As you drive into Colfax, coasting down Walnut street, you are confronted with a number of long-standing local businesses. Each one is a community pillar in its own right. One in particular though, Weirick’s Pharmacy, is a historical gem hidden in plain sight.
It all started or, rather, almost ended with a family feud of sorts. H.A. Weirick opened his drug store on the corner of Howard and Walnut street in 1893.
The store occupied a niche in the booming mineral springs community, but when H.A. Weirick’s brother Charlie Weirick opened a store just down the street, he decided it was time to leave Colfax.
Two years after selling the business to H.G. Spohr in 1899, H.A. Wierick bought a drug store in Des Moines. In 1904, he purchased a half interest with Thompson Brothers Drug Store in Newton.
The Weirick family didn’t hold this share for long, selling it back to the Thompson brothers in 1906 and purchasing the Colfax store back from H.G. Spohr that very same year. Charlie Weirick picked up shop, leaving Colfax for California, around the same time.
The Weirick family settled in after their return to the Colfax community. George S. Weirick took over the operation of the pharmacy from his father in 1928, and his son ,George T. Weirick, assumed ownership of the pharmacy in 1946.
George T. Weirick never really retired from operating his family’s heirloom business. Despite attempting to relax from the demands of business ownership, George often came into the business several times a week to see customers and visit with the staff.
George worked the lunch shift the day before his fatal stroke in 2006, 100 years after his grandfather reopened the business in Colfax.
Brenda Weirick Pierce, current owner and operator, began working full-time at the pharmacy in 1990. She became a full partner in the operation after her Bob Patterson, her father’s long-standing business partner, retired in 1998.
Brenda is the fourth generation of Weirick pharmacists to operate the location, continuing a long-standing tradition of serving the Colfax and Jasper County communities.
Over the years the business has undergone a number of renovations to both the interior and exterior, but the main-stay operations remain much the same as they always have been.
The business remains a full-service pharmacy, filling prescriptions and serving hundreds of customers each week.
Weirick’s also maintains its soda fountain, an ever-increasing rarity in rural Iowa which has been in operation since they initially opened their doors.
The business also facilitates dry cleaning, offers photo printing at an electronic terminal and they sell a range of items from household cleaning products and over the counter medicines to beauty products and greeting cards.
Weirick’s Pharmacy is located at 101 North Walnut Street in the Colfax Main Street historic district.