Apothecary is recognized for 140 years of business

Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor

Rebecca Marshall was thrilled when she was contacted by Senator Erin Houchin to receive a resolution for her store, Salem Apothecary, in recognition of its 140 years of business.

“I’m very proud there has been a drug store here for over 140 years,” said Marshall, after being presented with the document. “We have been here all along and we are continuing to provide pharmaceutical and nutritional services to Washington County.”

Houchin said the history of the pharmacy is impressive and she was proud to present Marshall with the recognition.

The store prides itself in being more than just a pharmacy. They have an old fashion soda fountain, gift items, durable medical equipment, wellness services and more.

Marshall is proud to offer compounding services to her customers, which allows her to make medicines for people at their doctor’s direction. She also offers nutritional counseling, hormone replacement therapy for both men and women and diabetic consultations. Every month, she holds a special meeting called “The Sweet Spot” for diabetic patience.

“I help people manage diabetes and their lifestyle,” she said.

Marshall also does screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar.

Another service is medication therapy management. The Easy Take program allows Marshall and staff to set up a weekly box of medication for delivery for people who take numerous medications. This service is in addition to traditional prescription filling.

The Apothecary has as certified diabetic shoe specialist who fits and orders shoes for diabetic customers.

“We are also the only place in town that has medical equipment like walkers, CPAPs, BiPAPs, nebulizers, wheelchairs, etc.,” she said. 

While she does all the things a regular pharmacy does, Marshall said she is most passionate about her wellness services.

“Healthy living is the best way people can help the cost of health care,” she said. “Life style is as important as medication therapy. That’s where my emphasis is. I want to help people live healthy lives with diet and exercise.”

She said people don’t have to live their lives on medication. There are many way to help prevent disease with lifestyle changes.

“I like to help people find ways to live a healthy life,” she said.

Marshall decided to become a pharmacist because it combined two things she loves: science and people.

She said very few people studied pharmacy at that time and she was the first person in her family to go into the field. After graduating from Purdue University, her first job was at 3 Lyon Block in Salem. And she has been there ever since.

Her family lived in the Salem area and Marshall, although she grew up in West Lafayette, spent her summers with her grandparents on their farm in Washington County.

“If you had told me then that I would end up spending my entire life in Salem, I wouldn’t have believed you!” she laughed.

James Apple, owner of Apple Drugs, had called the pharmacy school looking for someone he could hire. She returned his call and visited Apple Drugs for an interview. The rest is history.

Marshall thought she would work at the pharmacy for two or three years and get some experience and then move on. 

“Forty years later, I’m still here!” she laughed.

A pharmacy has been in the location of Salem Apothecary for more than 140 years. The original drug store was Henderson Drugs, then it was bought by William Rudder and changed to Rudder Drugs. His children, Dick and Dess, were the next owners. Marshall said she is very proud of the history and that Dess Rudder was the first woman to be a licensed pharmacist in the state of Indiana.

Max Apple bought the story and the name was changed to Apple Drugs. The store later came under ownership of his son, James.

Marshall and her husband, Phillip, became owners of Salem Apothecary in 1985.

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