Company Names, addresses, dates:
M.E. Church, West Broad Street, Falls Church VA (c.1891-c.1903)1,2
Merton Elbridge Church was born in Derby Vermont on 14-Feb-18581.
He came to Virginia as a child, with his mother and his stepfather George P. Spofford, who his mother married after his father had died in the Union army during the civil war4.
He moved to Herndon in 1879, and then to Falls Church about 18861. His obituary says he ran a drug store for about 12 years, and served as president of the Virginia Pharmaceutical Association. The book "Historic Falls Church" by Cathy Taylor has a photo on page 84 of a drug store he ran with his father-in-law called "Spofford & Church", located in Falls Church on Broad Street.
Church put his drug store up for sale in 19033.
Church was one of the early car-owners in Virginia, as he had an "Automobile Operator's Permit" in 1903, allowing him to operate a Steam powered automobile5.
Church went on to be one of the most prominent citizens of Northern Virginia, as a leader in various civic, fraternal and relgious organizations. Church was credited with establishing the first telephone line in Virginia - a line from his drugstore to Washington DC. The 1900 census listed a telephone operator living in his household. He made money in the real estate and insurance business, then went on to organize 5 or 6 Virginia banks. He passed away in 19311.
Clear 5.5" (4 ounce) bottle embossed:
horizontal: M.E. CHURCH / (mortar & pestle) / DRUGGIST / FALLS CHURCH / VA.
base: S B & CO / PAT'D