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Yates and Milton Drugstore records

Identifier: aarl91-005

Scope and Content Note

This small collection is made up mostly of financial ledgers from Yates and Milton Drugstores, which reveal daily financial records from April 1955 to December 1972. Each ledger has been placed in a box. However, the last box, which contains and unbound ledger, includes a drugstore poster, as well. It lists drugstore items and prices.


  • 1955-1972


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch


Clayton R. Yates came to Atlanta in the early 1900s to attend Atlanta University. After receiving his bachelor's degree in 1920, he became employed as a teller with Citizens Trust Bank in the city. Three years later, he purchased, along with Lorimer D. Milton, The Gate City Drugstore.

As part-business owner, Yates assumed the position of manager, in which he maintained the daily operations of the business. Soon after, he began to take on an even greater task, by taking sole responsibility for four additional stores, which he managed for 50 years.

Yates' lent his support to a great number of organizations throughout the city. The Atlanta Negro Voters League, the Urban League, the Butler Street YMCA and the Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority, where he influenced the decision to build the Hughes Spalding Pavilion, are just some of them.

He died in January 1977.


Lorimer D. Milton, who was born in 1899, received his bachelor and master's degrees from Brown University in the early 1900s. He later began teaching economics and banking classes at Morehouse College. During the same time, Milton bought three shares of Citizens Trust Bank, where he later began working as a bookkeeper and accountant. After a short period, he went on to become a cashier and eventually comptroller of bank operations.

In 1923, Milton joined Yates in the proprietorship of Yates and Milton Drugstore. But his banking days weren't over--Shortly after, he returned to Citizen's. Trust in the 1930s and became president in 1937, where he remained for 34 years. Still, he continued to teach at Morehouse College and Atlanta University, and later founded and became Dean of Atlanta University's School of Business Administration.

Milton was a strong supporter of the Butler Street YMCA, the Urban League, the NAACP and the Atlanta Business League. He also held an interest in real estate development of the west side of Atlanta, particularly the Crestwood area, where he once resided.


The first Yates and Milton Drugstore was located at the corner of Auburn Avenue and Butler Street in the Odd Fellows Building Previously, it was owned by Moses Amos, who purchased the drugstore in 1889.

Amos, who was one of the first black licensed pharmacist in Georgia, named it the Service Company Drugstore. However the name was later changed to the Gate City Drugstore when Heman Perry purchased it sometime during the early 1900s.

It wasn't until 1922 when Yates and Milton purchased the drugstore from Perry, that the name changed to Yates and Milton Drugstore. Opening the following year, it provided employment to many African-Americans and was a meeting place for visitors, businessmen and residents. The establishment also featured an elegant soda fountain which made the drugstore a popular social center. A post office substation was part of the store as well.

Eventually, four additional drugstores were opened throughout the city and were operated by Yates for 50 years.


4.0 v.




The collection consists of account books from the Yates and Milton Drugstore (Atlanta, Ga.) from 1955-1972. The collection also includes a drugstore poster, listing items sold and prices.
Inventory of the Yates and Milton Drugstore Records aarl91-005 aarl91-005
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303