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Kool-Aid's Beginning


category : One Of A Kinds
Kool-Aid's Beginning "Mother would bring home some of the soft drink powder that Edwin was experimenting with and my father didn't know if he wanted to drink that powder, sugar, and water mixture!" - A partial reprint from the booklet Hendley Nebraska Centennial.Little did the inhabitants in the village of Hendley, located six miles west of Beaver City, even in their wildest dreams know that the "Dry Goods Box Factory" as they called one of Edwin Perkins' ventures, and the mixing of concoctions would turn into such a large business.

The D.M. Perkins family moved from a farm south of Precept to Hendley in 1899. While in Hendley, he was engaged in the general merchandise business. He was to remain there until 1920 at which time he moved to Hastings, Nebraska. One of his children, Edwin, a boy with a lot of imagination, ingenuity and ambition, was to become very successful with a soft drink powder that was call Kool-Aid.

About 1900 when Edwin was 11 years old, he read an advertisement which fired his imagination. The ad urged the reader to "Be a manufacturer, Mixer's Guide tells how, Write today." His mother soon found her kitchen utensils scented up with perfumes, flavoring extracts, medicine and other mysterious concoctions of a juvenile experimental laboratory operator.

The working with experiments took most of the income that he made from his various business enterprises and he became the editor of The Hendley Dephic in 1909 and was later appointed Postmaster of Hendley in 1914 and served until 1918. During this time he married Kitty Shoemaker. In the 1920s, they and his parents moved to Hastings, Nebraska. Later the family moved to Chicago in 1931.


Come visit us in Beaver City, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

G.W. Shafer & Son, General Merchandise

In 1910, on the square in Beaver City, George Washington Shafer opened what his family lovingly calls, "the first Wal-Mart," G.W. Shafer's. "Grandpa Shafer was the first Wal-Mart," said Jean Shafer of Beaver City. "He sold everything ... absolutely everything."

Beaver City, NE Historic Buildings

Two Story Log House

Visiting the log house is an experience that one can thoroughly enjoy. The original setting is still intact and the area around the house is cleared, allowing the visitors to envision what the house was like when first built. Mr. Wesley Camp homesteaded the land in 1877

Beaver City, NE Pioneer Life

Furnas County Courthouse

When Furnas County organized in late 1873, Beaver City was one of the voting places designated by Governor Robert Furnas, for whom the county was named. Competing with Arapahoe for location of the county seat, Beaver City was chosen for the honor by the people. This is where it has remained.

Beaver City, NE Historic Courthouses

World's First Flying Doctor

Dr. Frank A. Brewster practiced medicine in Beaver City from 1901 to 1923

Beaver City, NE Monuments

First United Methodist Church

Welcome to Beaver City's First United Methodist Church. Enjoy the chimes coming from the bell tower on Sunday mornings immediately before and after the worship service. Feast your eyes on the magnificent stained glass windows of the church.

Beaver City, NE Historic Buildings

Things to do One Of A Kinds near Beaver City, NE