1839 – He was born this year in Baltimore, Maryland, he moved to Kentucky at a young age.
1852 – His family moved to Greencastle, Indiana. He studied pharmacology at the Good Samaritan Pharmacy in Lafayette and became a chemist and pharmacist.
1860 – He opened a drug store in Indianapolis in this year.
1862 – He fought in the Union Army during the American Civil War, recruiting and organizing the 18th Battery, Indiana Light Artillery and serving as its captain from August this year until the winter of 1863.
1864 – He resigned from the battery to become a colonel of cavalry. Nathan B. Forrest captured him in Alabama this year.
1869 – He opened a drug store in Paris, Illinois, before moving back to Indianapolis in the mid-1870s.
1879 – He proposed the idea for a public water supply company to meet the needs of the city. The Indianapolis Water Company resulted from his ideas.
1892 – He built the Wawasee Inn on Lake Wawasee, Indiana.
1898 – He died of cancer on the 6th day of June this year; his company had 2,005 products and annual sales topping $300,000.
1999 – The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum in Indianapolis is named in his honor. It opened in October this year.