A little known local product of the past is White Bear Foot Powder. It appears this product was manufactured on the second floor of the building that housed Wiederkehr’s clothing store in Stryker’s downtown business district.
The May 1, 1919 issue of the Stryker Advance newspaper carried this report: “Stryker Industry Reestablished–M.C. Hoard & Company is the firm name of an industry recently reorganized for the purpose of again putting on the market the White Bear Foot Powder. Rooms on the second floor of the Wiederkehr building have been reconstructed for a laboratory, storerooms and an office.
This product was being put on the market in large quantities until a fire in Detroit destroyed a large amount of material used in its manufacture. It was about this time, too, that Mr. Hoard’s sight began to fail him. He then spent large sums of money in a vain attempt to regain his sight. Hence the business languished.
Monthly sales at the normal output marked near the thousand dollars. Goods were being shipped to all states of the union.
The formula from which this compound is made was bequeathed to a near relative by an Englishman who had spent 51 years as a foot specialist. He performed valued services along this line for the British government during the Boer War.
Mr. Hoard experienced some difficulty in securing the necessary ingredients. He secured the services of four chemists, who discovered in a mineral rock of Colorado the substances needed. A large quantity of this was shipped to Detroit ground and purified.
But for the misfortune noted above the firm would have long since been an established business. Mr. G.D. Wiederkehr has taken an interest in the new organization. This new venture has our best wishes.”
This photograph of a White Bear Foot Powder container is from the Kevin Maynard collection.