This ad from December of 1925 shows the pharmacy had become more than a mere pill pusher offering the latest electrical gadgets.

This ad from December of 1925 shows the pharmacy had become more than a mere pill pusher offering the latest electrical gadgets. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Business:  Hook’s Drugs

Date of Ad:  July 29, 1906

Location:  Various Locations, Originally Prospect and East (demolished)

Years of Operation: 1900- 1994

Notable: A drugstore that became a household name across Indiana had humble roots. Started by a German immigrant named John A. Hook, his first pharmacy opened at 1101 South East Street not far from Fountain Square. Another early location stood at 318 East Washington Street. In 1950, the company opened their fiftieth store at the corner of Meridian and 38th Streets. By the mid-1980s, the Hoosier company dominated the pharmacy industry in Indianapolis and countless small towns in the area. A victim of a hostile takeover, the company was acquired by the Kroger company, but maintained their iconic green and white logo. That changed after being purchased by Revco in 1994. Three short years later Revco was purchased by CVS.

A fireworks explosion in July 1907 damaged the John A. Hook Drug store

One of the early John A. Hook Drug Stores, located at 318 East Washington Street was in the next block over from the old Marion County Courthouse.

Additionally:  In 1966 attendees to the Indiana State Fair were treated to a new exhibit in the former Better Babies building. A turn-of-the-century Hook’s drugstore was recreated with counters, artifacts and a re-created Victorian-era soda fountain. The exhibit, originally intended to be temporary, proved so successful that it remained open daily for over thirty years! Sadly, the museum closed after an attempt to move downtown in the Wholesale District fell through. The partially restored building eventually became Kilroy’s bar serving up elixirs of a different sort. All is not lost– the exhibit still opens every year for the Indiana State Fair.

An early store at Washington and Penn. This building was demolished in the late 50s for a Roslyn Bakery. (Courtesy Bass Photo Company Collection. Indiana Historical Society)

An early store at the northwest corner of Washington and Pennsylvania Streets. This building was demolished in the late 50s for a Roslyn Bakery. (Courtesy Bass Photo Company Collection. Indiana Historical Society)

An Almanac sponsored by Hook's from the 1920's.(Courtesy eBay)

An Almanac sponsored by Hook’s from the 1920’s.(Image: eBay)

This ad from 1966 invites nostalgia seekers to the Historic Hook's museum at the state fairgrounds

This ad from 1966 invites nostalgia seekers to the Historic Hook’s museum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)