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Shauter Drugs

Shauter Drugs was Cleveland’s first and the nation’s largest Black-owned drugstore chain for a generation in the middle decades of the 20th century. Operated by Robert H. (Bob) Shauter, a pharmacy school graduate of Western Reserve University who previously worked at Benjamin’s and Rosenblum’s drugstores, its original location opened in 1936 at 9208 Cedar Avenue. Shauter got financing from Willie Pierson, one of the most prominent African American financiers of the mid-20th century. Pierson, who had opened the Green Book–listed Log Cabin two years earlier, funded the venture and made Shauter the co-owner. Pierson continued to guide the business’s expansion, purchasing the former Leiden Drug Store in the Reserve Building at 5431 Woodland at the corner of East 55th in 1938. Shauter went on to operate a third store and pharmaceutical laboratory 2315 East 55th just south of Central Avenue beginning in 1943. After he died at age 40 in 1944, his wife Frances Shauter continued to run the drugstore chain. A fourth Shauter’s opened at 1098 East 105th at the corner of Ostend Avenue in Glenville in 1947. Frances Shauter ran the business until 1967, when she turned it over to Roosevelt and Rose Davis. All three locations of the chain have been demolished.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “Druggist’s Wife Is Named Head Of Shauter’s Stores.” Call & Post. January 20, 1945.
  • Farrell, Jacci S. “For Shauter Drug: End of One Era, Birth of a New.” Call & Post. November 11, 1967.
  • “New Drug Store to Be Ready Soon.” Call & Post. March 26, 1936.
  • “Newest Shauter Drug Store To Serve Glenville.” Call & Post. July 26, 1947.
  • “Shauter Drug Co.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. case.edu/ech/articles/s/shauter-drug-co
  • Souther, J. Mark. “Willie Pierson: A Builder of the Black Metropolis.” Cleveland Historical. clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/1009
  • Williams, Bob. “City Mourns Robert Shauter’s Death; Owned First Negro Drug Store Chain.” Call & Post. December 23, 1944.
9208 Cedar Ave, Cleveland, OH

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