Harrison’s Drug Store was listed as “Harrison’s—908 Dickerson St.” under “Drug Stores” in Greenville from 1947-1955. The street name was incorrect; the business was located at 908 Dickinson Avenue. This is a white owned business.1
Harrison’s Drug Store was a white-owned business established by Louis Swepson Harrison around 1940 and owned by Louis and his brother, Thomas N. Harrison. Louis Harrison Was born in Littleton, Halifax County in 1899. He served in the Student Army Training Corps as a student at North Carolina State University in 1918. He found work as a drug store salesman after college, likely at Harrison’s Drug Store (owned by his brother, Thomas N. Harrison, in Littleton). Louis graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Pharmacy (Ph.G.) in 1925.2
Louis married Winnifred K. Tadlock in 1938. At the time of his marriage he was living in Greenville and working at Pitt Drug Company. He soon opened his own drug store at 908 Dickinson Street. By 1950, his brother, Thomas N. Harrison, had relocated to Greenville and was co-owner of Harrison’s Drug Store.3
Harrison’s Drug Store did not exclusively serve African Americans and advertised in a range of publications, including in The Carolinian (a Raleigh-based African American newspaper).4
Louis and Thomas Harrison owned Harrison’s Drug Store until at least 1962. They were both retired at the time of their deaths; Louis passed away in 1969 and Thomas died in 1971.5
Essay by Brandie K. Ragghianti, 2022
- Victor Green, 1947 Green Book, 65; Green, 1948 Green Book, 62; Green, 1949 Green Book, 56; Green, 1950 Green Book, 62; Green, 1951 Green Book, 54; Green, 1952 Green Book, 54; Green, 1953 Green Book, 53; Green, 1954 Green Book, 53; Green, 1955 Green Book, 53.
- 1900 United States Federal Census, Littleton, Halifax County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Louis Harrison,” accessed from www.ancestry.com; “Louis Swepson Harrison,” Army Serial #4459276, North Carolina, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919, accessed from www.ancestry.com; 1920 United States Federal Census, Judkins, Warren County, North Carolina, digital image s.v. “Louis S. Harrison,” www.ancestry.com; “Harrison’s Drug Store,” The News Reporter (Littleton, NC), April 7, 1916, 4, accessed from www.newspapers.com. The 1925 Yackety Yack (Chapel Hill, NC: Publications Union of the University of North Carolina), 84.
- “Harrison-Tadlock,” Roanoke Rapids Herald (Roanoke Rapids, NC), March 3, 1938, digital image 3, accessed from https://newspapers.digitalnc.org; Louis Swepson Harrison, March 25, 1899, Greenville, Pitt Count, North Carolina, US World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, accessed from www.ancestry.com; Louis S. Harrison is a druggist and is married to Winnifred. His brother, Thomas, lives with him. (1950 United States Federal Census, Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina, digital image “Louis S. Harrison” and “Thomas N. Harrison,” accessed from www.ancestry.com.)
- “Harrison’s Drug Store” (ad), The Carolinian (Raleigh, NC), September 7, 1946, 6 (digital image 14), accessed from https://newspapers.digitalnc.org; the drug store also advertised in publications targeted to white audiences, such as East Carolina University’s yearbook.
- “Louis S. Harrison” (obituary), The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), April 4, 1969, digital image 31, accessed from www.newspapers.com; Thomas Nicholson Harrison, November 24, 1971, Littleton, Warren, North Carolina, US Death Certificates, 1909-1976, accessed from www.ancestry.com; “Thomas N. Harrison” (obituary), The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), November 25, 1971, 35, accessed from www.ancestry.com.