Bland’s Drug Store, located in Sanford, was listed in the Green Book from 1947-1955. It was listed as “Bland’s—300 S. Steele St.” under “Drug Stores.”1
Bland’s Drug Store, originally owned by David Leonardus Bland, opened as early as 1920. David L. Bland began his career as a pharmacist at the Phillips-Boykin Drug Co., owned by local carpenter and businessman Arnold Lincoln Boykin and John G. Phillips, who also owned the Phillips Hotel. Boykin and Phillips opened the drug store in 1912 and applied for the store’s charter in 1915. The store was located at 400 S. Steele Street.2
David opened his own drugstore at 400 S. Steele Street between 1918 and 1920. After his death in 1940, his wife, Eva Mashon Bland (a school teacher at Jonesboro School) and their two daughters, Addie Alice Bland and Miriam Lenora Bland, managed the drugstore. The store was briefly located at 300 S. Steele Street (as listed in the Green Book) but was back at 400 S. Steele Street by 1950. During this time, Addie and Miriam both attended the North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University). The name of the business was changed to Phillips-Boykins Sundries by 1954 and was owned by Eva M. Bland and Addie Bland. The business did not operate as a drug store during this time.3
Miriam Bland graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Pharmacy from Howard University and earned her pharmacy license after passing the pharmacy exam in 1957. The drug store reopened at 718 Wall Street around 1960; the store was managed by Addie Bland and Dr. Miriam Bland served as the store’s pharmacist. The drug store remained open until at least the early 1970s.4
Essay by Brandie K. Ragghianti, 2022
1. Victor Green, 1947 Green Book, 65; Green, 1948 Green Book, 63; Green, 1949 Green Book, 57; Green, 1950 Green Book, 63; Green, 1951 Green Book, 54; Green, 1952 Green Book, 54; Green, 1953 Green Book, 54; Green, 1954 Green Book, 54; Green, 1955 Green Book, 54.
2. “Boykin, A.L. (1872-1943),” North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, NC State University Libraries, https://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/people/P000662/; 1920 United States Federal Census, Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “David Bland,” accessed from www.ancestry.com; David L. Bland, May 16, 1891, Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina, U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, accessed from www.ancestry.com; “Mecklenburg County Gets Answer Today,” The Wilmington Morning Star, September 24, 1915, p. 3, accessed from https://newspapers.digitalnc.org.
3. 1920 United States Federal Census, Sanford, Lee County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “David Bland,” accessed from www.ancestry.com; David Leonardus Bland, November 14, 1940, Lee County, North Carolina, U.S., Death Certificates, 1909-1976, accessed from www.ancestry.com; Hill’s 1950 Sanford City Directory, 12 (alphabetical listing); Hill’s 1952 Sanford City Directory, 12 (alphabetical listing); “Bland’s Drug Store” (advertisement), The Carolinian (Raleigh, NC), February 23, 1946, p. 7, accessed from https://newspapers.digitalnc.org; Elaine Stevens, “47 Make Honor List at North Carolina,” The Carolina Times, January 25, 1941, p. 4, accessed from https://newspapers.digitalnc.org; Addie A. Bland, Class of 1940, The Eagle (yearbook), North Carolina College for Negroes, 1939-1940, p. 5, accessed from www.ancestry.com; Hill’s 1954 Sanford City Directory, 36, 180 (alphabetical listing), 148 (classified listing).
4. “66 Pass Pharmacy Exams,” The Durham Sun, July 8, 1957, p. 3, accessed from www.newspapers.com; Hill’s 1960 Sanford City Directory, 20 (alphabetical listing); State v. Bland, 199 S.E. 2d 497 (1973), 19 N.C. App. 560 (NC 1973), accessed from https://www.leagle.com/decision/1973696199se2d4971641; “Dr. Miriam Lenora Bland,” (obituary), The Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC), January 5, 2013, https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/reflector/name/miriam-bland-obitua….