The History of City Drug
Between 1930 and 1980, if you were a Brady kid during summer vacation, and wanted something to do with your allowance, you got on your bicycle and went down to The Square in Brady for a hot dog and a milkshake at “King’s Fountain at the City Drug Company in Brady” (as the ad boasted).
For 50 years it was one of those classic drug stores with a soda fountain like you see in movies such as Back to the Future… or in old television shows like Leave it to Beaver and Happy Days.
Then you’d mosey over to the Ben Franklin five and dime on the same block to see what you could buy. Then you’d go back to City Drug and see if your friends were there yet, talk awhile and maybe have a Gandy’s ice cream cone, then hop on your bikes and go off to Richards Park until suppertime.
If you were a mom during those nostalgic years, City Drug on the Square would be on your shopping list. While you were getting your prescription filled, you’d have some sweet tea and their famous chicken salad while chatting with friends, and with Joe King’s dad, James King, who was always the personable man behind the counter at the soda fountain. James became a partner with Bill Cobb, the original owner and pharmacist. A classic “mom and pop” small town enterprise. Later, Joe himself would finish his degree and become one of the town’s favorite returning sons, as a full-fledged pharmacist, following in the footsteps of his own grandfather who was a pharmacist way back in the ‘30s.
And so it began…
When the hospital was built, City Drug moved to its present location to be closer to the hospital and clinic, right next to the old McShan’s grocery store, which is now Lowes. It proved to be a smart move, and the first stop after seeing the doctor.
During the move, all sorts of treasures relating to old timey medicine and drug store memorabilia were unearthed. Enough to establish a fun little museum.
Soon Joe King was joined by Albert Pearson Sr., known to everyone as “Big Al” as Joe’s fellow pharmacist. Big Al was a graduate of UT’s pharmacy school… and proud of it as witnessed by all the UT stickers and memorabilia he displayed. There’s still one on the pharmacy “robot”… a major contribution credited to the foresight of Big Al. College rivalry gave those loyal A&M customers something to joke with him about. Big Al’s son, Albert Pearson Jr., graduated from Texas A&M though, which balanced things a bit. After pharmacy school in San Antonio, Albert Jr. returned home to Brady to work side by side with his dad allowing Joe King to semi-retire.
When Big Al passed away in 2009, Albert stepped into his dad’s big shoes and continued the City Drug family business. You can find Albert behind the counter most days taking questions and filling prescriptions while Joe still comes in to help out. Albert’s mom, Carrie Pearson, tends to the books and even Albert’s sister Amy, a Brady teacher, occasionally lends a hand.
City Drug has always been a family business, in the mold of the classic hometown drug store. Albert and his staff enjoy getting to know their customers and their customers’ health needs. They help weigh any health options and find the right solution for each person, at the right price. Personalized service is what City Drug has always been about… and always will be.
Brady is a small Central Texas town, surrounded by beautiful rural countryside. Those living in and around the other small towns surrounding Brady have come to rely on City Drug for not only their meds, but also for qualified advice, quick delivery, and if you’re in a hurry… it’s the one with the drive thru window.
If only we had a soda fountain…
Stop by and see us any time!
Well, almost any time…
City Drug Pharmacy Hours:
Monday – Friday : 8am – 6pm
Saturday : 8am – 12pm
704 W 17th St
Brady, TX 76825