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History of Freeland, Pa.
Pharmacists / druggists, 20th-21st century

What's on this page:
  • Memories of and information about pharmacists and drug stores in Freeland
  • Pharmacists / druggists listed in directories, 1900-1940
On related pages:

The photo at top left of the page shows Doc Welsh's drugstore.

Seitzinger's NARD almanac, 1958 This is the front cover of the 1958 NARD Almanac, published by the National Association of Retail Druggists and distributed to pharmacists to hand out to their customers. The pharmacist's contact information is on the front cover, and there are articles and advertisements such as ads in this edition for Miles Laboratories and Bayer Aspirin. This copy was printed for Seitzinger's Drug Store.


Ferry's Drug Store interior, ca. 1950s Ferry's Drug Store - 517 Centre St. - The Ferry Drugstore – originally known as the McMenamin & Ferry Drugstore – was founded by Dr. Frances (Fanny) Ferry (1877-1967) and her brother-in-law John J. McMenamin (1871-1917) after her initial graduation from Philadelphia Pharmacy College in 1910. They bought the building at 517 Centre Street that previously housed the pharmacy of M. E. Grover, who was listed at that address in Freeland directories at least from 1884 to 1900.  After Fanny retired in 1953 the business was taken over by her nephew Maurice G. Ferry, Jr., who also had a pharmacy degree and who kept the shop name Fanny Ferry's and operated it as a Rexall store 30 more years. Later the store was sold to Rite Aid. The photo at right comes from Reese Ferry, who says it was probably taken pre-1960. He posted the photo on facebook and gave permissiont to post it here; commenters on the facebook page recalled the classical music that was always playing in the store. Thanks to Brigid McMenamin and Chris Braddock for some of the information given here.

Greco     Apothecary Nocchi's
Greco Apothecary
- 704 Main St. (at left)

Michael Krusko – 324 Centre St. – Druggist listed in 1928-1929 directory; served as chairman of the 50th anniversary committee; moving out of the Morris Lavine building on south Centre and into one side of the John Shigo property at 324 Centre to expand his business (1926 newspaper notice)

Nicky Nocchi's - Centre & South Streets. Nicholas Nocchi, Jr. converted his father's variety store into a pharmacy in 1976 when he became a pharmacist. Michael Lacey took over the Nocchi's pharmacy in 1995 and ran it until CVS took it over in 2012. Also see the page about Nocchi's Variety Store.

Schilcher's Drug Store, 1915 announcement Schilcher Drug Store during 1914 blizzard Schilcher's Drug Store - 700 block of Centre Street (Dr. Frank Schilcher, proprietor) Schilcher opened his drug store in 1881. In the next several decades he patented a number of medicines and trained Cornelius Welsh, to wom he sold his business in 1913 and to whom he willed his patents. The announcement about Schilcher's grand opening in September 1915 came from the Hazleton Historical Society and refers to the store reopening under Cornelius Welsh, who would soon reopen again under his own name in a new buildings (see below). The photo came from John Zubach and shows the original Schilcher drug store during the big blizzard of 1914 when the store was already owned and run by Welsh.

Seitzinger soda fountain, 1919 Koons building Seitzinger's Drug Store (original location) - 623 Centre St. (Founded by Robert L. Seitzinger) - Before Seitzinger's drug store was at 608 Centre Street (torn down a few years ago), it was at the Koons building at 623 Centre, where later Charlie Coxe would have his men's and boys' clothing store. Here we see a brief report that the elder Dr. Seitzinger and two Fox family members (Seitzingers, Foxes and Krauses were related) drove to Philadelphia in the Yannes and Fox bottlers' truck to get a soda fountain for the new drug store soon to be opened in the Koons building. Thanks to Steve Yaskewich for this item.

Seitzinger's building Seitzinger's     bag Seitzinger's     bag Seitzinger's Drug Store (second location)
- 608 Centre St. (Founded by Robert L. Seitzinger, who died in 1971, succeeded by his son, William) - ("A good drug store", '51 Minamek, from Ed Merrick) - (from Billy Kuklis, 1932 FPD Ball program) - “Ideal Xmas Gifts” Toilet articles, perfumes, ivory sets, writing papers, manicure sets, and a large assortment of useful articles (1924 ad) – “Where your prescriptions are compounded accurately and carefully” and also carrying Hallmark greeting cards, and Whitman’s and Cynthia-Sweet candies (1957 ad)

(From Carolyn Moering: Robert L. Seitzinger built the 3-story building for his pharmacy next to the Fox Bakery, 608 Centre. Would have been about 1918. The family lived upstairs. As I recall, William O. Seitzinger followed his father at the Seitzinger drug store.)

S. E. Vercusky pillbox S. E. Vercusky pillbox 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. … 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 didn’t 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 Sundays. My father was always there and ran the business by himself until he retired.)

Welsh Drugstore Welsh's Drug Store - 722 Centre St. (Cornelius Welch, proprietor) - (from Billy Kuklis, 1932 FPD Ball program) - This 1922 ad advertised Welsh’s Grippe Pills sold there.

Welsh's Grippe Pills ad, 1922 "The Largest and Most Expensive Soda Fountain in Freeland." Ed Merrick shared a newspaper article with me that recounted the history of this drugstore and later also ice cream and soda fountain. Cornelius Welsh began his career in the early 1900s working for druggist Frank Schilcher just a few buildings down the street - Dr. Schilcher had had a drug store since 1881. In 1913 Dr. Schilcher sold his business to his assistant Cornelius, and a year later died and left his patents to Cornelius, who ran this shop and soon after built another just up the street, shown at left, and opened a third location in White Haven. He and his brothers John and Billy ran these businesses. In the mid-1940s Cornelius sold the remaining drug store (the one in the photo) to his nephew John B. Welsh, known as 'Doc'. In 1972 Doc died and his wife Rose continued to run the business for another 15 years or so. Many Freelanders will remember this long-lived business and the Welsh family who ran it, both as a drug store and as a popular ice cream and soda fountain. Their CMP sundaes were fabulous.

Please also see Marion Denion's reminiscences of Welsh's as a teen hangout from her high school years on the Confectioners page.

Pharmacists / druggists listed in directories, 1900-1940

1900-1901 city directory
Druggists in business listings:
Grover, M. B., drugs and stationery, 59 Centre
Schilcher, Dr. F., physician and drugs, Centre

1912 telephone directory
Druggists in general listings:
Frank & Barber, Inc, Druggists – S Centre
Goodman & Ferry, Druggists – Centre
Goodman & Ferry, Druggists – cor Centre & South

1917 telephone directory
Druggists in general listings:
McMenamin & Ferry, Druggists - 506 Centre
Schlecher's Drug Store - 722 N. Centre [Schilcher's - CT]

1921-1922 city directory
Druggists in business listings:
McMenamin & Ferry – 517 Centre
Seitzinger, Robert L. – 623 Centre
Welsh, Cornelius A. – 722 Centre

1928-1929 city directory
Druggists in business listings:
Krusko, Michael - 324 Center
Seitzinger, Robert L. - 608 Center
Welsh, Cornelius A. - 722 Center, and 500 Johnson

1940 city directory
Druggists in business listings:
Ferry, Fannie - 517 Centre
Seitzinger's Drug Store - 608 Centre
Vercusky, Stanley E. - 617 Centre

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