File photo/The Herald-Dispatch Kiser’s Drugs opened in the C&O Building in 1936. This photo was taken in 1956.

Editor's note: This is the 66th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.

HUNTINGTON - Back before corporate chains came to dominate the pharmacy business, it seemed like downtown Huntington had a drug store on virtually every other street corner.

One of the best known was Kiser's Drugs, opened by registered pharmacist Ivan B. Kiser in 1936. Located on the ground floor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Building on the southwest corner of 4th Avenue and 11th Street, the store became known for its slogan, "If You Don't Know Drugs, You Better Know Your Druggist."

A graduate of Huntington High School and the school of pharmacy at West Virginia University, Kiser was a World War I veteran. In an era before credit cards became commonplace, he filled prescriptions on credit, offered free delivery of prescriptions by taxi and operated a popular lunch counter.

Today we think nothing of calling a pharmacy at night and leaving a recorded prescription request, but it was still a novel notion in 1960 when Kiser installed an automatic telephone answering set to record incoming calls after the store had closed for the night. Orders phoned in during the night were promptly filled "the next morning," Kiser explained in a newspaper story announcing the new service.

On Kiser's death in 1964, the drug store was purchased by registered pharmacist B. Max Wetherall, a graduate of Huntington East High School and the school of pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati, who retained the Kiser's Drugs name on the store.

When Kiser's Drugs closed, Glenn's Sporting Goods took over its corner spot on 4th Avenue. That was in 1970. In January of this year, Glenn's moved to a new 3rd Avenue location where it shares space with Mack and Dave's.

To read more articles from this series, go to www.herald-dispatch.com. Click on "News," then "Lost Huntington" series.


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