Operating for sixty years under the same name, the Byrd­Watson Drug 
Company, Inc. has had only three owners. The Company was founded in
1917 by Lewis H. Byrd of Mt. Vernon and Lou A. Watson of Ashley, Illinois.
The Breeze family of Mt. Vernon acquired the business in 1969 when 
Edward J. and Wesley became joint owners of the Corporation which now 
operates three places of business, two in Centralia and one at Times 
Square Mal1, Mt. Vernon.

Edward J. and Brenda S. Brooks Breeze came to Mt. Vernon at the age
of 29 and bought a home on Westwood Avenue where they now reside. They
have one child, Adam Edward.

Edward is the grandson of Jacob and Ril1a Hartley Breeze of Washington 
County and the son of the late Ed Irvin and Theresa Dal1avia. Theresa's
father, Lorenzo, came to Central City, Marion County from Trieste,
Italy and in 1914 moved to a farm in Grand Prairie Township in Jefferson 
County. Ed Irvin, a lifelong resident of Centralia, was employed by the
Illinois Central Railroad.
Brenda is the granddaughter of the late Elvis and Anna Brooks Brooks 
(Anna was a Brooks who married a Brooks) of White County and is the 
daughter of Herman Brooks and Lois Starnes of Fairfield, Illinois.

Edward received his education at Southern Illinois University, 
Carbondale, and the St. Louis Col1ege of Pharmacy where he received his
B.S. in Pharmacy. Brenda, a registered nurse, received her education at
Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, Lee University, Cleveland, 
Tennessee, and the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, Peoria,

Ed and Brenda are members of the Friends of the Mitchel1 Museum and 
parishioners of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Prior to their 
marriage in the spring of 1972, Edward was employed at Good Samaritan 
Hospital Pharmacy and Nashvil1e Pharmacy as a registered pharmacist. 
Brenda lived for two years in Germany traveling extensively throughout 

Some ommisions may have occured to protect living individuals.

"Facts and Folks A History of Jefferson County, Illinois"
Jefferson County Historical Society
Printed by Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX
Page 98
Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer

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