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B T Fooks ~ Grapette(The following text is excerpted verbatim from the "Fooks Family", by Herbert C. Fooks)

    Benjamin Tyndle Fooks was born July 15, 1901 on the Fooks farm in McCracken County near Paducah, Kentucky. He was the second child and first son of Terrell D. and Flora Ellen Fooks.

    The family moved to Camden, Arkansas in 1914. Tyndle entered High School in Camden, completing his course in 1918. After finishing high school, he returned to Paducah, where he entered business college to study bookkeeping and accounting. After completing a short business course, he secured a bookkeeping job which he held until early 1919. On moving to Camden, T. D. Fooks established a sawmill and lumber business. In 1919 Tyndle Fooks returned to Camden and entered the lumber business with his father.

    In the fall of 1920, having felt called to the Methodist ministry, Tyndle Fooks entered Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for study. After pursuing his ministerial studies for about three months, Tyndle decided that a career in the ministry was not advisable and he left the Institute. However, his interest in Methodism has increased through the years and he is today one of Arkansas' most prominent Methodist Laymen.

    For several years young B. T. Fooks worked in the lumber industry. As a wholesale lumber dealer, he purchased lumber in the South and sold it to dealers, food packers, and other industrial users in Chicago. He operated two different sawmills of his own in Louisiana and assisted his father in the operation of the Camden mill. He established and operated a wholesale lumber business in Memphis, Tennessee, but finally sold it and returned to Camden in 1925.

    In June, 1923, Benjamin Tyndle Fooks was married to Gulnare Thornton of Camden, a lovely young girl with whom he had become acquainted during high school days. They have two children, a son, Robert Hampton (by adoption), and a daughter, Frances Sue.

    On returning to Camden in 1925, B. T. Fooks purchased a service station in the city. In February, 1926, he sold his service station to purchase a small soft drink bottling plant, thus embarking him on his career in the soft drink industry. Expansion of these activities began in 1927 when Tyndle Fooks purchased a second bottling plant in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Later, in 1928, he purchased a third plant in Hope, Arkansas. When the crash of 1929 came, young Fooks was forced to curtail his operations. He closed the Hope plant and sold the Arkadelphia plant. Being entirely unfamiliar with the beverage industry when he entered it in 1926, Fooks studied it diligently, reading all he could about it. In 1928 he first began experimenting with with the manufacture of flavors -- all of these being used in his own plants until 1930. It was in 1930 that he established the B. T. Fooks Manufacturing Company which was the predecessor of The Grapette Company, Incorporated. By 1939 "Fooks Flavors" had become widely known throughout the soft drink industry. Of the 150 different types and strengths of soft drink flavors which he manufactured and sold, grape was by far the most popular.

    Realizing the potentialities of an outstanding grape drink, Mr. Fooks devoted a great deal of time and research to perfecting such a beverage. After thousands of experiments, he developed the unusually distinctive taste quality of the grape soft drink which is known internationally today as "Grapette". In May, 1940, Grapette was first placed on the market in Camden. It was the beginning of an unusually successful business. In 1950, after ten short years, Grapette has become a most popular grape flavored beverage. The Grapette Company has become the seventh ranking beverage company in the industry, and B. T. Fooks has become one of Arkansas' most outstanding business men.

    He is a generous benefactor and has organized The Grapette Foundation to handle his contributions to charities and other worthy causes.

    As a church man, Mr. Fooks is an active leader in his Camden church, state church activities, and national church conferences. He has represented Arkansas Methodism at both the Methodist Jurisdictional Conference and the Methodist General Conference. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and a member of that group's executive committee. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas. He is Chairman of the Board of the Arkansas Methodist Hospital.

    A past president of the Camden Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Fooks is also a leader in the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Economic Council. He is a member of the Board of the Arkansas Public Expenditure Council and also a member of the Arkansas Free Enterprise Association. He is director of the Mid-West Research Institute. At the present time he is working on a joint project of the University of Arkansas and the Committee for Economic Development. He has recently been named to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers.

    Under the governorship of Ben Laney, Mr. Fooks served as chairman of Arkansas' first Resources and Development Committee. It was during his association with this commission that Arkansas realized its greatest growth and prosperity. In 1944, Mr. Fooks was a presidential elector and in 1948 a delegate to the National Democratic Convention.

    Mr. Fooks is a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner, a director of Camden's Citizens National Bank, president of the Camden Community Hotel, Inc., and a member of the Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution.

    During the year 1950, Mr. Fooks has established near Camden one of the finest Aberdeen Angus herds in the South. He was recently named a director of the Southwest Regional Aberdeen Angus Association. His "Fooks Farms" is one of the show pieces of Southwest Arkansas.

    Tyndle seems to have inherited his love of good cattle from his grandfather, William Franklin Fooks of near Paducah, Kentucky. As a little boy, he liked to go to his grandfather's farm to see the cattle. Two of his most prized cattle are on the Fooks Angus Farms, near Camden, Arkansas. These are shown herein in the pictorial section. This farm consists of approximately 1500 acres and about 300 head of Aberdeen-Angus cattle.

Fook Family Album.jpg     This is the cover of the "Fooks Family". The family coat of arms features the fleur-de-lis of the French Plantagents. It bears the motto Arma Tuentur Pacem (arms promote peace).

     The "Fooks Family" was published in 1953 by Herbert C. Fooks, after long years of thorough and diligent study of the Fooks family records. Herbert's research began in the early 1920's, and continued throughout the years. Herbert traced the family back to Fulk I, Count of Anjou (France), A. D. 874, an original Plantagenet. The Fooks of Maryland are descendants of the English Fowke family, which descended from the Fulks of Anjou.

     Much of Herbert's biographical information on B. T. was obtained during a visit with B. T. in 1950. Herbert was accompanying T. D. Fooks (B. T.'s father) on a journey throughout the U. S. that was made expressly to visit descendants of the early Fooks family of Salisbury, Maryland.

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