William  E.  Morgan

The  Shelbyville  Republican
Monday April 28, 1947
Page 2 column 3
            William 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.
            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.
            Two weeks 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 1917 epidemic.
            The Morgan 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.
            After two 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.
            When "Billy" was 25 and still working for Mr. Jenkins, he married Miss Anna Marie Nees, and Indianapolis girl.
            "I 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 since.
            About 10 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.
            Morgans, 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.
            "I 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."
            His life 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.
            He’s never bothered to own a car and the farthest he’s ever been from home is Cincinnati.
Contributed by Barb Huff

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