I found this story on @HistoryWeird's blog here. The original sources were The Sun, May 22nd, 1888, and Fort Worth Daily gazette, May 26, 1888.
"In May 1888 a young New Jersey stonecutter, William Gore, was bitten by a rattlesnake near Fort Lee. Having spied a rattlesnake ahead, Gore reached down for a large stone with which to kill it – only to be struck on the hand by a second rattler lurking nearby. Gore’s brother took him to the local physician, whose treatment was to keep his patient drunk for several days:
"'The first thing Dr Dunning did was to give him a dose of whisky, one ounce and a half. This is about three times as much as an ordinary drink of whisky. Gore was put to bed in hospital… The wound was dressed in ammonia and the arm was bandaged… Whisky has been frequently administered in large doses. The object is to keep him continually drunk. He lies in a stupor nearly all the time. Once in a great while, he is able to talk coherently.'
"Newspapers reported that Gore was close to death and had received deathbed visits from family members and a Catholic priest. However according to later reports, Gore made a full recovery:
"'William Gore, who was bitten by a rattlesnake at Fort Lee a week ago and has been dosed with whiskey ever since, will be out of the hospital in a few days. Moral: You can be bitten by snakes and cured by whiskey, but you can’t be bitten by whiskey and cured by snakes.'"
What I've taken away from 19th century medicine (and also from recently reading Dracula) is that all diagnoses and treatments can be distilled down to a single principle:
When in doubt: booze.
Also, how great would it have been if they got him drunk on Snake Juice?