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Hand's Cafe, Elkader


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 1/31/2016 at 10:48:38

Note: I originally posted the following news articles about Hand's Cafe in response to a Query board posting about the business. Copying them on the documents board will make them appear on the main Clayton co. IAGenWeb search.


Known as Hands Café and Pool Hall, the William Hand family operated the café and recreation center from 1921 to 1946.

The building had many owners, whose names are familiar from Elkader's history, including the community's founder John Thompson, Elisha Boardman, early pioneer in the county, and D.D. Murphy, well-known Elkader attorney.

...from The Clayton County Register, September 28, 1983


Hand's Café
Serving many people daily, Hands Café of Elkader has rapidly become this section's most popular eating place. Here the choicest of home cooked meals, short orders, and lunches are served, together with other delicacies such as delicious ice cream, coffee, fresh milk and many pleasing and refreshing fountain drinks.

In 1921 Mr. Hand purchased the amusement parlor from C.C. Oehring. Immediately upon taking possession a partition was installed and the east side was outfitted as a restaurant. As both laces were too much for one person to care for, Mrs. Hand took charge of the restaurant. Under her capable management this place soon became one of Elkader's most popular eating places.

Hand's Café has a seating capacity of fifty people and it is [illegible words] capacity at least three times daily, while crowds of folks both young and old make it their gathering place during the early evening hours.

By employing little outside help the overhead has been cut to a minimum, while the quality of the foods have been raised far above the average. All the cooking is done either by Mrs. Hand or under her supervision. She is considered, by those who know, to be a past master in the culinary art.

The recreation parlors which are under the direct supervision of Mr. Hand, afford one of the cleanest and best places of amusement for the male sex in this section. Three pool and one billiard tables are kept busy thruout the day and during the evening, furnishing the necessary relaxation for the tired business man. During the evening the card tables are well patronized by those who enjoy a milder form of entertainment.

In addition, cold drinks, tobaccos, cigars, cigarettes and candy, are kept on hand to supply the wants of his many patrons.

William Hand, well known and liked by everyone who has come in contact with him, was born at McGregor in 1881. At the age of four his parents moved to a farm in Volga township, where he lived until 1900. At that time he was married to Miss Lucille Monnahan. Moving to a farm which he purchased in Read township, where he lived until 1920. Selling the place he moved to Elkader at that time where he remained for the next two years. In 1921 he removed to Monona where he lived until his purchase of his present business.

....article & advertisement from The Elkader Register, Sept. 10, 1925:

William Hand Obituary

Clayton Documents maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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