History behind Madison Drug Co.

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In 1902, a group of men stand outside the Vason Brothers' Store, which later became Madison Drug Company on Main Street in Madison. Photo Special

In 1902, a group of men stand outside the Vason Brothers’ Store, which later became Madison Drug Company on Main Street in Madison.
Photo Special

By Tia Lynn Lecorchick Managing Editor

The Madison Drug Company’s presence in Morgan County stems back even further than first thought. “It’s a shame more people don’t know the full history of Madison Drug,” said Bobby Crawford, the previous owner of Madison Drug, who made partner in the business back in 1966. Crawford also worked in the store as a teenager before then.

“I spent most of my life at Madison Drug. We haven’t always saved a lot of our history because people didn’t keep good records back then, but Madison Drug has a long history here in Morgan County and I’d love for people to know that.”

Crawford traced the Madison Drug Company all the way back to 1851, when a pharmacist named Joseph Vason opened a general store at the location that is now 127 Main Street, where Antique Sweets currently resides. The General Store was eventually called The Vason Brothers’ Store.

The store adopted the name “Madison Drug” in 1919 when it was sold to Lem Baker. “Even though the store changed hands and has taken many forms, it goes all the back to the 1800s,” said Crawford. “It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.” In 1979, Madison Drug moved to West Washington Street until Crawford moved it again to its current location at 213 North Main Street in 1987.

Gary and Luanne Whetzel are the new owners of Madison Drug, the next in a long line of participants in the iconic store’s history. The store will have a grand re-opening on Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.

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