The Shaklee Story
Why is there a Shaklee Company and how did it get started? Many people have asked me that question and I have decided this month to include that information in my newsletter.
Dr. Shaklee was born in November 1894 in Carlisle, Iowa to a very indigent farm family. The midwife who helped with his delivery immediately diagnosed tuberculosis and the doctors agreed. He was not expected to live long. In fact one doctor put it this way, “his short life would be a “living death”. His family moved from the soot and coal mines near Carlisle to northern Iowa. There was no cure for TB but good food, fresh air and lots of rest. His progress was very slow and his teen years were spent with long afternoons of solitary bed rest.
He loved to observe the farm animals and wild life. He wondered: “How do the birds and geese know when to go south?” “What led a crow to warn the wild ducks when a hunter approached?” “How the sows knew in the barn yard to gather husks and straw to make warm beds in their pens?” Animals were listening to nature when man had forgotten how?
He watched his mom gather ground ivy, catnip, dandelion, chicory, cured dock, bergamot, joe-pye weed, wild cherry, golden rod and wild ginger. He helped her brew these into teas, mix in salads, or use in the creation of liniment or tonic. He came to respect NATURE and was fascinated by its healing powers.
This led him to the Palmer Chiropractic School in Davenport. He graduated in 1915 and opened his first clinic in Rockwell City, Iowa. He later moved his wife and first son to Mason City, and in 1917 to Ft. Dodge. His business was thriving and he kept patients on vitamin-rich diets while administering to their needs. He bought a two passenger airplane that could land in patients’ fields that were not able to make it to his clinic.
At this time the hazard of exposure from xray diagnosis was not known and he had severe ulcerating burns on his left shoulder and left hip. He consulted a doctor in Chicago that confirmed cancer. The doctor said that arm would have to be amputated to his shoulder and his left leg to the hip. A second opinion from Mayo Clinic had the same diagnosis and also stated that the cancer MIGHT be halted for a few months with amputation but they could not arrest the spread of cancer to his body. On his way home, he told his wife Ruth, who was now pregnant with their 2nd son, “I will live – I WILL heal my body – I know I can do it!”
With those strong words, Forrest Shaklee made a deep commitment to act on his belief in the healing power of NATURE – he bet his life on it! He began an intensive program of nutrition, continual blood analysis, and occasional fasting. In order to have the freshest, most nourishing diet, he regularly drove to the countryside where he purchased fruits and vegetables from farmers the same day they were picked. This diet he supplemented with large quantities of vitamins and minerals. As months passed, he noticed a slow, but steady improvement; the ulcerated sores began to heal. After one year, he had regained the strength and energy of full health. Not only was he alive and well again, but the defeat of the illness convinced him that his ideas of nutrition were absolutely sound.
He told us many times at different conventions we attended, “Your body will heal itself IF given the proper nutritional supplements. Feed your body a smorgasbord of Shaklee supplements and you will build healthy cells.” It’s a simple idea, but a sound idea.
From 1915-1956 Dr. Shaklee made and produced Shaklee supplements for his patients. In 1956 when he was going to retire, his patients asked what about these supplements. He said, “I’m retiring, so are the supplements.” His patients begged him to continue the vitamins and minerals.. so he and his two sons got their heads together. Their first thought was, “Our supplements are so different from anything else on the market. We will never allow them to be sold in a health food store or other department stores. They must be marketed PEOPLE to PEOPLE – thus the first Direct Marketing company was formed. And today, Shaklee Corporation is the Number One Nutritional Company in the United States of America. With our Roger Barnett at the helm, he is taking us to new heights that Dr. Shaklee would definitely be proud of. Shaklee has spent millions of dollars in Science and Research – Shaklee is a Science Based Company founded on the Golden Rule with the simple philosophy that making products as close to nature as human possible is the answer to a healthy wholesome lifestyle.
Today, millions of distributors all over the world are enjoying Shaklee Products and enjoying good health. Dr. promised that every product made would enhance our health. That was true back in 1915 and it’s still true today.