Bygone era: Astro Wright and one of his helpers, Fred McCain, stand inside Wright’s Drug Store in 1930.
Bygone era: Astro Wright and one of his helpers, Fred McCain, stand inside Wright’s Drug Store in 1930.

Archived Story

COMMUNITY COLUMN: Wright’s Drug Store opens

Published 9:19am Friday, July 12, 2013

By Tracia Bussey

In 1926, Astro Wright opened a business in Thorsby on a shoestring budget that became a popular place and thriving business.

Wright’s Drug Store provided the community with medicines, cosmetics, school supplies, soda fountain drinks, ice cream and made-to-order sandwiches.

The store’s pharmacist, Roland Funk, Sr. provided a good service filling prescriptions and Wright’s wife was a good businesswoman.

The business was located where the current Thorsby Town Hall sits and also operated as the Greyhound Bus stop. Bus passengers had 15 minutes at Wright’s to grab a sandwich and refreshment, stretch their legs a bit and continue on their trip, in that, this stop was the only one between Montgomery and Birmingham.

The business grew rapidly and flourished until an unfortunate calamity struck the store.

In 1945, a truck driver stopped with his load of horses and ran over the gas tank, causing an explosion and fire.

The building was completely burned down, which forced Mr. and Mrs. Wright, along with the pharmacist, Funk, to seek a new location for their business.

They bought out a Clanton Druggist and left Thorsby behind.

Several years later Mr. Wright (or Toby, as many of his old friends called him) passed away.

Mrs. Wright then moved the drug store to the Clanton Dixie Shopping Center, where it is still in business today.

–Tracia Bussey is a community columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at

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