Source: Aurora (1926) Ad:

at your
REXALL Drug Store


Marks Drug Store in 1938, 204 East Main St., North Manchester

Marks Drug Store in 1938, North Manchester

Source: R. Ned Brooks and Donald L. Jefferson, REMEMBERING NORTH MANCHESTER INDIANA IN THE 1930'S & 1940'S (2009):

David Ginther and his wife Laura Ginther operated a drug store at this location in the early part of the century. On December 8, 1921, Albert F. Sala purchased both the stock and the building from the Ginthers. Sala Drug Store was listed at this address in the 1923 phone book. Mr. Sala passed away a couple of years later and his widow, Clare B. Sala, became the owner. Mrs. Sala sold the store stock to James Benjamin Marks on October 20, 1925 and he changed the name to J.B. Marks and Son Rexall Drug Store. Mr. Marks managed the store and did the bookkeeping. He had an office in a rear balcony where he could oversee the operation of the store. Mr. Marks' son, Harold L. Marks, Sr., was the pharmacist and compounded the prescriptions in a room at the rear of the store. Ten years after opening his store, on June 15, 1936, Mr. Marks bought the building from Mrs. Sala. Upon J.B. Marks death in 1938, Harold L. Marks, Sr. continued the business under the name Marks Drug Store; and Mr. Marks' widow, Lillian A. Marks, retained ownership of the building. Upon the widow's death in 1964, Harold L. Marks, Sr. and his wife Louise E. Marks became owners of the building. In 1965, Harold L. Marks, Jr. purchased the store from his father and continued the proud tradition under the same name. [The above information and dates were supplied by an article written by Louise E. Marks.]. In 1986, the prescription department was closed and the store was transformed into Hallmark Card and Gift Store. Through our time period, in the 1930s and 1940s, this was a typical drug store of the time with a soda fountain.

Source: News-Journal, March 23, 1967

Main Street--Marks' Rexall Drug Store

Marks' Rexall Drug Store has been on Main Street in North Manchester since October 20, 1925, or over 41 years.

In 1925, Harold Marks Sr. moved here from Peru, Indiana with his father, J.B. Marks, and opened the drug store at 204 E. Main Street. Forty years later, in 1965, Marks sold the store to his son, Harold Marks Jr.

Harold Marks Sr. married the former Louis Hoham from Plymouth, Indiana, in 1925. Mrs. marks still works in the store assisting in sales and customer service. She is a graduate nurse from the Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

They have two children. Jean Ann, who is now Mrs. Bail, lives in Goshen, Indiana, and their son, Harold Jr., who operates and is pharmacist at the family business.

Harold Sr. is a graduate of the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy while his son is a 1953 graduate from Purdue University with a B.S. degree in pharmacy. Harold Marks Jr. joined the business in April, 1955, when Marks was forced to retire due to bad health.

Harold Jr. is married to Elizabeth May Allen of Logansport. They have four children: Lizabeth Lee-13, James Allen-12, David Bradley-9, and Lydia Jane-3. He is a member of the Izaak Walton League and Indiana Pharmaceutical Association and they are both very active in local Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. They are members of the Methodist Church.

Marks Sr. said, "My wife has been helping in the business since 1938. During the war, we couldn't get any help and we ran the business by ourselves."

Harold Jr. said, "The main thing my father taught me is correct buying, and more important, prompt, friendly service. We feel we should treat people as we would want to be treated."

He commented on the changes in the drug business since his father's day and his own beginning. He said, "The biggest change I can see is in the new pharmaceuticals on the market. Infections that were once cause for hospitalization are now treated in the home causing less expense. The prices of antibiotics have gone down recently. We have had two major lowering of prices in the last two months alone."

Harold marks Jr. commented on the advantages of a small town business and the large chain stores compared to the smaller, family owned businesses. He said, "Our  business allows us a closer contact with the customer. This is our advantage over the large chain stores that change pharmacists quite often. You should choose your pharmacist the same way you choose your doctor. We enjoy the people of this community and wouldn't even want to live in a large city."

The Marks Rexall Drug Store offers a 24 hour service on prescriptions with store hours of Friday, Saturday and Monday, 8:30 to nine, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 to 6:30 and Thursday, 8:30 to 8 p.m.

Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Section

Marks Drugstore Started in 1925

204 East Main Street has been the location of various drug stores in North Manchester for nearly 100 years. The site presently houses Marks Drug Store.

