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|THE OKLAHOMA DRUGSTORE STORIES SITE IS OPERATED BY
THE OKLAHOMA PHARMACY HERITAGE FOUNDATION, A NON PROFIT 501(c)(3)
TO GO TO THE
JOHN ROBERT McMAHAN | 1855- 1937 | ALTUS OK
Altus Oklahoma was born as a result of the town of Frazer being wiped out by
a flood in 1891. What was left of Frazer after the flood was moved to the site
now know as Altus. Frazier had been the home of J.R. McMahan and his wife
where he had lived after coming to Oklahoma. That trip would change the life
of this dedicated school teacher.
In 1887 while traveling with a wagon and a Jersey cow to provide milk, one of the
McMahans horses died near the Salt Fork of the Red River, McMahan and his wife
Margie set up camp near the new town of Frazer. The residents of Frazer soon
learned that J.R. had taught school an offered to pay him $200.00 dollars and
a residence to stay on and teach for six months. As time went on, Margie and
J.R., also known as "Buck" decided to stay in Fraiser and it was there, he
established a partnership with James E. Fowler in the drugstore business.
After Frazer was moved to Altus, McMahan became a well respected civic leader
and did his share in helping to grow the southwestern Oklahoma town.
He and Margie had nine children!
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A handsome stacked
display storage unit
rotates to give the
druggist quick access
to pharmaceuticals and
JAMES POLK CARTER | 1868 - 1900 | TAHLEQUAH OK
Polk moved to Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory in 1886 and after
working as a drug clerk and for a general merchandise store, he partnered with two
other men in the Tahlequah Drug Company and became its sole owner in 1895.
It was only four months later that the downtown area of Tahlequah was burned down
by a horrendous fire which destroyed not only the Tahlequah Drug Store owned by
Polk Carter but most of the surrounding businesses in the downtown district. It was
estimated that Polk Carter's drug store lost $3,500 in merchandise. His insurance
covered only $1,850.
James Polk somehow stayed in business and was active in numerous civic groups
and was well thought of in the community. Sadly, on July 10, 1900 he died as a result
of ingestion of laudanum and morphine. Most thought his death was a suicide but his
family said he took drugs to deal with "a severe fit of nervousness".
It was however noted, that Polk's younger brother Caleb who had worked as a clerk in
Polk's drug store had died in 1897 from the same cause.
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Laudanum, Morphine and
Cocaine are drugs that
though restricted today
were used as popular
treatments for many
illnesses and conditions
on a regular basis during
the early days of the
HORACE OSMOND HIXON | 1873- 1954 | ELK CITY OK
Horace opened the first drugstore in Elk City Oklahoma, The Elk Pharmacy.
He had an interest in music, played in a band and on a local baseball team. His
drugstore, the Elk Pharmacy boasted a variety of "Holiday Goods" during the
Christmas season. Horace served as a City Councilman and Mayor of Elk City.
He was an admired civic leader and family man.
It was his father, John however, who made the Hixon name famous in Oklahoma
history. As a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Guthrie, John Hixon led a team of deputy
marshals into a gunfight in the town of Ingalls known as the "Battle of Ingalls".
This gunfight resulted in the deaths of several lawmen and ended the reign of the
Doolin-Dalton Gang of outlaws as well as the capture of Roy, "Arkansas Tom"
Daugherty who was known to be a member of the "Wild Bunch"
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supplied drug stores
with displays to help
This nice metal box
was given by the
company to help sell
its popular laxative
Be sure to click the
photo to see the