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The history of Tampa's Goody Goody drive-in restaurant starts
nearly a decade before Ralph Stephens established the first one in
Tampa in 1925.
Little did Ralph
and Amanda Stephens know that when they opened the first Goody
Goody sandwich shop in Tampa in 1925, they were
establishing an iconic Tampa restaurant that would last 80
years, hibernate for 11 years yet remain in the hearts and
memories of Tampans near and far, then reawaken in Tampa's Hyde
Park Village in grand style in 2016, thanks to Richard Gonzmart
and the Columbia Restaurant Group!
THE RALPH STEPHENS STORY
Stephens was born on Oct. 17, 1892 in Eaton, Ohio, the youngest
of three children born to Eaton grocer Henry King Stephens and
Sarah J. Fraley.
Marriage of Ralph's parents, Henry and Sarah, married in
May Township, Taylorville, Christian
Co, IL on Dec. 10, 1884. Henry was 20, Sarah was 18.
Henry was a farmer, living in May township, age 21 on his next
birthday, born in Christian Co. His parents were Nicolas
Stephens and Sarah Coulters.
Sarah J. Fraley age 19 at her next birthday, born in Christian
Co, her parents were John S Fraley & Sarah J. Wiley.
1900 U.S. Census
of Ohio, Preble County, Eaton town
Ralph Stephens at age seven
& Sarah's children were Grover H., Nelle, and Ralph. In
1943 Henry provided certification of info for a replacement or
delayed birth certificate for his daughter Nelle. This is
the source for Henry's middle name--KING.
Nelle married William D. Muir on
Jun. 8, 1914 in Chicago.
IN EATON, OHIO, AFTER THE 1900 CENSUS
Henry Stephens took the family
camping for a week on Aug. 1, 1903
right: Henry was co-owner of the well known
grocery store on Barron Street, "Blue Front "
Grocery. In Jan. 1904, his partner sold his
interest to Ed Lincoln, one of Preble County's
infirmary directors. Henry remained co-owner.
1904, Henry was chosen to be a director of a local
cemetery, the time having expired for the current
one. (Which is somewhat of an ambiguous
way to put it.)
HENRY STEPHENS'S MYSTERIOUS DEPARTURE FROM EATON
3rd week of Jan. 1907, Henry Stephens suddenly ran
off, without explanation, abandoning his grocery
store on N. Barron Street, as well as his home and
family. But not before withdrawing all he had
in the bank: $480. The Stephenses were a
well-known couple in Eaton and had many friends;
nobody could imagine why Henry would have done this.
cause for Henry's departure will be revealed in the
next section when his son Ralph gets a job at the
Western Hotel in Oklahoma City.]
Eight months later, Sarah Stephens sold their home
in Eaton. By this time she probably knew what
happened to Henry. E. D. Lincoln, Henry's
recent partner at Blue Front grocery, bought the
Stephens house on E. High St. from Mrs. Stephens.
not known at this time where Sarah Stephens went.
Ralph would have been about 14, his sister Nellie
would have been around 16 or 17, and Grover would
have been around 20 to 21.
far, a record of her death has not been located.
She may have moved back to her hometown of May in
Christian Co., Illinois.
RALPH STEPHENS IN KANSAS CITY, MO.
By the time Ralph
18, he had moved out on his own to Kansas City, MO where in
1910 he had a job as a presser in a fabric dye
A crop of a circa 1920s
Postcard of Troost Ave looking north towards 31st St.,
contributed by Mrs. Sam (Mildred) Ray to the Missouri Valley Special
Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.
The west side of the street shows
the new 6-story Joseph C. Wirthman building housing Wirthman's
Drugstore on the corner and the offices of many physicians and
dentists; the Isis Theater, (built in 1918); the Isis Cafeteria,
in the basement at 3104; Louise W. Winter Millinery Shop; Mary
Lane Dry Goods; Humfeld-Orear Floral Company; Dinty Moore's
Restaurant; Baldwin Piano Store; and the Monkey Steam Dye
KANSAS CITY (MO) TIMES - Feb. 12, 1909
This is just a
small sampling of help wanted ads for pressers in the last half
of 1909 in the KANSAS CITY (Mo.) TIMES. Some of them
specifically wanted women pressers and "strong women."
Ralph could have been working at any of these places, or the one
on the 1910 Census,
Jackson Co., Kansas City, MO.
It was in Kansas
Ralph met Hannibal, MO native Amanda Ellen Ogle. She
was one of six children of Missouri native carpenter Jesse L.
Ogle and his wife, Catherine.
Ralph and Amanda
married in Kansas city on Oct. 19, 1912.
A short time
later, they moved or took a visit to Park Ridge in Cook Co, IL where their
first son, Robert Emery Stephens, was born on Dec. 4, 1915. Ralph
probably had relatives there; his parents and sister
were all born in Illinois. Park Ridge is now a suburb of
1910 U.S. Census of
The Jesse and Catherine (O'Keefe) Ogle family at 611 N.
Jesse was 53 and working
as a carpenter at a saw mill. Nineteen year old
Amanda Ogle worked as a bookkeeper at a daily newspaper.
All members of the Ogle family were born in Missouri.
Jesse's parents were from Kentucky, Catherine (O'Keefe)
Ogle's parents were German Irish and German English.
Jesse and Catherine
married on May 27, 1889 in Spalding, Ralls Co. Missouri.
In 1910 they had been married 21 years and all six of
their children were living in their home.
RALPH STEPHENS IN THE HOTEL BUSINESS AT THE WESTERN
HOTEL IN OKLAHOMA CITY
By 1917, Ralph,
Amanda, and their baby son Robert moved from Park
Ridge, near Chicago, to Oklahoma City where they
lived at 1504 W. First street.
Ralph and Amanda's
second son, Vincent Ralph Stephens, was born in
Oklahoma City on Jan. 24, 1917.
Ralph's WW1 draft registration on June 5, 1917 shows
he was in the hotel business at 810 W. Main St.
He says he was self-employed and claimed exemption
with a wife and children.
Ralph's father, Henry
Stephens, moved to Oklahoma in 1907 after his hasty
departure from Eaton, OH, remarried in 1908 and
opened the Western Hotel in Oklahoma City at 810
Main St. in 1914.
Ralph took a job there
(This may have been the reason for their move to Ok.
1920, Ralph was the Assistant Manager at the
Western, and had moved to a new home at 23 W. 10th.
Now they even had a phone.
STEPHENSES ON THE 1920 CENSUS, OKLAHOMA CITY
were enumerated at 23 W. 10th.--the same address given in
their 1920 city directory listing.
was listed as being a hotel proprietor, which usually
means the owner, and it's possible that he was at
least part owner. The "R" to the left
of Ralph's age means they rented their home.
Their sons, Robert and Vincent were 4 and 2
months old, respectively. Everyone in the
family was born in different a different state.
U.S. Census, Oklahoma City
Ralph, Amanda, Robert and Vince (Ralph)
LOCATIONS OF RALPH STEPHENS'S HOMES
WHILE HE WORKED AT THE WESTERN HOTEL
AERIAL VIEW OF DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY
AND THE LOCATION OF THE WESTERN HOTEL TODAY
HENRY STEPHENS, FOUNDER OF THE WESTERN
HOTEL ON MAIN STREET, OK. CITY
(Not an actual sign.)
At Left: A view of Broadway Ave
looking north in 1907.
Postcard photo from eBay seller.
April 5, 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt traveled
through Indian Territory on his way to a Rough
Riders reunion in San Antonio, Texas, making short
speeches at several towns along the railroad between
Vinita and Durant. After attending the
reunion, Roosevelt returned to Oklahoma Territory,
arriving in Frederick on aboard a private five-car
train on Saturday, April 8, 1905.
giving a speech to the thousands gathered to greet
him, he noticed Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and
called him to the speaker's stand to shake his hand.
Immediately after the speech, the hunting party left
for the Big Pasture, an area of 480,000 acres of
open range in present Tillman, Comanche, and Cotton
counties. When he departed on April 13, 1905,
the President promised to make Oklahoma a state.
That is a promise that he kept more than two years
later on November 16, 1907, when Oklahoma Territory
and Indian Territory were merged into the State of
Oklahoma, becoming the 46th state of the Union.
Oklahoma was the only state admitted to the Union
during Roosevelt’s presidency.
two years after his mysterious departure
from Eaton, Henry turned up in Oklahoma.
settled in Frederick, Tillman Co, Oklahoma and
there, on Dec. 17, 1908, he married Rena Hinshaw of Tuttle, Grady Co, Oklahoma.
Henry and Rena were both 43, according to their
application for marriage, license and certificate.
Bird's-eye view of
street and commercial buildings at Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma during the 1910 Glidden Tour. Sign for
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. in foreground. Spooner
& Wells, Inc., photographers, Detroit, Mich.
Detroit public library digital collections
HENRY AND RENA HINSHAW STEPHENS ON THE
1910 CENSUS, OKLAHOMA CITY
The record shows that this was a second marriage for both
of them, and they had been married for a year.
Rena was the mother of two children, both living
at the time. One was her son
Virgil Hinshaw from her previous marriage;
Virgil was 15, and her and Henry's
daughter Agatha was 2 months old. Rena was
born in Texas, her parents from Missouri, her
son born in Missouri.
