Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: A notice of Walton Drug’s move to a new location is posted on a door at the Gila HealthResources complex in Morenci. Many patrons who are unaware of the move are surprised by the notice. There was no advertisement or announcement about the move to speak of.
Will return to Gila Health facility
By Walt Mares
Walton Drug has made a temporary move from its longtime location at the Gila Health Resources complex. Walton is now located in the Morenci Plaza. It made the move last week, but many are still going to Walton’s former location at Gila Health.
The move had not been advertised until a notice posted on the door of the former location advised patrons of the move.
Chief Pharmacist Martin Higbee said the move is only temporary as GHR makes expansions at its facility. He said the pharmacy will return to GHR but at a different location at that facility. When the return will be made is uncertain.
Higbee said plans for the expansion and relocation have been in the works for about a year but were only recently finalized, thus the rather sudden move by the pharmacy to its temporary quarters adjacent to Morenci’s U.S. Post Office.
Walton’s may still be contacted at (928) 865-9946.
Walton’s location was ideal as patrons who after receiving medical care at GHR that involved having prescriptions filled needed only to walk 20 to 50 feet to do so.
As for pluses involving the move to the Morenci Plaza, there are several.
There is plenty of parking in the Morenci Plaza to accommodate pharmacy patrons. It is also conveniently located near three eateries. R&R Pizza, the Miner’s Diner, and the Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant. Walton is also a short walk to the National Bank of Arizona, the only bank located in Greenlee County.
The plaza also has a covered parking area to provide shade from the hot summer sun.
Walton was for several years the only pharmacy in all of Greenlee County. Another pharmacy opened in the past year in Duncan, in southern Greenlee County. That location formerly housed the Duncan Branch of the National Bank of Arizona.
National Bank of Arizona’s Morenci branch makes it all the more convenient for Greenlee residents to do their banking business rather than drive all the way to neighboring Graham County. Patronizing the Morenci location may also make it all the more convenient to grab a quick and convenient lunch with the three nearby restaurants.
The same holds true for Walton Drug patrons.
Estes Pharmacy was located for many years where the Chinese restaurant is now housed. It was operated by Francis Waldorf, a highly popular and well-respected member of the Morenci community. One can say he was even beloved. Following his retirement as a pharmacist, Morenci High School honored Waldorf by naming its baseball field after him.
Following the closing of Estes a pharmacy was briefly located at the Phelps Dodge grocery store. Waldorf worked there briefly.
Bashas’ grocery is now located there where the Phelps Dodge grocery was.
Yet another change came when the Phelps Dodge Mercantile closed and is now the Morenci Ace Hardware & Supply store. The PD Merc was struggling whereas Ace is a thriving business that is well stocked with a wide variety of goods that includes gardening supplies.