Community Spotlight:Charles Walgreen


“Charles Walgreen started here in Dixon, he went to school, he was educated here in Dixon.”

It’s your neighborhood drugstore which has become America’s most trusted pharmacy. 
Founded by one man Charles Walgreen.

“It’s a small town but we have developed some very important people through our times.”

Walgreen got his unexpected start working at a local drug store in Dixon for just $4 a week. 
Later in 1901 he was able to muster up enough money to open his first drug store in the windy city of Chicago; putting Dixon on the map.

“It feels great perhaps a lot of Dixonites don’t really know that Walgreen got his start here.”

Bob Gibler is a local historian in Dixon.
He was once president of the Lee County Historical Society.
Not only did Walgreen get his start in Dixon, but some of his tools used are still in town, such as the beakers and funnels he used.
As well as the original counter he cut his pills on, which sit in a four generation family owned jewelry store in town.
But Gibler said Walgreen wasn’t alone in creating the historic staple.

“Charles Walgreen did a lot in Dixon, but we also have to give recognition to his wife Myrtle,” Gibler said.

Myrtle Walgreen was a horticulturist and later became a well known photographer.

“Myrtle did a heck of a lot for Dixon.” 
She opened up the Hazelwood grounds to many organizations and helped donate funds,” said Gibler.

The Hazelwood Estate is something Walgreen purchased in 1929.
Today is stands as a an ancient, preserved log cabin that’s know for historic landmarks of Northern Illinois and the Rock River.

“Very infrequently do they every open the grounds for the public.”

Walgreen later died at the age of 80 at his home in Lake Forest.
Today, there are more than 8,000 Walgreen’s locations.
The drug store Walgreen got his start is no longer there, however the building is still standing.

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