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Keeley Cure

Keeley Cure
— a proprietary method of treatment for the alcohol and opium habits by means of gold chloride.

The Keeley Institute was an organization founded in 1880 by Leslie Enraught Keeley for the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. Keeley’s cure was allegedly made from “double chloride of gold,” but it was actually a composition of atropine, strychnine, arsenic, cinchona, and glycerine. Patients at the institute, who were gradually weaned from their habits, received periodic injections and ingested a dram of the formula every two hours. They were also required to follow a regime of healthful diet, fresh air, exercise, and sleep. However, Keeley’s treatment attracted little attention until 1891, when the Chicago Tribune published a number of articles praising his work and launching a wave of popularity for the treatment. Franchises using Keeley’s name sprang up across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and England.

The Keeley Institute was founded in 1879, and the “Keeley Cure” was a national byword. It advertised its “double chloride of gold” treatment as being “the only original and genuine” method of reclaiming the sots of “this rum cursed nation” and its literature boasted of treating over 17,000 physicians.

A Keeley Institution franchise was established in Blair, Nebraska in 1891.  It was located just south of the train depot at 1465 Front Street. The building later became the Clifton Hotel and now currently under that name Landmark Inn.

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Blair Historic Preservation Alliance | P.O. Box 94 | Blair, Nebraska 68008 | contact@blairhistory.com