*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***

Bessemer Drug Store - Bessemer PA

Text Coming Soon!

The Bessemer Drug Store was established on East Poland Avenue in about 1916. Charles Maxwell owned and operated the store in the early years until he relocated to Ohio. Ralph E. Murtland (1894-1986), a native of Fayette County and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, became the owner in about 1922. Murtland and his wife, the former Cora L. Smith (1899-1987) of Punxsatawney, owned and operated the business for the next forty-eight years. They were both civic-minded individuals who were very involved in community affairs. (c1920)

The store was closed when Ralph Murtland retired in October 1970. This advertisement is from the last days of the business. (Sep 1970)

Ralph (center) and Cora Murtland were honored at the Earl J. Watt Post #638 of the American Legion after he retired in October 1970. Leroy Harrigan (on right) presents Ralph Murtland with a Community Service Award. The Murtland’s retired to Cora’s hometown of Punxsatawney, where they both passed away in 1986-1987. They are buried together in Mt. Zion Memorial Cemetery in Punxsatawney. (Nov 1970)


  1. I remember the candy case and soda fountain in that drug store…a pack of baseball cards with a slab of bubble gum for a nickle…those were really good days…

  2. Doc Murtland had a Contest right before Christmas each year…votes were given equaling the amount of your purchase. On Christmas Eve all of the kids would run there to see if they were a lucky prise winner.Naturally all the prises were great toys!!! First place always got a new ,26inch, 3 SPEED BIKE! So thrilling!


Enter your comment below. Fields marked * are required. You must preview your comment before submitting it.