Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation

Medical, Dental and Pharmacy History of Quarryville, Pennsylvania

The Family Doctor and Dentist

If you lived in the southern part of Lancaster County in the days of the late 1800’s, you probably had at least one neighbor, not too far away, who was a family doctor. In an emergency, someone could expect to get a doctor to the scene in a reasonably short period of time, and the doctor would do his best to stabilize his patient for the long ride to Lancaster, where hospital care, as primitive as it was, could be obtained.

These doctors worked all hours, as needed. They had office visits, but they also drove their buggies, and later their automobiles, to where a patient was, day or night, rain or snow. Who would expect a sick person to go to the doctor? That was not how it worked. If you put your back out, no one, back then, would think a buggy ride to the doctor’s office would be good for it. Doctors were seldom subjected to legal actions, so malpractice insurance was not a large part of the cost of medical care. The doctors were doing their best, gave comfort where they could and were thanked for whatever help they could give. Medical care was not expected to be a perfect science. So the costs were reasonable and almost anyone could afford to have the doctor stop in. If you were too poor, or had no ready cash, he might even accept a seat at the dinner table, in lieu of payment.

By 1875, with a new railroad in Quarryville, another at Fulton House and one coming down the Susquehanna River, the trains sometimes provided a quick way to get a suffering patient to Lancaster or Philadelphia, where operations could be performed. Even by train, this was a long and time consuming journey. If you were lucky, the wait for a train might be short, however, if the train had just been missed, it was best to turn the horses north and make haste to Lancaster, as best as possible. The time lost in relying on horse and buggy transportation, and even waiting for trains, prompted the doctors to be among the first to get those new motorcars.

A doctor, or a neighbor with a car, could provide his own emergency transportation, and not have to wait for a scheduled train to appear. This was a change, in rural regions, that saved many lives. The country doctor always had his black medical bag with him. In this rather small emergency kit, he carried bandages, various medicines, and some basic surgery tools. The doctor might have been able to dull the pain and set a simple fracture. With luck, he could diagnose an attack of appendicitis and get the patient to a surgeon, which was highly preferable over trying to do an operation in a farmhouse.

The doctor was always available to help with birthing and seldom suggested that this needed to be done in some distant hospital. If a woman was in labor, he knew what to do. He drafted help from a midwife or from family members and they got the job done, as best as they could.

Being a doctor was almost entirely a male profession. In the 1940’s it was rare to see a woman in a medical school. Women practicing medicine were so rare, even in the 1950’s and 60’s, that a female doctor might wrongly assume the male orderly that came in a hospital room, alongside a female doctor, was the doctor. Women had their place. They could serve as nurses and midwives. When men began to train as nurses, they were, for many years, subjected to ridicule, as they were doing “women’s work.”

One of the most important jobs the country doctor had was to control the spread of disease. If small pox, the measles, mumps, typhoid or scarlet fever broke out, and he could close up one house, one school, or one village and contain the spread, this was done quickly. When the disease had run its course, the quarantine was lifted. The doctor would do this in coordination with a local Health Officer.

Infant mortality was certainly a problem. It would be many more years before our citizens would see the development of vaccinations for polio, small pox, or the measles. Tetanus and rabies, tuberculosis and a host of diseases that, today, we can usually cope with, were all too often fatal or debilitating.

Due to the frailty of life, in those days, many families were very large, by today’s standards. It was not easy raising 13 or 16 young ones, but the older children helped raise their younger siblings. And they usually did so with little or no complaint.

Most years, there were enough doctors practicing in the southern end to get the job done and to keep people as healthy as the science of the day allowed. Quarryville usually had several general practitioners serving the medical needs of the community.

Some Early Quarryville Physicians

Dr. John K. Raub

John K. Raub, M. D., was born in 1828, in Strasburg Township. As a young man, he was a teacher and then began to study medicine with Dr. Benjamin Musser. He graduated in 1851 from Pennsylvania Medical College and practice in Mechanicsburg, Quarryville and later, in New Providence. He also served as a surgeon in the Civil War, dying a few years after the war, in 1867.

henry raubDr. Henry E. Raub

One of the early doctors to practice in the Quarryville area was Henry E. Raub, M. D. Born in 1830 in a village that has become known as Hessdale, in southeastern Strasburg Township, he became a teacher and then decided to study medicine with his brother, John. He went to school at Pennsylvania Medical College and graduated in 1857. Dr. Raub started a practice in Spring Grove. After a few years, he moved and settled in Quarryville. Described as a gaunt man, in his later years, who drove around in an old horse drawn “gig,” he pushed on through rain or snow, helping to heal the sick or comfort the aged where he could. Typical of his service was the following, from the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, dated August 20, 1880:

“A little daughter of Silas Weiler, proprietor of the Washington Hotel, Quarryville, had her arm broken just above the wrist, by falling from a wild cherry tree last evening. Dr. Raub reduced the fracture.” The doctor was an active citizen of the village and a founder of the Quarryville National Bank. He encouraged the railroads to build the branch to Quarryville. He was a school director and served in that same capacity with the Southern Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Noted also for becoming the first burgess of Quarryville, in 1893, he was also an avid fox hunter, when his busy life allowed. He died in 1901.

