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| History of Freeland,
Doctors, dentists, pharmacists; also undertakers
DOCTORS, DENTISTS, PHARMACISTS
[Thanks to Debbie Pagano, Liz O'Connor, Ed Merrick, Carolyn Moering, Pat Ferko Miller, Ed Kushma, Bill Feissner for additions and corrections. All photos by Chuck and Steve Tancin.]
Additions from the 1940 Federal Census come to us courtesy of Ed Merrick. In some instances, it's not clear whether the individual is the owner/proprietor of the store or an employee, but we'll list them here. Some of the addresses from the 1940 Census might be home addresses rather than business addresses. He adds: The handwriting was hard to decipher in many instances, and so corrections are welcome. Many of the businesses have been in the same family for years, and so the first names may differ in earlier or later years.
John J. Brady, Jr. (DDS) - 600 Centre St.
Dr. John B. Della Croce (Penn State 1951; DDS, Temple University School of Dentistry 1955) - 462 Centre St., just below South St.; later at 450 Washington St. (From Dr. Jack Della Croce: My father John B. Della Croce worked with his father Joseph M. Della Croce above Amentler's Bar (now Sorrento's Pizza is in that building). In 1968, he (John B.) moved to 450 Washington Street. I (John J.) joined him in practice in 1981. I purchased and razed the John L. McGraw funeral home building in 1983; purchased and razed the DeFalco building in 2005.)
Dr. John J. Della Croce (DMD, King's College 1977, Temple University School of Dentistry 1981) - 450 Washington St.
Dr. Joseph M. Della Croce (DDS, Temple University School of Dentistry 1925) - 462 Centre St.
Dr. Joseph M. Della Croce (DDS, Temple University School of Dentistry 1964) - 458 Centre St.
Dr. Melissa B. Della Croce (DMD, King's College 2002, Temple University School of Dentistry 2006) - 450 Washington St.
Neil J. Devers - 819 Front St., physician (age 55 in 1940 Census)
Dr. Joseph A. Donato (DDS) - 617 Centre St.
Dr. Matthew Drogowski, M.D. - 702 Centre St.
Dr. S. A. Everett - 523 Centre St.
Harold B. Fear - 513 Washington St., physician, private practice (age 32 in 1940 Census)
Dr. Herman H. Feissner, Jr., M.D. - 634 Centre St.
Fanny Ferry's Drug Store - 517 Centre St. (Maurice Ferry, proprietor; store operated for over 40 years by Fanny Ferry, daughter of Maurice and Mary Ferry, born in Eckley in 1876, retired in 1953, died in 1967)
Dr. J. F. Gallagher, M.D. - 631 Centre St.
Dr. Maurice Gauz, dentist- 523 Centre St.
Greco Apothecary - 704 Main St.
Samuel Hess - 923 Centre St., dentist (1910, 1920, 1930 Censuses)
Drs. Reynold and Malcolm Hoch, dentists - 636 Centre St. (From Pat Ferko Miller: They did the exams for the DCM School.)
George B. Hudak - 406 Washington St., physician, own practice (age 41 in 1940 Census) (CT: is this correct?)
Henry T. Mack - Freeland Road, Butler Township, chiropractor (age 34 in 1940 Census)
Dr. Gabriel Martyak, M.D. - 838 Washington St.
William McHugh - 219 Carbon St., physician, own practice (age 44 in 1940 Census)
William J. McHugh - 602 Centre St., dentist
Nicky Nocchi's - Centre & South Streets. Also see the page about Nocchi's Variety Store.
Seitzinger's Drug Store - 608 Centre St. (Started by Robert L. Seitzinger, who died in 1971, succeeded by his son, William) ("A good drug store.", '51 Minamek, from Ed Merrick)) (From Carolyn Moering: Robert L. Seitzinger built the 3-story building for his pharmacy next to the Fox bakery, 608 Centre. Would have been abt 1918. The family lived upstairs. As I recall, William O. Seitzinger followed his father at the Seitzinger.)
Dr. D. Emil Soltis, dentist - 420 Johnson St. ('51 Minamek , from Ed Merrick)
Dr. Margaret Soltis, dentist - (From Dr. Jack Della Croce: Please list Dr. Margaret Soltis as the first female dentist to practice in Freeland. She was in practice with her husband Emil.)
