The Full Story
Hebberd Drug Store began in 1852 when La Crosse was still a relatively small town of a few hundred people. The business was owned by George Hoare (later changing his name to Howard) and S.D. Hastings. The drug store’s first location was near the Charmant Hotel today. However, the business moved multiple times over the years.
Howard was the predecessor of the Hebberd business. He was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1832, and he emigrated to the United States at 18 with his family due to an economic depression in England.
He opened the La Crosse business after settling in the area. After Howard’s death, the business was sold to the Hebberd family in 1894.
In the years under the Hebberd Family, specifically Edward Smith Hebberd, the Drug Store changed considerably. A soda fountain was added, and they began making ice cream. Eventually, in the 1920s, a lunch counter was added to the store.
Edward’s son, Arthur, became a partner of the Hebberd Drug Store after graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy.
During WWII, Arthur’s interest turned to the production of cosmetics. In 1957, Hebberd closed the historic La Crosse business to focus his time on the Dumont Company, which produced hand creams such as “No-Crack®,” and other cosmetic products.
At the time of closure, Hebberd Drug Store was the oldest business in La Crosse still in operation. The Dumont Company still exists and still makes “No-Crack®” hand cream, with a devoted following.