Dr. Richard Vaux Raub

Richard Vaux Raub, M. D., son of Dr. Henry Raub, was born 1872. He studied with his father before graduating from Jefferson Medical College in 1893. Starting his practice in Homeville, he returned to Quarryville upon his father’s death and took over the care of his patients. Well liked, he was known to have reasonable fees and would brave any weather to see a patient. He never refused to care for a patient who was poor, or overcharged one who was wealthy. He served the area faithfully, but passed away in 1914, at age 42.

Dr. Thaddeus M. Rohrer

Dr. T. M. Rohrer was the son of a merchant in New Providence. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1881. Quarryville was where he practiced medicine and also where he owned a drug store, which was a suggestion of Dr. Joshua Deaver. (The drug store was at the northwest corner of State and Church Streets.) (See page 315.) Quarryville Sun, September 6, 1895 Dr. T. M. Rohrer has again taken out license for the sale of alcohol, in order to accommodate his customers. He will also keep a first-class brand of Whisky for medical uses. It must be noted that whisky was the main ingredient in many medicines of that time period. As prohibition became stronger, a bottle of patent medicine could add a little something to your day, without bringing on a lecture from a neighbor. Dr. Rohrer had a house on Hensel Hill, along the north side of West State Street, which is still standing today. The office for his practice continued to be used, after his retirement, by Dr. Marshall Steele and then by Dr. Charles Bair. Dr. Rohrer was known to whistle and to sometimes dance a jig, if he thought that might make a young patient relax. He was said to have become an institution, by the time he died in 1918.

Dr. Harold Hogg

That Dr. Harold Hogg had a practice in Quarryville may be taken from the following: Solanco Chronicle, Dec. 22, 2003 (reprint from 1903 Elkton paper)

Mrs. Cooney suffered a broken collarbone and an injury to her back. She was carried into the home of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Hensel Jr., where Dr. Harold Hogg set the broken member and made her as comfortable as possible. A phone message was sent to Elkton for the American Legion ambulance and the injured woman was brought to her home here in it, and is resting as comfortably as could be expected. The running board of the auto was smashed, the fender ripped off, window glass of the car broken and the wheels damaged.

Solanco Chronicle, Nov. 3, 2003 (reprint from circa November 3, 1928)

Halloween about midnight, Galen Stauffer who operates a garage at Drumore Center, was shot by an unknown person while removing a fence made of corn-fodder placed across the Baltimore Pike in Maryland, close to the State line. He was accompanied by Ray Weaver, Miller, near Hensel and Harry Herr, of Goshen. They assisted him in the machine and took him to Dr. H. K. Hogg’s office, Quarryville, where the bullet was found to have lodged in the hip. He was taken to Lancaster General Hospital and an X-ray taken. The bullet, which was from a revolver, was deeply imbedded and had split. An operation was performed to remove the bullet. No motive is known for the shooting.

Dr. Robert C. Helm

There were several Dr. Helms in the New Providence area, but it was Dr. Robert C. Helm that chose to practice in Quarryville. Born in 1917, he graduated in 1942 from University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He opened his practice in 1948 and continued until his retirement in 1987. He was known to be dedicated and once walked a mile to attend a patient he couldn’t reach by car. A quiet and reserved man, he was dubbed “Hugger” Helm. Dr. Wentz said this was for the same reason one might call a tall person “Shorty.”

Dr. Charles Bair

When it came to keeping count of his activities, Dr. Charles Bair leads the way. Possibly due to his winning the award of “Family Physician of the Year” in 1961, it was noted that he had worn out 25 cars in his career, traveling an average of 35, 000 miles each year. He was known to have a chauffeur, which was unusual in that time and probably suggests he was not the best of drivers. From the time he started practice, in 1932, to the time of the award, he had delivered 4,000 babies, with a memorable six in one day, without missing any office hours. The fees for Doctor Bair’s services were $7.50 for a delivery and fifty cents to see him at his office. He billed once a year, which was definitely a holdover from earlier times. The doctor served his community on the Quarryville Chamber of Commerce, the Quarryville School Board and when the Quarryville Presbyterian Home was opened in 1948, he became the physician in charge. Both Drs. Helm and Bair were made the center of a community thank you party in March of 1981. The Hoffman Community Building was filled with 300 people, all wishing these dedicated family doctors to know just how much their years of work had been appreciated. The event was led by a Strasburg colleague, Dr. Henry S. Wentz. The doctors were each given several awards and received “long standing applause.” Both doctors told the crowd that they intended to continue practicing as long as they were capable.

