Photo of oldest drug store in Arkansas

115 E. Broadway Street

This site has been continuously occupied by a drug store or pharmacy since 1854—longer than any other such site in Arkansas. In that year, an early local physician, Dr. Michael Beshoar, established a drug store on the SE corner of the Historic Court Square. Dr. Beshoar played a prominent role in the Civil War, and his drug store was the only local source of prepared medicines in that day.

The structure was originally two stories—the upper floor often occupied by local physicians. Though the structure has burned twice in its long history (the entire southern block of the Square burned in 1914), the shell of the structure always remained and the interior was quickly rebuilt as a drug store. A long line of practical druggists occupied the site throughout its history. In the middle decades of the 20th Century, the owner was Rector Johnson who was famous for the patent medicines he created and dispensed there. The soda fountain there in those years (Bill Bates was the “entertainer”) was the main hangout for local youths. The fountain also operated a popular curb service for the public.

In 1962, certified pharmacist, Phil Futrell, purchased the business and operated there for many years. Phil’s son, Mark Futrell is the current pharmacist at that site. The store today has not only full prescription and over the counter drug and cosmetic supplies, it also carries a wide range of gifts. One outstanding feature of the pharmacy today is the soda fountain, restored to its 1950s décor and serving up soda fountain treats of all kinds.