Anderson’s Bookshop recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. But the shop’s Naperville roots actually go back much farther.
Dr. Hamilton Daniels operated a pharmacy in the building that now houses Ted’s Montana Grill. In 1875, William Wallace Wickel purchased the store from Dr. Daniels and started a family dynasty.
W.W. Wickel and his wife, Sarah, had a daughter named Susanna. Susanna graduated from North Central College and was later a member of the music faculty.
She met another North Central student who worked in her father’s drugstore, William Oswald, and married him in 1907. By 1915, W.W. sold the pharmacy to his son-in-law, who renamed it Oswald’s.
The Oswalds had a daughter of their own, Helen. Like her mother, Helen met a young man who worked in the pharmacy, Harold Kester. They were married in 1931.
Harold in his turn bought the pharmacy from his father-in-law in 1953. While the store had always sold books, in 1964, Harold opened a separate shop, Paperback Paradise, above the drugstore. In 1971, Harold moved the bookstore into an old Woolworth’s building down the street. The store has been remodeled several times, but it’s still in the same location.
Helen and Harold raised two daughters, Jean and Anita. Jean carried on the family tradition by marrying pharmacist Robert Anderson who took over the business.
In 1991, Robert turned the family businesses over to the current generation: Bill, Becky, Tres and Peter. Bill runs Oswald’s Pharmacy, Becky and Tres run Anderson’s Bookshop and Pete runs Anderson’s Bookfair.
Fittingly, the Anderson family received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chamber in 2013 for their “long-time contributions to the Naperville community.