Earles Drug Store, seen in this 1946 image, was owned by Dr. George W. Earles. The store opened July 1941 at 120 East Center Street. The building, owned by Earles and Dr. J.A. Flora, featured soda and luncheonette services in the drug store on the first floor. The second floor was built to house a number of medical offices. George W. Earles had previously been affiliated with both the Kingsport and Holston Drug Companies. Earles was assisted by Dr. R.C. Badgett, a licensed pharmacist. When Earles died in 1953, his widow Janie Earles, along with sons George and Howard, continued to run the business. Janie Earles was active in politics and organized the first Republican women’s group in Sullivan County. She ran, unsuccessfully, for State Senator in 1968.
In 1960, Earles Drug Store moved a few blocks down from its original location to the corner of Center and Shelby Streets. The new three story building featured Kingsport’s first prescription drive-in window. The first floor housed the drug store, cafeteria, and luncheonette. The second and third floors housed a variety of offices. Above, this 1962 image shows the new Earles, located behind the J. Fred Johnson and Company. Below, this 1960 image, taken shortly after the new building opened, showcases the interior of the building. The store carried a complete cosmetic and sundries department along with the prescription center and cafeteria.