1910 Census, Henry and Rena Stephens were living at
their boarding house at 129 W. 2nd St. in Oklahoma City.
proprietor at a boarding house. There
were 22 roomers listed in their
dwelling, so they likely were living at their
HENRY & RENA STEPHENS START THE WESTERN HOTEL,
1914, Henry and Rena Stephens, along
with William E. Kirby, incorporated as
the Western Hotel company in Oklahoma
City with capital stock of $3,000. Their
hotel was located at 810 Main St.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY CAUSES A STIR
IN OKLAHOMA CITY
In July of 1915, the Ford
Motor Co. planned to build an assembly
plant in Oklahoma City and some
confusion led to the mistaken belief
that Ford had purchased the Western
Hotel on Main St. in order to build
their plant there. To clear up the
matter, an article in the July 9, 1915
DAILY OKLAHOMAN, titled WESTERN HOTEL NOT IN
FORD'S PURCHASE stated:
descriptions of the property
acquired by the Ford Motor company
for its proposed assembling plant in
Oklahoma City, the Western Hotel on
Main street was mentioned when, in reality,
it was not one
of the places included in the
transfer. It is
located one block east of the Ford
site. There was some confusion
concerning the identification by
name of the Ford property and the
Western hotel was erroneously linked
with the deed. That hostelry will continue to
operate as usual, its management
having no intention of retiring from
a satisfactory and profitable
business. The Junction Hotel, one
block west, however, has been taken
over as part of the Ford purchase
and, of course, when building
operations commence will have to be
Patrons of the
Western hotel were somewhat alarmed
over reports that their abiding
place was going out of business
when, as a matter of fact, such is
not the case.
The Oklahoma City Ford
Motor Company Assembly Plant is a
four-story brick structure in downtown
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Opened in 1916
by the Ford Motor Company as a Model
T manufacturing facility, it was one of
24 such plants built by Ford between
1910 and 1915.
Photo courtesy of OKLAHOMAN gallery
early day Oklahoma City collection. The above
photo was described as City
streets east from 600 block on Main
However, this couldn't be before
1924 because that's when the 2-story
Ford assembly plant seen at right which
was ADDED in 1924 on the west end of the 4-story
this couldn't be Main Street because the
west end of the building is seen on the right, so the
photo was taken looking NORTH.
way to take a photo showing only the
2-story Ford plant on the right looking
straight down the middle of a street
would have been 1924 or later and shoot
from the south looking north before the
street became Classen Bl. when it must
have been a straight street (Olie St..)
Completed in 1916, the
building is an excellent example of a
manufacturing facility designed
specifically for the assembly of
automobiles through a process pioneered
by the Ford Motor Company (Ford).
In an unprecedented expansion, Ford
constructed twenty-four regional
assembly plants, including the Oklahoma
City Plant, between 1910 and 1915.
FORD'S FRED JONES
ASSEMBLY PLANT, OKLAHOMA CITY
of north face looking southeast from
Main St., FRED JONES ASSEMBLY PLANT,
Ford Motors, Oklahoma City.
1939 view of north face
looking southeast on Main St.
WESTERN HOTEL ADVERTISING
the Western Hotel appears to have begun in March
of 1917 with the first ad located shown below.
Since Ralph Stephens got a job there that year,
it may have even been Ralph's idea to advertise.
Ads for the Western Hotel were basic and
straightforward, often timed with various events
that were taking place in Oklahoma City,
such as conventions or the State Fair
Now and then they ran a promotion such as this
one seen at right.
Cut the High Cost of
This ad appeared
FIFTEEN times in the month of Dec. 1918.
It was the only ad run
that month except for the one
on Dec. 24, 1918 shown below it.
This article shows that Henry Stephens was the hotel's
owner. It is a listing of places citizens could
register to vote. The list was grouped by
district, each district listing the different
locations by voting precinct number. The article has
been edited to show the relevant Precinct, 12, where
Henry Stephens's Western Hotel is listed.
THE HONEYMOON IS OVER
FOR HENRY AND RENA STEPHENS
appears that Henry's
marriage to Rena ended by January 1919,
Rena had a long, illustrious career in marriages
after Henry Stephens. Her maiden name was
Glover, concluded from the surnames of
her surviving brothers.
Glover Hinshaw Stephens Smith Burdge
marriage information is from
Finda-A-Grave posted by Janet
LaMotte, MHR. It hasn't been
everything Ms. LaMotte has shared
concerning Henry appears accurate
(except possibly Henry's middle
Oklahoman, Saturday, Feb 24, 1945:
Services for Mrs Rena Cunningham, 77, of
704 NW 3, who died at the LaMont nursing
home Thursday, will be 2 pm Monday at
Garrison Funeral Home.
Collin County, TX, Mrs Cunningham came
to Oklahoma in 1905. She settled in
Oklahoma City and lived here for 39
years. She was a member of the Nazarene
Church, American Legion Auxiliary Post
35, Rebekah Lodge, and the WCTU.
survived by two sons, W. E. Hinshaw,
1010 NW 22; and V. J. Hinshaw, 628 NW 6;
two brothers, J. H. Glover, Tuttle; and
John Glover, Bentonville, AR; and four
grandsons, all of whom are overseas.
Burial will be in Rose Hill.
#1: William Clark Hinshaw 1855-1900
Ethel M. Hinshaw 1887-
William Elmer Hinshaw 1889-1971 Tuttle, OK
Joel F. Hinshaw 1892-
Virgil J. Hinshaw 1895-1968 Tuttle, OK
Newton M. Hinshaw 1895-
#2: Henry Stephens 1865-1956
Child: Agatha Stephens 1910-1929
#3: James T. Smith 1855-
#4: Thomas W. Burdge 1848-1931 marr.
Jun. 13, 1927, Ok. City
#5: William H. Montgomery 1866-1952
Child: Mary Josephine Montgomery 1904-1972
Husband #6: Samuel T. Cunningham 1863-1942
HENRY STEPHENS'S THIRD MARRIAGE - LENA
23, 1919, Henry married a third time,
this time to Lena Muller of Oklahoma
City. Henry was 52, Lena was 40.
Henry and Lena (Muller) Stephens were on the
1920 Census, Oklahoma City, 810 W.
Main St, occupation: Hotel Proprietor:
Lena, was the hotel housekeeper in 1920.
She was born in Missouri, her parents
were from Germany.
this Feb. 13, 1921 ad, Henry Stephens of
the Western Hotel, among others, is listed as having
bought orange groves in Florida.
Clermont, Florida is the home of the Citrus Tower,
which USED TO overlook orange groves as far as
the eye can see.
Condos and apartments have replaced the groves.
the only hotel ad that names
the owner of the Western Hotel.
Oklahoman lists 56 hotels, their
addresses and phone numbers, in their
Sep. 27, 1925 issue.
TRAGEDY IN THE STEPHENS FAMILY, DEATH
OF AGATHA STEPHENS
1929 - Miss Agatha Stephens, 19,
1234 N. Western, died Saturday at Tulsa.
Survivors, her parents, four brothers,
W. E. and Virgil
Ralph Stephens, Tampa, Fla.,
and Grover Stephens, Dayton, Ohio,
and one sister, Mrs. Nellie
Kansas City, Mo. Services
will be conducted from the Hahn funeral
home Monday at 2 p.m. by Rev. J. Frank
Montgomery. (THE OKLAHOMAN)
TampaPix note: Agatha
Stephens was the daughter of Rena
Glover Henshaw Stephens and Henry
Stephens. She was a half-sister of
William Elmer Hinshaw, James Virgil
was a half-sister of Ralph Stephens,
Grover Stephens and Nellie Stephens
by Barbara Linnane Ryan Guest at
HENRY AND LENA (MULLER) STEPHENS ON THE 1930
Lena (Muller) Stephens were living at
their Western Hotel at 810 W. Main
St., where Henry was the Hotel Proprietor.
His wife is Lena, b. in Missouri, her parents from
DEATH OF LENA STEPHENS
3rd wife, Lena Stephens, died a few
months after their 1930 Census was taken.
The article states she owned and operated the hotel for
the past 11 years, which dates it back to 1919,
the year she married Henry. Notice
her age is the same as given on her 1930
The hotel continued on after the deaths of
Henry's daughter and wife Lena, but there's no
indication as to whether or not Henry still
owned it until 1945.
article below is evidence that Henry
Stephens was no longer the owner in
March of 1945, as the sellers here
are Barney & Anna C. Mohr.
hotel was apparently situated on the
2nd floor with a cafe on the first
that after the Stevensons bought the hotel
from the Mohrs, they
continued the use of the
building as the Western Hotel at least until
Feb. 20, 1948.
research finds no immediate family connection of
Guy M. Murrah with
Judge Alfred P. Murrah for whom the Murrah
Federal Building in OK City was named.
and son Robert were in L.A. because they had opened a Dolores
THE DEATH OF HENRY
STEPHENS - The Daily Oklahoman,
Sunday, Nov 11, 1956:
Graveside services for Henry Stephens,
Oklahoma City resident 30 years, will be
Monday, 2:30 pm in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Stephens, 91, died this week in Los
Angeles. He had been living in a rest
home there two years. He is survived by
two sons, Ralph A. Stephens., Los
Angeles, andGrover Stephens,
Dayton, OH; a granddaughter, Mrs.
[Dolores] J Phillip Boyle Jr, of 1113
Belford; three grandsons, Vincent R., 5
NW 16th and Robert Stephens, Los
Angeles; and Jerry Muir, living in
Louisiana. Hahn-Cook Funeral Home is in
charge of arrangements.
