Z.C. Patten, Who Made A Fortune In Patent Medicines, Was Early Cameron Hill Resident

Friday, May 27, 2022

Zeboim Cartter Patten, who made a fortune with patent medicines, was an early Cameron Hill resident.

Patten fought in the Battle of Chickamauga with the 115th Illinois, where he received a foot wound that sent him back to New York to recover. He later joined  the 149th New York Infantries in Dalton in May of 1864. He was wounded again – this time in the left arm in the Battle of Resaca. Patten joined the Quartermaster Corps and was assigned  to Chattanooga in 1865.

He was living in 1876 "near Missionary Ridge." Then for several years he resided on Cameron Hill on the west side of Pine Street just north of Fifth Street. He was there at the time young Adolph Ochs published his 1878 city directory. He was living there still in 1882.

At the time, Patten had a partnership with T.H. Payne in the Patten and Payne stationery business. At one time the pair had ownership of the struggling Chattanooga Times. They passed it on to Washington Irving Crandall and Sumner Archibald Cunningham.

Patten and Payne then dissolved their partnership. Payne kept the Market Street store, which endured for over a century. Patten accepted the notes for the sale of the Times. The two former business partners remained close friends, and they met each Christmas with their families and the John B. Nicklin family.

At the time of the yellow fever epidemic, Z.C. Patten escaped to his home area of Illinois.

Back in Chattanooga, Patten was able to purchase the rights to two very promising proprietary medicines. One of these was a "liver regulator" that Patten renamed Black Draught. Another was Wine of Cardui, which was for female ailments. These were the backbone for the new Chattanooga Medicine Company.

George Washington Patten, a brother of Z.C. Patten, came to Chattanooga to become the superintendent of the medicine company. He had been wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga, but he recovered in time to fight at Missionary Ridge. He was promoted to captain for his bravery in leading his company in the charge up the ridge. He married Charlotte Holmes in 1866.

The George W. Pattens were briefly on Cameron Hill. They were living in 1884 at 309 W. Fourth St.

The Chattanooga Medicine Company established its plant in St. Elmo, and George W. Patten built a home near the plant. Z.C. Patten also moved away from Cameron Hill. In 1897 he acquired the D.J. Chandler home on E. Fourth Street for the sum of $29,000. It was said that Chandler spent $40,000 constructing the home in 1888. It was "the most completely modern house in Chattanooga." Patten later built a showplace at Ashland Farm in Chattanooga Valley. 


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