WILLIAM C McPIKE
The senior member of McPike & Fox, wholesale druggists of Atchison, was born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, March 7, 1836. He is a son of John and Lydia J. (Guest) McPike, the former born in 1795, not far from Wheeling, Virginia. His paternal grandfather, James McPike, was a native of Scotland who emigrated to this country and took part in the Revolutionary war. On his mother's side Mr. McPike's grandfather was Captain Moses Guest, who was of English descent and was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The subject of this sketch passed his youth and early school days in Alton, Illinois, where his father's family were well and favorably known. While living in Alton he was for a short time a clerk in a drug store, then entered the employ of W. A. Horton & Company, wholesale druggists, remaining with them until 1863, when he went to Philadelphia and became a student in the College of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated in 1866. In the same year Mr. McPike came to Atchison and established the firm of McPike & Allen, carrying on a retail drug store. This partnership continued for ten years, when the business was changed to wholesale and the new firm of McPike & Fox was formed.
This firm does a very large business not only in Atchison and the surrounding country, but through the state and also in Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and as far west as California. They keep from twelve to fifteen traveling men on the road and are the largest wholesale druggists next to St. Louis. They occupy their own buildings in Atchison, having one four stories high, 45x100 feet, and an adjoining one of the same height, 22 1/2x150 feet. Besides these they have a warehouse 45x100 feet, where oils, paints and chemicals are stored. They have fifty employees, most of whom have been with them over ten years, and among their patrons are many who have done business with them ever since they began. Their continued and rapid growth, and consequent financial success, is the result of untiring energy and perseverance, coupled with an observance of the Golden Rule and the admirable system which pervades the entire establishment.
In 1863 Mr. McPike was married to Miss Kate Avis, of Alton, a daughter of Captain Samuel Avis, of that city. Five children have been born to them:
Mary; Bertha M., the wife of Judge W. T. Bland, of Atchison; Blanche and Genevieve, both of whom were educated at Monticello Seminary, Godfrey, Illinois; and Avis, at home.