(Buried next to Lena Stephens
Sarah J. Fraley 1866- (Marr. 10 Dec
1884, Christian Co, IL) died aft 1900
Eaton, OH Children: Grover H. Stephens 1885-1968
Eaton, OH Nellie Stephens Muir 1889-1954
bur. Rose Hill Burial Park Ok. City Ralph Stephens 1892-1983 bur.
Rose Hill Burial Park, Ok. City.
Rena Glover Hinshaw 1867-1945, bur.
Rose Hill Burial Park, Ok. City Child: Agatha Stephens 1910-1929 bur.
Rose Hill Burial Park, Ok. City
Wife #3 Lena Muller
c.1874 - 1930 bur. Rose Hill Burial
Park, Ok. City. N/C
site of the Western Hotel at 810-812 Main
St. is the home of Dagwell Dixie
Company, an automotive repair shop and
It might even be the same
building, it appears to be three stories
FIRST WESTERN HOTEL IN OKLAHOMA CITY
another Western Hotel before Henry's,
but at a different location. The first
Western Hotel in Oklahoma
City was one found at 216 California
Avenue in the early 1900s. A short, one paragraph
article in the DAILY OKLAHOMAN on Aug
27, 1902 stated:
Western Hotel] ...is quickly becoming one of
the most popular $1.00 a day houses
in the city. The new managers have
gotten things in good runing [sic]
order and are making it quite
pleasant for their guests, which is
attested by the house being full all
the time. If you want a
pleasant room and good board stop at
the Western Hotel, 216 California.
The new managers it mentions were
probably J. H. Emitt and Jud Cogswell
20, 1903, the DAILY OKLAHOMAN reported
Policeman J. H. Emitt last evening
assaulted Jud Cogswell at the
Planters Hotel, on the corner of
Robinson St. and Reno Ave. The
encounter resulted over the
unpleasant business relations
between the men as partners in
conducting the Western Hotel on
day, Jan. 21, 1903, this notice appeared in the DAILY
Notice: All bills due to the Western
Hotel will be paid to J. Emitt only,
as for Cogswell is no longer
connected with the business.
apparently then closed at some point for
around three weeks until a one-sentence
notice was published in the Feb. 11,
1903 DAILY OKLAHOMAN stating:
The Western Hotel has been reopened
to the public by J. M. Emett and is
ready to accommodate the public.
On May 3,
1904, an ad in the DAILY OKLAHOMAN
indicated a change of ownership had
WESTERN HOTEL, 216 W. California
announced newly furnished rooms,
excellent board, $1.25 per day.
Mrs. Mauldin, Proprietor, G. A.
19, 1904 article signaled the end for
the WESTERN HOTEL, but in name only, as
it continued to operate as the Pearson
The photo below appeared
in the April 2, 1934 OKLAHOMA NEWS in a
full page feature consisting of several
photos (which were old even in 1934)
submitted to the paper by various
members of pioneer families in the area.
the old Western Hotel on the
corner of California Avenue
and Broadway. This
picture of employees and
guests was taken about 1900.
Mrs. Lottie Bassett, the
owner, is shown in the front
foreground. (Submitted by
Mrs. Susie Dills, Edmond
NOTE: ABOUT LOTTIE
From Feb. 21,
1903 to Dec. 23, 1903, Lottie and J. E. Bassett are
in involved in a divorce at
which time in Feb., Mr.
Bassett placed public notice
that he was not responsible
for debts incurred by Lottie
Bassett. In late March
Lottie filed suit against J.
E. Bassett for maintenance
and alimony. In early
Dec. 1903 a Notice of Sale
was published in re Lottie
Bassett, Plaintiff, vs. J.
E. Bassett, Defendant.
The writ of execution
provided for $30 per month
alimony, for 6 months, as
well as $25 in attorney
fees, and $16.70 for costs
and interest of $2.90, and
$5 in probable costs.
J. E. Bassett's undivided
property was levied upon,
and it consisted of the
Bassett & Co. Livery and the
Reno Wagon Yard Wood and
No mention was made of
the Western Hotel so it was
probably after the divorce
that she acquired the hotel. In 1900,
the block at Broadway and
Main was known as "Bassett
THE NEXT WESTERN HOTEL
period from around 1908 to 1913, a hotel
named the "GREAT WESTERN HOTEL" on Nobel
St. is mentioned now and then in
articles relating to persons who have
died or have various other misfortunes
who lived at the hotel mention it but
leave off "GREAT." There were a
few basic ads as well, such as:
GREAT WESTERN HOTEL--Room and board,
$5 per week; steam heat. 318
also a GREAT WESTERN HOTEL SUPPLY
company in the area that advertised
profusely in the early 1910s.
RALPH STEPHENS ENTERS THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS
In the Ralph Stephens "timeline of careers" the
last evidences found so far of Ralph working at the
Western Hotel were his 1920 city directory listing
which showed he was the Asst. Manager there, and his
1920 Census, where, he claimed he was the proprietor
of a hotel. The census date was Jan. 1.
WAS RALPH STEPHENS
FIRST CONSIDERING BUYING THE PURITAN CAFE DOWNTOWN?
Ralph's wife Amanda had a brother named Jesse D.
Ogle and her father was Jesse L. Ogle. On Oct. 10, 1920, this
article appeared in the Oklahoma News.
Jesse Ogle was ordered to pay $20 for breaking a
plate glass window at the Puritan Cafe by throwing a
drinking glass through it. If this was Ralph's
father-in--law, why was he in OK City? The
Ogles lived in Hannibal where Jesse L. Ogle was a
If Ralph was having a
cup of coffee or lunch there with him,
this could be an indication
that in 1920 Ralph was first considering buying the
Puritan. There could have been
dozens of reasons for Amanda's father to be there.
Perhaps Ralph asked Jesse to check out the place and
give his opinion,
maybe Jesse didn't think very highly of it, maybe
Ralph asked to borrow money from him, maybe Ralph
and Jesse were just having lunch there and Jesse had
an issue with the food or the service. etc.
(I'm just saying...)
Muny is slang for
THE CAR BARN CAFE/RESTAURANT
early 1921 Ralph Stephens had two sons and a wife to
support so decided to try to
make it in the restaurant business. He opened a place he
could call his own and called it the "Car Barn" because it was
next to the car barn where streetcars were
maintained and stored.
On Mar. 19, 1921,
Ralph ran the first ad for the Car Barn Restaurant at 416 N. Olie Avenue in the Oklahoma News.
Car Barn Restaurant ad ran 20 times in 1921; from March
Sep. 3, 1921, all in the Oklahoma News, Ok. City.
The 1921 city directory showed Ralph Stevens was the
proprietor of the Car Barn Cafe. The Stephens
residence "r" was at 1519 W. 2nd. St.
After Sep. 3, 1921, there were no more mentions of the Car Barn
Restaurant (or Cafe) found in the newspapers Based on lack of later ads, it appears that
Stephens closed it at that time. But maybe
By this time in 1921, Amanda was expecting their third
child in just three months, and with increasing debt, it
could be that Ralph stopped the Car Barn advertising
and sold the place to someone who continued
operating the place at least until March 1922. (See
why this might be in section to follow.)
Ralph and Amanda's
daughter, Dolores, was born in Oklahoma City on Dec. 14, 1921.
Stephens would later name what is described as his "first
successful restaurant" after her.
Locations of the Western Hotel and the
Stephens residences 1917-1920 (purple) along
with location of the Car Barn restaurant and
the Stephens residence in 1921.
Present day aerial view of the Car
KIDNAPPING AT THE CAR BARN
Sept. 1923 an article appeared in the OKC News consisting of an interview
with Ellis R. Merryman who said he was eating at the Car Barn Restaurant
on March 7, 1922 when he was kidnapped at gunpoint by three (or
was it two, Ellis?) Klansmen
There can be no mistake that the Car Barn was still open.
The question is, did Ralph Stephens still own it?
incident was first reported as a "prank" by "jokers" in the
Mar. 14, 1922 DAILY OKLAHOMAN. Ellis R. Merryman was a
truck driver and a lunch hour waiter at the Car Barn restaurant.
(The date of the article, Mar. 14, 1922 was a Tuesday. It states
happened "Monday night" which would have been Mar. 13 or
previous Monday Mar. 6, 1922. Merryman says it was THREE
article also appeared on Sep. 29, 1923 in the OKC paper "The
Record" with a transcript from a military court testimony.*
Here, Merryman says it happened on Mar. 7, which was a Tuesday.
Not a Monday as the article stated. Also, his testimony
was now two unmasked men.
*No explanation has been found as
to why this was held in a Military Court.
In the Dec. 1923 anti-Klan weekly newspaper "Jack Walton's
Paper," kidnapping victim E. R. Merryman's testimony at a
circuit court trial was
printed in an
article titled "Klansmen free on fake alibi." Merryman,
testified how he was cuffed at gunpoint and taken to a place
where he was flogged. He refers to the restaurant as the
Car Barn Cafe. Only another waiter who was witness testified
and is identified
by name, but nothing is printed as to who the owner or manager
was at the time.
Dec. 23, 1923
issue of the anti-Klan paper "Jack Walton's Paper"
The headline does not
pertain to this incident.
None of the ads
or articles ever mention who owns the place.
Stephens probably sold the Car Barn in early Sep.
1921 when the ads stopped, and the new
owner continued it at least until Mar.
