Hyde & Associated Families of Buffalo, New York The Mentholatum Co. of Buffalo F. G. Smyth & C. H. Smythe Families of Wichita, Kansas Pioneer Business Leaders of Wichita
This page and information has been complied on behalf of Kimberly Hyde Oshei, great-great daughter of A. A. Hyde. Forward additions or corrections to ForgottenBuffalo@aol.com
October 31, 1964, Buffalo Evening News clipping
Founded 75 Years Ago as a Matter of Survival, Metholatum Co. Is still run by Hyde Family
By Dean Richmond
(Originally appeared in the Buffalo Evening News, Saturday, October 31, 1964)
Albert A. Hyde founded Mentholatum in 1889 in Wichita, Kansas; company moved to Buffalo in 1903.
The Mentoholatum Co., whose products have been used in more households in the far corners of the globe than those of any other Buffalo-based company, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Over the years, billions of Mentholatum packages of various sorts have been ordered in just about as many languages as there are. Last year alone, a record of more than 100 million packages of Mentholatum products were sold in nearly every country in the Free World.
Mentholatum has been operated by the Hyde family ever since it was founded by the later Albert A. Hyde in 1889 in Wichita, Kansas. The company has had a Buffalo plant since 1903 and now has its headquarters and main factory at 1360 Niagara Street.
Mentholatum today is managed by four members of the Hyde, all of whom are cousins and all in their 40s. Albert T Hyde is president: Edward K. Hyde II is vice president-secretary: George H. Hyde is treasurer, and Theodore A. Hyde is assistant secretary and assistant treasurer. James J. Devlin is vice president and advertising director. The company has well over 100 stockholders, many of whom are employees.
Mentholatum is an unusual company by today’s harsh business standards. The founder was a deeply religious man who believed in applying Christian principles in his day-to-day business dealings. Prayers, bible passages and homey little sayings replaced the “hard sell” in some of the company’s brochures. At one period in his life, Mr. Hyde kept only 10% of his annual income, donating the rest to worthy causes. A great many Mentholatum products have been given by the company to the sick and needy in countries all over the world. The company donated nearly 200,000 jars of Mentholatum to help effect the release of Cuban invasion prisoners last year.
The Mentholatum plant in Japan actually is owned by a Christian brotherhood, an arrangement made possible by the support of the Hyde family. Earnings of the Japanese operation support a Christian mission, tuberculosis sanitarium and a school in Japan. The Mentholatum – sponsored operations in Japan even were allowed to operate during World War II. The Buffalo company continues to make substantial contributions and acts in an advisory and technical capacity to the mission and its facilities.
The Mentholatum Co. was started by a stroke of chance. Its founder had gone to Wichita from New England to help run a bank. There, he amasses a “paper” fortune of about $100,000 in real-estate boom. It collapsed and left Mr. Hyde deeply in debt. At this point Mr. Hyde and two associates, in order to feed their families, with $200 each formed a company that bore the usual name of the Yucca Co. Its products Toilet soap (made from the yucca cactus plant), shaving soap, perfumery, petrolatum, sewing-machine oil, drug specialties and Mentholatum. Sales weren’t enough to support three families and it was decided that Mr. Hyde, because he had the largest family, nine children, would buy out his two partners.
Former Mentholatum plant & offices in Fort Erie (Bridgeburg), Ontario, Canada.
The miscellaneous products gradually were dropped and the company adopted its present name in 1906. The first branch plant was in Buffalo and the present four-story factory was erected in the early 1920s. The founder died in 1935. Three of his sons gradually took over top management of Mentholatum.
Edward K. Hyde became president in the mid-1920s. He started the company’s big export business and its Buffalo plant. The affiliated Mentholatum Company in Slough, England, was started by the late T.W. Turner. The late Paul H. Hyde became president in the late 1940s retiring in 1955 when he was succeeded by the current present. Paul Hyde personally designed or improved much of the plants machinery. Another son of the founder, Charles H. Hyde, retired in 1955 as vice president. He established Metholatum’s Canadian subsidiary in Fr. Erie in 1914 and managed it for many years.
Metholatum’s Buffalo plant has a work force of about 75 but well over 1000 families all over their world owe their livelihood to Mentholatum plants, licensees and similar operations. The subsidiary Mentholatum Inter-American Corp, headed by George Hyde operates the Fr. Erie plant and has various types of manufacturing facilities in Peru, Argentina, Columbia, Chile and Mexico. The English Mentholatum company ships to the sterling-block nations in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It also has licenses in West Germany, Denmark, Norway & Sweden. The parent company in Buffalo has licensees in the Philippines Islands and Spain and sips to places such as Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and the Pacific islands. “Every time a country gets an extreme nationalistic feeling and decides to restrict imports, we have to set up a licensee or branch plan or get out,” explained the company’s president Albert Hyde. “For this reason we are expanding our base of operation in South America at present.”
