In the early 1900s Harvey V. DeGoler was a boy lighting gas lamps and selling newspapers outside the drug store on the corner of 6th and Minnesota in Kansas City, KS. By 1928 he underwent the biggest change in his professional life – he moved from the corner sidewalk to inside the building as owner of the drug store.
The store has been successfully operated since then by Mr. DeGoler, his son Jim since 1956 and Glenn Harte since 2001. The business has expanded under the ownership of Mr. Harte to encompass five locations in Kansas City, KS. Gone is the soda fountain, cigar and cosmetic counters to make way for the latest innovations in prescription services.
In the early days the 6th and Minnesota store was a haven for those making political decisions for Kansas. The soda fountain booths were host to many morning coffee breaks for the movers and shakers in Kansas politics under the influence of the Kansas City Star’s bureau chief Lacy Haynes.
Harvey DeGoler’s professional success culminated in his position as president of the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy.
“The city lost one of its best known citizens, and leading merchants and hundreds of residents a loyal friend in the death Monday of Harvey V. DeGoler, 72 years old….
A native of this city, Harvey had been a pharmacist 50 years. For a short time he operated a drug store in the 500 block on Minnesota Avenue and then about 36 years ago took over the old Lake Pharmacy on the northeast corner of Sixth and Minnesota.
His pharmacy was modern, but there was the hominess of the old drug store there. The late Tom Bigger and Lacy Haynes and Rod Little and Bert Cooke used to gather there several times daily for cokes and the problems of the city, the state and occasionally the nation discussed there.
Harvey was a good business man with an interest in public improvement and a keen student of government. He was a Republican. He enjoyed light conversation, a good joke and he was always considered enjoyable company ...”
I started working for the DeGoler Pharmacy located at 1612 Washington Boulevard in 1985. We not only filled prescriptions but also sold greeting cards, Russell Stover candies and a variety of over-the-counter health products. DeGoler’s had another store at that time in the Indian Springs Medical Building, located at 4601 Orville.
Later we moved the store on Washington Boulevard to the newly built Bethany Medical Building at 21 North 12th St. I worked there for a short time before moving to the Indian Springs location and took over bubble packing medications for our nursing homes. In 1999 the building had major structural damage from underground mining and we had to relocate temporarily to the 18th Street Medical Building until our new site at 5701 State (Mid-Town Office Plaza) was completed in January 2000.
The Sixth and Minnesota pharmacy continued in operation until the entire block was demolished around 1970; some of this area became the Jack Reardon Civic Center. The store at 16th and Washington Boulevard opened in 1958. Also for a period of time there was a DeGoler Pharmacy in the Alpine Center at 77th and Washington Boulevard.
Glenn C. Harte’s first pharmacy experience started in 1985 at the age of 15 in Forest City, Pennsylvania. He came to the Kansas City area to finish his schooling at the UMKC School of Pharmacy and worked part-time for Jim DeGoler starting in the mid-1990s. He was working at the Indian Springs store the day the building shifted and everyone was evacuated. Over the course of the next several days, the pharmacy had to be moved twice. After those events, Glenn said he felt prepared to handle just about anything that could happen in the pharmacy business!
Jim DeGoler felt the same way – Glenn graduated from pharmacy school in 2000, and the next year he became 100% shareholder in DeGoler’s Inc. Also in 2001 Wagonner Pharmacy, located in the Wyandot Medical Building, was purchased by DeGoler’s and shortly thereafter moved to 8101 Parallel. In January 2005 a fourth retail location was opened at 2040 Hutton Road in the WestMed Medical Building.
In late 2007 DeGoler’s opened a closed-door pharmacy and corporate headquarters at 7622 State Avenue in the Wyandotte Plaza Shopping Center. Long-term care facilities had been served for a number of years from the Indian Springs and later the 5701 State locations, but a growing list of facilities and individuals with special needs made a separate pharmacy necessary.“Our Family Caring for Your Family” might sound like just a catchy phrase, but for DeGoler Pharmacies it means more than that. A number of our employees are related, but there is also an extended DeGoler family that includes all of our staff. Both Jim DeGoler and Glenn Harte have treated their people well over the years, and their employees have responded with dedication and loyalty. This loyalty means we have experienced help unmatched in the Kansas City area, and that results in loyal (some of them third-generation) customers.