Seems like there was a drugstore in every neighborhood and one or two within easy walking distance of home.
Let me introduce you to Edwin John Sanders, one of those kindly people that everyone should have had the privilege to know. Edwin was born March 14, 1882 in Hastings, Adams County, Nebraska, USA, the son of Adeline Tessier and Herman Sanders. In 1901 he graduated from the Iowa Pharmacy School, Highland Park College inDes Moines, then the Chicago College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1904.
He became the proprietor of a classic neighborhood corner drugstore and soda fountain in Chicago. It was once Bunt pharmacy. (Ed had married Marion Paul Bunt after her husband Frank Bunt died). Sanders Pharmacy was located at 2500 West Pratt Avenue on the northwest corner of Campbell and Pratt (6800 north). It was just across the street from a Lutheran Church and grammar school.
Sanders Drugs was a wonderful example of the iconic American drugstore and soda fountain. The woodwork and cabinetry in the original was amazing, especially the two built in phone booths on either side of the back wall. It was where Mr. Sanders knew all his customers and treated them well.
Here you could buy a cigar, a candy bar, sundries, baseball cards with bubble gum, those five cent lifesavers, comic books, magazines, a kite or yo-yo or just the Sunday newspaper.
And at the old fashioned soda fountain you could sit a spell and enjoy a Sundae in a tulip glass, a cold Dad’s root beer, a chocolate phosphate. A nickel or a dime could buy a cherry Coke, or a Green River.
. Even though the old-fashioned soda fountain began to decline in popularity after Prohibition, the drug store fountain kept the tradition alive. Many of us older folk affectionately recall the time they spent at a drug store fountain. Some might even had brought their first date there for a milkshake come Saturday night. Shared it with two straws. Sweet memories indeed.
And Mr. Sanders would cheerfully fill a prescription for you, even while you wait. Feel free to ask his advice on most anything. Sanders Drug store closed in the 1960’s with Edwin’s retirement. Here is a picture of the building after the drug store had closed.
Edwin J Sanders died Aug 17, 1969 at age 87 and is buried in All Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Des Plaines, Illinois.
He had wonderful sons, at least 10 grandchildren, and at least 6 great grandchildren.
With him, we lost one more wonderful corner drugstore. The American drugstore began around the Civil War era when the scientific method came into vogue and many new drugs were discovered . It became the symbol of Main Street USA during the late 1880’s but has slowly been replaced by the chain stores like CVS and Walgreens.
A personal postscript:
Sanders Drug store was just across from my Bethesda Ev. Lutheran Church and grammar school. On my lunch hour, I would deliver prescriptions for him, my very first “job” of sorts.
I thought the world of Mr. Sanders. And to honor and remember him, I constructed a miniature version of his store. It is built from my childhood memory although the soda fountain had been moved into to a connected storefront next door. In my miniature version, I have shown the soda fountain in it’s original position along with a few fountain booths.
Thank you Mr. Sanders!