Editor’s note: This is the 390th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON — For more than 40 years, a modest-sized brick building built in 1937 on the northeast corner of 6th Avenue and 18th Street was home to a popular neighborhood pharmacy.
The pharmacy originally opened as a White Cross Drug Store. Later it was known as Turner & Tanner Drugs and was operated as a partnership between James Clyde Turner and Earl Henry Tanner.
The 1947 edition of the Huntington City Directory still listed the store as Turner & Tanner Drugs, but the 1949 Directory listed the store as Tanner’s Pharmacy Inc., and identified Tanner as its president.
For the following decades, Earl Henry Tanner and his wife, Edith Egnor Tanner, would be the co-owners and operators of the pharmacy, while making their home in a little white frame house located next door to the store building.
Tanner’s was located directly across the street from the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Employee Hospital. Beginning about 1900, the C&O had two employee hospitals — in Clifton Forge, Virginia, and in Huntington. Many rail workers who saw a physician at the hospital and were given a prescription would walk over to Tanner’s to have it filled. When the C&O closed its hospitals in the 1960s, the pharmacy lost that significant piece of business.
The pharmacy was a popular spot with many Marshall University students who not only shopped there but frequently would stop in for a sandwich, a cold drink or maybe a bite of ice cream. In the 1970s the store was re-named Tanners University Pharmacy.
The Tanners closed their pharmacy about 1980. Today, Tri-State MRI, founded in 1987, occupies a new building on the corner site.
Earl Henry Tanner died in 1986 and Edith Egnor Tanner in 2006.