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From the Files of the Lassen Historical Society: Dr. Robert Fulton Moody

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

Dr. Moody’s Drug Store in the late 1880’s

By Susan Couso

Robert Fulton Moody was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1834. His father, David a sea captain, came to Susanville to live with him, but his mother, Susan died before coming west.

Dr. Moody was a physician, druggist, taxidermist, photographer, cobbler and inventor also, and a very unique individual who came to Susanville in 1861 and went into partnership with Dr. Z. J. Brown, in the drug business.

Moody soon bought out Brown and operated his own business in Susanville until leaving the area 40 years later.

Moody’s drug store was destroyed by fire in 1865, but, undaunted by the financial loss, he recovered. Eventually after a couple of locations, he built his new business on the northwest corner of Roop and Main Streets. The Moody home was just to the north of the drug store on Roop Street.

Dr. Moody was known as quite a character, full of many interesting stories. His rather eclectic drug store also sold taxidermy, photographic supplies and ‘curative’ drinks.

Dr. Moody was famous for his Sagebrush Liniment. The liniment was for “man or beast” and was touted as, “The best remedy for burns, scalds, bruises, rheumatism, frost bites, chilblains, sprains, flesh wounds, external poisons, collar gall, ring bone, poll evil, sweeny, wind galls, cracked heels, and in all cases where a linament (sic) is indicated.”

Moody enjoyed telling the story of how he accidentally cut his finger off while repairing a shoe. He then stuck it back on with candlewax, took a big swig of his famous liniment, and it all healed up perfectly!

Moody is also noted for shooting a man named Mr. Fox during an argument, then treating the man’s wounds. It is unclear if Moody was truly a physician, but in census reports where an occupation is noted, his occupation is listed as “druggist”. In voter registrations he is listed as a “physician and druggist”. It is also mentioned that Robert F. Moody was 6′ tall, dark complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair.

In August of 1871, Robert F. Moody married Mary Effie Montgomery in Susanville. Together, they had four daughters; Myrtle, Ethel Ida, Philenda ‘Linnie’, and Mary Opal.

In 1901, Moody moved to Reno, Nevada, and then finally settled in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, where he died in 1912.

Dr. Robert Fulton Moody was certainly one of Northeastern California’s most unique characters.

Dr. Robert Fulton Moody

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