BAILEY T. O’NEILL

Special to The Banner

BENNINGTON -- In February 1969 the town of Bennington, like the majority of small towns in America, was beginning to house national and international companies. These companies soon started to entice customers away from local retailers.

At the same time, two young pharmacists, Edward Molloy and Phillip O’Neill opened The Pharmacy on North Street, an establishment that stayed in the same hands until in 2005 Molloy was bought out by O’Neill for complete ownership.

This summer, after more than 40 years at The Pharmacy, and nearly 50 years as a pharmacist, Molloy decided to retire from his everyday work that had been so much of his life for nearly 50 years.

After Molloy left high school he went onto school to become an engineer, that was until he realized that he wanted to be near people, that he wanted to be able to communicate with customers on a daily basis, develop relationships with them, and be able to establish friendships through his work.

In order to do all of those things Molloy decided to switch trades, and go to college to become a pharmacist.

"I wanted to be closer to people," said Molloy, "over my career I never got up in the morning and was like ‘man, I have to go to work,’ I really valued being close to the people that I was helping on a daily basis."

With a new career path, Molloy worked for Frost pharmacy in Bennington, where he met O’Neill and the two worked together for several years. When it became apparent that the pharmacy would close Molloy and O’Neill decided to go into business together.

In February 1969 The Pharmacy opened its doors for the first time. "We wanted a small pharmacy without a lot of out retail items in the front things, we wanted to focus on the prescription part of the pharmacy business. That was the way we developed it and the way it stayed," Molloy said.

"At that time that we opened the chains stores and pharmacies started building and expanding, we saw the influx of all the other chain retailers as they came into Bennington, where as there was only one chain pharmacy in town when we started," said Molloy.

The Pharmacy continued to run smoothly under the mutual control of Molloy and O’Neill until, in 2005, Molloy sold his 50 percent share of the store to O’Neill.

Molloy continued his work at The Pharmacy until earlier this year, when he decided to finish out the lifespan of his pharmacist’s license and then retire.

"The thing I miss the most about my career is seeing the people every day," said Molloy. "The people of this community made it so that I never dreaded going to work in the morning, that says a lot about the people of this community and how much they I enjoyed seeing them."

Bailey T. O’Neill, a 2013 graduate of Mount Anthony Union High School, was a Banner intern this year.