“Sometimes the pharmacy business can be a pain in the neck,” according to one of the signs on display on a cabinet filled with bottles of medicine, prescription labels and many pharmacy boxes that date to the 1950s.
On Friday, Julia Gibson was having an estate sale to liquidate what is left of Yarbrough’s Pharmacy at 117 Piner St., between Hickory and Oak streets.
“We closed in April,” said Gibson, 62. “We could not have the sale until we no longer had any sensitive customer information.”
Gibson said the economic downturn was part of the reason she decided to close the business. Her other reason — she needed rest.
“I tried to keep it going after Daddy died,” she said. “We did pretty good for two years, but it is more than I can handle.”
Her father, lifelong Denton resident Lonnie Yarbrough, died in February 2009.
He opened the pharmacy, designed by the husband and wife team Mount Miller Architects, when he was 27.
He also served as consulting pharmacist at both Silver Leaves Nursing Home and Good Samaritan Village. There, he reviewed charts once a month to make sure the medications were administered correctly. He also provided an internship program at his pharmacy for those who wanted to get their pharmaceutical license. He once said the internship program was “invaluable to aspiring pharmacists,” according to a Denton Record-Chronicle article published in 1979.
One of those aspiring pharmacists was Hazel Pipkin, who was one of the first female pharmacists in Texas, according to Gibson. She was also the first woman to be president of the Texas Pharmacy Association, an organization Yarbrough joined when he started his business, according to the organization’s website.
In 2004, Singing Oaks Church of Christ presented Yarbrough with a plaque for more than 50 years of activism in the community as a preacher, businessman and humanitarian.
When her father died, Gibson said it was difficult time for her and her brother, John Yarbrough, a school teacher who lives in Dallas. Their sibling, Kenney Yarbrough, had passed away in 2008. Gibson’s husband, Johnny, passed away in 2009, six months after her father died. Their mother, Emma Joe died in 1992.
“Dad was always the main person,” Gibson said. “Daddy would ask me to help him when I was very young, when people would use carbon paper to get copies of their statements. I would help him do that sometimes.”
When her brothers were in high school, they would help deliver prescriptions, a service the pharmacy still offered for free until it closed.
Gibson was the only one of her family members who stayed and worked in the pharmacy. She served as bookkeeper and as a certified pharmacy technician for 14 years.
“I am going to rest, I never really had time after all the funerals and running the business and everything else to do that,” Gibson said. “I also had to look for a job in the meantime.”
Gibson said she will mostly miss her customers and that she was grateful.
As she ran her estate sale, which will continue through Sunday, Vanessa Pope, a memorabilia collector with SalvageNation, a vintage online store on Etsy.com, walked out of the Yarbrough building with pharmacy boxes.
“I purchased 110 pharmacy boxes,” she said with a smile on her face.
Gibson said her father kept many boxes throughout his years in business because they could be reused for something else.
Pope said the boxes were great for keeping things organized.
In addition to getting her much needed rest, Gibson will also try out new things.
“I got a new phone yesterday,” she said, showing her black iPhone. “So far, I have learned to answer the phone.”
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
Yarbrough’s Pharmacy will continue its estate sale from 9 a.m. to 5:30 today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 469-212-2141.