The company bought a plant site in Wilmington, Delaware shortly before World War II and actually planned to build its headquarters location there. In fact, for a while after the Wichita plant was closed, about in 1937, Mentholatum had all its sales, advertising, accounting and some warehousing in a building in Wilmington. Plans were reconsidered and entire operation was consolidated in Buffalo in 1946.
Mentholatum maintains an extensive research and development department that is continually testing and attempting to device new products. Besides its Mentholatum ointment, “Deep-hearing Rub” and “Medicated Stick” for chapped lips, the company now is marking other products on a test basis.
Directors of the parent Mentholatum Company, besides the officers, are Charles Hyde, Buffalo; Samuel D. Magavern, a Buffalo attorney; Dr. John M. Hyde, a professor at Williams College; Edward B. Williams, New York, and Philip Schindel, Verona, N.J.
A. A. ( Albert Alexander) Hyde & Ida Elizabeth Todd
Albert Alexander Hyde (1848-1935)
Ida Elizabeth Todd Hyde (1855-1933)
Children of Albert & Ida Hyde
Note: Initial photo identifications made by Theodore Hyde on November 24, 2010. Corrections and additions may be forwarded to ForgottenBuffalo@aol.com
Edward Knowlton Hyde (1878-1967)
Albert Todd Hyde (1876 - 1935)
Alexander Hyde (1880 - 1962)
Charles Hewitt Hyde (1884-1970)
Paul Hull Hyde (1888 - 1956)
George Alvin Hyde (1892 - 1944)
Ruth Todd Hyde Purviance (1886-1944)
Mary Roosenal Hyde Lewis (1882-1965)
Martha Jane "Pattie" Hyde Barclay (1893-1980)
Members of the Hyde Family. At center is Mentholatum founder A. A. Hyde and his wife Ida Elizabeth Todd. They are surrounded by thier children.
Ida Elizabeth Todd & A. A. Hyde
MRS. A. A. HYDE SUCCUMBS TO LONG ILLNESS Wichita Mourns Passing of Woman Beloved by All
Wichita Evening Eagle, Friday, February 10, 1933
Mrs. A. A. Hyde, 78, died in her Wichita home this morning. She succumbed to ravages of advancing age after an illness of about six months. At that time she suffered a stroke and although she made a brave fight for life gradually lost ground. She is the mother of nine children, all grown and in sound health. She came to Wichita in 1873 and during the intervening 60 years had made her home here.
Mrs. Hyde was distantly related to Abraham Lincoln as her father, James Todd, pioneer grocer of Wichita, was from Kentucky and distantly related to Mary Todd Lincoln, mother of the great emancipator. Mrs. Hyde was born in Peru, Ind., February 7, 1855, just three days more than 78 years ago. Her mother was Mary C. Knowlton from near Concord, Mass. Her mother was a graduate of Mount Holyoke college there.Mrs. Hyde came to Wichita with her parents in 1878. She attended Bethany college in Topeka and the Agricultural college in Manhattan.In 1875 she was married to A. A. Hyde who was destined to win international reputation as a manufacturer and philanthropist.
Although deafened when quite young she always attended church services as an example to her children. "Above everything she loved children and flowers. She was a pioneer of the type that thinks and does only for others. Her whole life was one of sacrifice. You instantly felt her love which she gave you," said an intimate acquaintance today. She was a member of the Grace Presbyterian church in Wichita. Funeral services will be held there at 3:30 o'clock Saturday. Rev. Marcus Lindsay, pastor, will be in charge of services. Family funeral services will be held at the home earlier in the afternoon.
Mrs. Hyde was the mother of nine children: Albert T. Hyde, Carmel, Cal., E. K. Hyde, Buffalo, N. Y., Alex Hyde, Wichita, Mary R. Lewis, Orrtana, Pa., Charles H. Hyde, Buffalo, Mrs. Roy Purviance, Harrisburg, Pa., Paul H. Hyde, Buffalo, George A. Hyde, Wichita, and Mrs. Houston Barclay, Wichita.
Mrs. Hyde was a constant companion of her husband, and was a principal aide in starting him on the way to international reputation as a manufacturer.
RITES FOR MRS. HYDE WILL BE HELD TODAY Well Known Wichita Woman Dies Friday; Came to This City in 1873 Wichita Eagle, Saturday, February 11, 1933
Funeral services for Mrs. A. A. Hyde, wife of A. A. Hyde, widely known Wichita philanthropist, churchman and manufacturer, will be held at Grace Presbyterian church today at 3:30 p.m. There will be a family service at the home 3728 East Second, prior to the rites at the church. Mrs. Hyde's death occurred Friday morning. She was 78 years old.
