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.

 

 

 

 



James County Historical Society Meeting August 2

The next James County Historical Society meeting will be Sunday, August 2 at 2:30pm at the Ooltewah United Methodist Church.  The address is 6131 Relocation Way, Last quarter the program presented was "Andersonville Prison as related by two Prisoners," that had been presented by Larry Williams. He had read ancestor's letters that were written while in the Andersonville Prison. ... (click for more)

Roosevelt Cabin Restoration Nearly Complete at Berry College

Through the historical preservation of buildings, Berry College in Rome, Georgia has been able to keep its rich history alive. Most recently the Roosevelt Cabin, one of the oldest buildings on the main campus, has been in the final stages of restoration and preservation. The cabin earned its name after former President Theodore Roosevelt had lunch there during his visit ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Is Among 8 Cities Selected By Bloomberg To Join What Works Cities Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced that Chattanooga is among the first cities selected to participate in What Works Cities - a $42 million initiative to help 100 mid-sized American cities enhance their use of data and evidence to improve the lives of residents. The mayors of Chattanooga, Kansas City, Louisville, New Orleans, Seattle, Tulsa, Jackson, Miss., and Mesa, Ariz. ... (click for more)

Major AT&T Outage Strikes Chattanooga, Surrounding Areas; Glitch Is Fixed

When AT&T subscribers tried to use their cell phones in North Georgia this afternoon, they got a message saying “Emergency Calls Only.”  On Signal Mountain, a terse “Network Busy” message popped up when they tried to use their phones.  They are not alone.  According to news reports in The Tennessean in Nashville and numerous other news sources, AT&T ... (click for more)

In Agreement With Rep. Womick's Bill

I agree wholeheartedly with the bill by Rep. Womick that county clerks only marry couples of the opposite sex, but I doubt that the present Supreme Stupids would change the position of the court and fear that the time, energy and money spent to defend a legal action brought by the liberal supporters of the present state of the law would be for nothing.  There is a higher ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Marine’s Talk To Obama

I get a lot of email and try to have good judgment when it comes to what I keep and what I cull. The big search engines like Google and Yahoo pick up everything I write so I get responses from all over the country. I look at each of them as a personal note. I very rarely share them, instead using the opinions of others as a magnificent teaching source. It’s incredible what so many ... (click for more)