Westy’s Pharmacy closing after more than a century of service


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

His family has been involved with the Lockhart pharmacy since the turn of the 20th century, but on Thursday evening, Dec. 22, Brad Westmoreland will close the business for good.

Westy’s Pharmacy, on the west side of the Lockhart Square at 113 S. Main St., will close on Thursday a 5 p.m. There will be a reception at the business on Friday (Dec. 23) from 3-7 p.m.

“You kind of know when it’s time,” said Brad Westmoreland, who is a third generation running the business following his grandfather, Edwin Reese “Westy” Westmoreland, Sr., and his uncle, Westy Jr.

“Maybe it was because I turned 65. You wake up one day and you just know it. And I always tell people, I really don’t have much else to prove.”

Westmoreland, who has also served for seven years on the Lockhart City Council, said things had “gone more south” since the pandemic.

When Edwin Reese “Westy” Westmoreland (also known as E.R.) came aboard C.E. McDannald & Co. in 1901, the Lockhart Weekly noted in its issue: “Mr. Reese Westmoreland of Gonzales was in Lockhart today on business. He has accepted a position as prescription clerk for C.E. McDannald & Co. druggists and will be in the city next Monday to assume charge of his new duties. Mr. Westmoreland is a popular young gentleman of our sister city…”

McDannald died in 1942, and when “E.R.” bought the store, the name was changed to Westy’s Pharmacy. It was during World War II. Later, his sons, Westy Jr. and Peck became involved in the business. Westy passed away in 1958 when Brad was just a year old. Westy Jr. passed away in 1972 and Peck in 1985. Peck’s wife, Martha ran the store with her sons, Brad and Peck Jr.

“My dad graduated from Texas A&M in 1937,” Brad Westmoreland said. “Then he got a degree from the University of Texas Pharmacy School in 1947. He always said he went to Texas A&M to get an education and went to University of Texas to make a living.”

Brad Westmoreland has two brothers and a sister, although Peck Jr., who had also helped run the business, died in 2004.

“Being the last of the siblings, everyone else had gone off to do something else,” Brad Westmoreland said. “I got out of Southwest Texas State with a journalism degree. I was the last to come in here and help my parents. My dad died in 1984. I came back in 1980 and have basically been running it. I have been really fortunate and blessed through the years that I’ve had professional pharmacists to make this thing happen. It’s been a great group of people that wanted to see it keep going.”

Pharmacists at Westy’s, whom Brad Westmoreland credited as the real professionals of the business, included Lydia Zunker (37 years), Randal Banik (28 years), Mike Scott (15 years),

Beverly Brewer (15 years), and E.J. Haidusek (5 years).

Westy’s has evolved from handwritten formulas to computers, but there were also tough times, particularly the Great Depression of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Brad Westmoreland heard stories of how the business almost closed, but several families involved in the oil and cattle business helped keep things going until the economy recovered.

The store has never been robbed, with the exception of the time a woman tossed a brick through its window and grabbed a bottle of Coumadin, which is a blood thinner.

Brad Westmoreland said he was told stories of how downtown Lockhart was bustling on Saturday when much of the county came to town. Boys would line up at Westy’s to read its comic book selections such as Richie Rich and others.

“I have a man here that remembers this as a little tyke, 70 years ago or so,” Brad Westmoreland said. “We have been very, very, very lucky that our clientele through the years has been what I call the cream of the crop. We’ve had what I call loyal customers, family after family after family. It’ unheard of now.

“I was counting back change at the age of 10. That’s a lost art because few know how to count back change anymore. Even during school, I was working here. I’m 65 and I can’t remember when I wasn’t here.”

Six-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola are among the best-selling items Westy’s has had over the years. “You could buy it for a dime,” Brad Westmoreland said.

During either World War II or Korean War, E.R. Westmoreland and Westy Jr. asked people to bring pictures of their loved ones that were fighting overseas. The photos were posted in the windows of the pharmacy.

The photos ended up being placed in a box, and Brad Westmoreland recently found the box. He would post some of the photos on Facebook, and one man came in the store and said, “Thanks for finding dad.”

One of the best things about owning the Lockhart business has been the ability to support non-profits in the area, Brad Westmoreland said.

“All in all, my family has enjoyed every minute of it.,” he said. “We feel we have helped serve the community properly. We’ve been able to sponsor Little League programs and to be able to do that is rewarding. Also, one of our little sidelines was that we’ve also been very supportive of band program. We stocked musical instrument supplies. We saved people a lot of trips to Austin. It was always nice to have band members come in and pick out what they needed.

I’ve always been supportive of non-profits and volunteering. You kinda want to preserve what you’ve got.”

Brad Westmoreland believes the three-level building, located next to First Lockhart National Bank, will be occupied soon. Brad Westmoreland and his wife of 42 years, Jackie, own 25 percent of the building as do three other families.

‘Anything over 100-years-old will need work, but it is location, location, location,” he said.

Brad and Jackie Westmoreland have two children, son and Caldwell County Commissioner B.J. Westmoreland, and daughter Katie Mills. They too have worked at Westy’s Pharmacy.

So, what lies ahead for Brad Westmoreland?

“I have no earthly idea,” he said. “I’m gonna do whatever life brings me.”


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