Arkansas Medical Monthly (1880)

“Eureka Springs.” Arkansas Medical Monthly 1, no. 1 (1880): 1-3.

“Notwithstanding, however, the ludicrous aspect placed upon the reputation of these springs in the eyes of the medical profession, induced by the enthusiastic exageration [sic] of the people, there is evidently something about them worthy of our attention and careful inquiry.” (34)

“We visited the place during the latter part of December last, but owing to the fact that no analysis has as yet been made of the water (or, at least, none has come under our observation), it is impossible to base a scientific opinion upon its proposed therapeutic value.” (34)

Discusses having talked to a lot of people that had been or were in the process of being cured

Water, according to the experience of the writer, has “strong laxative and diuretic properties.”

Gives altitude, says air is “proportionately rarefied,” and that this combined with the effects of the water may account for beneficial effects on consumptives — should get same results in ES as you would in the “extreme west, i.e. Colorado, California, New Mexico, etc.”

Only providing the info “in order to satisfy public curiosity” and hopeful that “a scientific investigation as to the true causes which induce so much enthusiasm in regard to the ascribed curative properties of this water.” (35)


J. J. Jones, Sr. “Letter from Eureka Springs.” Arkansas Medical Monthly 1, no. 3, ed. Jonathan J. Jones (1880): 147-149.

Jones claims he went to ES skeptical of the outlandish claims, but has found this “delusion dispelled.”

He found a lot of people cured, even some which had been pronounced incurable by “prominent members of the medical profession.” He quickly tempers that assault on his fellow doctors by claiming many uncured invalids remained so due to their “constitut[ing] themselves their own medical advisers–ignor[ing] the medical profession until prostrated or nearly dead, when, in all probability, if they had obtained timely advice from some competent physician they would have improved from the first.” (147-8).

Establishing objectivity: Jones claims to “speak from observation and experience,” stating on several occasions that he has no ulterior motives in promoting the town and that he was not enthusiastic going in to his survey.

On chemical analysis: Because the first analysis failed to adequately explain the medical effects of the water, Jones finds fault with the way it was conducted; water was taken from the springs and transported to a lab in St. Louis. “Another analysis will be made at the Springs shortly, which is the proper place for it to be made at, as probably some active ingredient may be lost or dissipated in its transit.” He leaves open the possibility, however, that analyses may be inadequate to explain the water’s properties. “Although every analysis may fail to discover its active ingredients, yet the facts are demonstrable, unmistakably so, that it produces the effects attributed to it. Thousands are here to-day ready to testify to it.” (148)


“Eureka Springs.” Arkansas Medical Monthly 1, no. 3, ed. Jonathan J. Jones (1880): 134.

Gives the analysis by Wright & Merrill (St. Louis); was evidently requested by Dr. B. M. Hughes of Eureka

“This water is remarkable for its purity, as its specific gravity, which is at 60 deg. F., only 1.000103, and the small amount of solids found, plainly indicates. In this respect it is very similar to the celebrated medicinal waters of Baden in Germany and Pfeffers in Switzerland.” (134)

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