Among the preachers for this holistically regarded water was a specialist in medical hydrology and author of books such as Great American Spas and Mineral Waters of the United States and American Spas, the renowned Dr. William Edward Fitch, “from research and laboratory investigation and . . . application in hospital and private practice . . . you have a mineral water of decided medicinal value, due to its mineralization . . . and high contents of permanent radioactivity . . .”
Fitch endorsed those properties when radium was the gold standard for healthy benefits in US products. Eventually, the Radium Girls lawsuit turned the tide of that deathtrap. In 2008, a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report concluded of Sleepy Water from Chewaukla, “probably no actual radioactive materials.” Why should there be in the middle of the Ozark woods? Considering millions of bottles of water from the 1930s to some decades later were delivered to homes across the nation all is well.