James B. Marks, Peru, and his son Harold L. Marks, graduate of Butler College of Pharmacy, purchased the A.F. Sala Drug Store Oct. 20, 1925. They formed a partnership called J.B. Marks and Son.

The store consisted of general drug merchandise and a soda fountain. With no refrigeration, the ice cream was packed in ice and salt to keep frozen for the next day. All syrups were made in the store.

The prescription department compounded all the Doctor's prescriptions. While the customers waited they stood on the furnace register to keep warm in the winter. In the summer they ate ice cream served on round ice cream tables.

Saturday night was always the big night of the week. Almost everyone came to town to visit the shop.

Two different telephone companies used to serve North Manchester. Each installed a phone in the drug store and it was always a problem to know which one to answer.

In the beginning the store opened at 6 a.m. and closed at midnight.

Six high school students who worked at the store later became pharmacists and two others became doctors.

James B. Marks passed away Sept 1, 1938 and the store became known as Marks Drug Store.

Harold Marks, Jr. graduated from Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 1953. After serving two years in the Army he became associated with the store.

Harold Marks Jr. is now owner and pharmacist in the family third generation business.

Numerous remodelings have taken place over the years with the latest undertaken in 1971.

 Source: News-Journal (ca October 1975); article in files of Harold Marks, Jr.

Marks Drug Store Is Observing 50 Years Manchester Business
By Mrs. Harold (Louise) Marks Sr.

Fifty years ago Monday, Oct. 20, 1925 Marks Drug Store opened for business in North Manchester at 204 E. Main Street.

J.B. Marks was manager and Harold L. Marks Sr. pharmacist.

The pharmacist compounded most of the prescriptions from powders or liquids according to the doctors' formula. Drugs were brought to North Manchester by train then Ed. Mower picked them up at the train station (now owned by Norman's Car Parts) to deliver to each merchant by truck.

The counter business kept the clerks busy in the store as there was no self-service available. All stores opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 10 p.m.

On one side of the room in the store, drugs were displayed in sliding glass door cases but clerks were responsible for getting drugs to the counter for customers.

Some of the merchandise was displayed in plate glass cases with marble foundations which were also used as counter tops. A huge cone of string hung high and wrapping paper was used.

Larger sacks were brought on the market later. Small paper sacks were available for candy.

A huge cigar case was at the front of the store with the soda fountain on the other side and a huge mirror above the back counter with the glasses and dishes.

Candy was displayed in glass jars on the serving counter. Round tables with metal chairs filled the room. Straight metal stools were at the soda fountain counter.

The fountain was always busy as there was no refrigeration at home. Ice was delivered in huge blocks and carried by ice tongs. The ice was chipped with an ice pick and mixed with coarse salt to keep the ice cream frozen. Hand packed ice cream in pint or quarter cardboard buckets was in demand. Double dip ice cream cones for 5 cents was worth working for.

Saturday night was the big occasion of the week. Wagons, horse and buggy and cars were parked everywhere. The ice cream, lemonade and home made syrup tasted good on a hot night.

The bugs always came, too, and like the few sidewalk lights.

The old hanging lamps were used in the store, but the coal oil lamps were always ready for use.

A storm usually put out the lights.

The Eel River and the Rex Telephone companies were in North Manchester and it was a problem to find the customer with the right telephone but talking to the telephone operator was pleasure. They could tell us.

The large box telephone with the big bells usually rang at the same time.

Dr. Albert, veterinarian, had his office in the back room of the store.

Horse racing was popular at the race track located where the Peabody Home is now situated.

Wallpaper was sold on a display floor rack as low as 5 cents a single roll. It was used in every home.

Dust from the brick pavement mixed with flies on the screen door made summer very interesting. The awning was used as the store front shade but the wind always wanted to change that. The awning had to be raised each time it stormed and each evening. It was lowered each morning when the sun was shining.

Winter was cold with only one furnace register for the large room. Cold feet were very popular. Coal was delivered in the summer and shoveled into the large coal bin in the basement. The changes through years with refrigeration in the home and central heating has made work much easier.

Source: Newspaper article (ca November 1975); from files of Harold Marks, Jr.

Marks Drugstore Celebrates Five Decades
By Bee Brooks, Staff Writer

Marks Rexall Drug Store is celebrating its 50th year in business in North Manchester, along with the opening of a new gift shop in the rear of the store.