Dr. Maria J. Tacelosky (DDS) - 617 Centre St.
Dr. Lester P. Trevaskis, dentist - 608 Centre St.
Dr. Roy Truckenmiller, M.D. - K of C building (1952 phone book)
Dr. David A. Verba (DDS) - 404 Ridge St.
Dr. Lotzi J. Vercusky, M.D. - 615 Centre St. (nurse was Mary Remak)
Stanley Vercusky's Drug Store - 617 Centre St. (Stanley Vercusky graduated from MMI and then earned a pharmacy degree at Temple University. He was Dr. Vercusky's brother and had his store downstairs from the doctor's office.) (From Liz O'Connor: About grandpop's store: the store was founded in 1934 at 601 Centre Street. It later moved to 617 Centre Street. He had earlier lived with his brother Lotzi Vercusky in Philly, working in a pharmacy to help put his brother through med school. Ö They came back to Freeland and Grandpop opened the store and Lotzi began a Doctor's practice upstairs. During the early years he really struggled - there were several other pharmacies in town and starting a new one was risky. But in the end he did well. The place was open everyday, including shorter hours on sundays. He didnít take a vacation until sometime in the 70s, when they closed the store a week to go up the East Coast. Then he retired in 1979. He sold the store to a dentist who's since remodelled and added onto the building.) (From Carole O'Connor, daughter of Stanley Vercusky: My father continued the store himself for many years after "Doc" passed away. The two brothers did help each other through college, medical and pharmacy school, and also helped their two sisters go through nurses training. The store's hours were 9 to 9 daily and 9 to 12 on Sunday's. My father was always there and ran the business by himself until he retired.)
Welsh's Drug Store - 722 Centre St. (Cornelius Welch, proprietor) "The Largest and Most Expensive Soda Fountain in Freeland."
UNDERTAKERS AND FUNERAL PARLORS
[Thanks to Ed Merrick and Mary Jo Breslin for additions and corrections.]
Breslin - 16 Centre Street (Hugh M. Breslin, funeral director) (From Mary Jo Breslin: My grandfather was Daniel Joseph Breslin. ... His father, Hugh M. Breslin, also was undertaker in Freeland. So I am assuming the business was passed down. Daniel died in 1919 from the flu epidemic about 35 yrs. old. So his wife kept the license for the business not sure if she did the work (Teresa Ida Breslin). She eventually moved to Wilkes Barre and planned to turn the business over to my father when he finished high school, but he said "no, thank you". Hugh came over from Ireland, but I don't know what is occupation was when he immigrated. [-- and in a later message:] Hugh M. Breslin, Sr. Was the head of the family and was an undertaker on 16 Centre Street. He sons Hugh, Jr, Cornelius and Daniel were also undertakers. Daniel married Teresa Shovlin and they lived on 402 Washington St and listed as undertakers. In 1920 census Hugh , Sr. Is not listed and assumed dead, but Hugh, Jr is listed as undertaker.)
F. K. Cotterall - Birkbeck St., near Front St.
DiPronio Funeral Service - 712 Ridge St. (John B. DiPronio, funeral director) ('51 Minamek)
Jurica - 426 Centre St. (John E. Jurica, funeral director) (age 51 in 1940 Census)
McGraw - 444 Washington St. (John L. McGraw, funeral director ('51 Minamek))
McHugh-Wilczek Funeral Home - 249 Centre St.
Robert J. McNulty and Son - Now on Rte. 309, but formerly and for a long time at 407 Centre St. ('54 Minamek)
Nagel - 706 Birkbeck St. (Raymond H. Nagle, funeral director) ('54 Minamek)
James Petrilli - 706 Birkbeck St., and also at the Beltz Petrilli Funeral Home on 235 E. Broad St. in Hazleton. (son of Vince Petrilli)
Vince Petrilli - 249 Centre St. (he's long gone, and the parlor is now McHugh-Wilczek Funeral Home)
Wackley - Centre St., between Luzerne & Carbon Streets (Henry L. Wackley, funeral directory)
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