Tom Ward, a pharmacist who responded to my Finial article, told me that the drugstore my parents frequented during my youth—the Beverly Pharmacy—located at 2020 East Milwaukee Avenue originally was housed in the same building as its namesake, the Beverly Theater. This was quite a surprise.
"The entrance [to the pharmacy] was to the right of the box office, and it was located on the second floor above a bakery," said Ward, who also introduced me to longtime Janesville resident Edward MacDonald, another former employee.
Munn Koch Clinic
MacDonald sent these recollections: "I started working at the Beverly Pharmacy as a delivery boy just prior to my 16th birthday in September 1957.
"The second floor of the Beverly building contained the Munn Koch Clinic, named after the doctors who owned it; they apparently started the clinic many years earlier. Originally the pharmacy was part of the clinic.
"Dr. Koch was still in practice at that time and had been joined by Doctors Jack Schraeder and Eugene Hartlaub as well as the Reinardy brothers (Arthur and Everett)175 and possibly some others.
"Two small rooms of the clinic were converted to a hole-in-the-wall pharmacy with barely enough space for two pharmacists to work together.
"The Beverly Building was one of the older buildings on Main Street and not in as good of shape as others."
Additional coincidences are MacDonald's mention of Dr. Hartlaub, who was my family's general practitioner through the fifties and sixties, and Dr. Reinardy, who sometimes treated my oldest brother, Forrest.
It's possible even probable, that my dad and mom discovered the Beverly Pharmacy when they arrived in Janesville and needed a physician. I don't remember seeing Dr. Hartlaub in the Beverly building, but they might have taken me along on a visit that focused on one of them or my brother.
In fact, maybe that's where my memory of the Beverly Theater originated! It's hard to be sure.
Janesville Medical Center
I looked into the Beverly Pharmacy I knew and discovered it moved into the then-new Janesville Medical Center on Milwaukee Avenue in March, 1958.176
Its exit from downtown was early and a sign of things to come.
Beverly Theater recollections
MacDonald also remembered the Beverly Theater: "It was on the first floor and considered by most kids to be in the poorest condition of the three theaters in Janesville."
Ward, too, recalled it: "I went to shows there many times as a child." He remembers it was more basic that the Myers. "The Beverly did not have box seats on the sides of the upper level like the Meyers nor was it as large as the Jeffris."
One of my memories is that the Beverly had a balcony that was reached by climbing a stair that went up one of the walls inside the auditorium. MacDonald and Ward think that might be correct.
"Some forgettable film"
Janesville resident, Alan Dunwiddie, also responded to my Finial appeal: "I remember the Beverly well. For ten cents we could see a short newsreel, a cartoon, and a chapter of a Tom Mix serial followed by some forgettable film.
"It was a regular Saturday afternoon event."
Dunwiddie, born in 1922, has degrees from Beloit College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked for a number of Janesville businesses in his formative years including Sole Lumber Company, Parker Pen, Hough Shade, and J.P. Cullen. Ultimately he joined the Merchant and Savings bank as a maintenance employee, worked his way up to president, and retired after 48 years in banking.
The above with its use of Morpheus, the Greed goddess
of dreams and etymological source of the
word morphine, wouldn't fly in our
drug-war crazed times.