Workday Wednesday: The Drugstore of Samuel J. Lee


Lee Family (Click for Family Tree)

Trying to learn about the businesses where our ancestors worked can help us fill in some of the context of their lives.

Samuel J. Lee (1879-1964) was a druggist in St. Louis, Missouri. A Google search with his name took us to GoogleBooks, and a few directories of pharmacies throughout the nation.

Samuel J. Lee in His Drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1940s or 1950s?

GoogleBooks does not have the complete run of these directories- only 1905, 1906, 1910, 1911, 1916, 1921, and 1923 were available for today’s research. (Hopefully more on a tomorrow in the near future.)

There were only two mentions found:

1921- Samuel J. Lee in St. Louis, Missouri, The Era Druggists’ Directory, Vol. 19, Page 178, D. O. Haynes & Co., 1921, via GoogleBooks.


1923- Samuel J. Lee as proprietor of Chenoweth Drugs in St. Louis, Missouri, The Era Druggists’ Directory, Vol. 19, Page 178, D. O. Haynes & Co., 1923, via GoogleBooks.

This suggests that Sam bought the Chenoweth Drugstore, and, as many do, Sam kept the old name since that is how customers knew the company. Generally, a buyer has to purchase the name and the “goodwill” it has built up over the years to continue to use it, or else rename the store at the risk of old customers not being able to find it.

Samuel J. Lee (left) in his Chouteau Ave store in St. Louis, Missouri, circa 1920?

Further research in other years did not bring up Sam’s name. It did, however, bring up the Chenoweth name.

1913- Chenoweth Drugs in St. Louis, Missouri, The Era Druggists’ Directory, Vol. 17, Page 113, D. O. Haynes & Co., 1913, via GoogleBooks.


1916- Chenoweth Drugs in St. Louis, Missouri, The Era Druggists’ Directory, Vol. 18, Page 100, D. O. Haynes & Co., 1916, via GoogleBooks.

We know by the address that it was the same store. A quick trip to GoogleMaps shows the 4067 Chouteau Ave. address as very close to Sarah Ave- it is the closest cross-street. Sadly the building no longer appears to be in existence.

It is interesting that in 1921, the drugstore was listed under just Sam’s name, but in 1923, it was called “Chenoweth Drug Store” again. Reviewing city directories might give us more information, and it is more likely that a complete (or almost complete) run of those will be more available than the more specific druggist directories.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Images from directories as listed in captions.
  2. Google maps for 4067 Chouteau in St. Louis–,-90.2492035,3a,90y,125.02h,79.72t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_ibdo7GZjK2nEFcAWsga0A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
  3. See also “Five Family Photos for Friday- Samuel J. Lee of St. Louis, Missouri”–


Click to enlarge any image. Please contact us if you would like an image in higher resolution.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.