Boggess Drugs

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In a 1977 photograph, Owen Clay Greenwell stands in front of the new
drug store his family built on 4th Avenue after urban renewal
 forced them from their long-time 3rd Avenue location.

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HUNTINGTON In the 1970s, Huntington's urban renewal project
uprooted more than 100 downtown businesses.

Only a handful chose to continue operations at new sites in
the downtown. One that did so was the Boggess Drug Store.

History doesn't record the exact year when Taylor N. Boggess
and his wife, Mary, opened their 3rd Avenue drug store. But
 when the first Huntington City Directory was published
 in 1910, theirs was one of 20 drug stores listed.

Ultimately, the Greenwell family became the drug store's owner.

When the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority told Owen Clay Greenwell
 and his brothers Richard and Donald that it intended to purchase and
demolish their family's long-time store at 914 3rd Ave.,
 they vowed to fight the matter in court.

When injunction proceedings seeking to halt the project were rejected in
Cabell County Circuit Court and a subsequent appeal was denied by
 the State Supreme Court, the Greenwells bowed to the inevitable.

The brothers built a new drug store at 730 4th Ave. and another new
 building next door, which they leased to the Huntington Water Corp.

"Once it became apparent we were not going to exist any longer on 3rd
 Avenue, no one could have received more cooperation (to relocate)
 than we did, " Owen Clay Greenwell told Herald-Dispatch
reporter Tom D. Miller in a 1977 interview. But
Greenwell said he remained philosophically
opposed to urban renewal, which he
denounced as "buying one person's
 land to sell it to someone else."

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State's
 office, Boggess Drugs went out of business in 1997.

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Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on July 22, 2019.

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