Former Emporia resident and founder of Braum's ice cream stores dies

Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 5:22 AM CDT
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William Henry "Bill" Braum, the founder of a popular ice cream chain that bears his family's name and a former resident of Emporia, has died.

According to KVOE-AM radio in Emporia, Braum died Monday at his home in Oklahoma City, surrounded by family. He was 92.

Braum, who was raised in Emporia, worked for his father, Henry, in the family's butter and milk processing plant, which later became Peter Pan Ice Cream.

By 1967, there were 61 Peter Pan ice cream stores, including locations at S.W. 10th and Buchanan and S.W. 29th and Oakley in Topeka.

Peter Pan Ice Cream was purchased by a wholesale company in 1967.

A year later, in 1968, Bill Braum opened his first Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store in Oklahoma.

In 1975, he moved his dairy herd from Emporia to Tuttle, Okla.

Braum's now has more than 300 stores in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas.

All of the company's stores are located within a 300-mile radius of the Braum's processing plant in Tuttle, Okla. Topeka is about 320 miles away from Tuttle.

The nearest Braum's location to Topeka is Emporia, about 50 miles south of the capital city, which has two stores.