He Took Elixir of Life

The following article appeared on the front page of the April 5, 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News:

“He Took “Elixir of Life”.

Possible Explanation of the Unfortunate Mental Condition of Assistant Librarian Gauss.

Treated on Brown-Sequard Theory.

He Will Probably Stay for Some Time in Southern California-A Hard Worker.

May the far-famed Brown-Sequard “elixir of life” cause mental aberration? is a question that is destined to cause widespread agitation when the public learns the fact, which came to light this morning, that just prior to his disappearance, Assistant Librarian E. F. Gauss began to use that mysterious preparation.

When Public Librarian Hild was asked this morning regarding the cause of the mental condition of Mr. Gauss he significantly remarked that for some time his assistant had been under the care of a physician who was treating his patient with the “elixir of life”.

Mr. Gauss has been an untiring worker, it is said, both in his office and out. Of a literary turn of mind, he labored unceasingly after his office hours were over, writing poetry and translating productions from foreign languages.

Since his disappearance many theories have been advanced to account for the unfortunate condition of his mind. A few days ago a Chicagoan recognized Mr. Gauss in San Francisco, where he had registered twice at his hotel under two different assumed names.

Dispatches stated that after his recognition Gauss came to himself but was unable to give any account whatever of how he left Chicago or of his actions since then, the unfortunate man saying the period was a total blank to his mind.

“I knew Mr. Gauss personally and intimately,” said Librarian Hild to-day, “and regret very much his misfortune. Mr. Gauss was an extraordinary worker. When in the office he bent over his desk and labored with a vigor that left not a moment for anything else.

“So closely did he apply himself and concentrate his mind on his work that, together with his outside labor, his efforts must have overtaxed his constitution. From this close, continuing application I think was strong reaction always when he left the office and his nerves went to pieces, so to speak.

“I don’t mean by that he took to drink, for he was not a drinker – most emphatically he was not anything of the kind. Finally his nervous system was in such a state that he was compelled to turn to a physician.

“Under the advice of this doctor he began the ‘elixir of life’ treatment. It seemed to result disastrously. Gauss became more excitable and more easily distracted. His nervousness seemingly increased and then finally came his disappearance.

“I don’t think he will be brought back to Chicago. In the southern part of California are some relatives who have an olive farm and here I think the son will take his father for a rest.”

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