She was born in Peru, Ind., February 7, 1855. Her father was James Todd, of a pioneer Kentucky family. He was distantly related to Mary Todd Lincoln. Her mother was Mary C. Knowlton, from near Concord, New England, who was a graduate of Mount Holyoke college in the class of 1848. Mrs. Hyde attended Bethany college at Topeka and the Agricultural college at Manhattan. She came to Wichita in 1873 and was married to Mr. Hyde in 1875. There were nine children born to this union, all are living.
Above everything else, Mrs. Hyde loved children and flowers. She was a pioneer woman of the type who thought and acted only for others. Her whole life was one of sacrifice, and friends say that a person instinctively felt her love. She was deafened when quite young but always attended church services as an example to her children. Mrs. Hyde had a fine sense of humor and appreciation of the better things of life. She was an able assistant to her well known husband.
Pallbearers will be Donald Cooper, Frank Priest, Ralph Rounds, Theo and Leo Morgan, Merle Bennett, James Eaton and Dr. J. D. Clark. Mrs. Hyde is survived by her husband and her children. Albert T. Hyde, Carmel, Cal., E. K. Hyde, Buffalo, N. Y., Alex Hyde, Wichita. Mary R. Lewis, Orrtana, Pa., Charles H. Hyde, Buffalo, N. Y. Mrs. Roy Purviance, Harrisburg, Pa., Paul H. Hyde, Buffalo, N. Y., George A. Hyde, Wichita, and Mrs. Houston Barclay, Wichita.
Charles H. Hyde & Maebell M. Smythe of Wichita, Kansas & Buffalo, New York
Maebell M. Smythe & Charles H. Hyde
Charles H Hyde
HYDE - MaeBell Smythe, age 94, died September 4, 1983, wife of the late Charles H. Hyde; mother of Mrs. Allan C. (Ann) Eustis of New Canaan, Conn., Theodore A (Mary Louise) Hyde and the late A. Alexander and Charles H. (Hoot) Hyde II.
Theodore A. Hyde & Mary L. Sutton
Mary Louise Sutton & Theodore A. Hyde - Wedding
Buffalo Evening News clipping
Charles H Smythe (Smyth) & Anna Marie Lynch of Wichita, Kansas
Charles H Smythe - Pioneer of Wichita, Kansas
Charles H. Symthe Obit Sunday, November 5, 1933 - Wichita Beacon
Wichita pioneer businessman Charles H. Symthe dies at his hunting lodge near Mt. Hope, KS. He was 76. Born in Wisconsin, his father was Captain F.G. Smythe for many years operated ships between England and the West Indies and later captain of ships on the Great Lakes. Charles Smythe came to Wichita with his parents in 1875. After his arrival, his father established a hardware business named F.G. Smythe and Sons. The sons associated with the business were Charles H. and Fred. Two other sons, James and Roberts, came to Wichita with their parents. One of the sons, William, remained in Wisconsin. Survived by his wife, Anna Lynch, one son, Charles. Jr, and two daughters, Mrs. O. B. Winters and Mrs. Maeball Hyde, wife of Charles H. Hyde. He was actively involved in negotiating the sale of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1928. His brother Fred Smyth died in California June 22, 1933.
Captain Frederick Griffith Smythe (1827-1892) was born in Co. Cavan Ireland.Married Rebecca Box and had five children. James Frederick, born 1855; Frederick Griffith. Jr., born 1857; Charles H., born around 1859 and Robert A. born 1865. Captain F. G. Smythe operated ships between England and the West Indies. Later he was the captain of ships on the Great Lakes before settling in Wisconsin and then finally Wichita in 1875. After his arrival he established a hardware and farm implement dealership named F. G. Smythe & Sons. The sons associated with the business were Charles H. and Frederick Jr. Frederick Smythe Jr. died in California on June 22, 1933.
Son Charles H. Symthe is regarded as a pioneer businessman of Wichita. He married Anna Marie Lynch (1860-1950) and had three children. Son Charles H. Jr. and two daughters. C. H. Smythe controlled vast amounts of property and was actively involved in negotiating the sale of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1928. Smyth was a member of the Country and Wichita Clubs, Lions, Shriners, Press Club and Board of Commerce, and was a Scottish Rites Mason. He delighted in hunting trips and also headed the "Camp Kansas Colony" at Crede, Colorado. During World War I he was involved in the Red Cross. He died at his hunting lodge near Mt. Hope, KS on November 5, 1933.
C. H. Smythe’s daughter Maebell was born in 1889 and died in 1983. She married late Charles H. Hyde, son of Mentholatum founder A. A. Hyde of Wichita, and had four children; Mrs. Allan C. (Ann) Eustis of New Canaan, Conn., Theodore A. (Mary Louise) Hyde, A. Alexander and Charles H. (Hoot) Hyde II. Theodore Alvan Hyde married Mary Louise Sutton (1922-2007) and had three daughters; Ann, D’Arcy and Pamela.