Some Quarryville Dentists

Dr. Horace W. Lightner

Dr. Horace W. Lightner’s dental office was in the house he built on South Church Street, near the corner of Second Street. He later subdivided his property for the construction of the first Quarryville Sun newspaper building, His practice was described in 1897, as being quite large.

Howard B. Eckroth

Dr. Howard B. Eckroth was a 1901 graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He came to Quarryville in 1906 to set up a practice on South Church Street, practicing here until the late teens. Mr. Eckroth practiced all forms of dental surgery for residents as far away as the Maryland line. By 1920, he and his wife Florence had moved from Quarryville to Mount Vernon, New York.

Dr. Robert B. Hess

Dr. Robert B. Hess was born May 15, 1915, and graduated from Quarryville High School, Franklin & Marshall College, and Temple University College. He began his practice at 116 East State Street in September of 1939, practicing for 3 years until being called away in October of 1942 to serve as a dentist for the Armed Forces during World War II. He entered the service as a 1st Lieutenant, was made Captain May 20, 1943, and was promoted Feb. 1, 1944 to Major, being stationed at Westover Field, Chicopee Falls, Mass. After returning from the war effort, Dr. Hess reopened his practice and was later elected burgess of Quarryville in 1958. He served in that office until 1961. He and James A. Ferguson both received the same number of votes in the 1961 election, and the winner was determined by a coin-toss, with Dr. Hess coming out on the losing end of the flip. Hi practice continued successfully, with Dr. Roger
E. Brown joining him in 1972.

Brown-McMullen-Wisse Dental Associates

Brown-McMullen-Wisse Dental Associates, on the north side of West
Fourth Street, at number 316. (Mike Roth, September 26, 2014.)

Dr. Roger L. Brown came to Quarryville in 1972 to meet with Dr. Robert B. Hess. Dr. Hess was looking for an associate to assist him in his dental practice on East State Street. Dr. Brown earned his degree in dentistry from the University of Maryland, with graduate courses in dental surgery at Johns Hopkins University and Boston University. After serving in the U. S. Navy, he opened a practice in York with a partner, but that partnership dissolved. In the later part of the 1970’s, he purchased the practice from Dr. Hess, and in 1981, he moved the office to its current location at 316 West Fourth Street, on the northwest corner of Circle Drive and West Fourth Street. It had been the property of Donald E. and Dawn M. Mills, of Bart, and was remodeled by Paul Risk Associates. Dr. Michael McMullen joined the practice in 1980 and became a partner in the practice five years afterwards. Dr. David Wisse joined in 1990 and also became a partner. More recently, Dr. Matthew Costa and Dr. Timothy Bonner have taken positions with the firm. After his retirement on June 30, 2009, the practice kept his name, operating today as “Brown-McMullen-Wisse Dental Associates.”


Pennington Dental Associates office at 112 South Hess Street
(Mike Roth, September 26, 2014.)

Dr. James E. Pennington, Sr.

Dr. James E. Pennington, Sr. was born in North Carolina, moving to East Drumore with his parents, Rohe V. and Stella Mae Pennington in 1927. He graduated from Quarryville High School, Franklin & Marshall College, and received a doctorate in dentistry from Temple University. He opened his first practice in 1959 at 1 South Broad Street, moving to his current location at 112 South Hess Street in August of 1964. In 1959, the Solanco School District began a dental clinic for children at the elementary and junior high levels to provide dental services to children whose parents could not afford dental care. Dr. Pennington, Dr. Robert Hess and Dr. Harry Deibler took part in this clinic, with Dr. Pennington providing his services for the next 33 years. His son, James E. Pennington, Jr. DDS today provides dental services at the same South Hess Street location as his father did.

Dr. Thomas L. Regan

Dr. Thomas L. Regan opened his office at 211 West Fourth Street on April 10, 1978. (Mike Roth, September 26, 2014.)  

Dr. Thomas L. Regan opened his office for the practice of general dentistry at 211 West Fourth Street on April 10, 1978. He purchased that plot of vacant land from Henry W. and Mary Lou Huffnagle in 1977. Dr. Regan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Regan, of Quarryville, and husband of Barbara A. Brown Regan. He is a 1969 graduate of Solanco High School, a 1973 graduate of Dickinson College, and a 1977 graduate of the Temple University School of Dentistry.


Dr. Rick Liebold

Quarryville Family Dentistry has been in the Quarryville area for 22 years. When Dr. Leibold came to Quarryville, in 1992, he opened his practice at 248 Maple Avenue, suite A. He was well liked and quickly outgrew this space. As the Commerce Commons office complex on Buck Road began construction, Quarryville Family Dentistry moved to the building behind C. R. Lapp’s Family Restaurant, in 2004. Dr. Leibold, a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University, received his bachelor’s degree from Albright College. He is known for bringing in the latest technological advances in dentistry equipment.

