Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), announced Morris and Dickson Co. L.L.C. of Shreveport, La. as the recipient of the Senate Small Business Legacy Award upon their 175th anniversary, and will be submitting it into the official Congressional Record. Vitter is to present an award to the group at their 175th anniversary celebration on Saturday, July 16.
“This Shreveport-based family-run business is a great example of the American Dream in action,” said Vitter. “In Louisiana, our small businesses have worked through countless challenges and survived for generations to improve the lives of their neighbors and make substantial contributions to the economy. In honor of their 175th anniversary, I would like to present Morris & Dickson Co. LLC of Shreveport, La. with the Senate Small Business Legacy Award for the important achievements of this Louisiana-based small business success story.”
In 1841 John Worthington Morris opened J.W. Morris & Co. as an independent pharmacy in Shreveport with a single riverfront warehouse. After two generations of family ownership, the company was sold to Claudius Dickson who renamed the company to Morris and Dickson Co. Taking advantage of revolutionary innovations, the Dickson family weathered the Civil War and later grew to become the fourth largest pharmaceutical distributor in the country.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that Morris & Dickson Co. grew exponentially and became a nationally-recognized competitor. At the time, Morris & Dickson Co. was working out of the same building it had first moved into in 1905. Nearly eight decades later, they were still transporting goods in a manual freight elevator, and used a dumbwaiter or rope bucket to send orders upstairs. Claudius’ son Markham Allen Dickson recognized that major changes had to be made and much like his predecessors, had an immense respect for technology’s growing influence. M. Allen’s foresight and ingenuity allowed the family-owned business to grow to become the region’s leading wholesale drug distributor. He moved the company out of downtown Shreveport, utilized the early use of computers, and under his leadership, Morris & Dickson Co. exploded on the national wholesale pharmaceutical scene.
Today, Morris & Dickson Co. provides operational and logistic innovation support for independent pharmacies. This includes everything from on-time delivery of pharmaceutical inventory to inventory management software. With Morris & Dickson Co.’s help, independent pharmacies in fourteen states can focus on supporting and improving the health of their local communities, while also remaining financially solvent.
As SBC Chairman, Vitter continues the tradition of honoring America’s spirit of business and entrepreneurship.