Tag Archives: Herb Anderson

A Cooking (And Living) Tip From Grandfather Guy Anderson

Grandfather Guy Anderson and Vera

Vera and Guy Anderson, 1941, Killbuck, Ohio

Leonard Guy Anderson ( 1878-1944) was a charmer. He was never known as Leonard–always “Guy”, and by his children and grandchildren as “Daddy Guy.”  Although he died when I was barely five years old, I remember him vividly.  He was one of those people who sparkles with life.

Get a taste of his sense of humor from these two letters.

Interestingly, my slightly older cousin Herb Anderson and I have the same visual memory of Daddy Guy Anderson. We remember him sitting in the living room of the big house on Main Street in Killbuck Ohio in a rocking chair, with a brass ashtray stand by his side. He sat and read.

By the time that Herb and I have clear memories of Daddy Guy, his health was going down hill from a heart condition, which accounts for our memories of him sitting in a rocking chair, but earlier in his life he was a perpetual motion machine, never quiet for long.

Despite his small wiry frame, he was feisty. Herb remembers that when Grandma and he had the restaurant pictured at the top of the page, Guy kept a blackjack under the counter. That’s because they sold beer. Lots of beer. And fights would break out on Saturday night. Guy Anderson would wade into the fray and break it up with his blackjack and sometimes the help of my two uncles, Bill and Herbert Anderson.

 Grandfather Guy Anderson's game cock

Cousin Herb (Sonny) with Daddy Guy’s game cock. About 1937

Guy was a breeder of fighting gamecocks (still a popular sport in some parts of the MidWest), one of which is seen in this picture with my cousin Herb as a young man, probably taken in the late 1930’s. That’s the side yard of the Anderson’s home–the house that my grandmother’s father Dr. William C. Stout built, and the one Vera and Guy Anderson turned into a restaurant.

My personal memory of Daddy Guy has to do with books. The books he was reading as he sat on that rocker were pulp-fiction Westerns. Lots of Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. While I imagine he picked up western story magazines at the drugstore, his insatiable thirst for words led him to borrow books from an interesting lending library. (Killbuck did not have a library of its own until very recent years.)  I loved to walk with him across the street and around the corner onto Front Street. There a small store with bay windows in front had one window piled with paperback books. Readers could borrow them just like at a regular library. Unfortunately for me, there was nothing there for a five-year-old, but the experience just solidified my idea that to be grown up was to read, and to read as many books as possible.

Daddy Guy also listened to the radio a lot.  We were all interested in what was going on in the war in the 1940’s,but he also listened to a lot of ultra-conservative rants. (No, talk radio wasn’t invented recently–just the call-in part.)  He turned the radio up loud because he was very hard of hearing.  In my memory, Daddy Guy always had the hearing aid that is visible in the picture at the top of this article. My, how technology has changed. Back then, he felt fortunate to have a device that was small enough to fit in his shirt pocket (larger than today’s cell phones) and connected by a long wire to buttons hooked into his ears.

Guy Anderson

Guy Anderson as a young man.

Guy Anderson tried on a lot of occupations–and discarded them just as fast.  He was a farmer when he married his first wife, Lillis M. Bird (1877-1903). They lived on the Anderson family farm  after they married in 1898. They had two children, Rhema (Fair) (b.1902-1906)  and Telmar (1903-1982). But Lillis died in childbirth in July 1903 when Telmar was born, and Guy was left with two children.

Guy rekindled an old friendship with Vera Stout.  When her parents asked if she intended to marry him Vera scoffed, “Do you think I would marry a man with two children?”They were married  a few months later, in October, 1904.  I told you he had charm.

Vera had a mind of her own, and she did not want to care for

Ben and Nettie Anderson

Benjamin Franklin Anderson and Nettie Anderson (Guy’s Brother)

two young children as a new bride. Rhema and Telmar were sent to Guy’s brother Ben (Benjamin Franklin Anderson) to raise. [CORRECTION: Rhema went to Guy’s uncle Frank Anderson.]

After giving birth to three children (William J. 1905, Harriette 1906 and Herbert 1908) and living in the country with her mother-in-law, Vera had had enough of the farm and insisted they move back in to town.  Although Vera had declined to raise Rhema and Telmar, they were always on good terms, and Rhema and my mother were extremely close all their lives.

If you think about that timeline, you have to admit that Guy Anderson had a busy life. In the ten years between 1898 and 1908 he married twice and fathered five children. Besides that, between 1909 and 1944 he had at least five occupations.

Guy Anderson Hardware

Guy Anderson’s Hardware Store, Killbuck Ohio. Circa 1910. From left: Ben Patterson, Guy, Garfield Woods, unknown, Charlie Plant

In town (Killbuck Ohio), Guy tried his hand at running a hardware store until 1910 when Dr. William Stout, his father-in-law died. He sold the store and helped his mother in law by managing the Stout family farms. In the 1920’s Guy opened  a garage.

Grandfather Guy Anderson's Garage, Killbuck.

Guy Anderson’s Garage, Killbuck. Cousin Herb says that the building still stands on a side street in Killbuck, recognizable by the stone on the lower part of the building.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, in her recorded memoir, explained why her father was not a big success as business. He was too generous. If someone came in and gave him a sob story in his hardware store about how they couldn’t afford to buy their child a sled at Christmas, he’s just give it to them on credit.