Southern Lancaster County Family Health Center
Walter L. Aument Medical Center

  When the former parsonage for Saint Paul's Church, at #1 East 4th
Street became available, it seemed perfect for the Family Health
Center. The center quickly outgrew this location and, once again, the house has become a residence. (Mike Roth, August 18, 2014.)

In 1968 and 1969, the southern end lost two of the five local doctors serving the area. Despite efforts to bring in new doctors to pick up the needed service, over 1300 patients found themselves with no doctor for themselves or their families.

In August 1970, at a Fulton Grange special meeting, Jesse Cutler, of Drumore, moderated a discussion of the medical needs of southern Lancaster County. Several of the prominent doctors, still serving the area, took part in the discussion. Dr. Charles Bair, Dr. Henry Wentz, and F. S. Dyrness all were there. John C. Hoffman, Vice President of the Solanco School Board, and representing Quarryville Lions Club; Lester Warfel of the Quarryville Rotary Club; and Paul Gassert, representing the Quarryville Chamber of Commerce, were all on the panel.

The committee who worked so hard to improve the access to health care in the Quarryville area. From L-R, Front row: Mrs. Harold Stokes, Rawlinsville Area Women's Club; Mrs. Ernest Shaub, secretary Lancaster County Farm Women Society; Mrs. Martin Greenleaf, Colerain Literary Society and Union Presbyterian Church; Mrs.
Leroy Wenger, Community Action Program; second row: Lester H. Warfel, Quarryville Rotary Club; Clifford Holloway, Fulton Grange 66; John C. Hoffman, Quarryville Lions Club; P. Harold Freiberg, Tucquan Lions Club; back row: Paul Gassert, Quarryville Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Russell C. Eroh, secretary Solanco Ministry Fellowship; and Jesse Cutler, committee chairman. When the picture was
taken, at the new medical center, the following committee members were absent: George Brinley, committee finance chairman, Tucquan Lions Club; Rev. John R. Campion, Solanco Ministerial Fellowship; Mrs. Everett Kreider, local Farm Women society; William Tucker, Jr., Quarryville Junior Chamber of Commerce; and Mrs. Harold Schaub, Holtwood Women's Association.

Between 150 and 200 people attended the meeting and many local organizations sent representatives. Doctors Bair and Wentz explained that family practitioners were just not available. This was a national, as well as a local shortage.

The suggestion of a teaching clinic, possibly in Quarryville, was brought up. This would be a model facility, novel in concept and would need the full support of Lancaster General Hospital and the whole community. Medical care would be provided by family practitioners in training, combining professional care and also giving young doctors needed experience working with patients. A committee to advise community organizations on how to coordinate support for this idea was formed and Jesse Cutler was made chairman.

In September of 1970, an interim clinic began to be operated, in available space at the Quarryville Presbyterian Home, on South Church Street. The rooms were leased for three years and would be used until funding for a permanent clinic building for a Health Center could be arranged. Jesse Cutler sought a charter to begin the process of finding that needed place. Meetings with Lancaster General Hospital proved fruitful and by May of 1971, the hospital had fully embraced the idea.

  Health Center, Dr. Wentz, circa 1971, in front of the
Health Center, on East 4th Street. But who is the
young lady in a miniskirt covered with lips?
(Southern Lancaster County Historical Society)

When the abandoned parsonage of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ became available, the property was leased and fund-raising was begun to bring in the money needed to remodel the house into a usable clinic. Jesse Cutler chaired the Solanco Citizens Committee, driving the process. He estimated the costs involved to be about $30,000, in construction and new equipment needed to outfit the clinic.

In July, 1971, Fulton Grange held 204 “Progressive Parties” which raised $3115.08 and this as contributed to the Health Center. As a result of this and other fund drives, significant money was raised and the medical center came into existence.

Fund raising was so successful, that on October 1, 1971, just one year after the first Grange meeting on the subject, the newly renovated former parsonage was open for business. It functioned under the medical supervision of Dr. Henry Wentz and Dr. Nikitas J. Zervanos, who represented the teaching staff of Lancaster General Hospital’s department of family and community medicine. Five doctors provided care and two counselors were available. The original doctors were all graduates of Philadelphia area medical schools. They were: John W. Breneman, John M. Wolgemuth, R. Clair Weaver, Rogers D. McLain and J. Kenneth Brubaker. Over 150 families used the new clinic in the first two months. By July 1972, over 500 patients were being cared for, with seven new doctors and another counselor.

Volunteers planting bulbs on the bank in front of the
Health Center. British fashions in Quarryville!
(Southern Lancaster County Historical Society)

This success was timely, as two of the three local doctors, who had been serving the immediate area of Quarryville, were hospitalized, leaving just one independent doctor and the new Health Center.

