The Better Mousetrap Candy Store


Thanks to Roger C. Thurmond (Hall High '63), who remembered the candy store on Stagecoach Road and sent me the following.

Candy making has been in the Henry family of Dexter, Kansas for generations. Tom Henry, who was born in Boston in 1880, started the business years ago. At the age of ten, he helped a Greek candy maker after school. He later worked in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, as well as Kansas.

Finally Tom started his own successful candy business located on Highway 5, south of Little Rock, Arkansas. The business was known as the "Better Mouse Trap Candy Store". The Better Mouse Trap brand is copyrighted and was inspired by Emerson's essay wherein he stated, "If a man makes a better mousetrap, the public will beat a path to his door". The well known O'Henry candy bar was originated by Tom Henry. He called it the "Tom Henry Bar", and he sold it to the Curtiss Candy Company, who renamed it the "Oh Henry". Tom Henry made candy until the age of eighty-three.

Patrick Henry, Sr. traveled around the country with his father Tom, and followed in his father's vocation of candy making. In 1956, the Henry Candy Company was started at Dexter, Kansas, with Pat, his wife Mildred, and their son Pat Henry, Jr., working in the business. Pat Henry, Jr., left the candy business two years later to go into the insurance business. The candy store was first located in downtown Dexter before moving to a larger building on Kansas Highway 15.

The third and fourth generation of Henrys continued with the candy making operation. Evelyn (Henry) Pudden and her daughters, Tammie and Robyn Evinger, are currently running the business, with other members helping out occasionally. Sunday afternoons from August until the first of December, they make hard candies with designs in the center. They still make the original "Tom Henry" bar which they now call the "Mama Henry".