Stephens owned the Car Barn at least up until the
time of the March 1922 kidnapping of one of its
lunch hour waiters.
But regardless, Ralph's attempt at his first
restaurant was deemed a failure in an interview with
him which appeared in the Daily Oklahoman on Jan.
debt was beginning to grow.
Could the kidnapping incident have been "the last
straw" for Ralph Stephens and the Car Barn?
site of the Car Barn is occupied by an electrical
RALPH STEPHENS AND
THE PURITAN CAFE
Stephens again tried
his skills in the restaurant business with the Puritan Cafe
at 102 Broadway. As mentioned with the late
Oct. 1920 "Jesse Ogle incident" at the Puritan Cafe,
Ralph may have been considering buying it from the
owners at the time. No proof, just a hunch.
was located right in the middle of Oklahoma City,
today it is downtown. Surely Ralph could be a
success in the middle of town during the "Roarin'
Even while Ralph
was still managing the Western Hotel, the Puritan
was cited for health code violations. In Jan.
1919, it was owned by George H. Gurakis and Jim
after the shutdown, the Puritan was back
in business. But what did it look
like when Jesse Ogle was there breaking
a plate glass window a year and 9 months
This wasn't the only Puritan Cafe around, there were
many so-named eateries scattered all round Oklahoma
City, in an approximate 50 to 75 mile radius.
It's doubtful that it was a chain, as there appears
to be no similarity among the various ads, except
for the name. Hundreds
of ads for a Puritan Cafes or restaurants from 1921 through 1923
appeared in newspapers at these other places: Bennington,
Bristow, Coweta, Durant, Eufaula, Haskell,
Holdenville, McAlester, Muskogee,
Okmulgee, Pawhuska, Poteau, Slick, and Wilson, and just
about each one was for a cafe in that town.
ads have been found for the Puritan in
OK City until Sept. 9, 1921. And
it's not due to lack of archived
First mention of the Puritan in
OKC is this Sep. 9, 1921 ad below. Ralph COULD have
been there if he left the Car Barn when their ads
stopped on Sep. 3, 1921. Can we really tell
who owns a place by their frequency and style of
advertising? Just wait till he gets to Tampa
The 2nd ad by the
Puritan in OKC gives their address.
There seems to have
been an obsession with purity and American
citizenship in the area in these years. So
much so, that Bert Yale was concerned that readers
would think he wasn't American due to the omission
of his restaurant in the ad seen on the right, so he had an
explanation printed with the list. He alludes to
this "All American" trend by saying...
"We are the heart and soul of this great movement.."
In the month of Dec.
1921 The Puritan was listed in the series of four ads
(Dec. 5, 16, 20, 24) listing eateries that were
members of the recently formed National Restaurant Association where
"EVERY MEMBER IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN."
Two restaurants not
relevant at this time have been omitted from the ad
at right, in order to
discuss them later in this feature., but the Car
Barn wasn't listed in these ads.
movement" may be attributed to the beginnings of the
National Restaurant Association, which was formed
over a two year period of events in Kansas City, Mo.
in 1917. The "All American" movement was
probably cheered on by the events in Europe related
to WW1, and probably fueled by the Association
limiting membership to American men in 1919.
egg brokers try to demand a price of 65
cents a dozen, the year-old Kansas
City Restaurant Association, one of
the restaurant industry's earliest
professional associations, organizes an
egg boycott. Egg prices plummet to 32
cents. The seeds of a national movement
City restaurateurs launch a national
organization, holding the first meeting
of what is today's National Restaurant
Association on March 13 in Kansas City.
The fledgling organization represents an
industry of 43,000 restaurants.
[Membership was apparently restricted to
Prohibition begins in 1920, kicking off
a 13-year ban on alcohol sales.
Restaurants used to serving free
sandwiches with 5-cent beers develop new
marketing tactics. Despite Prohibition,
the industry thrives, riding a wave of
national prosperity. Howard Johnson's
opens its first franchises, White
Castle's 5-cent burgers grow popular,
and Willard Marriott opens his first Hot
growing National Restaurant Association
moves its headquarters from Kansas City
Prohibition ends, but the Depression is
in full swing. Congress's National
Recovery Act requires each industry to
prepare a "Code of Fair Competition" in
1933. The National Restaurant
Association quickly complies. Membership
doubles. In an appeal to customers in
bleak times, the National Restaurant
Association tries out two advertising
slogan: "Enjoy Life — Eat Out More
Often" and "Take Her Out to Dinner at
Least Once a Week."
The Puritan ads
take on a distinctive Ralph Stephens style:
earliest found direct evidence connecting Stephens with the
Puritan was his 1923 city directory listing and the
article at right about a lawsuit filed against
Stephens and the Puritan. Notice he had a
business partner, E. V. Bodkin. You'll see his
name come up again later in Hannibal, MO.
THIS TIME, RALPH WAS PROBABLY OWNED THE PURITAN
Regardless of which
scenario took place with the Car Barn, it was
probable that Stephens was at the Puritan at the
time of this ad.
Bill Bailey could have been the owner up until this point,
or only the manager.
Nothing further has
been located as to the outcome of this, but if he
lost the suit, it would be one reason he was getting
into a lot of debt.
SO WHEN DID STEPHENS TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE PURITAN?
terms of advertising, there is only a 1-week gap
from the date of the last Car Barn ad (Sep 3, 1921) to
the date of the first Oklahoma City Puritan ad (Sep.
If Stephens sold the
Car Barn when the last ad appeared (Sep. 3, 1921)
then he could have gone to the Puritan by Sep. 9,
1921, since the cafe existed in Jan. 1919 under
George H. Gurakis and Jim
2,) If Stephens still owned the Car Barn
through March 1922 when
the kidnapping took place,
then it is unlikely (but not impossible) that he
bought the Puritan
when its ads started in Sep. 1921, six months before closing the Car Barn.
most likely situation would be that Stephens sold
the Car Barn around the time the last ad appeared in
early Sept, 1921 and it continued under a different
owner at least until March 1922. Knowing he had a buyer
for the Car Barn, he could have been negotiating
with Gurakis and Christo to buy the Puritan
immediately after closing the deal with the Car
Barn, and then could have started the advertising for the
Puritan on Sep. 9, 1921.
THE OPENING OF STEPHENS RESTAURANT
which scenario took place from the Car Barn to
the Puritan, the ad below shows that by August
of 1923, Ralph and Amanda Stephens were ready to
step up to a higher level of cleanliness,
quality and service. Ralph completely
remolded and refurnished the Puritan and changed
the name to "Stephens."
Practically new building
Clean and attractive
Pleasing local citizens and the
Conveniently located between
hotels and train stations
You eat in comfort
Open at all hours
Foods you want, served how you
Meals at all hours
Specializing in coffee, waffles,
steaks and pies
Family Sunday dinners
Mr. and Mrs. Stephens are there
to welcome you.
Powerful air circulator changes
air every minute
They will personally supervise
the serving of all meals.
If you aren't treated as an
honored guest, they want to know
Today, the Puritan/Stephens location would be in the heart of downtown Oklahoma
END OF UPDATED INFO, SOME IMAGES BELOW HAVE BEEN
REPLACED WITH LARGER ONES.
Competition and a lot of debt led
30-year-old Ralph Stephens to leave Oklahoma City in
1923 with his wife, Amanda, sons Vince and Bob, and daughter
Ralph Stephens in
Dallas The family moved
to Dallas where Stephens later said he saw “a pig stand with
what looked like a thousand cars around it.” Indeed,
Dallas was where the very first pig stand (forerunners to
drive-through restaurants), Kirby’s, had opened in 1921.
Ralph Stephens in
Hannibal, MO Stephens was hired by one of
the Dallas BBQ chains and learned the operation in Dallas
before setting out to open a branch stand in Little Rock. But before doing
this, the Stephenses stopped by Amanda's family's home in
Hannibal, Missouri, and while visiting with his father-in-law, he
decided it made more sense to open their own business rather
than work for someone else.
Construction started on the
new Stephens family business and the family slept in the stand
while it was being built. In June of 1925, Goody-Goody
Barbecue opened for business in Hannibal, Missouri. Business
initially boomed, but the crowds disappeared once cold weather
settled in. Once again, Stephens was a failed
closed, and being sort of soldiers in fortune, we took off for
Florida,” Stephens explained in a 1968 interview. “The land boom
was on then and we went to Tampa and opened one restaurant, then
another. They had told us there were no rooms in Tampa so we
bought a tent and slept under that until we almost flooded out.”
GOODY GOODY IN TAMPA
Newspaper ads marked with * are courtesy of Tampa
Although most longtime Tampa residents
associate the Goody Goody with its downtown Florida Avenue location, the restaurant's
Tampa start was actually on Grand Central Ave., what is now Kennedy Blvd.
Ralph A. Stephens began
the drive-in as "Goody Goody Barbecue" when he was 32 or 33 years old,
along with 35-year-old partner Wm. L. Reid, in late 1925. City
directories show it was originally at 1603 Grand Central Avenue, between
S. Dakota and Rome Ave., but closer to S. Dakota on the north side of the
street. It operated there for a few years, then moved to the corner at
1629 Grand Central.
The map at right
shows this block in 1915 when dwellings occupied the area. However, it is
useful to show the relative locations of 1629 and 1603 Grand Central Ave.
Various classified ads for help placed by Stephens
first ads Stephens placed in the Tribune were help wanted ads.
