Artifact of the Month
Mooney-Barker Drugstore Bottles
Donated by Wayne Martin
The Mooney-Barker Drugstore was located in the Madison County town of Pettigrew. In 1910, local schoolteacher Arthur P. Barker married Helen Mooney, the daughter of the town physician, Dr. W. H. Mooney. Seven years later Dr. Mooney and Arthur Barker opened a drugstore in Pettigrew. Dr. Mooney continued to practice medicine while Arthur served as pharmacist. When Dr. Mooney retired in 1930 Arthur took over as sole owner of the business, and changed the name to the Barker Drugstore. Through the years, the drugstore sold everything from prescription drugs to car parts.
Arthur Barker died in 1953. Helen Mooney Barker continued to run a general store in the building until 1980. After the store closed, Wayne and June Martin, Helen Barker's grandson and granddaughter-in-law, began cleaning out the old store building. What they found inside was like a time capsule. Arthur and Helen Barker saved everything, from business receipts, correspondence, and photographs, to merchandise that was still packed in wooden crates. The Martins, realizing they had a collection of great historical value, have donated hundreds of items to the Shiloh Museum over the years. They even donated the curved metal awning from the drugstore porch. Today the awning graces the porch of the Steele General Store here at the Shiloh Museum.
Because of the Martins' generosity (and the Barkers' penchant for never throwing anything away!), the community of Pettigrew is likely one of the best-documented small towns in the state of Arkansas.
|Barker Drugstore, ca. 1930.
Wayne Martin Collection (S-85-322-39)