In 1875, Oswald’s Pharmacy opened its doors in Naperville, and this year the local business is celebrating 145 years of serving the Naperville community. Thanks to a collaboration with Naper Settlement that history is on display right as you walk through the front door in a new exhibit.
“So we partnered up with the settlement Naper Settlement and they did a marvelous job getting the posters and kind of curating some of their stuff and the stuff we had,” said Bill Anderson, Owner of Oswald’s Pharmacy.
“Just some artifacts from each generation from the past six generations that have run the store and put them together with some small descriptions that the settlement helped out with that just captures our history in this town,” said Alex Anderson, General Manager at Oswald’s Pharmacy
145 Years of family at Oswald’s
The exhibit tells the story of how Oswald’s has evolved from the soda fountain of the 1940’s and 50’s to the popular toys like Beanie-Babies of the 1990’s.
Prescriptions and medicines have also changed from doctor’s handwritten notes to the pharmacist to today’s online services. The one thing that has remained constant is Oswald’s home delivery and friendly service.
Oswald’s is one of the oldest family businesses in Naperville spanning five generations.
“It was started in 1875 by a couple of physicians in town, and my great-great-grandfather W. W. WIckel bought the pharmacy from them in 1881. 1915 when Louie Oswald, his son in law, bought the pharmacy and Louie Oswald obviously changed the name to Oswald’s. When my grandfather bought it, his son in law it had been Oswald’s way too long for him to change the name. So the Oswald’s name, the second-generation name kind of stuck. Then my grandfather ran it through the late 70’s my dad bought it, I’ve been running it, and we’re going into the next generation soon here, Alex is taking over,” said Bill Anderson, Owner of Oswald’s Pharmacy.
2020 and Beyond
Both father and son agree that the key to their 145 years of success is adapting their business to keep up with the times and continuing to listen to their customers needs, especially during a global pandemic.
“Obviously through this year, it’s been pretty crazy we’ve become a laboratory so we can help our community with rapid COVID-19 testing,” said Alex Anderson.
“Yes, we made it through the 1918 pandemic, and we’re gonna make it through this one,” said Bill Anderson.
To celebrate, Oswald’s is holding weekly Facebook raffles leading up to their anniversary day of December 5th !
Celebrating 145 years of service, community, and family operations.
Naperville News 17’s Ryan Skryd reports.
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