Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ward & Dickinson notes.

Buster's Diner at 144 Norwich Ave in Norwich, CT(actually a little north of the city) was a Ward & Dickinson, the American Diner Museum has a photo, and Spencer Stewart confirmed an online photo of the interior.

Sept 29, 1927 - Mr. Kofoed and his wife went to Nashville, TN on a two week business trip.  The newspapers on a later date said he fell ill in Nashville.  Now, Berthel Kofoed was the builder behind Ward & Dickinson and may have had the most influence on the building of the diners.  His son wrote a history of his life, and mentioned that his father, Berthel, fell sick driving home from Houston, Texas after having Freon poisoning while setting up a diner's refrigeration.  Might this be a mistake?
Another of Berthel's sons lived in Houston for a few years, so maybe his son remembered the wrong name.  I mean, this would have been 50 years later! And he didn't live the event.   Either way, with a business trip, there was probably a Ward & Dickinson in Nashville!  Now to find out more about it.

Otto Kiefer ran a diner in Avon from about 1926 to 1940, before he passed away.  In 1946, that diner was moved to Perry.  Well, I found out the Kiefer family was from Silver Creek.

The W&D in Sharon, PA has always confounded me. Addie Richardson ran it from 1926 to roughly 1932, before the diner disappeared.

background - Addie Richardson was the mother of Elmer Richardson who was married to Aletta. Elmer ran a diner in Warren, Pennsylvania.  Addie's husband was a brother to Harry Richardson, who worked for Ward & Dickinson on and off.  And lo and behold, there was a Sperry relationship. (side story there!)

Spencer Stewart found a Youngsville, PA article that mentioned that a Richie Diner was being moved to Youngsville from Warren.  So here is where it gets confusing!   There was a diner in Warren that was built by Earle Richardson.  But why would a newspaper care about who built the diner, they would probably care more about who owned that diner, and that diner was most likely owned by Elmer Richardson, who had a diner in Warren at the time.  Of course, that diner in Warren has been a boatload of confusion too. Did it replace a Richardson model? What happened to it in 1940.  A 1940 photo shows it as Hopkins Dinor, but that never shows up in the city directories.
  So just maybe the Sharon diner was moved to Youngsville.  It would make sense.

oh, I sent out letters to the counties where Scranton, and Wilkes Barre are located, to try to check out their conditional sales dockets.  hoping to hit the jackpot in these two locations, but to be honest, in the bigger cities, the prothonotaries just got tired of filling out everything in the dockets, and started just writing the names in the dockets without ANY info, very quickly.  So I might not be able to get any W&D tag info, which would be a bummer.  Would like to get a couple more counties done this summer.  My plan is to go down there on rainy fridays, as I have a bunch of fridays off to take care of garden work.

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