Mar. 21, 1926 Want Ad for sandwich maker assistant.
April 25, 1926*
June 16, 1926*
Jun 25, 1926*
Stephens seeks a new or second location
This Dec. 17, 1926 want ad by
Stephens shows that he was looking for a corner location early on, and that
ample parking was an issue. He may have had a 2nd location in mind, or may
have been considering relocating. He preferred a location near Nebraska Avenue
and Buffalo Ave. (today's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.,) or Seventh Avenue
or Florida Ave.
Goody Goody moves down the
block to the corner of Grand Central and Rome Ave.
By Nov. 1927, Stephens
moved the Goody Goody down the block to the northeast corner of Grand Central
and Rome, at 1629 Grand Central, where it operated until Oct. 1933.
directory listings showing Goody Goody at 1603 Grand Central in 1926, 1927 and
*Although Goody Goody is listed at 1603 Grand Central in
1928, a Nov. 1927 ad (see below) shows it had already moved to 1629.
Stephens didn't miss a great
advertising opportunity to parade his new business in front of Tampa's
revelers, literally. A Feb. 9, 1926 full page story on the Gasparilla
parade states that there was a Goody Goody car in the parade.
Jan 10, 1927*
Apr. 4, 1927*
A second Goody
Goody opens in Tampa
1927, Stephens opened another unit at 5201 North Florida Avenue, in the
Seminole Heights area, a block
north of the Seminole Theater.
Goody Goody billboard
from 1928-1930 advertising both locations
RetroMetro Oklahoma City
Place your cursor on the photo to see it colorized
Goody Goody in Seminole
Heights first appears on the 1929 Tampa city directory, but the first
promotional ad for Goody Goody, seen below, was for the Seminole
Heights location and indicates that it opened by Nov. 3, 1927.
promotional ads Newspaper ads marked with * are courtesy of Tampa
Beginning on Nov. 3, 1927, through
October 1928, over 300 Goody Goody ads appeared in the Tribune and continued
almost daily, rarely skipping a day, and rarely repeating the same ad for more
than one or two days. Some are presented here.
Regarding the "re-opening,"
it is not known at this time if it meant that it existed previously and
had been closed for a time.
Nov. 3, 1927*
*Nov. 9, 1927 - This ad is evidence
that Goody Goody was already at 1629 Grand Central Ave. by the end of 1927.
*Nov. 17, 1927
*Nov. 23, 1927 - "--come out and buy a
bottle of beer..."
was in effect from 1919 to 1933, but during that time, brewers were
allowed to make beer containing less than ½% alcohol per volume. This
became known as
On February 20, 1933,
Congress enabled states to ratify the 21st Amendment (repeal of
Prohibition) if they chose, which most did rather quickly, but Florida
waited until Nov. 14, 1933. On March 22, 1933, President
Franklin Roosevelt had already signed into law the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing
beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent (by weight) and wine of a
similarly low alcohol content.
*Nov. 24, 1927
*Nov. 26, 1927
*Dec. 4, 1927
"Mrs. Goody Goody" is clearly a reference to Amanda Stephens. She
may have even managed the Seminole Heights location.
*Dec. 9, 1927
Stephens adds a
sketch of the Grand Central location to his advertisements. This
begins a long series of ads in this format, with different messages. Notice
the parking shelters with palmetto frond roofs, which was replaced by
Original car shelters with palmetto
frond roof at the Grand Central Ave.
Goody Goody circa 1928
Burgert Bros. photo courtesy of RetroMetro Oklahoma City
*Dec 23, 1927
*Jan 1, 1928
*Jan 19, 1928
Before they came to Tampa, while in Hannibal, Amanda Stephens had obtained
a recipe for “Come-Back” sauce from a barbeque stand in nearby
Quincy, Ill. It became the famous Goody Goody Secret Sauce used
until its last day of operation in Tampa.
*Feb. 11, 1928
Ralph Stephens was apparently doing well enough to trade up from his 1927
Master Six 5-passenger Buick sedan to an Imperial
80 Chrysler sedan. Notice Hyde Park Motor Co. was caddy-corner to
the Goody Goody on Grand Central Ave.
In 1926, Stephens was living one block west of the
Goody Goody--at 1715 Grand Central. The 1927 Tampa city directory
does not list a home address for Stephens, it only shows "(Goody Goody
Barbeque)" next to his name. The 1928 directory shows that he
resided at 1603 Grand Central, the restaurant itself.
*May 27, 1928
This May 27, 1928 Want Ad shows he
was looking for a furnished home to rent for himself and his family.
He is not listed in the Stephens section of he 1929 directory, but is
listed in the G section as the owner of Goody Goody at 5201 Florida Ave.
*Jun 26, 1928
*Aug 15, 1928
*Sep 15, 1928
*Oct. 26, 1928
Inexplicably, this was the last promotional ad of 1928. Stephens
placed a want ad for a cleaning woman on Nov. 27th & 28th.
*The absence of Goody Goody ads
continued until this very small one appeared on May 13, 1929. This
same ad continued throughout the year, appearing less often--once every 3
to 5 or 6 days.
The collapse of the Florida land
boom in the late 20s caused
Stephens to once again want to bail out.
Stephens sold the Goody
Goody to William B. Stayer in 1929 and the Stephens family
returned to Oklahoma City with Ralph determined to settle his
debts and prove he could be a successful restaurant operator.
He and his family left Tampa and returned to Oklahoma City armed
with their "secret weapon" Before they came to Tampa,
while in Hannibal, Amanda Stephens had obtained a recipe for “comeback” sauce
from a barbeque stand in nearby Quincy, Ill. It may have been the origin of the
famous Goody-Goody secret sauce used in Tampa. He went on to successfully establish "Delores Restaurant," named for his
Dolores' Restaurant in Oklahoma City opened at 33 NE 23rd on April 15, 1930.
It was named after Stephens’ daughter.
RetroMetro Oklahoma City
The Ralph Stephens story
and above photo comes
where you can read more
about the Stephens family and the years after Tampa.
Stephens went on to open a successful restaurant named after his
The 1929 Tampa city directory shows Goody Goody listed at
5201 N. Florida Ave. at Frierson Avenue, a block north of
the Seminole Theater shown in this photo. This is the
only year this location was listed. Notice Seminole
Sandwich Shop at 5021 N. Florida Ave.
THE STAYER YEARS
1929 - 1980
Special thanks to Glenda Stayer Wood for contributing the personal information below about
her grandfather, William Bechtel Stayer, and his family. The information
is presented here in paraphrases
and quotes from William's sons and daughter, and from
some of the Stayer cousins, collected by Glenda with the
help of her cousins. Stayer family photos are courtesy
of Glenda Stayer Wood and Elizabeth New Nolan. Carl Stayer's
ads and his writings are courtesy of Pipper Stayer Ellinor.
Bechtel Stayer, 1909.
"Papa" Bechtel Stayer
Stayer was born in 1883 in New Enterprise, Penn. Growing up, William was a
good student, had a fine voice, and dark black hair. When he
was in high school, he taught school and later went to Juniata
College to prepare for a teaching career. He grew up to
be a handsome man with a ready smile and a fine command of the
English language at home, among friends, at work or in the
clubs – wherever he went. He had a round German face, a
natural smile and a fine tenor voice.
Edna, ca. 1910
Marriage to Edna Shires
William's time at
Juniata College was brief. In 1903 William married Edna
Maude Shires (a daughter of John Emory Shires and Iola
Gertrude Stover) in Altoona, Penn. In the early years of
their marriage, William worked as a postal clerk in the Railway
Mail Service, sorting the mail on trains from New York to
Pittsburgh. In 1909, the Stayers settled in Pittsburgh, and by
1915, with a wife and five children to support, William left
the Railway Mail Service to sell insurance.
Edna died of the Spanish Influenza when the epidemic was
sweeping the country, leaving William with five children to
raise: Carl age 14, Bill age 13, Glenn age 8, Betty age 5, and
Bob age 3. In 1920, William
married Mary Mitchell Cooper in Philadelphia, Penn.
William B. Stayer's insurance business
William was a
partner in the Carl Vander Voort Company and insured lumber
yards and dealers. The great Kemper Company was one of the
reinsuring agents and had a trade organization called The
Retail Lumber Dealers Association of which William was the
secretary. Each year William organized and was Master of
Ceremonies for conventions lasting at least four days in the
ballroom of the William Penn Hotel. He would book some
of the country's most noted speakers like Pres. Bradley of
Chicago., Con. McCole of Wilkes Barre, Sen. Carraway of Ark.,
and Sen. Welles of Ohio and many more.
Stayer moves to Florida, buys an orange grove
William and Sadie Rawls Stayer, 1929
William sold his partnership in Carl Vander Voort Company and
decided to make a new start in Florida. At age 45, the
Pittsburgh story was over. His second marriage having failed,
he bought a grove and moved with his children to Winter Haven,
Florida. He stayed there for a few months and then
moved to Lakeland where he bought a 50-acre grove.
Lakeland, William was hospitalized and a nurse named Sadie Rawls
took care of him. Sadie became his third wife on May 30, 1929.
Stayer listed his
occupation as "Citrus Grower." He and Sadie had both
been married and divorced before.
According to his
eldest son, Carl Stayer, "He arranged to have his grove
fertilized, have it sprayed with insecticide and to pick the
fruit. That would take about ten days out of the year and
leave Dad about 355 for the Elks Club and managing his family.
