J.P. Allen Drugstore - 2nd floor access stair way only

Old Cowtown Museum Tour

J.P. Allen Drugstore - 2nd floor access stair way only

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Old Cowtown Museum


The J.P. Allen Drug Store, located in the Business District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the the formal health practice of the 1870s. There was a close relationship between the increasingly scientific medical and pharmaceutical practices as indicated by the shared ownership of the building by the Allen Brothers.

The downstairs drug store was operated by J.P. Allen. The front retail area contained the patent medicines, liquors, paint, window glass and related medical and items. It also contains the soda fountain that dispensed “health” drinks that were carbonated. The back area contains the prescription lab with the red glass screen that prevented customers from learning the druggist compounds and copying them.

The second floor contains the office of Dr. Fabrique and a dental office. Medical conditions and practices of the late nineteenth century were inconsistent, inexact, and unregulated. Nineteenth century physicians such as Dr. Allen and Dr. Fabrique faced many challenges in their practices as they struggled against home remedies and Patent Medicines while championing the more scientific medical field.



When coming up the south stairs, the first room one comes to the dentist office. Dentistry was becoming more than just tooth pullers and was moving toward the scientific approach we know today.

In the middle of the room, by the patient chair is a device with a long slender tube. That is the dentist drill. As there is no electricity for the drill, it is foot powered so one can hope for a dentist with a steady rhythm. There are also no electric lights so mirrored reflections from the sun are best but the light of kerosene lamps can work. Go on a sunny day for best results.

The middle waiting room has no receptionist. Just wait your turn.

The doctor office is modeled after Dr. Andrew Fabrique, sometimes called the Father of Medicine in Wichita. He was a well trained surgeon, having been to school and worked side by side with others during the Civil War. Medicine was becoming more regulated but still open to lots of poorly or non trained physicians. The doctor saw some patients in the office but made many house calls.

The Drug Store was built on site in 1996. It replaced the single story drugstore that was moved from that location and is now interpreted as the Music store.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour


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