Archive for Thursday, August 8, 2013

40 years ago: Historic Round Corner building changes hands

August 8, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 8, 1973:

Pharmacist and former city commissioner Charles Fisher this week became the owner of the Round Corner Drug Store building on the corner of Eighth and Massachusetts. The building was said to house the oldest drug store in Kansas and the second oldest west of the Mississippi, and possibly even the oldest business establishment of any kind in continuous operation in Kansas. Fisher, who had been managing the store since the death of his father, Mel Fisher, in December 1964, purchased the building from the grandsons of the man who had founded the store in the earliest days of the city. Round Corner founder B. W. Woodward had come to the Kansas Territory as an abolitionist who later joined the Free State Party and also became a member of Gen. Jim Lane's Company F of the Kansas Guards. Within three months of arriving in May 1855, Woodward had assembled a stock of $2,000 in drugs to open his store; it was 10 years later that he moved it to the round-cornered building which gave the store its name. The building had been burned during Quantrill's Raid but it had escaped total destruction; the Woodward family still told the story of how Mr. Woodward had avoided execution that day when a runaway pony had distracted the gunman for a moment. The pharmacy had changed hands in the 1900s but the building had always remained a Woodward property until now. Fisher, the new owner, said today that no changes were planned in the operation of the historical establishment.

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