By 1974, the staff of the Southern Lancaster County Family Health Center was eleven doctors, three counselors and two registered nurses. 15,000 patient appointments had been handled in about two and a half years. The success was so dramatic that by May 1, 1974, the entire operation was moved to a new, specially built facility and two more doctors were soon to be added. The new clinic was built at the corner of Chestnut Street and Maple Avenue by contractor, Richard Evans. The Health Center was to lease the new building, which was custom built for the purpose, on property owned by Emory D. Wagner.

  The new Southern Lancaster County Family Health Center building, ready for business, at the corner of Chestnut Avenue and Maple Street.
(Sun Ledger, May 1, 1974.)

During 1984-1985, with space becoming a concern again, the structure was expanded to 6,500 square feet of space. This would suffice until 1993, when Dr. John Tyler, the director of the center, announced that construction would soon begin to enlarge the space to 12,000 square feet. Paul Risk Associates was awarded the contract to add a new wing with 16 examining rooms, while converting the existing space into offices and rooms with separate functions. These were a cardiology evaluation room, a room for surgical procedures, a room for emergency evaluations, and a fracture care area.

Walter L. Aument Medical Center

Walter Long Aument died of a heart attack at the age of sixty-five in 1943. He had retired three years prior, from his business of dealing in coal and lumber, having sold out to Walter Hassel in August of 1940. In his will, he provided for his wife, Gertrude Hershey Aument, who passed away in April of 1978. He also stipulated that the land adjacent to his home at 301 South Church Street, and the house itself, should be used to construct a hospital or to use it for hospital purposes.

Since 35 years had passed between his death and that of his wife’s, the amount left in his estate upon her passing was $225,000. This was nowhere near enough to build a hospital. The trustee of the estate, (Commonwealth National Bank) was left to explain to the Court of Common Pleas in Lancaster that the terms of his will could not be carried out. The Court, in turn, appointed Bruce P. Ryder, of the legal firm “Alspach and Ryder,” to figure out how the remaining balance should be spent to best honor the wishes of Mr. Aument.

Several hearings were held during 1979, and all interested parties were invited to present testimony as to their feelings on the subject. The Quarryville Chamber of Commerce looked into the matter, thinking it would be a good site for a doctor’s office or a clinic. Unfortunately, they discovered that the costs of renovation would be too high, and scrapped their preliminary plans.

During January of 1980, President Judge Anthony R. Appel released $35,000 of the estate to purchase some x-ray equipment for the health center, as well as to pay some operational costs. National Central Bank, as trustee, was given $168,022.08 in trust, to pay quarter annually to Lancaster General Hospital to fund the Quarryville operation. He also ordered that income at the center was to be paid to Lancaster General Hospital as long as the facility was under their control.

In recognition of the contribution to the community that Mr. Aument had made, Lancaster General Hospital agreed to change the name of the facility to the “Walter L. Aument Health Center, a Division of the Lancaster General Hospital.” A dedication ceremony was held in February of 1980 to make the change.

Since it could not be used as Mr. Aument had wished, the well-maintained house at 301 South Church Street was sold to Merle M. & Lois J. Aukamp in 1979. The Aukamps still own this historic home at this writing. (see page 526)

The Fire

The entry to Walter L. Aument Family Health Center, as seen from their parking lot. This was the second building on this site, built for the Health Center; the first being lost to a fire in 1995. The camera was pointing west. (Stanley T. White, August 26, 2014.)  

Doctoring at the Walter L. Aument Health Center had settled into place and the work of keeping the community in good health continued. All this was put in jeopardy when, at 2 a. m., on January 18, 1995, a call came that the clinic was on fire. Two paramedics were in the building at the time. They saw a glow in the ceiling and escaped, just in time, as the ceiling soon collapsed in the room they had been occupying. The ceiling danger in the balance of the clinic made the fire that much harder for the firemen to fight, as they could not safely enter and douse the flames from within.

The fire was fueled by oxygen tanks and explosion was a concern to the firefighters who arrived. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in controlling and extinguishing the blaze. It was said the building was a total loss and that the bulk of the cost, $1.7 million, was nearly all covered by insurance.

The cause of the fire was traced to a malfunction in the heating system. The ducts of the system seem to have helped to spread the fire. A contractor had recently been working to fix the heating system and it was felt their insurance would have to cover a part of the price of reparation.

  (Stanley T. White, August 26, 2014.)

The Health Center had to find temporary accommodations to continue caring for patients during the next few months. Rebuilding began almost as soon as the debris had been cleared.

Today, if you make an appointment at the “Walter L. Aument Family Health Center,” you are assigned a young student doctor, who is serving his or her residency training. That doctor will be your primary doctor until their period of training is completed. Then you will be assigned a new doctor. Fully trained staff doctors are always available for consultation and can be called upon, when needed. This convenient location also has a blood laboratory and x-ray facilities, so, for those of us in the “southern end,” fewer trips up to “the Big City” are needed.

