A new era begins at iconic building

THE VIEW from behind the counter at the former — and now empty — John’s Rx Drug pharmacy.

By Per Peterson

It’s been quite an interesting couple of years for Maria Schleppenbach-Grogan — on both personal and professional levels.

First, the 1982 Tracy High School graduate who worked side-by-side with her father, John, for two-and-a-half years on the elevated floor behind the counter at John’s Rx Drug, sold the pharmacy to Lewis Family Drug in February 2017. 

Ten months later, the doors to Tracy’s new pharmacy on the west end of town opened.

And now, there is a new owner of John’s Rx Drug — one of Tracy’s most iconic buildings run by one of its most beloved businessmen.

Mark Seager has purchased the John’s Rx Drug building, as well as the J Mar building next door, right between John’s Rx Drug and the building that houses his Prairie Home Medical Supply business. Seager now owns four contiguous buildings downtown. 

“It solves the spacial issues that I was having,” he said. “And I have an appreciation of taking something old and preserving it.”

Seager’s immediate plan is to use his new space for inventory, but he also wants to use some of the room to satisfy a larger vision of his for downtown, all while preserving the history of one of Tracy’s most iconic buildings.

“I would like to put something on the front of the building that recognizes the fact that for 50 years, here stood John’s Drug that serviced the community for decades,” he said.

Schleppenbach-Grogan has complete faith in Seager when it comes to the future of the building that means so much to her. In fact, it was his name that first came to her mind as soon as she learned that Lewis was going to build a new store in town. Schleppenbach-Grogan said she made sure to take good care of the John’s Rx Drug building and knows Seager will do the same.

“I know he takes very good care of his buildings,” Schleppenbach-Grogan said.  

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.