Fruth Pharmacy has always been first and foremost,
a family business. It is impossible to talk about the
history of Fruth Pharmacy without talking about the
Fruth family- starting with Mr. Jack Fruth himself.
Biography of Jack Edward Fruth
1927 Jack Edward Fruth was born in Mason,
West Virginia, on June 3, 1927. The youngest child and
only son of Henry and Marjorie Rothgeb Fruth, he lived
in a small house with his parents and three sisters. Jack's parent's operated a small Soda Fountain and Sundry Store. As a young boy, Jack and his family moved to Buffalo, WV. Like many people in the area, his family was of very meager means. He would sometimes talk about growing up and having to wear overalls to school. He made a vow to himself that once he was successful, he would never wear blue jeans, because in his words, "that's how they knew you were poor."
Mr. Fruth had a dream to attend West Point and join the military. He even attended the prestigious Greenbrier Military School for the last three years of high school. The summer that he turned fifteen, Jack caught measles and pneumonia and went blind for several months. After some experimental treatment, his vision did return, but it would not be good enough for him to serve in the military. Jack decided to pursue his love of Chemistry at Duke University following his graduation from Greenbrier Military School. Jack loved Duke, but he didn't like being cooped up in a lab with so little human interaction, so he transferred to Ohio State University to pursue a degree in Pharmacy.
1950 While studying at Ohio State University, he met Frances "Babs" Rhodes, who became his college sweetheart and his beloved wife for over 50 years. They married in December, 1950. Following graduation Jack worked in Xenia, Ohio for a year and a half. Jack and "Babs" then moved to Point Pleasant with their 2 month old son, Michael. Mr. Fruth liked to say that he came to Point Pleasant "with a wife, a baby, and a suitcase full of dreams."
Jack Fruth's Vision
1952 His dream began on November 1, 1952, when Fruth Pharmacy opened for business at 2119 Jackson Avenue in Point Pleasant, WV. The first day of business, he took in $37. Jack had no employees, but his mother would often come to Point Pleasant on the weekends to help him in the store until his parents relocated to Point Pleasant for good. Marjorie Fruth continued to work in the store until she became unable because of poor health, but she would still often come and sit at the pharmacy area and greet customers until her death at age 85. Jack's sister Kathryn would later work as his secretary until 2005.
1955 The Fruth family operated a full line pharmacy involving a soda fountain at this location until 1955
when they relocated to 2419 Jackson Ave., the present site of Duke Cleaners.
1960 Mr. Fruth constructed a new brick building at 2501 Jackson Ave., the present location of the Point Pleasant pharmacy. This building was expanded twice over the years and completely remodeled in 2002 with the addition of a drive-thru pharmacy.
1963 Mr. Fruth purchased the Corrick Drug Company located on Main Street in downtown Point Pleasant, and Fruth operated it as City Pharmacy until it was destroyed by fire on January 3, 1969.
Fruth Pharmacy Chain Expands
1975 Jack Fruth, in partnership with Geary Spencer, purchased the White Cross Pharmacy at 1st St. and 6th Ave. in Huntington, WV which became Fruth Pharmacy No. 2. This was the beginning of the Fruth Pharmacy chain.
1976 A new building was constructed in Gallipolis, Ohio across from Holzer Hospital. Mr. Fruth and pharmacist Don Pullin opened Fruth Pharmacy No. 3.
1979 Fruth Pharmacy No. 4 opened in Wellston, Ohio, with son and pharmacist, Michael Fruth, in charge.
1982 Fruth Pharmacy fifth location opened in
Milton, WV., with Mr. Charles "Laddie" Burdette in
charge on May 1982.
Over the next 28 years the business expanded to a
total of 25 pharmacies, sixteen in West Virginia and
nine in Ohio. In addition, Fruth Pharmacy operates a corporate office and a warehouse complex based in
Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Today, the company presently employs over 600 employees, many of whom have worked in the company for over 25 years - or longer!
Fruth Pharmacy Board of Directors
Jack's son Michael Fruth followed his father into the business as a pharmacist in 1976 and continues as a
vice president today and serves on the Board of
Directors. Also on the Board of Directors is Babs Fruth, son John Fruth and daughter Lynne Fruth, President.
MEET OUR STAFF
Jack Fruth a Successful & Respected
2005 Drug Store News' annual reporting of the chain drug store industry rated Fruth Pharmacy as the 23nd largest retail drug chain in the United States. Even though the Fruth Company grew much larger than a neighborhood store, Jack Fruth continued to operate the business
as a local hometown family pharmacy. Jack Fruth was a well-known, highly successful businessman, a recognized entrepreneur and a respected community leader, and was so much more. He loved his family above all else, and that family didn't just include his children and grandchildren; but his corporate family, too. His employees were members of his "Fruth family" and he made sure that each and every one of them knew that.
He loved his community and always wanted the best for all who resided there. He worked tirelessly on community programs and committees to bring prosperity and a better
quality of living to all residents of Mason County. He loved his state and showed his commitment to its progress by volunteering time to serve on many committees designed to benefit all West Virginians. Mr. Fruth also strove to improve the quality of life for those living in Southeast Ohio.
MORE ABOUT FRUTH PHARMACY
Fruth Pharmacy is your hometown,
Jack Fruth was successful in all areas of his life, but considered his greatest success the fact that he was blessed to be able to use that success to give back tenfold to all those in his life, both friends and strangers.
Mr. Fruth worked unselfishly to improve the quality of life for all those with whom he came into contact, in his local community, and beyond. His sudden death in 2005 left a void at Fruth Pharmacy and the community, but his dream lives on in every local Fruth Pharmacy, your hometown, family pharmacy.