The Well Baby Clinic

One of the earliest efforts to improve infant health care in the area was begun by the Quarryville Lions Club, at a meeting in Hotel Rhoads, on January 24, 1928. A “Well Baby Clinic” was started, to be open once a week. Here, all babies could be examined by a nurse or doctor, weighed and have various ailments diagnosed.

Taken at the Well Baby Clinic's annual party, many who used the service posed with Community Nurse, Miss Edna Schreiber, at left end, and at the opposite end, Miss Dixon, of the Visiting Nurses Association.
(Quarryville Sun, October 24, 1930.)

Having your baby seen by a doctor could mean an early diagnosis that might save the child’s life. The parent could be directed to take a certain course of action or to take the baby to a hospital; possibly in time to do some good.

In 1929, the clinic was being held in the Legion Home, on East State Street, in the afternoon from 2 to 4 o’clock. Many parents, who otherwise could not afford regular health care for their infants, took advantage of this free clinic. Both a doctor and a nurse were present, as well as volunteers to keep things working smoothly.

Throughout the years of the Great Depression, the Well Baby Clinic saw the babies of Quarryville and the surrounding townships.

On September 19, 1939, the Visiting Nurses’ Association announced in the Quarryville Sun that the Well Baby Clinic was to be discontinued, indefinitely, thanking all the people who helped make the clinic possible. While nothing was said in the news article, it was probably a necessary, cost cutting decision. Surely the need was still there. It could be argued that there is still need for such a clinic today.

Quarryville Drug Co. (Rexall Pantry)

Calvin Horn Jewelers

  The Quarryville Drug Company buildings were built on the site of one of S. Book & Son's warehouses, in April 1948. The C. Horn Jeweler store was originally the Rexall Pantry, a small luncheonette. Calvin Horn opened his shop in 1961.
(S. L. C. H. S., Leon Landis collection.)

While there is some conjecture involved in the history of the “Quarryville Drug Company,” It seems to have been the name applied to the drug store in Hensel Hall (Fashion Exchange today). When the owner, Dr. T. M. Rohrer, passed away, the estate sold the company to the Jacobs Drug Company, who moved it, keeping the former name, into a portion of the new Fritz & Collins building, which they shared with Ferguson & Hassler, in 1917. The store was at that time managed by W. H. Jacobs. In 1921, Robert R. Gabriel, of Middletown, became the manager and pharmacist.

(Quarryville Sun, February, 1924.)  

The Quarryville Drug Company was moved in April of 1937, to the V. Chester Brown building. The owner of the building at that time, Ferguson & Hassler, was growing and needed the space the drug company had been using.

W. D. Vedder owned the drug store through this period. When Robert R. Gabriel passed away in 1938, his son Robert W. Gabriel, purchased the company and became the pharmacist. He carried out plans his father had developed, to open an ice cream parlor and soda fountain in the store. His assistant was S. E. Meister, another registered pharmacist.

After a very successful decade, and once World War II had ended, Mr. Gabriel purchased the westernmost of the old S. Book & Son warehouses, on a plot of land on the south side of East State Street, between Freelen Groff’s new restaurant and the other warehouse.

  Construction in the spring of 1948 at the Quarryville Drug Company. To
the left, part of S. Book & Brother's remaining warehouse can be seen,
as can the "S" curve and cut for the Pennsylvania Railroad's Park
Extension branch. (Mimi and Reggie Rohrer

The warehouse building on the plot was first torn down by Carl Bishop and his force of carpenters. Construction commenced in April of 1948 on a new building which was to be 45 by 100 feet, made of concrete block, with a brick front. Just prior to the opening of the drug store, and during its construction, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced in Harrisburg that Mr. Gabriel had signed a four year lease to open a State Liquor Store in this building. The supposed yearly rent was to be $1,080, and was reported widely in the Lancaster newspapers in September of 1948. A public outcry quickly followed, objecting to the liquor store.

The interior of the Quarryville Drug Company store, taken at the Grand Opening, showing Wilma G. Fauth at the counter and the back end of the store, in April 1949. (Mimi and Reggie Rohrer collection.)  

Mr. Gabriel quickly released the following statement to calm the fears of the public, who seemed to be overwhelmingly opposed to the idea:

“During the last week there has been much discussion and controversy over the decision of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to open a State Store in Quarryville. I would like to take this opportunity to state the actual facts in this case.

  The camera has turned, on the same day, to see the front of the
store, facing East State Street. (Mimi and Reggie Rohrer collection.)

Several months ago I was approached by representatives of the Liquor Control Board with the idea of renting part of my proposed new building for a State Store. I immediately turned down the proposal. A second proposition was rejected. Sometime later I was again asked to reconsider. I was told at that time that the Board had approved the location of Quarryville for a State Store and was given a limited time to decide. It was up to me to decide whether the location was to be in my new building or somewhere else. Since a new building could be constructed to their specifications an option was drawn up on May 10th for ninety days.

