Grapeland business closing after 87 years

Grapeland business closing after 87 years
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff

GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - A long standing business in Grapeland is saying goodbye. The Wallings Pharmacy will close for good on August 29.

It's been a family business for 87 years, and residents say it has been more than just a place to get medicine.

Dan Walling has spent 63 years behind the pharmacy counter and has loved every minute.

"I don't have any hobbies to fall back on," Walling said. "I don't play golf or anything like that, so the thing I am going to miss is reacting with people."

Walling has ran the Walling Pharmacy since 1974. He took over after his father, who started the business, died.

Dan, his wife Elaine, and his daughter Teressa Bennett have all become a favorite among the locals. His business has even gotten attention from Texas governor Rick Perry. The governor sent a long letter congratulating the company on its 75th anniversary.

"It's not a fun occupation, but it's been very rewarding to Dan," Elaine said.

"It's been a learning experience, I'll tell you that much," Bennett said. "Dad's very knowledgeable about the drugs and anything that has to do with medication."

Walling said the decision to close the pharmacy was not easy, but age and changes to Medicare finally caught up to the grandfather of two.

"We frequently find that when we are filling prescriptions, and when we do a little careful pricing consideration, we find we lost money on the deal," Walling said.

Many things have changed with the pharmacy but there are still a few things left from the past such as the penny weight machine.

It's a past that has made Walling not just a pharmacist but also a friend.

Walling says that he and his wife plan on taking several trips to the mountains once they settle down at home.

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