An eye toward history

Former Seberg Pharmacy now home to Ragland’s eye clinic



It’s a coming home of sorts for Dr. Cynthia Ragland, who along with her husband Craig, owns and operates a building in the historic 13th Street District of Marshalltown. The location is the former site of Seberg Pharmacy, which was run by Ed Seberg from 1940-1972, and later by Frank O’Brien. Today, part of this building now functions as Ragland’s newly opened C Eye Care, PC clinic, located at 236 N. 13th Street.

Ragland, a native of Marshalltown, attended nearly Franklin Elementary School. She would frequent the Seberg Pharmacy growing up in the 1970s, as well as other 13th Street businesses.

“The area was kind of a stomping ground for me as a kid,” she said.

Ragland has been a doctor of optometry for the last 19 years, having graduated with a B.S. from Iowa State University, and from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, in 1998. C Eye Care, PC is her first solo venture. She noted how when she and her husband learned the building was for sale, around 2-1/2 years ago, they knew it had potential.

“When we bought the building, it had been a dance studio and also a tattoo parlor,” she said. “I’ve always loved the 13th Street District and supported the revitalization efforts here.”

Husband Craig led the way in renovating the space, careful to blend nostalgia with modernity.

“The space incorporates the history, but it’s cutting edge too — combining new front windows with the original 14-foot tin ceilings, high-gloss new flooring with refinished hardwood floors, and an antique pharmacy door with crisp white trim,” Ragland explained.

Memorializing the pharmacy’s most famous frequenter was of paramount importance to Ragland. Her clinic pays homage to hometown darling of French New Wave, actress Jean Seberg, who had spent time working as a soda jerk in her father’s pharmacy, before being launched to international fame. Before any major renovating began, Ragland explained, she mapped out how she wanted to incorporate the Sebergs’ legacy into the space.

Upon entering the clinic, folks are greeted with large mounted black and white photos of Seberg, from various points in her film career. In keeping with the theme of her business, Ragland selected images of the actress wearing or posing with glasses.

“Nancy Adams (who volunteers with the Jean Seberg Festival) at the Orpheum, helped me with the photos, and Jarod Elsberry blew them up and mounted them,” Ragland said. “I also spoke with Jean’s siblings about the project, and I’m excited for them to see it when they come for the festival in November. It just seemed appropriate that Jean be the star here.”

Ragland classifies the clinic’s style as “boutique medical eye care.”

“This means we offer individualized eye care with a medical emphasis, within a friendly neighborhood environment.”

When asked what makes her clinic stand out, Ragland said she uses the latest technology available in the field, to streamline the diagnosing process. She can treat eye emergencies and diseases and prescribe contact lenses and glasses. She hand-selected all of the products her clinic carries.

“I specifically sought out frames that are manufactured in the United States,” she noted. “And we sell special sunglasses that can float.”

The Raglands are working on renovating the building’s upstairs apartments, and an area of the structure next door to the eye clinic.

Honoring the community’s veterans is also near and dear to the Raglands. In 2015, their son, Beau, completed a patriotic mural on the side of the building, which faces the Iowa Veterans Home.

C Eye Care, PC is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and may be reached at: 641-352-3544 or


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or