A Message From Bill January 2020

Happy New Year, everyone!


As we close out the second decade of the 21st century I’d like to thank you, our customers for your continued support. I would also like to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! We’re looking forward to another year serving you as Naperville’s most trusted pharmacy.

2020 will mark our 15th full year at our location at Naperville Plaza. 15 years may seem like a long time, but the original Oswald’s Pharmacy location was at 39 West Jefferson in downtown Naperville for 130 years! Wow! 130 plus 15 means we are in our 145th year!! Look for our Anniversary Celebration this Fall!

I’ve always loved reading about history, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the biggest events (and other fun facts) that happened over the years Oswald’s has been in business. We have to start all the way back in 1875…


  • Oswald’s Pharmacy opens as Wickel’s Drugstore in 1875
  • The Battle of Little Bighorn is fought on June 25, 1876
  • Oswald’s (or Wickel’s) owner: My Great-Great-Grandfather William Wallace Wickel


  • The US population breaks 50 million for the first time in 1880
  • The Statue of Liberty arrives at New York Harbor on June 17, 1885
  • The first issue of the Wall Street Journal is published on July 8, 1889
  • Oswald’s owner: William Wallace Wickel


  • Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago on April 1, 1891
  • Hawaii was annexed by the United States on July 7, 1898
  • Oswald’s owner: William Wallace Wickel


  • The first Rose Bowl is held on January 1, 1902 (Michigan beat Stanford 49-0)
  • The tradition of dropping a ball in Times Square begins on January 1, 1908
  • Oswald’s owner: William Wallace Wickel


  • Babe Ruth made his Major League Baseball debut on July 11, 1914
  • The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917
  • Oswald’s owner: My Great Grandfather Louis Oswald (purchased from father-in-law, Wickel, in 1915)


  • The 19th amendment is passed on August 18, 1920, finally allowing women to vote
  • Al Capone orchestrates the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on February 14, 1929
  • Oswald’s owner: Louis Oswald (Oswald’s 50th anniversary in 1925)


  • The Star-Spangled banner is officially named the US national anthem on March 3, 1931
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is opened to pedestrian traffic on May 27, 1937
  • Oswald’s owner: Louis Oswald


  • On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor is bombed by Japan, plunging the US into World War II
  • Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American MLB player on April 15, 1947
  • Oswald’s owner: Louis Oswald


  • The first color televisions are available for purchase on December 30, 1953
  • Alaska and Hawaii are admitted to the Union as the 49th and 50th states in 1959
  • Oswald’s owner: My Grandfather Harold Kester (purchased from father-in-law, Oswald, in 1953)


  • President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963
  • Super Bowl I is held in Los Angeles on January 15, 1967 (Green Bay beat Kansas City 35-10)
  • On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to set foot on the moon
  • Oswald’s owner: Harold Kester


  • Cigarette ads are banned from television in 1971
  • President Nixon resigns from office on August 9, 1974
  • Oswald’s celebrates its 100th anniversary in 1975
  • Oswald’s owner: my Dad – Bob Anderson (purchased from father-in-law, Kester, in 1977)


  • The first version of Windows is released for computers on November 20, 1985
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day is officially observed for the first time on January 20, 1986
  • Oswald’s owner: Bob Anderson


  • Professional Baseball players go on strike in 1994; the first canceled season since 1904
  • The Simpsons becomes the longest-running cartoon in 1997 (a record still growing today!)
  • Oswald’s owner: Bill Anderson (purchased from his father, Bob Anderson, in 1991)


  • The World Trade Center is destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001
  • Oswald’s moves to Naperville Plaza in 2004 after 129 years in Downtown Naperville
  • In 2005 the White Sox won their first World Series in 88 years
  • The US population breaks 300 million for the first time in 2006
  • Oswald’s owner: Bill Anderson


  • Netflix inks a $1billion dollar deal with big movie studios for streaming content, changing the way we watch movies and television in 2010
  • In 2016 the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years
  • Oswald’s owner: Bill Anderson
Written by Bill Anderson

Bill is the current owner of Oswald's Pharmacy. A 5th generation member of the Wickel-Oswald-Kester-Anderson family, Bill became general manager in 1979 and bought the business from his father in 1991. In 2004 Bill orchestrated Oswald's move from Downtown Naperville to Naperville Plaza. Bill graduated from Knox College in 1978 with a BA in Art, minoring in History. A graduate of Naperville Central High School in 1974, Bill is a lifelong Naperville resident. Over the years Bill has served as a current member and past president of the Naperville Rotary Club, current member and past chairman of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, and as former Naperville Riverwalk commissioner. Bill lives in Naperville with his wife, just a few blocks away from their grandchildren (the 7th Oswald's generation!).