Applegate Pharmacy 202 N. Main St. - Joe Applegate was the third generation of pharmacists in his family in this area. His grandfather, J. E. Applegate, opened the first drug store in Rogers in 1881. J. E. Applegate had six sons and two daughters, with five of his sons entering the pharmacy business. Joe's father, John B. Applegate, after finishing school in 1920, returned to Bentonville and purchased a store from Mark Tisdale. Young Joe went to work at his father's store as soon as he could see over the counter by standing on a coke case. At that time capsules had to be filled by hand, sometimes up to 5,000 at a time, and Joe eventually helped with that process as well as making deliveries. Soda fountain offerings included Fat Emma candy bars, hamburgers, and milk for 5 cents. The doctors in town at that time were Dr. Will Pickens, Dr. Hurley, Dr. Lindsey, Dr. Chastain and Dr. Atkinson.
Joe went to pharmacy school in Colorado and after graduation he returned to Bentonville to work at his father's store at 113 N. Main. In 1945, after his father had a heart attack, Joe took over management of the store. In 1957, Joe moved the store from 103 N. Main to 113 N. Main at which time his wife Melba took over the cosmetic department at the store. In the early 1960's, Joe had a new store built at 202 N. Main St. The store was 30 X 80 and made of brick cement block and steel construction. It had tile floors and air conditioning. and at the time it had one of the most modern pharmacy departments in northwest Arkansas. It included a waiting area with cushioned seats. The cosmetics department had carpeted floors and seating for its customers. It was one of the best stocked in the area. There was also a modern soda fountain.
At its grand opening, several thousand people came from all over the area to see the new store. They had drawings for over $400 dollars in merchandise. At the event, there was free coffee, coke, ice cream cones and balloons for the kids.
This is now the location of the Arvest Bank meeting room.
Information from the writings of J. Dickson Black.
Melba Applegate ran the cosmetics department in Applegate's Pharmacy. Here ladies could sit down and look over what they wanted.
The waiting area for prescriptions at Applegate's drug store.