Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails



Drug Trade - from “A Brief History of Peoria” by Democratic State Central Committee? 1896.
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails Staff

    The wholesale drug business of Peoria may well be placed in the same class as its two other leading merchandise lines: groceries and liquors. It is estimated by conservative men that the volume of business in the drug and chemical line will amount to not less than three million dollars per year. This does not include retail druggists, who number about forty. The time has been when retail druggists of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri were obliged to look to Chicago or the East for their supplies, but that period has passed. Peoria, with its characteristic energy and push, has rapidly come to the front as headquarters in this part of the country for drugs and chemicals.

    It is not denied that Chicago and St Louis are great distributing points for goods. Still, Peoria claims and holds a large share of the wholesale business in this line in the West, and disputes with success every inch of territory with the two former cities. And why not? Without the great expenses and taxes of the larger cities; with equal access to eastern markets and other sources of supplies; with freight rates to points within her territory equal, and in many instances lower than from Chicago or St. Louis; houses doing business on their own capital, an advantage that some houses in other cities do not possess, and an advantage which cannot be overcome by others who do: it is therefore no wonder that Peoria has kept pace with the onward movement in wholesale drugs for the past thirty-odd years, and is now the largest distributing point for that line of goods of any city of its size in the United States.
    That the wholesale drug trade of Peoria is not of an ephemeral growth is shown by the fact that one firm (Colburn, Birks A Co.) has been in business thirty-three consecutive years. As to pharmaceutical and manufacturing chemists (whose interests are so closely allied to the wholesale drug business), Peoria holds her own; and everyone who is conversant with this class of the drug business knows that the largest botanical laboratory in the United States, if not in the world, is that of Allaire, Woodward & Co's.
    Sutlliff & Co., dealers in drugs, and physician's supplies, do an extensive business in their line, as do Wm. Ohl & Co., manufacturing pharmacists and chemists.


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