Created By: Wichita History Walk
A.A. Hyde was another of Wichita’s early entrepreneurs. Hyde came to Wichita in 1872 to help run a bank, and became cashier of the Wichita Savings Bank. When the real estate market collapsed, he lost all his money. With his pharmacist brother-in-law Clayton Smith, and a salesman with knowledge of soap manufacturing, they each contributed $200 and started the Yucca Company in 1889. Besides soap, the Yucca Company manufactured a cough syrup with camphor and menthol. Mr. Hyde became interested in the medicinal use of menthol and combined that with petrolatum to make an ointment he trademarked as mentholatum in 1895. The company survived the Wichita flood of 1904, and in 1906, Hyde changed the name of the company to the Mentholatum Company, and Mentholatum became known across the nation. Since then, the building has housed many companies, but at present houses the Old Town Barber College.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Downtown Wichita