Still Dad didn't have enough to do."
"Dad had traveled frequently to Tampa
to eat dinner in the great Spanish restaurants and drink in
the bars. Tampa was a very pleasant city then, as it has
been ever since. It was a seaport and had a very large second
and third generation Latin population to cook fine food, to
make good cigars and to operate social clubs where they played
dominos and talked. They were gentlemen in the old fashioned
Stayer advertises for an established business
When William and Sadie returned from their honeymoon, William
was itching to get back into business. A common story among
the Stayer family was that "watching oranges ripen was too
boring." So William placed a classified ad that read:
"Have $10,000 to invest, would like to buy a small
business." According to his daughter, Elizabeth, he
got lots of replies; many came from barbeque stands caught
in the economic collapse of the late 1920s. "During
the Great Depression, there were many businesses for sale.
There used to be sandwich shacks all along the highway, but
Papa wanted no part of them. No shacks. He got a
bushel of answers from all over south Florida, but the
businesses were dead; there was nothing worthy of
investigation and so Papa became discouraged."
William Bechtel Stayer, around the time he bought Goody Goody.
Everyone who knew him, friends and family alike, called him "Papa."
Elks Club building at 425 N. Florida Ave. in 1915.
It was demolished in 1962. Photo courtesy of the
Burgert Bros. collection at the Tampa-Hillsborough
County Public Library.
"Then Papa met a real estate man at
the Elks Club. Papa told the man that he had a little money to invest and the
real estate man told him that he knew of a flourishing drive-in barbecue
business. The man told him, 'There is a barbecue pit in the back where they do
their own barbecuing. The owner Mr. Stephens came from Oklahoma City and
set up a good business. His wife couldn't stand it here because it was low
class, only a barbecue stand.'"
"Papa had vowed not to buy a barbeque
stand, but did anyway. Ralph Stephens' Goody Goody appealed to him."
So William moved his family to Tampa and became a restaurant operator.
tries to improve on the Grand Central location
Barbecue at 1629 Grand Central Ave., Tampa - 1930
Notice the sign on the building,
Goody-Goody Barbeque No. 2
(No. 1 was the Goody-Goody in Hannibal, MO.)
William B. Stayer
opens a new location downtown
new downtown Goody Goody
On Mar. 9, 1930, William obtained a permit to
build a lunchroom for $3,400 at 1117-9 Florida Avenue.
On April 3, 1930, he opened "Goody Goody Sandwiches" at a new location in
the northern downtown area--1119 N. Florida Avenue.
The location at 1119-1121
North Florida Avenue downtown was previously a car lot in 1928, and August Richarde's
confectioner, and Robinson's Used Car Market in late 1928-early 1929.
Mr. & Mrs. William B. Stayer
and the staff pose the day before opening
This photo was part of a full page of
ads which are shown below.
Henderson Baking Co. and delivery truck at 2700
block of N. Florida Avenue; Goody Goody's bread supplier.
Burgert Bros. photo courtesy of the Tampa-Hillsborough County
Public Library System
In 1940, William Stayer's son, Dr. Glenn Stayer, married Marian Irene
Henderson, daughter of Marvin H. Henderson. Sr. Marian's
uncle owned the Henderson Baking Company.
After opening at 1119 Fla.
Ave., William wanted to consolidate operations at this location downtown. In March or April of 1930 he closed the 5201 N. Florida
Avenue location in Seminole Heights. The last mention of that location is in a Mar. 27, 1930 article about local robberies.
The type of ads seen below appeared over 300 times, almost daily from May 29, 1930
through Nov. 1931.
Notice the same desk chairs from the Grand Central location.
Close ups from 1932 downtown location photo
Carl Stayer on Goody Goody's
bought the business, he bought the recipes for the pies and the barbeque
sauce, and stayed very close to the methods of buying and preparing the
materials, especially the hamburger meat. We operated the business for
50 years and when we left it, the recipes and methods were the same
as when we bought them."
Carl's memories of his father:
"He could not do
short-order cooking, run the cash register or wash the dishes. What
he did might be called maitre d'in a class restaurant and public
relations officer in a large corporation. He patrolled the drive-in
section, directed traffic and met the customers. It was a popular
restaurant with the most prominent people in town driving in. Very soon he
was Mr. Goody-Goody in Tampa. In his leisure he went to the Elks Club,
Paul Webber’s White Rose and other bars, and promoted the Goody-Goody the
way those places he frequented sold their drinks. In the yard he kept selling himself and his product,
also in clubs wherever he went. It was a humble business but he raised the
restaurant up to his dignified and infectious personality and it became
very well known all over south Florida."
Despite the depression gripping the country, the Goody Goody
"clicked" at 1119 Florida Avenue.
Even though "Barbeque" stayed on
the signs and on the menu for years, the Goody Goody made its reputation with its
hamburgers--liberally doused with a specially-made barbeque sauce--and its pies. The sauce
and pie recipes were closely guarded secrets.
17, 1933 ad* "Draft beer is at last GOOD," a reference to the end of
Oct. 2, 1933*
See Rock Garden ad below
Nature's Rock Garden at Goody Goody
1119 N. Florida Ave.*
The original Goody Goody on Grand Central
At left, an Oct. 22,
1933 ad in the Tribune said that the original
location "will be used only as a manufacturing plant. All
public service will be carried on at our plant at 1115-1119 Florida
Avenue where we have just completed Nature's Rock Garden, America's
most unique dining room."
On Oct. 22, 1933, the
Goody Goody on Grand Central Ave. closed.
Perhaps William B. Stayer intended to continue using the Grand Central location
to prepare the meats or other items, then serve them at the Florida
Avenue location, but on Nov. 30, 1933, he obtained a permit and at a
cost of $50 and demolished the old location.
Photos below courtesy of David Parsons,
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library
Goody Goody at 1119 N. Florida Avenue - The "rock garden" dining
It was the end of
Prohibition and beer was on the menu at Goody Goody.
Close up of booths
Salt, pepper, sugar bowl
Graupner's X-tra Fine Beer and Falls City Beer ads on the wall and
close up of sign above clerk
Sep 22, 1935*
Robert E. Gibson was a long-time Tampa oyster and seafood retailer.
From 1912 to the mid-1930s he operated in Tampa's local markets such
as City Fish Market at #34 City Markets downtown, and as proprietor
of his own oyster harvesting business. In 1928 he partnered
with the Mirabella's as "Gibson and Mirabella."
These ads in September of 1935 show he was manager of the oyster bar
at Goody Goody downtown. It was probably an arrangement he had
with Stayer where Gibson sold his oysters at Goody Goody and Stayer
got a cut of the profit. The
ad ran almost every day for a month.
Goody Goody in
1940 Jacksonville city directory
Around 1938 or 1939, Stayer
opened a Goody Goody in Jacksonville, FL at 128 Riverside Ave, with
Paul Gilbert as the manager. It operated until 1941.
Paul Gilbert, a long-time Goody Goody employee, was listed as
a sandwich maker at Goody Goody in Tampa in the city directory.
From 1930 to 1936 (the last directory researched) and probably
through 1937, he worked as a clerk, manager, and cook in Tampa.
Due to missing pages from the Jacksonville city directories, it is
not possible at this time to determine if Goody Goody was there in
1938 and 1939. Gilbert first appears in Jacksonville on the
1940 census and 1940 directory with his occupation is "fountain man"
at "Goody Goody Sandwiches." After 1941, Goody Goody
Sandwiches no longer is listed in Jacksonville directories.
Feb 24, 1941 - Inside
the Goody Goody, downtown Tampa
Some time by Feb. 1941, the
Goody Goody was expanded in the front with the addition of this dining
room. The original
front wall of the building became the partition with archway seen at left. See the layout of the Goody
Goody through the years, with expansions indicated. Robertson & Fresh photo from the University of South Florida Digital
Close up portions of above
Sign at service counter
"Open 11am, Close 2am, Except Fri. & Sat"
Sign: Pie with Ice Cream 15¢
Items on table: Stokley's ketchup, hot sauce, glass oil & vinegar
cruets in wire serving basket with salt & pepper shakers, sugar
bowl, water glasses, coffee mugs
Menu with image of milk
carton on cover, napkin dispenser, ketchup bottle, unknown sauce
bottle, chair back.
Dining room door, south side,
William Stayer returns to farming
"Around 1940 Papa's dream of
living on a farm came over him again. This time it was a dairy farm in
Palm River, but not a recently built dairy farm. He was going to expand,
farm and pasteurize the milk for the Goody-Goody. This didn’t go far as
the health department outlined extensive rebuilding and new equipment
necessary. So instead, he had a neighbor graze his cattle on the 10
acres to control the grass and weeds. He moved Sadie out there and in the
evening when he went to the Elks Club, he would bring her into town to
wait for him at the Goody-Goody."
- Mainstay of Goody Goody
Sons Bill and Bob Stayer got
involved in the business--with Bob, the youngest, becoming his father's
mainstay in the day-to-day operation of Goody Goody. Another son, Glenn, became a
doctor in and lived in Tampa before moving to Birmingham, Alabama.
William "Bill" Drew
Robert "Bob" Edward Stayer
Bill and Bob Stayer, with their father William B.
On Jan. 26, 1944, Bob Stayer, a popular young man,
drowned in a tragic accident at age 28. It was a grievous loss to
the Stayer family as well as to friends and patrons of Goody Goody, and
the loss of his favorite son caused William great anguish.
