Street, which he occupied for nearly thirty years.  He was of a progressive disposition and had from time to time been connected with enterprises outside his regular business as druggist, and at the time he was taken ill he was looking after some mining properties in which he was interested. He also took an intelligent though quiet interest in public matters, and was prevailed upon one or two occasions to accept a position at the council board, which he filled in a most creditable manner.

In the 1880s, the first telephone exchange in Almonte operated from the rear of the drug store. As an agent of the Bell Telephone Company, Manassah used a primitive switchboard to manage the calls from among the original 29 subscribers to the new service.

Manassah Patterson was involved in and promoted horse racing. An article in the Renfrew Mercury July 4, 1884 reported that a proposition had been made whereby Almonte could secure an excellent and convenient driving park and public recreation grounds at a minimum cost. “Mr. M. Patterson proposes, at his own expense, to purchase 20 acres of the Robert McFarlane farm, adjoining the corporation, at to lease it, to an association to be formed for that purpose for a term of years to be agreed on and at a minimal cost.

The association will gradually fit it up with a driving track and suitable grounds for athletic sports. In the fall of 1886, Manassah travelled to the great Glenview horse sale in Kentucky with Dr. Preston, A. C. Burgess of Carleton Place, and Mr. Lawson of Almonte. The group was looking to purchase horses and was impressed by the beauty and strength of the horses in Kentucky. In July, 1889, Manassah was a judge at the Renfrew horse races.

The death of Manassah was reported in the Perth Courier on Friday February 15, 1907 as follows. “M. Patterson, the well known druggist of Almonte died at Cobalt on Saturday of pneumonia.” A more complete obituary was published in the Almonte Gazette on the same date.

Read the Almonte Gazette here.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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