The Life of Elmer J. Sellers

In the death of Elmer J. Sellers, 79, familiarly known to young and old, as “Doc,” Kutztown loses one of its standbys, for he conducted for 54 years, the drug store on Main St. which bears his name, and always had the interests of the borough at heart.
He was a member of the Huguenot Lodge No. 377, F. and A. M.; of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon; of the Shrine; the Chamber of Commerce; of various pharmaceutical Associations; and for 47 years was a member of the consistory of St. Paul’s Reformed Church, for 34 of which he served as elder.
He was also a member, for three years, of Town Council, for two of which he served as president, served as highway commissioner, and did not a little for the development of the Kutztown Park.

He was the son of Mahlon A. Sellers, proprietor of Windsor Castle Hotel, who gave Windsor Castle its name.
He attended Kutztown State Normal School, after which he served his pharmaceutical apprenticeship with Adam Bodenhorn, Hamburg, and Jacob H. Stein, Reading. He clerked in various places for 12 years, became a registered pharmacist August 15, 1887, and located here. His son Roy M. Sellers, also a druggist, died at the age of 33, during the influenza epidemic.

Fishing was his hobby, and he not only invented a fishing reel, but made use of a rod, on which he carved a fish. “Thus,” he’d say, jokingly, “I always bring home a least one fish!” He was a member of the Autumn Leaf Club, composed of professional men of Reading, and enjoyed trips to Canada and elsewhere with them; and few knew the streams in the State. As he did. Sports magazines had a lire for him, also, and he once contributed a poem to “Field and Stream.”
He also invented an improved type of hitching post; rigged up a melting pot for the linotype machine of the Kutztown Publishing Company; erected his own telephone line from the store to his Walnut Street home; and even trained his dog, “Truck” to carry medicine home, and to balance his fishing rods.

In his earlier days he was an itinerant druggist, going out in to the rural areas selling drugs. He made many of his own remedies, and even to this day hundreds of people swear by Sellers Cough Syrup and Quinine Pills. Than too, many relied on his diagnosis of their ailments and accepted his medicine, in fact, his life and daily deeds were comparable to those of a country doctor or minister, for he spread good cheer, and advice and sympathy, day in and day out.

His drug store, known far and wide, was the scene of many heated discussions on local subjects, the druggist often taking the opposite side for the sake of argument. Of genial disposition, he excelled as a teller of tales, and made a host of friends during his long career; and his quiet, refined manner endeared him to all.
Another hobby was painting, and it was his habit for years, to purchase for his customers, Christmas Cards featuring tinted photographs of winter scenes in the Poconos, which he loved so well. He was also skilled at taxidermy, and collected arrowheads and coins.

He was twice married, his first wife having been Sarah Ann Skelton, Williamstown, who died May, 1902; and his second wife, Mrs. Hedwig Schille, Brooklyn, who was a native of Leipsic, Germany, and died in October 1935.

His survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Bertha Wincer and two grandsons; Frederick and Richard Wincer.
The funeral was held Tuesday at 2 p. m. at St. Paul’s Reformed Church, Rev. Francis F. Renoll officiating. The pallbearers were the following members of St. Paul’s consistory: Eugene P. DeTurk, Howard Dellicker, H. W. Sharadin, William Siegfried, Charles Schaeffer and Linwood Barto.
Burial was made following a Masonic ritual, in Hope cemetery, at the direction of Undertaker George R. Schaeffer.
The Patriot joins with many in saying he lived a good life, served his fellowman, and tried to make Kutztown a little better for having lived here.
The Patriot; January 23,1941

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