Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baldwyn Businesses - Tom's Drug Store

-some photos will enlarge by clicking-

Sodas. Colas. Pecan sundaes. Comic books. Cigars and cigarettes. That and much more was available to us at Tom's. Also, we bought cheap Brownie cameras and film and had it sent out for processing from there after exposure. Just about anything to tickle our fancy was there for an after-school treat. Or during the summer months, one of the better coolers was a double dip of Ozark Black Walnut ice cream(10 cents). Other thirst quenchers were readily available and served by some people we can remember very fondly.

One of the photos shows the inside of the store about the time Tom Mauldin (R) bought it. To his right is Ira Caldwell, a partner or associate. He was a brother to Dr. R. B. I think I am correct in saying. The third man on the left is unidentified.

Another photo shows some Bearcats sitting around a table sippin'. Wouldn't you like to know what they were discussing at the time?!

Also, Clyde and Jimmy Tapp are shown working in the pharmacy. Clyde bought the store in the early '60s and ran it until health reasons forced him to sell.

There are two photos of our favorite milkshake and ice cream treats preparer. Marie Evans was the dominant figurine at the soda fountain for many years. She fussed at me every time I bought a pack of cigarettes or a cigar, but never refused to let me have them. Milton Nanney (her future son-in-law) and I finally started going to Cunningham's and buying a Blue Ribbon cigar to smoke while riding to Pratts in his little English Ford after school some afternoons. We went fairly regularly - we had some "holdings" out there (LOL).

Clarene, Marie's daughter, sums it up:

"Since a lot of their childhood took place after school at the soda fountain at Tom’s and Mama made their sodas, she was slap dab in the middle of the activities in which her ‘kids’ were involved. I never knew exactly how much involvement there was until I started looking through all their old photos and hearing their memories of her while they were growing up. At the reunion last October Henry Outlaw made me realize just how fondly she was remembered by them and cited her specifically as being an integral part of their childhood years. And here I was all this time thinking Mama only had two children - me and my brother- when in actuality, she had dozens. Oh, the stories she must have heard!"

The color photo is of Marie listening to music on her computer after retirement.

There was another item for sale at Tom's; you could actually get medicine there if you needed it. If you cut a finger or "scruffed" a toe, or had a rash, just stop by and they would attend to you, usually no doctor or prescription was necessary.


Credits: Photos- Clarene Evans, Ellis Christian, Dave Heflin, and book "History of Prentiss County" (1940). Text: Clarene Evans and Carl Houston.


  1. In the photo of the guys, who is the third from left? and the one on the right?
    Great photos and story, wish I had a pecan sunday from there now!

  2. Not sure about the third from the left but the one on the right looks light Bobby Corbitt.

  3. I think 3rd from left is John Allen Lampkin and rightmost is Bobby Corbett.

  4. Anon 8:28, you are correct. I didn't put the names in the posting, an afterthought. John Allen worked at the soda counter at one point in time.

    A couple of other guys in our age group worked brief stints there, also. I remember Jimmy Rutherford worked at Houston's Drugstore, or is that even correct???

  5. Look at the blue jeans rolled up in the second picture down from top..and after all these years I thought my legs had shrunk from a 34 inch to a 32 inch when I grew


  6. Yes Jimmy did work at Houston's for years.

  7. I also have no trouble remembering Marie, we all thought she was trying to keep us on the straight and narrow by offering advice. Most of us heeded it, as best I can tell. I haven't heard of any of the gang in Parchman for major crime.
    thanks, Clareane, great story.

  8. Henry Outlaw, Bud Reynolds, John A Lampkin, Grover, Ellis Wayne, and Bobby Corbett.

    Is that right?

  9. I left my school books at Toms one evening and didn't get my homework done. Fearing the worst, I went to school, and when passing I saw Mr Tom inside. He opened and let me in early enough to get the homework done at one of the tables in the photo and saved my day.

  10. Did you see the parking meters in front of the stores in the first picture? Brings back memories.

  11. I worked for Clyde and Jimmy (really, Marie) for two summers. Soda jerk with Nan Rowan one summer with so many good stories. Clyde & Jimmy produced most of the mischief: "plaster of Paris sprinkled on Brooks Prather's straw hat with Jimmy adding a stream from his water pistol," "dry ice served in
    Will Cox's coffee," having many regulars request items that didn't exist (i.e. "card of body pills" meaning card of bobbie pins, Bon Kora, croton oil, etc.).

    I gained weight quickly due to raw egg milkshakes---I poured the customer a full glass full, keeping the rest in the metal container until the customer left. We sold a bunch of nickle plain vanila sodas---carbonated water with vanila flavoring. Dr. Christian very frequently ran through out-of-breath grabing gauze, tape, paragoric,etc. and runnig back upstairs. Many a little guy waited standing in chair with his breeches down waiting on a penicillin shot while he drank coffee at the soda bar.

    So many great times hanging out at both drug stores. The crew at Houston's Drug Store were major pranksters also.

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  13. Wonderful funny thoughts, Anon 8:32
    I have been an old sourpuss all day, but after reading that and laughing so hard I almost turned the chair over, I feel better.

  14. I have told people I have met about so many people from Baldwyn graduating from college and they would not believe me...Look at the picture of the guys at the table and all but one graduated from college and that one went into farming on big scale...