H.C. Daniels & Son in Holland’s Directory
At the time when Holland’s Business Directory was published in 1886, Dr. Hamilton Daniels and his son William operated a drug store on Washington Street. This was about where Tapville Social now sits, although the building was replaced by the Frederick Kailer Block in 1897.
On the Sanborn Map, you can see a structure labeled “Drugs” next to a structure labled “Print’g.” Elsewhere in the Directory Daniels elaborates: “It is located on the east side of Washington street, south of Jefferson avenue, next to the Clarion office,” which no doubt refers to the “Print’g.” Naperville, at this time, was not yet using street numbers for identification.
Dr. Daniels was a graduate of Rush Medical College of Chicago, served as coroner for twenty-five years, and also treated patients in an office at his Greek Revival home on Washington Street. That house was moved to Naper Settlement in 1974, although it isn’t historically restored or open for visitors. This Washington Street drugstore was Dr. Daniels second shop. The first, on Jefferson where Ted’s Montana Grill used to be, he operated with druggist Frank Morse. They sold that store to Dr. John A. Bell and pharmacist William Wallace Wickel. Wickel’s daughter and son-in-law took over the business and passed it along a few generations to become the Oswald and Anderson business empires.
Dr. Daniels and his first wife, Laura, had five children, but she died of typhoid fever in 1952 at the age of 31. Their last baby, also named Laura, died the following summer. A fellow Naperville physician, Dr. Erastus George Hough, fell ill with cholera and died in 1849. He was only 25 and left behind a young wife and a little daughter. His widow Caroline and Dr. Daniels married in 1953 and went on to have seven more children together.
While several of the Daniels boys went into the pharmacy business, it was one of Caroline’s boys who is the “Son” in “H.C. Daniels & Son.” William started as a drug clerk at age seventeen and at the time of the Directory publication, he would have been about twenty-four years old. In the description of the business, it says:
"The store is principally managed by the son, whose eight years’ experience and study have made him very proficient, while the fact that he is a native of the village has given him a large acquaintance and many friends, hundreds of whom are constant customers."
After this time, however, William becomes difficult to trace. He lived for a time in Oak Park, Illinois and was married in 1893 to Amanda Solfisberg (sic) in Kane County. When the Biographical Record of Kane County, Illinois was published in 1898, then entry for Jacob Salfisberg (sic) says his daughter “Amanda, wife of W.C. Daniels, by whom she has one child, Viola May now resides at South Evanston, Illinois.” Jacob died in 1921 and his obituary puts his daughter, Mrs. W.C. Daniels, in Great Falls, Montana. Figuring out where William and his family traveled continues!
Dr. Hamilton Daniels, however, stayed in Naperville. He died in 1897 at the age of seventy-six and he is buried in the Naperville Cemetery along with both of his wives and several of his children.