During the grand opening, Nov. 17 to 22, there will be free balloons for the children, candy for everyone, and a daily drawing for a $20 gift certificate and other prizes.

The store was purchased by James B. Marks, Peru, and his son, Harold L. Marks, graduate of Butler College of Pharmacy Oct. 20, 1925, from the A.F. Sala Drug Store. Father and son formed a partnership called J.B. Marks & Son.

At that time, the store consisted of general drug merchandise and a soda fountain. There was no refrigeration in those days, and ice cream was packed in ice and salt to deep it frozen. Syrups were made in the store.

The prescription department compounded all the doctors prescriptions, and while one waited, they stood on a furnace register to keep warm. In the summer, they ate ice cream at round ice cream tables, served by girls with white aprons.

In those days, Saturday night was the big night of the week, and almost everyone came to town and in the store to visit a while with the friendly owners. In the early days, the store opened at 6 a.m. and closed at midnight.

Six high school students who worked at the store later became pharmacists and two became doctors.

James B. Marks died Sept. 1, 1938, and the store became known as Marks Drug Store, and son Harold L. Marks carried on.

Harold Marks Jr., the present owner, graduated from Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 1953. After serving two years in the Army, he became associated with his father, Harold L. Marks until the latter's retirement in February 1965.

Numerous remodelings and changes have taken place over the years, and last remodeling was in 1971. Larry Booth, a registered pharmacist has also been added to the personnel to assist with the prescriptions.

The new gift shop added in the last few weeks as Harold L. Marks says, "has a variety of gifts including numerous ceramic products, candles, and a thousand and one other items."

Source: Wabash Plain Dealer, March 13, 1986

Marks drops prescriptions

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Marks Drug Store Inc., 204 E. Main St., today becomes Marks Main Street Hallmark and will no longer sell prescription medications, co-owners Harold and Elizabeth marks said.

Over-the-counter medications will be on sale until the supply is exhausted.

The building has housed a drugstore since its construction in the 1880s. Marks has featured hallmark products for over 25 years.

Marks will be working full time for the North Manchester Hook's Drug Store as an assistant manager and pharmacist.

Mrs. Marks and Eva Marie Gagnon are co-managers of Marks Main Street Hallmark.

Remodeling will be in line with the building's age in Victorian style in the original colors of dark green, deep tan and clay.

The shop's children's books, plush animals, collectable dolls, party goods, albums, stationery and cards will be expanded along with The Precious Moment line.

The store will remain North Manchester's Northern Indiana Public Service Co. agency. It will continue to provide McJon photofinishing.

"We have a lot of faith in downtown North Manchester and are encouraging the continuing of the "specialty shop" concept here," Marks said.

Marks Drug Store was located in the building 60 years. The late Harold Marks Sr. started the business in 1925. Harold Marks Jr. took it over in 1965.

Source: News-Journal, December 22, 1986

Key Pharmacy Purchases Downtown Hallmark Store

Marks Hallmark Shop, 204 E. Main St., became Key Hallmark Shop last week.

It was purchased by John and Carolyn Reed and Scott Eberly from Harold and Elizabeth Marks.

The Reeds and Eberly also own Key Pharmacy, both at the Manchester Plaza Shopping Center and in South Whitley.

Mrs. Reed will spend most of her time at the downtown store, although she will continue to circulate to the other stores as well.

She will check stock and make sure all of the stores have merchandise.

Eberly said the store will basically remain the same. Both North Manchester stores will keep their Hallmark stock.

Eva Gagnon and Pam Fawley will continue to work in the shop, and the Northern Indiana Gas Co. office will remain there.

The purchase of the new store will give Key the opportunity to expand some of the areas they wanted to expand at the other store, Eberly said.

The owners plan to enlarge the party accessories area.

Reed was a pharmacist at Key Drugs for 16 years before the Reeds purchased the Plaza store. They have owned Key Pharmacy for 6 ½ years and the South Whitley store for 3 ½ years.

Store hours will remain 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It will be closed on Sunday.

Eberly said there will be no pharmacy at the downtown store.

The store will offer the same photograph service as at the shopping center, including two photograph prints for the price of one.

Marks said he and his wife decided to sell in order to slow down their lives a little, spend more time with their children and grandchildren, and get more involved in community activities.

He said the Reeds and Eberly were the right people to sell to, and added he was happy to sell to such honest and hard-working people.