The "Baby Needs" counter in Quarryville Drug Company store, taken at the Grand Opening, April 1949. (Mimi and Reggie Rohrer collection.)  

It was not until late Thursday, September 9th, that I was notified by phone that approval for a State Store in my new building was granted. The newspapers erroneously reported that a lease had been signed. This was not true as no lease has ever been signed.

Since many of my good friends openly disapproved this action, I reconsidered and cancelled the option on Sept. 17th, which had expired August 10. There will be no State Store in my new building in Quarryville.
R. W. Gabriel”

  This is the interior of the Rexall Pantry, which later became C. Horn
Jeweler. (Quarryville Sun, April, 1949.)

After construction was completed, Mr. Gabriel moved the “Quarryville Drug Company” from its location in the V. Chester Brown building to this site, opening on Tuesday, April 5, 1949. This was considered one of the finest drug stores in Eastern Pennsylvania. Robert W. Gabriel was the proprietor and the “Rexall Pantry” was under the management of Elizabeth I. Geiger, who was the former dietician at the Southern Lancaster County Joint High School. This was a large structure and also contained “The Octoraro Room,” which was a banquet room in the rear which could accommodate 100 people at one time. The Rexall Pantry had a complete fountain service and a quality menu of foods.

Advertising postcard for cough syrup available at Quarryville Drug.
(Howard and Ann Steinberg collection.)

In 1961, Calvin Horn opened his jewelry store, “C. Horn Jewelers,” in the western portion of the store where the Rexall Pantry had been doing business. He operated a fine jewelry establishment here until retiring from the business in 1985.

In October of 1976, “Bob” Gabriel sold the Quarryville Drug Co., but not the property, to Mr. Donald Esbin, the president of Murr & Son, Inc., who operated the Willow Pharmacy in Willow Street. The property would remain with Mr. Gabriel until December 31, 1985, when he sold it to Kenneth M. & Connie S. Rutt.

  (Quarryville Sun, December 18, 1949.)

Sometime just prior to 2000, the Quarryville Drug Company was bought out by Rite Aid, as they planned to have a store in Quarryville. The drug store on E. State Street was closed and the Rite Aid took care of their customers.

In January of 2004, the property was sold to Shiloh Tabernacle, Inc., which merged into the “Shiloh Community Fellowship,” the current owners of the property. The occupants today are the “Oak Hill Fellowship Church,” who began meeting here in December of 2010.

Acme and Rite Aid Pharmacy

The corporate owners of Acme, The American Store Company of Philadelphia, was not willing to let a profitable location such as Quarryville go without a store, so they leased a lot on Lefever Avenue in December of 1960. (Today known as West Fourth Street, and the home of Rite Aid Pharmacy) This 230 foot by 270 foot lot was bought from Armstrong and Wagner, Quarryville developers. The new Acme was completed in August of 1961, and a grand opening was held on Wednesday September 13, 1961.

After the Acme fire of 1958, the company chose to relocate and expand to over 11,000 feet of floor space. They chose a lot on West 4th Street. (Sun Ledger, August 31, 1961.)  

Evans Brothers, of Quarryville, was awarded the contract to erect the new Acme store. It was to be 89 feet by 124 feet and have 11,077 square feet of floor space. The store was to offer a complete line of pork, beef, lamb, veal and poultry. It was air conditioned, brightly lit, offered a bakery, and had five belt-type checkout locations with a separate check-cashing booth near the exit. The store manager at that time was Edward Gerfin, Charles Brill was the manager of the meat department, and Galen Stauffer was in charge of the produce section. Total employment at the new Acme was 30 people.

  Rite Aid pharmacy is the current owner of the former Acme building on West 4th Street. (Mike Roth, September 12, 2014.)

The store would remain open for almost 40 years, closing at 6 p.m. on August 11, 1990 for the final time. This was the last Acme in Lancaster County at the time, and was closed due to sales volume and the small size of the store. The store itself was only 11,000 square feet, but the newer Acme stores were 58,000 square feet and larger.

The Acme property was purchased by David S. and Jonas S. King, of Christiana in 1992, and sold by them to the current occupant of the space, Rite Aid of Pennsylvania, in 1996.

Quarryville Ambulance Association

This was Quarryville's first ambulance, a Packard, shown in front of Swinehart's Body Shop in 1948. James Groff paid for the vehicle. It was second hand, purchased from the Christiana Ambulance Company. The body shop was located on land to the south of S. Book & Brother's warehouses, across Bank Alley. It was torn down in 1953, by Walter Hassel. L-R: Ray Immel, Art Swinehart. (S. L. C. H. S., Leon Landis collection.)  

