In 1956, James Richard Hill, Jack Vorhes, and another financial backer bought the store fronting Public Square that would become the Twinsburg Pharmacy. “It was a very old pharmacy at the time,” Dave Hill recalled of his father’s store. It was once the storefront for Twinsburg pharmacist Hugo Braunlich, and prior to that it was the A. E. Bishop General Store. Images of the various iterations show a similar scene: a small interior brimming with goods of all kinds.
Dave Hill, who worked there with his father, spoke about what it was like during the early years. “At that time, pharmacies were quite a bit different than they are today . . . they had an old soda fountain. It was like what you would expect in a 1920s pharmacy.” Although the pharmacy was, for a time, “the only game in town,” the business’s budget was tight, and income and expenses ran neck and neck. Dave said, “When they first started out, they were filling so few scripts, they couldn’t support two pharmacists.” His father would man the pharmacy during these lean times, and his partner, Jack, would work at another pharmacy he had business with.
The years ticked away and customer wants and needs changed with the times. By the early 1970s, the soda fountain was removed to make way for other things, like greeting cards. The Twinsburg Pharmacy stood in opposition to new stores eroding its market share. In 1984, the senior Hill suddenly fell ill and died during the summer. The mid-1980s saw the arrival of Revco, the first, but not the last, competition to arrive on the scene. By 1996, the writing was on the wall. The Twinsburg Pharmacy shuttered its doors, heralding the closing of yet another family-owned and -operated business and bringing to an end the years of personal attention and the friendly phone calls from loyal customers asking for emergency prescriptions and extended hours. In the end, it wasn’t necessarily competition from large chain stores that did the store in but an unwillingness by insurance companies to work with mom-and-pop stores, preferring to do business with the Walgreens and Drug Marts of the world.