Guy Anderson in restaurant

Guy Anderson in restaurant, Killbuck, 1941

By the early 1930s as we have seen, he and Vera had started a boarding house,which morphed into a restaurant. That apron isn’t just for pulling beer, although I imagine he did a lot of that. Guy also helped with the cooking. I don’t know for sure what all he cooked, but every time I make a pie crust, I remember my mother telling me about his instructions to only roll the rolling pin in one direction–never back and forth.  He also made light biscuits, she said, and was adamant that the secret was in handling the biscuit or pie dough as lightly as possible.

But then, I suspect Daddy Guy approached all of life with a light touch.


Note: I would like very much to be able to identify the other men in the picture of Guy Anderson’s businesses.  If you think you know someone who might know, please forward this article to them. Thanks.

Blue Plate Special: Cousin Herb Remembers

Since my cousin, Herb Anderson is a slight bit older than I am, I asked him if he could remember anything about our grandparent’s restaurant. He remembered a lot, including blue plate specials!

Herbert Anderson

My cousin, Herb Anderson

I am not sure of the beginning of the restaurant  I would guess around 1936-37 and remember when grandfather Guy died (1945) they were not operating the restaurant, but I still remember that after every basketball game grandmother offering me a piece of pie and a glass of cold milk. (That would have been about 1944).

Grandfather always keep a large wooden club and a blackjack ( pebble filled leather pouch that served as a weapon to knock out trouble makers) I remember there was always trouble on Saturday nights and that little Guy was not in the least afraid to step up to any trouble maker. Dad (Herb Anderson Sr.) and Uncle Bill were there to back him up.

Grandpa Anderson

Grandpa Anderson

Bob Anderson [son of Bill and Sarah Anderson]  and I, when we were 10-11, worked on busy nights and served beer and food until someone reported us to the authorities and shut us down. Bob and I would have a contest to see who could bring in the most money.

On the [risque] side, Grandmother found a condom in the entrance way and accused Guy or Dad having his way with a nice-looking girl who worked part time. I never knew the outcome of this.

The food was always good country cooking: sliced beef with potatoes and gravy, meatloaf, and as you know, wonderful pies.

Dr. Benson (the town dentist) and “Doc” Kaiser [the druggist] were regular customers of their Blue Plate Special. Dr Benson was a fiend on Cokes, drinking one after another.

They had a jukebox that was popular .One gentleman would always be playing Hank Williams (Your Cheating Heart ) as his wife had left him for another.

Archway and jukeboxes

Archway and jukeboxes

The room that later served as living room and dining room, was filled with wire back chairs & stools.It was usually used on weekends and busy holidays. You stepped down [from the long front room] one step into the next room that had a big arch, this room was where most of the restaurant action was.Two small booths to your right  and bar stools at counters and a table or two including the wire ( ice cream tables & chairs ) were used doing the restaurant days.

[The small room on the left in the rear was the kitchen]. The room at the rear to the right of the kitchen behind the bar was where they always had a big cooler with piles of ice to cool the beer.

Grandmother Vera & Guy had a small table sitting in the picture window and always had a game of 500 Rum going. They keep score carefully so when they were interrupted they would jump right back in the game.

I remember they set up large tents in the yard between the property and Dr. Benson’s office next door and would serve beer outside during hot summer days,  weekends and holidays. There was a door right next to their card playing table that was used for access to serve the tent crowd. It was always a busy exit. Bob & I used to take turns mowing the yard .We were paid one big Quarter.

The beer garden was a special event in the 30s. Grandmother had a flower garden right in the center of the yard that ended up as the center display under the tent.

Grandpa Guy would play pool with his brother Ben ( who had a metal hook replacing an arm lost I believe on a railroad track ) but he played pool as well with the metal hook as [others with] fingers. I would follow Grandpa as he started to walk back from the pool room ( Toe’s Pool Hall ) to the restaurant and hit him up for a quarter that he always gave me. Toe’s was a center of attractions. They later put in king pin bowling ( miniature balls ) that went well for a while. I set pins. Because the balls were small they traveled at a high speed and the pins would fly. It is a wonder that I survived.

Many thanks to my cousin Herb Anderson for sharing his childhood memories of our Grandmother and Grandfather’s restaurant.

I also asked some old timers who still live in the Killbuck area to see what they could learn, and Larry Neal gave me some interesting tidbits. This is what Larry wrote to me:

Paul Smith, another of my classmates, remembers walking down the hill after school with your cousin, Herb, and going into the restaurant by the backdoor (into the kitchen).  Paul’s Dad was the minister of Killbuck Christian Church so Paul couldn’t go in the area where they sold beer.  He also remembers the 1926 Essex automobile of your grandparents.

Another classmate, Victor Snyder, remembers saving pennies so that he could go into Andersons Restaurant to buy a 5 cent hamburger!

I’m still fishing for more information on the restaurant. I thought it would be interesting to see a menu, but then it occurred to me that they probably didn’t even use menus. And I don’t have recipes for any of those blue plate specials. Either you know how to cook mashed potatoes with pot roast and gravy, or you don’t! But I imagine that since I make meatloaf the way that my mother made it, that Grandma Vera probably made it about the same way. (I make it without onions, and add garlic and celery, and sometimes grated carrot).

Meatloaf mixed the right way.

Granddaughter Rachel mixes the meatloaf the right way.


  • 3 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 C oats (quick cooking or regular) [use smashed up saltines if you don’t have oats.
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/2 C onion chopped fine
  • dried parsley (or oregano or Italian herbs–whatever you like)
  • sliced mushrooms if you have them
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 C Catsup (or tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 C Catsup for topping

Beat egg. Put all ingredients in large bowl.  Mix with your hands. If it seems too dry, add a little water or broth.  Pat into two loaf pans. Spread catsup on top. Bake at 350@ for about an hour. (Stick a knife into the middle to see if it is done.)

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