In the early days of Holly Springs, Dr. Jasper Butler opened a medical center and pharmacy at the location of current Tyson Drug Co. In those days, a doctor treated injuries and a pharmacist gave out drugs which we mostly alcohol or laxatives. Most thought that what one didn't cure the other would remove. Another two common ingredients were opium and heroin.
One of the first pharmacist at Tyson Drug Co. told of seeing Civil War Vets with limbs missing, sitting on benches on the Courthouse lawn sipping from small bottles, until they would pass out and fall to the grass. No one bothered them and they would later get up and sit back down to continue their "treatment."
The telegraph was in the rear of the store and on election nights, or any other important event, people would gather here. Tyson's became a "social center" where meetings and plans were carried out. A long list of doctors operated offices here or very near as it was common knowledge that this was the "medical center." Some of the names and connections are important to the history of the entire mid-south area. One doctor's friend was the father of famous Memphis Mayor Ed Crump.
In 1862, Holly Springs was occupied by the Union Army whose purpose was to gather and store supplies mostly at the Railroad for General Grant's march on Vicksburg. The members of the Drum and Bugle Corp. occupied the law office upstairs next to the Tyson building. A number of years later, one member returned and told of being asleep upstairs when the rebel yells woke him and the others up at dawn. He went downstairs and while peeking around the corner toward the depot, a bullet clipped the column just above his head. He then ran down the street, through the cemetery and across the rail road beyond. The chip can still be found by those that know about it.
After Butler passed away, the building became People's Bank and a vault was installed and now is used as the office for Tyson Drug Co. Unfortunately, banks didn't service long in those days and before too long Joe Tyson, a young pharmacist came along. He took over the business and named it Tyson Drug Co. The Tyson family also operated Tyson's Hotel one block south.
Joe Tyson operated the pharmacy until was bought by Elton McIntosh and Cliff Harviel. Around that time a fountain that featured curb-side service was added. During those days, one eye-catching regular was Elvis Presley who could be seen enjoying ice cream in his pink Cadillac. Then, nearly thirty years ago, Bob Lomenick came in and is now the owner and operator.
One thing we offer that large chain stores do not is personal service. Few other places know your name, your family and your friends like Tyson Drug Co.