Saturday, April 17, 2021

S. E. Whayland, Druggist

 Sewell Hanson Whayland (1886-1962) was the son of James Marion Whayland and Williamanna Willie Lavina Bounds.  He was born in Wicomico County outside of Delmar.  He had four brother; William, Paul, Mayhew and Lewis, and one sister, Violena (Lena).  About 1904 he went to New Jersey where he attended the New Jersey College of Pharmacy.  In 1907 he took a position as a druggist with J. G. Bragdon and Company in Middletown, Delaware.  He would work there until 1911 when he returned to Delmar to own his Drugstore.

In 1911, on Easter Sunday, Dr Whayland married Daisey Elizabeth Culver (1882-1951).  Daisey was 29 and Sewell was 25-years old.

In 1912 J. J. Culver remodeled a house at 107 East  Jewell Street and the Whaylands moved in.  Daisey and Sewell would eventually buy the house. John Jasper Culver was Daisey’s father and Salley Hearn was her mother. J. J. Culver worked on the railroad.

above 107 E Jewell

Dr Whayland’s brothers were active in Delmar having acquired the old hotel and having several businesses in it including the meat market and grocery store they were known for.

above 1931 ad in Salisbury Times.

Dr Whayland started his drugstore at a time when even small towns like Delmar would have several drugstores.  If you were not happy with the local drugstore Sears, Roebuck and company also sold a selection of patent medicine in their catalog. Druggist  had to be trusted not to talk about their customer prescriptions and purchases or they did not last long in a town.  Dr Whayland was in business for forty years so you know he was trusted.   

Drugstores were like little general stores they sold a lot of non-drug related goods ranging from cosmetics, tobacco, magazines, postcards to cheap watches and jewelry.  Dr Whayland went heavy into selling radios of the day.

above 1931 ad

 The medicine they sold was not just for humans but also included selections for farm animals. Generally the medicine they sold could be broken down into three types; generic nonproprietary remedies, compound preparations prescribed by a physician, and proprietary over-the-counter remedies often referred to as patent medicine.  The first group would like paregoric and castor oil that were kept in bulk and dispensed in quantities needed. Interestingly there are no medicine bottles around with his name imprinted on the bottle.  Perhaps he used plain bottles with a label attached to them.  The second group consisted of more complicated prescriptions which may contain narcotics.  They were usually prepared based on formulary books, frequently made by the druggist. 

The last class was the pre-packaged patent medicines. 

In the time Dr Whayland operated his drugstore he frequently made his own pills.  The druggist would grind the ingredients down in his mortar and wet it with a little liquid to make a paste, roll it into a long tube, place the tube on a pill tile (has marks indicating thickness of pills) and cut the tube into pills.

a pill tile and knife

The connection of Drugstores having a soda fountain came about when Druggist while trying to cover the bitter taste of medicine they made would make simple syrups using fruit juices and add to the medicine. When the Liquid Carbonic Company came out with their equipment to make carbonated water the drugstores starting installing soda fountains.  The Carbonated water covered the taste of the medicine. 

After 40 years he would sell his drugstore in 1951 to C. Burns Marvil.  His wife would pass away that year. 

Dr Whayland acquired Real Estate.  One of the larger pieces of land he brought was Whayland’s Addition that ran between 9th and 10th street.  Today you can see his name still mentioned on public notices of real estate being sold or some legal action taking place.

 Dr Whayland would die in 1962. 


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