Shoemaker & Busch

Digger Odell Publications 2007


The business which later developed into that of the present firm of Shoemaker & Busch was begun by David H. Barrick about 1875. He came from some point in Huntingdon County and opened a wholesale drug house at 20 North Fifth street, occupying the first and second floors and basement. The building was about 18 feet front and 5o or 6o feet deep. About 188o, James C. Roller, who was connected with the firm of Russell & Landis, formed a partnership with Mr. Barrick, under the name of Barrick. Roller & Co., and the other house became Russell & Newbourg.

On January 1, 1885, the business of Barrick, Roller & Co. was re-organized and a limited partnership formed, the members thereof being Mr. Roller and Clayton F. Shoemaker (who had been for 14 years previously with French, Richards & Co.) as general partners and David H. Barrick and Henry E. Busch as special partners. On July 1. 1885, the three upper floors of the building at 20 North Fifth street, were secured, and the business considerably extended, especially in the Southern States. On January 1, 1888. Johnson, Holloway & Co. retired from the general patent medicine business, and the firm of Roller & Shoemaker was reorganized under the same name, but consisted of James C. Roller. Clayton F. Shoemaker, and Miers Busch as general partners, the special partners having retired. The building at 602 Arch street (until then occupied by Johnson, Holloway & Co.) was leased for a term of years, and the addition of these premises gave the firm three times the space formerly occupied.

On April 13, 1892, Mr. Roller retired, and the firm was re-organized as Shoemaker & Busch, under which name it still continues. Between 1888 and 1900. all of 604 Arch street, with the exception of the ground floor, was added to the space occupied by the firm. On January 1 of the year last named, the buildings known as 511-13-15 Arch street and running through to Cherry street. were leased for a term of years, those buildings giving the firm about seven times the space afforded by the property 602 and 604 Arch street. This lot is 45 by 288 feet and, on account of the construction of the buildings, the firm possesses one of the best lighted and most conveniently arranged structures used for the wholesale drug business. A short time ago, the property was purchased by Henry Paul Busch, and with the control of the situation assured, a number of changes are being made to facilitate business.

It should be mentioned in this connection that when the old established house of George D. Wetherill & Co. decided to withdraw from the drug business some years ago in order that its energies might be confined exclusively to the paint business, its stock and business in that line was taken over by Shoemaker & Busch.

The firm of Shoemaker & Busch has undertaken to do a general supply business for retail drug stores, carrying crude drugs, chemicals, patent medicines, paints. bottles and glass, and maintains a druggists' sundries department which in regard to quantity of stock carried and varied assortment is the best in the country.

Mr. Shoemaker has been an officer of the Philadelphia Drug Exchange for many years. He has also been president of the National Wholesale Druggists' Association, president of the Philadelphia Credit Men's Association. and a director of the Trades League.

Mr. Busch is also a member of various organizations, notable among them being the Union League. He is also a trustee of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and a most appreciated member of the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association, being a member of the celebrated Entertainment Committee of the association commonly known as the " Busy Bees."