Anoka County history: Rich history of Goodrich Pharmacy

Heman Ticknor arrived in Anoka in 1855 from Ohio.

In the early 1860s, he opened a dry goods store. A few years later he opened the first drug store in Anoka.

An ad in the Anoka Star from Oct. 8, 1864 announced “this store specializes in drugs and medicines, promising physicians that ‘they may rely on having their prescriptions put up with care, precision and dispatch at all hours.’”

In later years, George H. Goodrich purchased the pharmacy.

He gained experience in the pharmaceutical business in Minneapolis.

According to an article in the Anoka County Union from Sept. 3, 1993, that referred to an article in the Northwestern Druggist in 1923, a customer asked Goodrich to prepare a special liniment.

‘When finished mixing, Goodrich ha[d] before him a white mixture of creamy consistency, boasting ingredients of proven therapeutic value.”

Mr. Goodrich obtained from Mr. Hoff the recipe for the famous Hoff’s German Liniment.

“Good for man and beast. Used for muscular and surface aches and pains due to exposure or over-exertion, strains and bruises, chapped hands, bites and stings aching feet.”

This is from an ad in 1963 describing its many uses with specific instructions.

Goodrich’s pharmacy, known in 1884 as Goodrich and Jennings, occupied a storefront in Anoka on Main Street between First and Second avenues.

The pharmacy operated on the ground level.

The formula was prosperous Goodrich and Jennings “patent medicine business on the second floor”.

The liniment, shipped in a horse drawn wagon, was sold across the United States and into Canada to drug warehouses.

It was prosperous enough that, according to an article in a 1915 Anoka Herald, “the liniment is a blue ribbon for Anoka.”

Mr. Goodrich began mixing the liniment in a butter churn, but with the popularity, needed to produce much larger quantities.

Manufactured in Anoka for 20 years, it was referred to as “Anoka Liniment” and its production employed 20 people year round.

During World War I, the name was changed from Hoff’s German Liniment, because of the sensitivity around anything German.

In later years, George Goodrich served as mayor of Anoka and president of the State Board of Pharmacy and president of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association.

An interesting article I came across in doing this research is in the Anoka Herald from July 2, 1930, about Emily McCann.

She was a resident of Anoka for 75 years and a customer of Goodrich Pharmacy for all of those 75 years.

Her first purchase was a string of glass beads made by the Indians, which she purchased at the age of nine.

At the Anoka County Historical Society, in the Goodrich file, is the history of the pharmacy in pictures, noting the different locations throughout the years.

In 1990, Goodrich Pharmacy opened in Elk River 1998 in Andover and most recently in Fridley.

The Goodrich Pharmacy has changed hands throughout the years, but is still going strong today with six locations in Anoka County.

Editor’s note: Leslie Plummer is a volunteer for the Anoka County Historical Society.


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