The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

Icrmes Drui i La range
A /Pioeer raas Store
ESTHER J. W. HALL
WHEN HE CAME TO SEEK HIS FORTUNE IN THE UNITED STATES
from his native land of Heidelberg, Germany, William
Hermes, Sr., was a youth of seventeen. He landed in
Galveston and worked at various odd jobs for some three or four
years until he had accumulated enough funds to finance his
education. Then he returned to Germany and attended the Uni-
versity of Heidelberg, where he studied medicine and obtained
his M. D. degree. Upon completing his education, he journeyed
again to Texas and settled in the fertile farming community of
La Grange in Fayette County, sixty-five miles from Austin and
one hundred miles from Houston. There, in 1855, Hermes began
his practice and with it the first drug store in La Grange. Hermes
Drug Store, a log cabin type building, was then situated on the
northeast corner of the public square in La Grange. Some twenty
years before in 1836, Santa Anna and his troops had forded the
Colorado River at the present homesite of the William Hermes
estate.1
In looking over Hermes' permanent accounts and ledgers,
many written in German, one finds records showing drugs bought
from Roberts and Company, such as 666 (a patented chill tonic).
Records, mostly dated in 1857, also showed drugs bought from
Elliott and Company. In December, 1856, Hermes bought from
Robert Janssen a showcase and table for the sum of $7.50. Among
1This study is based on the records of Hermes Drug Store, and interviews with
Gilbert Hermes, grandson of its founder, William Hermes, Sr., and with Edgar
Anders, the present owner. Many of the records which were kept in German were
translated with the aid of Walter Freytag, postmaster of La Grange. The paper
was originally presented before the section on historical pharmacy at the Amer-
ican Pharmaceutical Association Convention in Washington on August 14, 196o.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed July 28, 2014.