Carl Stayer and his family
moves to Tampa
It was at this time that
William B. Stayer was able to
convince his eldest son Carl, to leave his promising job with GM in Harrisburg, PA,
and bring his family to Tampa in 1945 to run the business.
remembered, "When we first went to Tampa to
visit in 1932, stores downtown had signs that they spoke Spanish, but when
I went there to live and do business, such a sign was not necessary. The
Spanish were very much a part of Tampa, making it a pleasant place to
live, especially Ybor City and West Tampa and very much a part of the rest
of the city. We dealt with Johnny Lala to buy
our produce, the Garcia
Victor and Gonzalo for our insurance, Joe Gagliardo at the
Florida Dairy, Poncho Gonzalez at Sealtest , Jose and Manuel Campoamor
and Rudy Ginex for Seafood. Above all, we enjoyed the Spanish Restaurants.
At the Spanish Park, as we came in from the parking area, Gus would seem
to be walking away from us but when he came to greet us and take our order
at the table , he already had our Martinis. Joe Valdes, the owner and his
wife, along with Gus were our personal friends. Also, the Las Novedades
and Cafe Seville on Howard Street."
"Most of us in GM working
with the automobile dealers everyday had a yen to have our own business.
I was looking forward to the end of the war and having a branch of my own
and being a top flight General Motors Executive. I was working in
Pittsburgh for a new company, the General Exchange Insurance Corporation
allied with General Motors Acceptance Corporation insuring financed cars.
GEIC was a new business operated within the family of General Motors,
itself in the early stages of competition with Ford."
Stayer family life centered around 1119 Florida
Stayers at W. B. Stayer's dairy farm in Palm River, Palm River Road
& 58th Street. William's grandchildren in the front: Glenda,
Pipper, Judy, Liz, Peter. Back row on the left is Carl
Stayer, next to him is Marian Henderson Stayer, wife of Dr.
Glenn Stayer. The lady behind the children next to
Marion Stayer is Avis Thibault Stayer, widow of Bob Stayer.
Behind her and to the right is Dr. Glenn Stayer. On the right is
Sadie and her husband, William B. Stayer.
daughter, Elizabeth "Betty" Stayer
Hendryson, it was a great place to bring her high school friends after a
dance. Sometimes her tab shot as high as $2.50, which she charged to her
dad. But her dad soon ordered her to "cease and desist!"
Later, while Elizabeth was
attending library school, her children Liz and Peter New came to live with
their grandparents on the Palm River farm. Liz, who lived there
when she was 2 years old until she was 6, remembered getting bathed and
dressed every afternoon for the trip to the Goody Goody. After
Liz and her brother ate supper in the restaurant, they would entertain
themselves, waiting with their grandmother while their grandfather went off to
play cards at the Elks Club. "We would tear off one end of the paper
wrappings on the straws and blow them at each other." Although she was
very young at the time, she remembers the employees. "The waitresses
always seemed so wonderful. They were so good to us, and they were
wonderful looking women. They had a certain snappy talk, always
cheerful." She also recalls the managers--Lionel "Cicero"
Roberts, William Mote and Milt Gaston.
Bill Stayer said, "I remember
really looking forward to going into town to eat at the Goody Goody. I was
known as the hamburger kid at the time. My favorite waitress there taught
me how to place an order for a hamburger with just ketchup and a chocolate
William Mote, former Goody
Goody manager, recalls that there were big signs posted when he came to work in
1941: "No Tips, Please." The carhops were still young men,
and the going salary was 20 cents per hour.
Peter New, on his grandfather "Papa" Bill B. Stayer
took me everywhere: to the orange plant, to Hav-A-Tampa cigar
factory where I talked to the Cuban workers; to get supplies for the
Goody Goody, particularly the boxes of hot dogs precooked, my
favorite thing; to the bread factory, hundreds of loaves of bread;
to the mayonnaise factory, to the tomato farm. We went to Morton’s
meat packing plant, went into gigantic refrigerators where sides of
beef were hanging on hooks. Papa picked out what he wanted and big
trucks brought them to Goody Goody. Papa would keep a copy of the
Congressional Record in the front seat of the car and make long
lists of things to do with his pencil.
Goody Goody letterhead, 1940.
Goody Goody manager, by Carl Stayer
Nathaniel Milton Gaston,
1928 - The only year he was with the Washington Senators. Photo from
Mears Monthly Auctions
Dad had been our companion in
baseball from the time we were about six years old. By the time Bill and I approached age 40 we were familiar with the personnel on the
baseball teams and had followed the action daily. We idolized baseball players, but I
had never met one.
When I got to Tampa, there was a real life player,
Milton Gaston, as one of the managers of the Goody Goody. He had played
for the Patterson Silk Sox in New Jersey, then on into military service where he
was on the battleship "Texas," the champion of the service teams. After
the war was over, his brother Alex, who was a catcher for the New York Giants,
advised Milt to take an offer from the Yankees, where he played on that famous
team with Babe Ruth. After a year he was traded to the Browns in St. Louis where
he met his lovely wife Pearl, who was especially admired by my wife Peg. He then
went to Washington, then on to Boston where his wife's sister was to meet
another good pitcher, Danny McFayden, and they were married. Finally he closed
his career with the White Sox.
When I worked with Milt I wondered
again why Dad had asked me to come to Florida. Milt was a level-headed
intelligent man that could have managed the business very well without the help
of a member of the family. Our duties involved both being there at noon and
maybe having a half hour at 2pm to sit together and talk, and better than that,
about two hours on Saturday and Sunday evening. There, I was practically in the
dugout at my favorite game of baseball.
(86 at the time of Hampton Dunn's 1992 article) lived in Bradenton and was the oldest former
ball player for the Boston Red Sox at the time. He managed the Goody Goody for a
number of years before becoming a Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy.
Goody Goody waitresses, circa 1950-51
Place your cursor on the photo to see names.
The "Goody Goody Girls" circa
1950-51 was shared with TampaPix by E. Marie DeArmas Barnhill.
The photo belongs to Marie's mother-in-law, Zena
Sanford, who is seated 2nd from far right, looking over her
shoulder. Zena married Tom
Barnhill in July of 1951 and she said it was taken a short time
before she married. The photo was taken by Hal's studio of
photography, 8716 Edison, Tampa Florida. The individual portrait at
right left is from Paul Sherman studio, 409 E Cass St. Rm 236, Tampa.
Sometime after adding
the above photo to this feature, TampaPix was contacted by Dave Gaskins,
who identified his mom, Loraine Brown Gaskins, in the photo.
Loriane said "The carhop/waitress 'uniform' was the white peasant
blouse and red skirt, which was hand made and provided for the girls
with the cost deducted from their pay, along with white shoes. Their
jobs as carhops were highly coveted as the tips earned were quite
substantial for the day."
Recently, TampaPix was contacted by Darby Cobb, who identified her
aunt and her mom in the photo! Darby's mom, Ella Louise Cook,
and aunt Phyllis Marie Cook, were sisters.
points to his mom, Goody Goody waitress Loraine Brown
Gaskins. Photo courtesy of Goody Goody Facebook page.
Thanks, Dave, for your and your mom's memories of the
waitresses and their uniforms!
mom poses in front of the picture she posed in about 68
years ago when she was Ella Louise Cook! Ella is all
the way in the back in front of the mirror. Thanks,
Ella and Darby for sharing this priceless treasure!
Just a chance to flirt with a bevy of
pretty car-hops was enough to draw the guys to The Goody Goody at
1119-21 Florida Ave. in the glory days before and after World War II.
But the food - especially those delicious pies-was the best in town. The
popular restaurant was family-owned from 1929 when William B. Stayer
bought the place until it was closed in May 1984. A few months later, in
January 1985, one of the long-time Goody Goody girls, Yvonne Freeman,
reopened the landmark. This photo was taken about 1945**. -Photo from
HAMPTON DUNN COLLECTION
the aluminum chairs
Legend has it that the seat was
modeled after Betty Grable's!
In 1944, Wilton Carlyle Dinges founded the Electrical Machine and
Equipment Company (Emeco) in Hanover, Pennsylvania, utilizing the
skills of local craftsmen. During WWII the U.S. government gave him a
big assignment, make chairs that could withstand water, salt air and
sailors. Make chairs lightweight and make them strong, build them
for a lifetime. Aluminum was the obvious choice, engineered for
practical purposes, designed by real people. Emeco named the chair
with a number: 1006, some people call it the Navy chair. Emeco still
call it the Ten-o-six. Forming, welding, grinding, heat-treating,
finishing, and anodizing, are just a few of the
77 steps it
takes to build an Emeco chair. No one else makes chairs this
way. No one can. It takes a human eye to know when the process is
done right, and it takes human hands to get it that way. Emeco's
goal--make recycling obsolete by continuing to make things that last.
