Remembering Embrey's Drug Store

Wednesday, April 09, 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.

 

 

 

 



Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage Program is Monday, August 25

The Chattanooga Area Historical Association and the Local History Department of the Public Library invites all to a talk by Dr. Clark White on "Chattanooga's Blues and Jazz Heritage."  The program will be on Monday, August 25th at 6pm at the downtown Chattanooga Public Library. See the accompanying flyer for more information. CAHA events are free and open to the ... (click for more)

Tunnel Hill Foundation Seeks Volunteers to Help During Re-enactment

The Yankees and the Rebels could use a few more good volunteers. No, they don’t need any more soldiers. But they could definitely use a few more hands to help during the 21 st annual Battle of Tunnel Hill Civil War Re-enactment coming up next month. Tunnel Hill Historical Foundation President Boyd Whitfield says  the foundation would appreciate having more community ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)