William E. Morgan
E. (Billy) Morgan is as much a fixture around Shelbyville as the soda fountain in the Washington Street Pharmacy, which he has
managed for so many years.
The Shelbyville Republican
Monday April 28, 1947
Page 2 column 3
WILLIAM E. MORGAN
At 68, the
little man with "the fringe on top" still runs the drug store where he
first clerked when he was 16 for $1 a week.
of "Bully’s" life have been lived outside Shelbyville, and these
were the two weeks after his birth on May 12, 1879, in Rushville to Thomas L.
and Jessie Morgan. Thomas Morgan fired Shelbyville’s fire truck before a
city waterworks existed and then, with Billy’s grandfather, managed the old
waterworks on Elizabeth and Noble streets. "Billy" and his sister and
brothers, Leo, now a retired insurance salesman, and Charley, a
printer in Alabama, spent their childhood in a house across from the old
waterworks site. His sister, Mrs. Mary Louden, died from influenza in the
children were sent to the St. Joseph Catholic school, then a frame structure
housing only eight grades. After completing the eighth grade, "Billy"
carried the Cincinnati Post for several years before being hired as a
dollar-a-week-clerk by Ed E. Jenkins, who had opened a drug store in 1894
where the Small & Small wallpaper store now is located.
years and three months with Mr. Jenkins, "Billy" went to work at the
"Dinkey" nickname for the Old Davis, Whitcomb and Birely
furniture factory, but returned to his clerkship at the drug store in 1902.
"Billy" was 25 and still working for Mr. Jenkins, he married Miss
Anna Marie Nees, and Indianapolis girl.
used to take the trolley to Indianapolis every Sunday night to do my
courting," Billy said, "and would catch the 11 o’clock car
home." The young couple stared housekeeping in the100 block on East Jackson
Street, and "Billy" worked hard in the drug store until December of
1916 when he took a job as a night fireman at the Albert Furniture Factory.
That lasted three years, and "Billy" was back with Mr. Jenkins once
more in October of 1919. In 1921, after his employer died, "Billy" ran
the store for Mrs. Jenkins and has been running it for successive owners ever
years ago he passed a pharmacy board examination, which entitles him to fill
prescriptions. After four or five previous attempts at the examination,
"Billy" took an International Correspondence School course in pharmacy
and made the grade.
who have lived at 51 East Pennsylvania Street, for the past 20 years, have three
sons. Edward, who works in an Indianapolis warehouse; James, and
x-ray technician with Westinghouse in Chicago; and Bill, Jr. with an
Indianapolis air conditioning plant. James and his wife have two sons.
"Billy" belongs to the Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society and the
Third Order of St. Francis. When he was a young man he bowled regularly at Pete
Medsker’s alley located in what is now the Penney store.
held high score there for several years with a 276 game," Billy said. Foot
trouble has dogged "Billy’s" steps for years-caused, he says, by
wearing shoes too short. Toward the end of his long day at the drug store
"Billy" admits he "can hardly cut it."
has been singularly calm-no fires, accidents and a bout of typhoid his only
serious illness. He remarked drily that although he’d been paying insurance
premiums ever since his wedding day, he’s never collected a cent.
never bothered to own a car and the farthest he’s ever been from home is
Contributed by Barb Huff