Upjohn, William E.

Upjohn, William E. (Erastus)

(1853–1932) physician, manufacturer; born in Richland Township, Mich. Following his father in a medical career, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1875 and set up a pharmaceutical laboratory in addition to his private practice. He developed a process for making pills and granules that resulted in the Upjohn Pill and Granule Company (1885), organized with the help of his three brothers. By 1902 the firm, renamed the Upjohn Company, expanded into a full line of pharmaceutical products. By 1909 his brothers withdrew from the firm and William continued sole management until his death. Civic-minded, he helped charter the city of Kalamazoo, Mich. (1914), and was elected to its first commission and as its first mayor. He also donated the 17-acre Upjohn Park to the city.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.