Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California
Kenneys Drug Store
Original Kenney's Drug Store
Researched and written by John Steiner
Edward Kenney was born in Crete, Nebraska in 1910. He attended and graduated from the College of Pharmacy, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
He met and later married Margaret Flynn in 1934.
Prior to coming to Twentynine Palms, California, Mr. Kenney had obtained his pharmacist license and was working in Globe, Arizona as a pharmacist. Mr. and Mrs. Kenney heard about a pharmacy that was about to go out of business and was for sale in Twentynine Palms.
"We decided to give it a try," Mrs. Kenney said. "It was almost night time when we arrived in Twentynine Palms. We were greeted by the Gilpins, Cumminses, and Johnny Hastie. They were there to kind of talk us into it. In the end we decided to give it a go." The year was 1939.
"World War II started, so that was a help. General Patton's army came through on their way to desert training. They invaded the store. It was a long way from the east where they came from," Mrs. Kenney remembered, adding, "that the soldiers also liked, at that time, the store had a liquor license."
"Growth in the store made it necessary to seek out a professional assistant and in 1958 he found one in the person of Albert Beller. They became partners and friends," Mrs. Kenney recollected. Mr. Beller was a graduate of the College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tucson.
The Kenneys moved the drug store west across the street from the original location at Tamarisk Avenue. "Later we needed to expand the store to 5400 square feet. This was in 1958," Mrs. Kenney reminisced.
The original drug store was on the south side of Twentynine Palms highway, and was of Spanish style with white stucco. As the Kenney/Beller enterprise grew they opened up the K & B Mart, which consisted of a large grocery store and sold liquor. They later added a delicatessen. This was in the Smoke Tree area in 1959.
Sadly, Edward Kenney passed away in 1982. Margaret Kenney joined him in 2014 at the age of 102.
Kenney's Drug Store not only provided the pharmaceutical needs of the local residents, but also had a soda fountain and was a popular gathering place.
It should be noted that all three original locations still stand and are in use today.
Looking east down 29 Palms Highway about about 1938 or '39.
Note Kenney's Drug Store on right
Photo by Harlow W. Jones
Flooding at Kenney's Drug in downtown 29 Palms in August 1945.
Second Kenney's Drug Store
In November 1947 Kenny's Drug moved west across Tamarisk Street to this building.
Twentynine Palms Hardware Store in 1948,
opened in the former Kenney's Drug Store building.
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