In May of 1946, at their regular monthly meeting, the Quarryville Lions Club established a committee to formulate plans for raising the necessary funds to establish an ambulance in the southern end. The idea had been discussed for some time, and the Lions Club felt the time was right to push the idea forward. Lions Club President, Louis M. Chance, appointed the following men to this select committee; Dr. W. G. Hess, of Holtwood, as chairman; Dr. Charles W. Bair, Quarryville Borough; David Eschbach, New Providence; Enos B. Hill, Martic; M. M. Sechrist Drumore; Earl Hurst, East Drumore; D. Lester Gallagher, Fulton; Norman Wood, Little Britain; Lewis Shoemaker, Colerain; E. C. Seldomridge, Eden; Fred T. Young, Bart.

  Samuel McMinn stands beside the Quarryville Community Ambulance which in 1948 was upgraded to a Cadillac, costing $6,142.20.
(Quarryville Sun photo by McCollough.)

Working in conjunction with the Quarryville Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club achieved the goal of bringing ambulance service to the southern end of the county in 1948. The Chamber of Commerce committee consisted of Lester Pownall, chairman; John K. Hostetter, secretary-treasurer; Levi Rhoads, James Groff and Samuel McMinn; William Frutchey, Lions Club, and Wendell Singles, Quarryville Fire Co.

In February of that year, the Junior Chamber of Commerce procured an ambulance from the Christiana Ambulance Company for $2,000. Christiana’s new ambulance was to arrive in June, so Quarryville had to wait until then to get the used one. The ambulance was to be housed in the Quarryville Fire House, once it was delivered.

L-R: Roland Gochnauer, Wendell B. Singles, Melvin Crouse and Horace King by the Ambulance purchased in 1954. (S. L. C. H. S., clipping, January 15, 1957.)  

In March of 1948, the Quarryville Lions Club voted a donation of $25 to assist the Junior Chamber of Commerce in paying for the new ambulance, and in June, the Quarryville Community Ambulance Service received its charter. It was presented by Paul McKinsey, attorney, to President Lester Pownall at the Lions Club meeting, held at the Spanish Tavern. Henry Rohrer neatly framed the charter, as a donation.

Those whose names appeared on the charter and were the first directors were: Lester W. Pownall, Nottingham, R. D., president; James Groff, vice president; John K. Hostetter, treasurer; William A. Frutchey, secretary; Levi Rhoads, Jr., Wendell B. Singles and Samuel C. McMinn.

By-laws were established that stated that membership contributions would be $2 for a family of man and wife and children under 18 years of age. Children over 18 would pay $2 per year as well. This would provide for transportation for any household members to or from hospitals in Coatesville, Lancaster or West Grove, in cases of accident or sickness. A flat rate of $15 was established for trips to Harrisburg, Baltimore or Philadelphia hospitals.

Twenty-four hour service was available to all who were members, and a doctor was to go along with the ambulance when it may be necessary. The commitment of the ambulance company to its subscribers was that it would have all necessary equipment, two oxygen tanks at all times, and would always have two men in it to assist.

The first ambulance arrived on June 1, 1948 from Christiana. It was a Packard ambulance, in good condition, and had 45,000 miles on the odometer. The ambulance was nicely painted by Swinehart & Immel. Their services were given freely, as was the legal work of Paul McKinsey. From June 1, 1948 to July 1, 1949, that first ambulance would make 115 service calls, before it was retired. In July of 1949, the old Packard ambulance was sold for $1,367.29, and a new Cadillac ambulance was secured for $6,142.20 from Philadelphia.

  Posed in the second floor of the Fire House, these were the members of the Quarryville Community Ambulance Association in 1987. (Sun Ledger, February 4, 1987.)

The company had hard financial going for a while, but as its calls for service increased and it responded promptly with competent and satisfactory service. The community’s faith in its work increased and donations began to flow into this worthy organization.

At the September 1951 meeting of directors, at Rhoads Spanish Tavern, it was reported that membership had reached 646 members, and a “mortgage burning” was planned to celebrate the eradication of the debt the company had carried. President James Groff presided, with William Frutchey, secretary, and John K. Hostetter, treasurer.

The ambulance itself, as well as the replacement units that followed, were housed at the Quarryville Fire house until the late 1980’s, at which time a new station was built on Park Avenue. This was on the property of the Quarryville Presbyterian Home.

The current home of Lancaster EMS (LEMSA), serving the "southern end." It is located at 325 Park Avenue. (Mike Roth, June 17, 2014.)  

In March 1, 2002, the Quarryville Ambulance Association merged with the Willow Street Ambulance Association. The units of the new organization provided ambulance coverage to Quarryville borough and the surrounding areas, as well as the territory that the Willow Street Ambulance previously covered. The two associations were later absorbed into Susquehanna Valley EMS, in November of 2005. Lemsa has served the community, since July 2013.