Remembering Embrey's Drug Store

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - by Harmon Jolley
If they had traffic reports back then, this would have been mentioned.
If they had traffic reports back then, this would have been mentioned.

A reader saw the Memories article on the downtown J.C. Penney’s (http://www.chattanoogan.com/2014/3/7/271262/Remembering-the-Downtown-J.C.-Penney-s.aspx)  and recognized the building as having once been her grandfather’s drug store.

The reader recalled, “My mother told me her father C.P. Embrey was a druggist and operated his business in that same building.

  She gave me a photo from the Times showing an accident that occurred on the corner taken sometime in the twenties.  The building displays C.P. Embrey on the upper floor.  It is taken looking up 6th Street with the Court House in view.”

“He sold his business in 1929 and bought a hotel.  Not a great time to be investing in the hotel business.  He lost everything during the depression.  I assume Effron (department store which preceded Penney’s) bought the building from him but do not know for sure.”

The artifacts of the Chattanooga Public Library and a genealogy site provided additional information on our reader’s grandfather.  Charles Pierce Embrey was born in 1875 at Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  He later moved across the boot heel of Missouri to the other side of the Mississippi River to Dyersburg, Tennessee in northwest Tennessee.

In 1897, Mr. Embrey moved to Chattanooga and worked for druggist Sterling Miller, also of Dyersburg.  In addition to operating the drug store, Mr. Miller was also a co-founder of the O.B. Andrews paper company. 

Charles Embrey then formed a partnership with Leroy J. Pettus, and they ran a pharmacy at Market and Cowart streets.  The two men resided nearby on West Sixth Street on the slope of Cameron Hill.   By the 1920 city directory, Mr. Embrey was listed as having his own drug store at 600 Market Street, just as our reader had stated.

The photograph which our reader submitted shows that the C.P. Embrey Drug Store was relatively large.  In the next block of Market Street to the south, the Live and Let Live Drug Store operated a similarly-styled business on the northeast corner of Market and Seventh streets.  Today, that is the home of the United Way of Chattanooga.

Other notes on the picture are as follows The Lyric Theater, a local opera house, is at the left edge.  The main scene is one of the clean-up of a wreck.  One can see the snapped telephone pole.  In the distance are the Hardwick-Hogshead Apartments.

Charles P. Embrey passed away at age 64 at his Vine Street residence on April 4, 1940.  By then, he had retired from both the hotel and pharmacy business.

If you have any additional information on the pharmacists mentioned in the article, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.  I will update this biography with your comments.  Also, thanks to our reader for sharing her memories.  There are many similar stories out there which I'm glad to find in my e-mail's inbox from time to time.

 

 

 

 



Help Needed In Identifying Goodman Family Photo

I am currently researching a set of glass plate negatives taken over 100 years ago in and around Chattanooga. Many photos have been identified, yet many remain unknown in location and subjects. Several photos were taken within walking distance of the likely photographer’s home on Payne Street (now Battery Place). This included the 700 block of East 4th Street. At 710 ... (click for more)

Tennessee Historical Commission Awards Grants to Preserve Historic Sites

The Tennessee Historical Commission has awarded 31 grants from the federal Historic Preservation Fund to community and civic organizations for projects that support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources. “Tennessee’s treasured historic places make our state unique and contribute to our quality of life,” said Patrick McIntyre, state historic preservation officer ... (click for more)

$30 Million Development Planned At King And South Market; Will Include Hotel, Condos, Offices, Retail, Possible Restaurant

A new $30 million development is planned for the Southside at King Street and South Market. Nick Wilkinson, city deputy director for economic development, said it will include a hotel, condos, offices, retail and possibly a restaurant. It could also include some light industry. A storage building and a parking lot are now at the site. He said the developers plan to reuse ... (click for more)

Investor In Scheme Says Dyer Made Contacts At Quarterback Club

One of the investors who was a loser in an investment scheme recently halted by the Securities and Exchange Commission said one of the Chattanooga brokers involved made many of his contacts through the Chattanooga Quarterback Club. Paul Smith, former Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman, said Doug Dyer has been the president for many years of the club that promotes UTC and ... (click for more)

Expand Broadband Internet, Not The Size Of Government

I’d like to respond to two letters in your July 13 edition that praised Rep. Mike Carter’s efforts to expand statewide broadband access. Rep. Carter wants more government involvement in the broadband sector, including an expansion of taxpayer-funded, municipal broadband networks.  Rep. Carter’s supporters argued he’s standing up for consumers against huge telecommunications ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Horses Vs. DesJarlais

It is well-known that shortly after the despicable “Big Lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry put on a very-pointed fundraiser for the equally repugnant Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper) two years ago, the misguided doctor has repeatedly tried to bully and strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the behalf of the vermin who sadistically torture the ... (click for more)