Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Myrtle R. Walgreen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: July 5, 1879 in Carbondale, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Walgreen was born, raised, married, raised a family, worked, and died in Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Walgreen, née Myrtle Ruth Norton, grew up in southern Illinois, came of age at the Chicago World's Fair (1893), and in 1902 married a young pharmacist, Charles R. Walgreen. In the years leading up to World War I, while raising two children—Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. (1906-2007) and Ruth Stephan (1910-1974)—she prepared salads, soups, and pies at home for Walgreen's year-round soda fountain. She took up gardening at 50, flying at 55, and photography at 60. The first woman elected to the 4-H board of directors, she was active in the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Chicago Historical Society. In 1961, Northland College (Ashland, Wisconsin) recognized her contributions to photography with an honorary doctor of laws. Ronald Reagan, her lifelong friend, had as a youth caddied for her husband in Dixon.

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