Henderson's Drug Store they treat you
Just like family
When you step into Hendersons
Drug Store its a bit like entering a homey little shop in Andy Griffiths
Mayberry. The green-and-white tile floor, with the name Hendersons
set into the design, seems to pull you through a portal to the past, when
times were less hurried and people actually knew their neighbors
Pharmacist Bill Henderson,
72, loves his job because he gets to see his friends and neighbors
and because he has the opportunity to work side by side with his son,
and son pharmacists Bill and David Henderson take a moment to enjoy
their 1950s-style soda fountain.
Ive been working
here since I was a little kid, either sweeping floors, stocking shelves
or making deliveries, says David, 40. I always knew I wanted
to come back here and work with Dad in the pharmacy.
For Bill, whos been a
pharmacist for a half century, having his son work by his side is a tradition
which began 161 years ago with his great-grandfather, Osborne Henderson.
worked with a Dr. Ober back then. One night he was called out with Dr.
Ober to help with a patient whose arm required amputation, says
Bill. The doctor stayed with the patient and sent my great-grandfather
back to town with the amputated arm so they could dissect it for further
Bill goes on to say that traveling
through the dark night with an amputated arm swinging from the saddle
was enough to make his great-grandfather reconsider his thoughts on practicing
medicine. Instead, Henderson bought Dr. Obers interest in an apothecary
shop. And thats how Hendersons Drug Store came to be in 1841.
Five generations of Hendersons
have owned the family business located in Glasgow, about 30 miles north
of Boonville. While theyve had three locations in the town, the
current building has been their home since 1916.
Throughout its history, the
drugstore has survived everything from the Civil War battle which leveled
an entire block of the town in 1864 to a flue fire in 1947 which threatened
to close the pharmacy for good.
Smoke was rolling out the front windows and I thought the whole
place was gone, says Bill. But we were able to salvage the
tin ceiling and many of the fixtures. Most of what you see now was here
then. It took a lot of elbow grease and sanding, but we saved it.
All of the Hendersons seem
to have started out doing about the same job.
Like David, I worked
here when I was a young boy, says Bill. My dad also operated
a Kansas City Star distribution agency here and I had a paper route. I
think I got 5 cents per paper I delivered each Saturday night. It was
pretty good money for a kid back then.
Hendersons Drug Store
is open 365 days a year from 7 a.m. until 5:30 or, as Bill says, until
were done for the day.
The Hendersons are a dependable
team, filling prescriptions any time of day or night. Keeping that neighborly,
old-fashioned feel to their business, the duo still makes deliveries for
those who cant pick them up.
Customers have come to know
Hendersons Drug Store not only as a business they can count on,
but a place where they can stop, sit a spell and chat with their friends.
Retired postal worker Jim Partise makes Hendersons his first stop
of the day.
Jim is usually sitting
outside waiting for us to open. We go on back to the pharmacy and Jim
comes in right behind us and makes the coffee for the morning crowd,
Bill says. We dont pay him; he just does it out the of the
generosity of his heart. Hes done it for years and we appreciate
Hendersons Drug Store
also offers burgers and tasty treats at their old-fashioned soda fountain
which was installed in 1916, but closed briefly during the Depression
when ice cream treats were a luxury to most. Today you can sit and spin
on the stools along the fountain counter, or relax in one of the few booths
for lunch. Most fountain items are priced between $1 and $3.
Most people come in for
our fresh-squeezed orangeade or cherry phosphates, says David. But
we have malts, shakes, sarsaparilla and ice cream sodas which are popular,
When theyre busy in the
pharmacy, Bills wife, Delma, and Davids wife, Sarah, handle
the soda fountain and other drugstore duties along with long-time employees
Jeanie Strodtman and Susan Peuster. Jeanie has worked at the pharmacy
off and on since she was in high school in 1951, returning full-time in
1974 when Bills brother and fellow pharmacist, Walter, died of cancer.
The partnership with Bills son David began in 1986, the fifth generation
of Hendersons to run the pharmacy.
The younger Hendersons are
expecting twin boys early this spring. Both Bill and David say no pressure
will be placed on the young lads to head toward pharmacy school and take
over the family business when theyre grown.
Dad and Mom never put
any pressure on me to come back and work with Dad in the pharmacy,
says David. Time will tell with the twins.
With time comes many changes
and the father and son team soon realized they were going to have to join
the computerized world. So the duo finally bit the bullet and got a couple
of computers to use in the pharmacy.
Dad says you either go
with the flow or you dont go, says David.
While theyve had to join
the information age for the pharmacy end of things, theyve managed
to maintain a local charm at Hendersons not many businesses have
these days. Its not every pharmacist who will come chat with you
at the soda fountain once your prescription is filled and see what is
going on with your family.
Long-time customer and family
friend John Stundebeck can only think of one thing to say about the generations
of Hendersons he has known.
Theyre the most
accommodating people I know, says John. They treat you like
Hendersons Drug Store
is located at 523 First Street, Glasgow, MO 65254; (660) 338-2125.