9th Street Walgreens


This Vintage view of the 9th. Street Walgreens looks to have been
shot in the late 1930's or 1940's.


HUNTINGTON - - In 1924-25, Huntington's Union Bank & Trust Co. built itself a handsome 15-story building at 4th Avenue
 and 9th Street - and four years later went bust, a victim of the Great Depression.
The bank building was then renamed the West Virginia Building,
as it was the tallest building in the state.

In 1937, the building's former first-floor bank lobby was remodeled to house a Walgreen Drug Store,
a store that would prove to be a fixture in downtown Huntington for the next 24 years.

The Walgreen Drug Co. was founded by Charles R. Walgreen Sr. who opened a store in
Chicago in 1901. By 1913, Walgreens had opened four more stores. By 1919,
the chain had grown to 20 stores. Its later growth was truly phenomenal.
By 1930, it had 397 stores and would go on to become
 the nation's largest drug store chain.

The Walgreens on 9th Street was an immediate hit with Huntingtonians,
who not only patronized the busy prescription counter but enjoyed
what many said was the biggest and best soda fountain in town.

Some customers remember being waited on by Virginia Ruth Egnor, who worked at the
 Walgreens as a cashier, waitress, sandwich maker and soda jerk. Leaving Huntington
 for New York City and changing her name to Dagmar, she would go on to
 fame as a blonde bombshell on early television.

In September 1961, word came from the company's Chicago headquarters that it would not be renewing
its lease for the ground floor of the West Virginia Building. No explanation for the decision was offered.

The Thrift Drug Co. Immediately leased the prime corner location being vacated by Walgreens and even
bought its inventory and fixtures. But soon Thrift Drug was also gone. In the years since, the space
has housed a number of different businesses. Its current tenants are Village Collection,
a women's apparel shop, and Prime on 4th, a restaurant.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Aug. 24 , 2015.

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