When customers drove up for
curbside service in the late 1940s, a hamburger cost 30 cents.
car was served in May of 1984
pages to see full size
Bill McKechnie, Reds manager
from 1938 to
In 1934, Gabe Paul
was traveling secretary of the Red Wings and two years later, he was
brought to Cincinnati by Warren Giles. In 1943, Paul entered the
army for a two-year stint, then rejoined the Reds. By 1947, Paul was
named assistant to the vice president and took over as vice
president and general manager in 1951, succeeding Giles, who left to
become National League president. Photo from Out of the Park
Goody Goody fed the
After the WWII ended, the
Cincinnati Reds returned to Tampa for Spring Training. They had 175
players to try out, including all of those that had left the team for war
duty over a period of 4 years. Bill McKechnie sent Gabe Paul to Goody Goody to
ask them to supply their lunches. Carl Stayer was very happy to have this
assignment and would carry the lunches to the dressing room himself to get
close to the team. "We would make 175 sandwiches a day of ham, roast pork and
beef, and cheese. The property manager, Larry McManus would give us a list
of the sandwiches to be made for each player the day before and I would
take them to the dressing room at noon when they came in from morning
To get the order and to assure further business,
Carl Stayer went to
all of the games. "I would buy a ticket at the ticket window and try to
walk by Gabe Paul and wave hello with a rain check (his ticket stub) in my hands so he could
see I was a paying customer, see the game and go to the dressing room for
the next day’s order. Gabe was fussy about people he did business with
getting in on passes."
Everyone in the kitchen
worked on the Reds spring training orders with José, a Cuban cook, taking
charge. When the spring games started, Carl began to receive comments from
some players that their sandwich had twice as much meats in it on some
days than others. Not knowing why, Carl spoke to José about it. It
turned out that José was watching the box scores and rewarding the players
that hit home runs or pitched shutout ball with a double sandwich. Carl liked the idea and told Jose to go ahead with it.
Ewell Blackwell and
Goody Goody's milkshakes
Blackwell of the Cincinnati Reds at Spring Training in March, 1942
at Plant Field in Tampa. Photo by Diamond Images / contributor
"Ewell Blackwell was on the
team and pitched some of the most unhittable ball in the Majors in the
next few seasons. In spite of a powerful pitching arm, he was too thin.
The trainer suggested he drink a milk shake every night. He came to our
fountain. Our Eddie Turlington was a baseball fan and here he was making
milk shakes for Ewell Blackwell. A milk shake is supposed to be milk, a
dip of ice cream and some flavoring. Eddie ignored the milk, filled the
shaker with ice cream, put in a little flavoring and let the shaker stir
it until it began to be a liquid, then let Blackwell decide whether to try
to drink it or eat it with a spoon.
With shakes like that Eddie
kept coming back. He had a fine record each season. Whether he
gained weight I don't know."
When Carl joined his dad in
1945 they both agreed that word of mouth advertising was the best for a
good restaurant, but by 1953 a great many new restaurants were started on
Dale Mabry and Hillsborough Avenues-- McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky
Fried Chicken, and there were many new people who moved to those areas
after the war, taking some of Goody Goody's business with them.
In order to curb the loss of
business, Carl advertised for a year or two to reverse the trend. He
didn't need to reason with himself very long.
increased immediately, and so Carl went right on through the second year
using a small ad each week.
He treated his new
endeavor as seriously as the advertising manager for Oldsmobile treated
the introduction of a new model, and worked very hard at it. He wrote his
own ads, taking space in the Tampa Tribune once a week. Carl was a
heavy reader, and read about history a great deal, and when he read of the
eating habits of the Romans or the people of Zanzibar, he had an ad for
that week. When he read of the development of a new food, whether it was
chicken, coffee, cheese, hamburgers, or whatever, Carl had his ads. When
little things happened in the business that he thought were worth a
headline, he had an ad.
and 1950s, there was a sign on the south side of the Goody Goody
parking lot that read Koom Essa, Goot Essa. Here
are newspaper ads circa 1950s that used the same phrase.
By the 1980s, the sign and
the phrase had been forgotten, except for the new owners who made a
small sign with the phrase, framed it, and hung it on the wall when
they were decorating the place.
The Pennsylvania Dutch were
not Dutch at all; they were German. The word Dutchin this usage is often thought to be a corruption of Deitsch, which is itself a local variant of the modern
German Deutsch, meaning German in
German!. Koom Essa seems to be a phonetic spelling/variant of Kumm Esse which means come eat, come
dine or come to dinner. Likewise,
Goot Essa, isfrom Gut Esse,
which means Good dinner or Good meal.
Goody newspaper ads, 1950s and 1960s, courtesy of
Pipper Stayer Ellinor
small ads attracted attention with reverse appeals such as, We have
sold no Cuban sandwiches out of respect for Tampa’s Spanish restaurants.
We combined humor with a small advertising budget and came up with
business gains." When a man left his cane in the dining room, Carl
had a headline: Man comes in with cane and goes out without it. Must
have found new strength with our hamburgers.
ad brought a United Press International story and a brief appearance in
The New York Times in 1956.
Grandma Had to Pick Butterscotches in the Garden to
Make a Pie.
We get our butterscotches fresh from Homosassa each morning. All you
have to do is drive in and be served. P.S. We know butterscotch is
butter and brown sugar. We’ve made 250,000 butterscotch pies. Our
apologies to Homosassa which has never grown a single butterscotch.
We Do Not Make the Best Apple Pie in the World
Our mothers and grandmothers do. They learned it cooking for large
families over old-fashioned coal or wood stoves. But We Do Make the Next
This 1965 newspaper ad lists
all the Goody Goody employees and the number of years working there
Goody Goody's dedicated employees
William Stayer capitalized
on his assets: recipes that customers liked and employees who
performed their job well. Along with the business, William acquired
Annabelle Johnson, Pie Baker. There may have been
mothers and grandmothers that could bake better pies in their own kitchen,
but none that baked them better to sell, along with an unusual
Nathaniel Wilson, never called anything but "Peanuts," bought front quarters of beef and ground them up, added just the right
amount of fat, and made the mouth-watering hamburgers.
Hester, a sweet person who listened, smiled, talked a little and worked
Maggie Rice was a cleaner who had a lifetime war with dirt,
kept the dining room and kitchen spotless. Maggie was the opposite of
Lulu. She liked to be considered a little stern and did not smile as
Shelley Hayes, who had lived a life of hard labor working on the
railroad, as what they called a "Gandy Dancer," maintaining the
right-of-way. He was a good humored old guy who had never learned to read or even to write his own name. He did odd jobs and
cleaned the yard and washed dishes when the regular dishwasher failed to
"Shorty" who could work at
many jobs like clean the yard, clean the kitchen and even cook a little.
Roberts, manager, started work in 1929 as a carhop. The day
he started, someone asked what the new kid’s name was and Bob Stayer,
remembering that Lionel took Latin with Elizabeth Stayer in high
school, said “I don’t know. Call him Cicero.” That was when the Goody
Goody’s parking lot was made of oyster shells and on rainy days,
Cicero’s shoes would bog down in the shells and get all cut up as he
waited on the cars. By 1978 he was working at the take-out window.
William Mote, manager,
started in 1941. Over the years, he worked as a carhop, behind the
soda fountain, and in the kitchen. Mote remembered that in 1941 there
were big signs posted that said. “No tips, please.” The carhops were
young men and the going salary was 20 cents an hour. Mote’s wife
Lillian Rae Mote started as a carhop in 1950. She was very slender and Cicero, the
manager who hired Rae, teased her, saying that she had to stand in the
same spot twice to make a shadow.
started as a carhop in 1947 and then worked as a waitress. Throughout
her years at the Goody Goody, she always worked to keep the same
wholesome atmosphere. Yvonne then leased the Goody Goody from owner
Mike Wheeler and operated it from 1984 until it closed in 2005.
waitress, started work in 1943. She always thought that the other
employees and the customers were part of her family.
cashier, once said, "It isn’t the money I come down here for. It’s
just all the customers. There’s a homey atmosphere here. We are
treated like family. Coming to work is like a tranquilizer. I have met
my best friends here.
Goody newspaper ads, 1950s and 1960s, courtesy of
Pipper Stayer Ellinor
These ads show how Carl Stayer used history to advertise coffee, pies,
steak, cheeseburgers and chili.
Carl Stayer was a master at advertising, and
he didn't fail to give credit where it was due.
These three ads from the 1950s and 1960s
give praise to the Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire & Rescue.
appreciated this letter. We had the good fortune to be a good
place for the Police to stop by when they were on duty, with the
radios open for messages, to get coffee, Coca Colas and a quick
snack. Also for the Patrolmen on duty on Franklin St. to stop by
for a moment's break. We became well acquainted with these fine
young men and enjoyed knowing them. The fire department came
very quickly a number of times, but especially in 1958 when they
saved the business." --Carl Stayer
"Mr. Goody Goody"
William Bechtel Stayer
suffered a stroke in 1949 and passed away on Feb. 21, 1953. During
the four years he was incapacitated, he was taken care of at home by his
loving wife, Sadie. He is buried in Myrtle Hill Memorial Park.
Carl Stayer retired in 1974.
In 1989 he wrote "Now I am writing to occupy my time at 85 and I see them
[his Goody Goody ads over the years] all in the space of a few days. You spend a lot of time when
you are my age, looking back at the good things and also the bad.
Fortunately, there are more good than bad and this opportunity to write
about the advertising program has taken me back to the happy years
operating the Goody-Goody and being a part of that great city of Tampa."
After Carl retired, Judy
Stayer Richter (daughter of Bob and Avis Stayer) managed the Goody Goody
until it was sold to Mike Wheeler in 1980.
Carl Stayer died on Aug. 8,
1990 in Havana, FL. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Havana, FL. Carl
was born Mar. 22, 1904 in Altoona, PA. He attended Wooster College in
Wooster, Ohio in the mid 1920s. Carl and his wife Margaret had two
children, Jan and Carol A. Stayer.