History hidden in pain sight

Valley Stream Historical Society: Muller's Drugstore


Frederick W. Müeller (1874-1941) was born in Baden, Germany and immigrated to Brooklyn with his family when he was a young boy.

He studied pharmaceutics in New York and New Jersey. In December 1895, Müeller assumed the management of a store owned by George A. Koch, a Valley Stream druggist. In 1897, Müeller bought Koch’s business, and in May 1900, he built his first store on West Merrick Road.

That same year, Müeller was also appointed Postmaster of Valley Stream under President William McKinley and served in that capacity for 16 years; and for nearly as long he compounded every medication that his neighbor and physician “Doc” J. Mansfield Foster had prescribed to the village’s 3,500 residents.

A member of the Hempstead Pharmaceutical Association, Müeller effectively ran both businesses from his drugstore. He soon dropped the umlaut and Americanized his surname to “Muller,” and the villagers affectionately referred to him as “Doc” Muller.

“He has a large and well equipped establishment for a town of this size and is carrying on a good business, for his honorable methods, courteous treatment and moderate prices have secured to him a liberal patronage,” wrote Peter Ross in his 1902 book, “A History of Long Island.”

In the next feature we will discuss the second drugstore that Muller opened in Valley Stream — one that is also still standing.

Location: 32 West Merrick Road (between Rockaway and South Corona avenues).