Parchen Drug


Henry M. Parchen, about 1890

Prussian native Henry M. Parchen (1839-1925) was the first wholesale druggist in Montana, and a noted civic leader in early Helena.

 

City Directory Ad, 1891

 

H. M. Parchen & Co.
Southeast Corner of South Main and Broadway

Pictured above is the H. M. Parchen Co. on South Main, about 1893. Parchen opened the doors of the first drug store in the state in a building at the corner of Wood and Main streets in 1865. Prior to that, he had conducted a general merchandise business at Virginia City and at Deer Lodge.

Business in Helena grew rapidly. Parchen moved his store to a building at the foot of Broadway, but it was soon found to be inadequate, and a second move was made to the location across the street at 1 South Main...

 

Interior, H. M. Parchen & Co., circa 1892


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The bearded man is likely Henry M. Parchen. The man on the left has been identified as John Schonborn (1861- ca1947). Schonborn managed Parchen's wholesale department from 1891 to 1894, at which time he and Edward Mitchell bought out the Paynter Drug Co., and went into competition with Parchen...

John Schonborn left Helena around 1901, and was listed in the 1902 Redlands, California City Directory, along with his wife Emma (1869-1949). In 1907, Schonborn passed the State of New Mexico Pharmacy Board examination and opened a drug store in Las Cruces. He was living in Los Angeles by 1915, and died there around 1947.

 

Parchen Drug Co., southeast corner of Main and Broadway, circa 1912


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In 1921, Parchen sold the retail drug business, along with the use of the trusted Parchen name, to George W. Padbury. It appears from newspaper archives that Parchen's Drug Store moved from the Broadway location and opened in the Horsky Block, at the corner of Sixth and Main, in 1924.

In October of 1954, Fred Padbury (1894-1961) sold Parchen's to C. Douglas Lindeberg (1916-1988) , who renamed the concern "Lindy's Parchen Drug".

The following 1950s photos of Lindy's Parchen Drug are courtesy of Bob and Susie Lindeberg...

 

Lindy's Parchen Drug in the Horsky Block, mid-1950s


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Magazine Racks in Lindy's


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Lindy's Parchen Drug, With the Old Tin Ceiling


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Hair Care Department


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Note the marble bases on the showcases.

 

 

Pharmacist and Owner C. Douglas Lindeberg


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COURTESY OF INEZ SLAYMAN



Honeycomb Tissue-Paper Bells at the Holidays


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1959 Remodeling

On April 2, 1959, this ad appeared in the Independent Record announcing Parchen's remodeling sale. A new floor and fixtures greeted the eager customers. There were merchandise giveaways, and a contest to win a 32-piece set of stainless steel dinnerware by guessing how many aspirin tablets were contained in "The world's largest bottle of aspirin", which was on display. There were also demonstrations of a Keystone home movie camera...



Helenans at the Grand Opening Festivities


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Remodeling Sale customers browse the shelves. Note the many flower arrangements.


New Floor and Fixtures


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Product Demonstrators


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The big bottle of aspirin is on the right.



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Probably a Prize Drawing


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Marjorie Shafer Lindeberg Behind the Counter


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A color view of the giant bottle of aspirin.


 

Douglas Lindeberg


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Douglas and Marjorie Lindeberg


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Original Parchen Drug Building Demolished, June 1972
A Victim of Urban Renewal


COURTESY OF JUDY BAKKE

 

 

Horsky Block Destroyed by Fire, June 18 1980


COURTESY OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON


The Site of the Horsky Block and Lindy's Parchen Drug, 2007
Now Constitution Park


COLLECTION OF BOB & SUSIE LINDEBERG