Why is pharmacognosy the mother of the pharmacy

Mathilden pharmacy

(Excerpt from 100 years of Mathilden pharmacy, Festschrift 1996)

This review of the history and development of the Mathilden pharmacy should not begin immediately with the actual founding year of this company, the year 1896. Our look should lead us a little into the prehistory of two people from different regions, namely Strasbourg and Trier. ..

Friedrich Ott was born in Trier on September 12, 1857, the son of Carl Magnus Ott and his wife Elisabeth Henriette, née Fritsch. After finishing school, he began his studies at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. There he passed his pharmaceutical examination on December 18, 1885. As was customary at the time, he went on "wanderings" to deepen his knowledge. These activities took him all over Germany. One day he represented the pharmacist there in Woerth in Alsace during his vacation. The pharmacist's young niece was also visiting there at the same time. She was the daughter of a railway official in Strasbourg; The "old" pharmacist fell head over heels in love with Mathilde Körber, who was born on May 15th.

After successfully applying for the license to run a pharmacy in Schaffhausen - the first country pharmacy on the left of the Saar - the two decided to get married on January 11, 1896 in Strasbourg. In the meantime, however, there have been some problems with setting up the pharmacy. Since the concession was tied to a specific location and therefore only given for Schaffhausen, displeasure arose in Wadgassen as it felt disadvantaged by the award. For example, Mr. Ott decided not to have a plot of land in the center of Schaffhausen. To please all residents, he bought a piece of land right next to the mayor's office, which was central to the communities of Hostenbach, Schaffhausen and Wadgassen. There, in 1895, the construction work for the establishment of the pharmacy began; a year later the pharmacy could be opened.

Very difficult years of development followed. At first it seemed as if the doubters should be right that a pharmacy could not be sustainable in the country. Remember that at that time there were only two finished medicinal products in the modern sense: aspirin and pyramidon; all other drugs were made on the prescription of a doctor, self-medication in the modern sense did not yet exist.

In order to enjoy the flora, which the young pharmacist had intensively occupied with during his studies, he put all sorts of exotic trees and shrubs in the garden around the pharmacy, which were real rarities in our region at the time, such as a ginkgo biloba , a tree of gods, a trumpet tree, but also a red-blooming hawthorn, which was in full bloom on his wife's birthday on May 15th.

The Ott couple had four children in ten years. As eldest son Theo (1896), then Mathilde (1899), Felicitas (1901) and Waldemar (1906). How much health professions were favored in the family can be seen from the fact that of these four children Theo and Waldemar studied medicine, and Felicitas, to the delight of their father, studied pharmacy. On May 13, 1902, the pharmacy - until then "Apotheke Friedrich Ott" was registered as a company in the Saarlouis trade register. To please his wife, he called his life's work "Mathilden-Apotheke".

It was difficult for a woman to study pharmacy at that time. After attending school in Saarlouis, Saarbrücken and Bonn, daughter Felicitas had to take the pre-exams in Trier in 1923 after she had spent her internship in her father's pharmacy. Now she studied at the Rupert Karls University in Heidelberg, where she took the pharmaceutical exam on June 5, 1926. After two more years of internship at the Mathilden pharmacy, she received her license to practice as a pharmacist.

Since the pharmacies were always on duty at the time, the pharmacist Ott was proud that his daughter could now represent him. You have to know that at that time there was neither a Saturday off nor a Sunday off duty for pharmacies; the night shift was permanent anyway.
But this happiness and this "family cooperation" did not last long. In December 1928, when pharmacist Ott wanted to take the train to a colleague's funeral, he had a fatal accident at the Völklingen train station. This severe stroke of fate now posed major problems for the pharmacy and the daughter Felicitas. But because she was a pharmacist herself, she was able to lease the Mathilden pharmacy from her mother - but because of the staff license, a takeover was not possible. Fortunately, she already knew the graduate engineer Oskar Hertewich from Reutlingen at that time, who after his marriage on April 20, 1930, after working at the water management office, was able to take care of the everyday problems of a family of pharmacists. In 1931 daughter Felicitas was born as the first child, and on May 16, 1939 son Theo was born as the second child. After the grandmother's death in 1943, there was uncertainty as to whether the pharmacy could continue to be owned by the family or not. According to the regulations, the pharmacist of the Saarland who could prove the most professional years was entitled to this pharmacy. The pharmacy was given to pharmacist Sack from Luisenthal on July 10, 1944, even though Felicitas Hertewich had devotedly looked after it through the difficult war years. It is only thanks to the fact that he then generously renounced the license that the pharmacy continued to be family-owned. The pharmacist Felicitas applied again for the license. After a long time of uncertain and anxious waiting, the decision came on January 3, 1951 that she could continue to run the pharmacy as manager with immediate effect; She was the first woman in Saarland to be granted a license to run a pharmacy.

The daughter Felicitas, born in 1931, and her brother Theo were both drawn to pharmacy. The former studied in Freiburg, the latter in Tübingen with Professors Hückel and Auterhoff. After her state examination in 1958, Felicitas married the pharmacist Dr. Ludwig Trennheuser, later head of the Viktoria pharmacy in Saarbrücken. They were given five sons, three of whom became doctors and two pharmacists.
The mother Felicitas was active well into old age and could look back on a pharmacy working life of 58 years until shortly before her death in 1988; This was possible above all because young and old could live together in the pharmacy.

After his state examination in 1965 and serving in the Bundeswehr as a reserve pharmacist, son Theo now worked continuously in the Mathilden pharmacy, which he took over in 1986. On August 24, 1968 he married Maria Elisabeth Giebel from Saarlouis. After attending evening grammar school, she had passed her high school diploma and, after a two-year internship, her pre-exam. With this she also acquired the short-term power of representation.
To the great joy of the young family, three girls were born: Elisabeth (1969), Brigitte (1970) and Ursula (1975), who later all decided to work in pharmacy. After completing her apprenticeship as a pharmaceutical technical assistant, Brigitte was the first to look after the next generation; after marrying Dr. med. Carsten Burkhard gave birth to their son Johannes in May 1994, daughter Barbara in January 1998 and son Philipp in August 2002.
Elisabeth, who received her license to practice medicine as a pharmacist in 1997, has since married Dr. med. dent. Klaus Collet is also a mother of three: daughter Johanna was born in April 1998, son Peter in December 1999 and daughter Katharina in April 2004.
Ursula received her license to practice as a pharmacist in December 1999 and in October 2002, after three years of work in the Pharmacognosy and Analytical Phytochemistry Working Group at Saarland University (Prof. Dr. Hans Becker), she was awarded a doctorate at the age of 26. rer. nat. PhD.

After the sudden death of Mr. Theo Hertewich on July 3rd, 2016, his daughter Elisabeth Collet was appointed pharmacy administrator for the transition period.

Ms. Elisabeth Collet has been running the Mathilden pharmacy since January 1st, 2017, which means that the pharmacy remains family-owned.

The Mathilden pharmacy is well prepared for its second century. With God's help, the descendants in this pharmacy should also have a reason to celebrate in 100 years.

(The complete edition of the Festschrift with lots of additional information, including the history of Wadgassen, is available free of charge from our pharmacy on request!)

Here are some photos from yesterday and today!