The Aull & Company Drug Store in Auburn
was a crucial business to the growth of Auburn. It operated for 103 years,
through several generations, and eventually closed its doors in the 1988.
The following articles appeared in the Bowling Green - Daily News in 1985.
After 103 years
Auburn Drug Co. Closing
By Robyn Libs Minor
After 103 years of business Auburn Drug Co., will be closing
its doors Nov. 30. Owner Jimmy Duer, who has lived in Auburn most of his
life, says closing the store is the hardest thing he has had to do.
The move is hard but necessary if Duer wants to continue
making a living. The licensed pharmacist explained that "the store's volume
just didn't increase as inflation did." Three years ago, the store
experienced a small loss which kept increasing until it just wasn't feasible
Duer says that despite this loss, he has had several
customers who have been loyal for many years. These are the people he will
miss the most.
A few of those customers were in the store during the
interview. Marion Barry who has been a customer "ever since we moved to
Auburn (more than 30 years ago)" says "I think it's a terrible thing that
you're moving .... I wonder what I'm going to do after you close."
Mazelle Woodward didn't find out about the store closing
until this day. She was shocked and saddened by the news. A retired school
teacher, Mrs. Woodward says she has been one of the store's best customers
for 50 or 60 years. All she could say was, "I expect I'm in a lot better
condition than most people to do something about it .... I hate it that
Duer slowly turned to her and said, "I hate it too."
Anna Lowry, owner of the country store at Chandlers, says
she always comes to Auburn for her medicine needs because she appreciates
the care given her. Now she guesses she will just have to go somewhere else.
In 1960 shortly after graduating from University of
Kentucky's pharmacy school. Duer became a partner in the store with Edgar
Harris and became full owner around 1965, he says. Being the owner and
pharmacist weren't the only responsibilities Duer had at the store. They
began at age 13 when he was a soda jerk there. The store maintained a soda
fountain until the mid 70s and it kept many area teenagers employed and
occupied for years.
Harris began his ownership of the store in 1947. Before that
with the exception of a few years in the 30s, the store was owned by the
Henry Aull family. It was called Aull and Company. It has been at its
present location since 1910.
Store clerk Doris Andrew has worked off and on in the store
for about 30 years. she says when the store closes she will probably just
stay home for awhile and take care of her husband. She laughed about the
soda fountain and said the old one was better. "It had a good carbonator."
Mrs. Andrew says she too is sad about the store closing.
There are many customers she has treated like family for years, and she
hopes that whoever gets their business will treat them as well.
Other longtime employees have been Maxine Marbury and T. J.
Duer says tentative plans have been made for Riley-White to
take over customer files. The store will be closed Nov. 30, unless someone
makes an offer of purchase. It will also be closed this week while Duer goes
to school. He could not find a pharmacist to fill in for him.
Duer says that he has tried to let his customers know by
word of mouth that the store will be closing. He said that customers who
need a computer printout of their bills for insurance can come by the store
or have one mailed to them. "There will probably be someone in the store
until mid-December to collect bills."
When the store closes. Duer said he, wife Jessie and one of
their daughters will move to Henderson. Duer has purchased a partnership in
a store there.