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Ferguson Medicine Man, Pylap Medekle

Updated: Apr 5

Long forgotten history of Pulaski County, Kentucky.

With history all things fade with time, growing up here, this is a local historical figure that was never taught in school, one of many if you delve into history much. Located in Ferguson, Herbalist, Pylap Medekle was the operator of the Indian sick home in the early 1900s,

* Photo Courtesy of Rod Zimmerman, Somerset, KY

He was one of the finest herb doctors ever to live and work in this region. His vegetable and herbal remedies and his applications to relieve the ills of the 'modern generation' was widely known and accepted. His name was Pylap Medekle (Muh-Deekle), and he was born in the swamps of Florida on March 23, 1847. His father was the full-blooded Seminole Indian medicine man, Waco, who was born just before the revolutionary war and lived to the ripe old age of 115. Growing up in the Florida swamps, Pylap became highly skilled in the arts of hunting and fishing, as practiced by the Seminoles. But soon, he began studying medicine under his father. Pylap made a business out of gathering and selling herbs until 1868 when he began traveling as an Indian Medicine Man. Oftentimes, he rode horseback for many miles to tend to sick patients. Around the age of 40, Doc Medekle decided to take his traveling medicine show off the road, settling in places like Pall Mall, Tennessee, and Wayne County, Kentucky. In 1915, he moved his practice to Somerset, where he set up a herbal laboratory on Langdon Street, and also rented the Ferguson Hotel and began seeing patients there. In 1918, he bought an old home and turned it into a home for Indians who were ill. He called it - Indian Sick Home. There, he treated and cared for hundreds of patients from many different states. It is said that most patients found the course of treatment and the care so beneficial that they returned year after year.

Pylap Medekle died on October 28, 1928. He is buried at Pine Knot Cemetery. His funeral was attended by many people who came to talk well about 'Doc Medekle' and how he did his part to help suffering humanity.

* Photo Courtesy of Rod Zimmerman, Somerset, KY


This article was written by Michael R. Grigsby, one of the news editors for LCTI, LLC. Michael is passionate about the outdoors, photography, strength sports, and powerlifting, and he is dedicated to bringing you accurate and insightful news reports on a wide range of topics. He loves connecting with readers and is always happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions about this news article, please feel free to contact Michael at or by leaving a comment below.

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