Ralph Clark Pharmacy, Overland MO

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Above is a construction photo, circa 1945, of the building that still stands at Lackland & Brown Roads in Overland, Missouri. We see this photo now because a relative of the man responsible for this building saw this post, and shared some of her personal family treasures.

Other than new replacement windows on the second floor, the building remains remarkably unchanged and just as vital as the day it first opened for business.

Cerelle Bolon of Phoeniz, AZ sent me all the b&w photos shown here. Her late uncle Ralph Clark (shown below) was the owner/builder/pharmacist of his namesake building. Cerelle writes:

“I am his sister’s daughter, and we visited there every summer. It was great to see it still preserved and looking good! I mentioned this to my mother, Mildred Clark Bright, who will be 100 on October 28th, and she said that Uncle Ralph was so proud of that building and his profession. And rightly he should have been.

My mother and her six siblings were raised during the depression, and their father, who had started as a blacksmith, later took a job in a foundry in St. Louis. He rode two buses cross town from Wellston to work.

All of their children became well educated. Three of the brothers became pharmacists, and one brother, Glynn Clark, graduated from Washington University (as did I in 1959), became a Marine lt. Colonel and an educator. He eventually became president of Meramec Community College in Kirkwood. My mother was an elementary school teacher for 35 years.

“This is just to let you know how happy I am to share my pride in my family’s well-deserved accomplishments, and I am happy knowing that Uncle Ralph would have LOVED to know that you are still proud of his building.”

I adore the internet for 2 reasons.
#1: fine people like Cerelle can contribute their pieces of the larger puzzle because
#2: the built environment means something to all of us, and cyberspace gives the hoi polloi a place to share the joy.

It’s not just the privilege of architects, city planners, professors and developers, but is a part of all of us. We do not need to know text book architectural terms to know what is beautiful, useful and essential to us. We live and work in these buildings within our communities, and (to paraphrase Wilde) though all of us are in the gutter, some of us are looking at the brick work, fenestration and pride of place.
Thank you, Miss Cerelle!

11 thoughts on “Ralph Clark Pharmacy, Overland MO

  1. Ralph was the “older guy”..my uncle, and Roger was his son. Richard was Roger’s older brother and he may have worked there too..but when we were there visiting, it was Roger who worked there.

  2. Maybe Ralph was Roger, who was the older guy that was in the Pharmacy a lot back then?

  3. I went there at least 4 times a week from 1980-1986. I was a small child and we were always up there with the neighbors getting penny candy and my parents got scripts filled there. I even have vague images of Ralph. I remember him with curly white hair always nice and usually working in the back. I am glad the building still stands, but I remember last time I was in Overland stopping to get a soda. It was a med office and I was sad the old drug store was gone. If I win the lottery, I will try and re open it 🙂

  4. My grandfather sent me to the Ralph Clark Pharmacy to buy the 4-star edition of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in the mid-50s so he could read the late baseball scores. I bought most of my comic books and baseball cards there in the late-50s and early ’60s. My older brother Jim worked behind the soda counter for years. Click this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/43289453@N03/4423971590/in/set-72157623065505743 to catch a glimpse of what the building looked like in 1985.

  5. My father, Robert Rohman, started working for Ralph Clark at the age of 13 and went on to become a Pharmacist and owned Ralph Clark Pharmacy until he had to close it due to the chain stores opening pharmacies. I work there from the time I was 13 as well. We still have many of the fixtures in our family.

  6. many summer afternoons were spent at the soda fountain during my younger days. loved that building and the chocolate sodas. what a wonderful neighborhood that was for a young boy in the 50s.

  7. Just checking back and I saw Jim Brooks’s comment. I think that son was my cousin, Roger Clark, who also played football at Washington University when we were both students there. He is now living in Texas.

  8. While attending St. Louis University High School in 1949-51, I worked parttime at the Clark Pharmacy. Mr. Clark was a good employer and a very professional pharmacist in the days when capsules were filled at the drug counter and didn’t come in packages from the manufacturers. He had a son, whose name I can’t recall, who also worked with us. He played football at Overland High. Brings back memories. Happy New Year. Jan. 8, 2008.
    Jim Brooks, now residing in Guam. Email me at guambrooks@yahoo.com.

  9. Well I used to go to that pharmacy throughout my youth but that was way after its construction date. it was the pharmacy my mom used in the 70,s

    Raymond Barbier

  10. What a wonderful example of urban archeology and detective work. A great building and it’s wonderful to have some of the history behind it.

    Seeing the old photographs together with you recent images is great.

    Good work!

  11. How beautifully you presented this, Toby! I thank you very much.
    History lives on through all of our efforts.
    Best wishes to in your skilled presentations.

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