History hidden in plain sight

Valley Stream Historical Society: Muller's Drugstore — Part two


Frederick W. Müeller (1874-1941), the pharmacist who built an original drugstore on West Merrick Road, quickly outgrew his space. Consequently, Muller (formerly Müeller) built another pharmacy on Rockaway Avenue in 1911.

Muller Hall opened on the second floor of the new building, which served as a movie theater, meeting hall and dancing school. For a time, the drugstore on West Merrick Road and the Rockaway Avenue store operated concurrently. The post office that originally resided in the Merrick Road store eventually moved to 11 West Jamaica Avenue – built and owned by Muller, which is still standing today.

In addition to being the Village druggist, “Doc Muller” was also a founder and president of the Valley Stream National Bank, at 235 Rockaway Ave. “Will you spend your time over in the new bank, now that you are its president, or here?” asked The Daily Long Island Farmer in 1920. Muller replied, “Oh, I guess the bank will run along better without me than the store can, but I’ll slip over two or three times a day, and I will always have an eye peeled on it.”

That arrangement, however, proved short-lived. In the early 1920s, Muller teamed up with Alonzo Mills and formed the Mills-Muller Corporation, a real estate and insurance concern and subsequently sold his drugstore. Muller, described as “a popular and progressive businessman” in the 1902 book, “A History of Long Island” by Peter Ross, has left his entrepreneurial spirit and enduring imprint on the village. Location: 196 Rockaway Avenue (northwest corner of West Jamaica Avenue).