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Leavenworth in Leavenworth County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Frederick H. Harvey

“Mr. Restaurant”

 

Historic Wayside Tour #18

 
Frederick H. Harvey Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 30, 2011
1. Frederick H. Harvey Marker
Inscription.
Into the grunt and growl life of the southwest frontier Fred Harvey brought an era of gracious manners, delicious food, good women, and high standards of service. Frederick Harvey was born in London in 1835. At fifteen Harvey immigrated to the United States. His first job was as a "pot-walloper", a dishwasher, in a New York restaurant. He saved a portion of his two dollars a week salary and in 1860 he opened his first eating establishment in St. Louis. In 1865 Fred Harvey and his family moved to Leavenworth. He purchased this house in 1883 and it was that the Harveys raised their five children. It was to this home that Fred Harvey came to die in 1901.

Fred Harvey's chain of restaurants and hotels, the Harvey Houses, spread across the southwest as a result of a most unusual association of Harvey and the Santa Fe Railroad. With a handshake to seal their agreement the two companies began an unparalleled business partnership. The Santa Fe Railroad would provide the buildings for the Harvey restaurants where all of the passenger trains would stop twice daily for meals. The railroad would carry all the produce and supplies needed by the Harvey restaurants to include transporting the dirty laundry! Fred Harvey would hire, train, and supervise all personnel and provide for food and service. Harvey's policy was "Maintenance of standard,
Frederick H. Harvey House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 30, 2011
2. Frederick H. Harvey House and Marker
regardless of cost." He believed that profits would accrue in the long run if service was excellent. To maintain this excellence, he hired and trained girls of the finest character as waitresses, the famous "Harvey Girls".

At Fred Harvey's death the Santa Fe Railroad had lines south to the Gulf, north to Chicago and criss-crossing the entire southwest. The Harvey business had grown to more than sixty hotels and eating-places, thirty dining cars, and a ferry on San Francisco Bay.

The Kansas City Journal Post described Fred Harvey as "the greatest civilizing force of this generation."
 
Erected by City of Leavenworth. (Marker Number 18.)
 
Location. 39° 18.686′ N, 94° 55.018′ W. Marker is in Leavenworth, Kansas, in Leavenworth County. Marker is at the intersection of Olive Street and 7th Street, on the right when traveling west on Olive Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 624 Olive Street, Leavenworth KS 66048, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Home of Frederick Henry Harvey (a few steps from this marker); The Knapp House (within shouting distance of this marker); "Harvey House" Leavenworth Court House Annex I (within shouting distance of this marker); American Legion Post #23 Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Leavenworth Public Library (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. mile away); Quartzite Boulder (approx. 0.3 miles away); Leavenworth County World War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Leavenworth.
 
More about this marker. The marker is one of a series of audio historic wayside markers - push a button on the marker and the narration (transcribed above) is given.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fred Harvey at Kansapedia. (Submitted on March 29, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Fred Harvey. (Submitted on March 29, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. A Harvey House Home Page. (Submitted on March 29, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 313 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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