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Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Gail: Dorward Drug Store


Dorward Drug Store

David Dorward (born December 15, 1872, in Burleson County, TX, to David and Anna Atkinson Dorward) arrived in Borden County, Texas, in 1892, and In 1893 began working as a wagon cook for the Square and Compass Ranch; a year later he began work for the Magnolia Land and Cattle Company. In 1901 David became a businessman when he opened the Dorward Drug store on the courthouse square.

A week after opening his business on May 26, 1901, David Dorward married Minnie Russell, a schoolteacher. They raised three sons in Gail: Russell, Maurice, and Kelvin.

David began home study for his pharmacist license, receiving a district license first and then, on September 17, 1907, license #855 by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. He supplied prescriptions for two local physicians, Dr. James Prince and Dr. John H. Hannabass. As the town of Gail began to dwindle in population, Dorward Drug became the focal point of the community by providing over-the-counter medicines, refreshments, and ice. Most important, the drugstore served as a gathering place to hear the local and area news.  When the local telephone switchboard closed in 1918, Dorward Drug had the only telephone serving Gail and surrounding farms and ranches until the 1950s; Dorward would deliver telephone messages received at the store to local residents or to outlying farms and ranches.

David Dorward also served as a public servant by holding the offices of county treasurer and county judge. David taught adult Sunday school classes for thirty years, and Minnie taught classes more than fifty years. Their involvement in the Borden County community left an enduring legacy.

In 2012, R. D. “Buster” and Jean Creighton Taylor acquired the old property and were able to salvage the original walls, ceiling, shelving, soda machine, and safe from eventual destruction. A private historical marker was dedicated at the site of the refurbished store in 2014. While the drugstore building is not regularly open to the public, the pharmacy counter and samples of medicines and many other Dorward treasures may be viewed at the Borden County Museum.


Location

  • FM 669 and Hwy 180
  • Gail, Texas
  • 79738

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • The historical marker and exterior of the building can be viewed 24/7/365. The store is open for special occasions and by appointment.

  • Free


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