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04 Jul 2022

The Real Pharmacy with Edward I. Real as proprietor started with his brother, John Gerald Real.

The Real brothers were born in Michigan to immigrants from Ireland (1). John Gerald Real was born on 28 Oct 1865 in Houghton (2), and Edward I. Real was born on 23 Oct 1875 in Baraga (2). The Michigan State Polk directory listed J. Gerald Real or John G. Real as a druggist in Baraga in the 1891 to 1903 volumes (3-6). He was called "Jerry" in the newspaper (7), and his pharmacy was called "Jerry's Pharmacy" (8).

Newspaper ad - The L'Anse Sentinel, 17 Mar 1894
Newspaper ad - Mar 1894
Newspaper ad - The L'Anse Sentinel, 08 Dec 1894
Newspaper ad - Dec 1894

On 01 Feb 1898 (9), Jerry left for the gold fields of Alaska with the Baraga Klondike party (10), and was away for nearly two years (9). Edward seemingly was in charge of the drug store while Jerry was away, since in Mar 1898, he fitted up a room "in his drug store" and attended to night calls (11), and Ed. Cote was hired as a clerk "in Jerry Real's drug store" (11). In Feb 1902, Edward Cote was appointed as pharmacist at the Calumet & Hecla stamp mill hospital in Lake Linden (12).

Fire struck town on Labor Day in Sep 1902, destroying two buildings, but the adjoining "J. G. Real's drug store" was scorched but saved (13). In Aug 1904, the store was now referred to as "E. I. Real's drug store" (14). In Nov 1904, John G. had plans to open a drug store in L'Anse within a few weeks (15), but it is unknown if he actually did. The first ad in The L'Anse Sentinel for "The Real Pharmacy" occurred on 26 Mar 1906. We do not have access to the 1905 Michigan State directory, but the 1907 directory listed Edward I. Real as proprietor of The Real Pharmacy (16).

Newspaper ad - The L'Anse Sentinel, 04 Oct 1913
Newspaper ad - Oct 1913

Business must have been good, because in Mar 1906, the Real Bros. opened the West Side Pharmacy in Houghton, with all furnishing and stock being strictly new and Ed. Cote being placed in charge (17). Thus, it seems the two brothers continued to be in business together despite the change in proprietorship.

Jerry left the druggist business at some point, however, since he was an apprentice in timber lands on the 1910 U.S. Federal Census (18), a laborer in a lumber camp in Townsend, WI on the 1920 census (19), and a sealer in logging on the 1930 census (20). He died in Hancock on 20 Mar 1947 at the age of 81 (2).

Edward was still listed in the drug business on the 1921 directory (21). He died on 09 Oct 1923 at the age of 47 in Hancock, at St. Joseph Hospital, and was buried in Baraga (2). Five weeks later, in Nov 1923, Arthur Lundahl of Hancock was in Baraga to inspect the Real Pharmacy with intent to purchase (22). It is unknown if he actually purchased the drug store, or if it closed with Edward's death.

Since the one bottle bears embossing for The Real Pharmacy and E. I. Real, prop., it clearly comes from Edward's time as proprietor. Thus, it could date as earlier as c.1904 to perhaps c.1910 based on bottle style.

References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. 1880 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  2. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  3. R. L. Polk & Co. 1891. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1891-92. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  4. R. L. Polk & Co. 1893. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1893-94. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  5. R. L. Polk & Co. 1897. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1897. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  6. R. L. Polk & Co. 1903. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1903-1904. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  7. anonymous. (1895, Mar 30). Baraga. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  8. anonymous. (1894, Dec 01). Baraga. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  9. anonymous. (1899, Dec 09). Additional Baraga News. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 8.
  10. anonymous. (1898, May 07). Baraga Department. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  11. anonymous. (1898, Mar 17). Baraga Department. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  12. anonymous. (1902, Feb 08). Baraga Department. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  13. anonymous. (1902, Sep 09). Firebugs at Work. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  14. anonymous. (1904, Aug 06). Baraga Department. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  15. anonymous. (1904, Nov 12). Local Items. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 4.
  16. R. L. Polk & Co. 1907. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1907-1908. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  17. anonymous. (1906, Mar 17). The New Real Pharmacy. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  18. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  19. U.S. Census Bureau. 1920 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  20. U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  21. R. L. Polk & Co. 1921. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1921-1922. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  22. anonymous. (1923, Nov 16). Baraga Items. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 1.

s72
bottle image
4 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top
base outline: base shape O
date: c.1904-c.1910
capacity - base mark - rarity:
4 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - extremely rare
  • capacity marked on bottle