Just who was Charlie Adams?
Charlie Francis Adams was born on August 31, 1875 near Albany, Kansas. He received a degree in pharmacy from the University of Kansas and opened a drug store in Newkirk in 1899 at the ripe age of 24. At about the same time, Adams patented Good Luck Liniment which consisted mainly of linseed oil. He always told his family that in addition to the ingredients listed on the label it also had a “secret” ingredient. This ingredient remains a "secret" to this day as Good Luck Liniment is still made. Although the liniment label states “for veterinary use only” many Newkirk residents can attest to its healing powers on the human animal also. The label states that it “does not smart, burn or blister.” It does not, however, say anything about the odor.
At a very early age, Adams fell in love with horses, particularly harness race horses. He kept his horses in the barn behind his home at 421 North Walnut and maintained a practice track in the 800 block of West 8th.
Charlie Adams bought his favorite trotter in Kaw Country, eleven miles east and one and a half miles north of Newkirk in 1937. Named after the patent medicine, Good Luck was a 4 year old that had always paced the pasture but Adams shod him to trot. Good Luck was rained out in almost every race meet in 1940; However, in 1941 he won more firsts than any other trotter in the United States. During the war years, Adams and Good Luck were basically idle as far as races were concerned; however, Adams put this time to good use in keeping Good Luck in shape by racing him daily on his practice track. After his retirement, Adams entered most of the harness racing circuits in Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. In 1947 with the war over, Good Luck won every race, losing only one heat in the whole season, and in honor of the pairs amazing success, Newkirk held a parade for the duo in September of that year. By 1948 Good Luck had won over $13,000 in purses. In 1949 when Good Luck was 16 and Adams was 74, they won 22 out of 23 races. The horse, knowing Adams was hard of hearing let him know when another horse was coming up fast by laying both ears back. Career-wise, he won 32 first places, 5 second places, and 2 third places.
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