|2115 Tenth Street, Niagara Falls, New York|
The house had just been built in 1910 and it was a great place to raise a family: 3,900 square feet with 5 bedrooms and a big yard. I'm sure fifteen year old Roy loved his new home. Fred was working as a messenger for the express company; Anna kept house, Claude was a bookkeeper for a bank, and Roy was in school. Carl had already moved out on his own, but the Cooleys had a boarder: twenty-five year old Frank D. Hibbard, who worked for the Railway Express.
Roy Cooley registered for the draft on May 31, 1917. We learn some interesting things about Roy from his registration card. He was attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he was a medical student. Under the section "Do you claim exemption from the Draft?" He wrote "Yes - physical disability - Conscientious Objections." I can imagine how that was received by the Draft Board.
On March 9, 1918 Roy W. Cooley married Henrietta D. Catlow (1897-1968) in Evanston, Illinois. The groom was 23 - the bride was 20. Henrietta came from an old Evanston family. Her father, Thomas Catlow (1857-1919) was a railway engineer. Her mother was Sarah E., nee Schierding (1857-1946). Henrietta had a half brother - Joseph Raymond Catlow (1879-1961).
Roy and Henrietta were blessed with two daughters: Jane Gray Cooley (1919-1990) and Lois Ann Cooley (b. 1928).
Sometime between 1918 and 1920 Roy Cooley made the decision to quit medical school and remain in Chicagoland.
The 1920 US Census shows the Roy Cooley family renting an apartment at 617 Michigan Avenue in Evanston, Roy was twenty-four and chief clerk for a wholesaler. Henrietta was twenty-two and baby Jane was four months old.
|617 Michigan Avenue, Evanston, Illinois|
By 1925 the young Cooley family was living at 2304 Grey Avenue in Evanston:
|2304 Grey Avenue, Evanston, Illinois|
Shortly after that Roy Cooley opened his second Cooley's Cupboard - this one at 505 Main Street that he called the "Rendezvous Moderne." Finally, in 1927 he opened the third Cooley's Cupboard, this one at 1511 Chicago Avenue that he called the "Picardy Room." This was during the boom times of the 1920s and all three Cooley's Cupboards were successful almost from the moment they first opened.
The 1930 US Census shows the Cooley family living at 2230 Lincolnwood Drive in Evanston:
|2230 Lincolnwood Drive, Evanston|
They told the census taker that they owned this house, and it was worth $20,000.00. Living here were 35 year old Roy - a "proprietor of a restaurant", 33 year old Henrietta, 11 year old Jane, 2 1/2 year old Lois, and live in maid Gertrude Flanagan.
Life was good for the Cooley family, evidenced by the fact that in the mid-1930's they bought another house - this one at 3045 Normandy Place in Evanston:
|3045 Normandy Place, Evanston, Illinois|
And what a house it was: 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, a finished basement, and a slate roof. 3,045 square feet of living space on a lot that is almost 1/3 of an acre. In the 1940 US Census, Roy Cooley estimated that his house was worth $27,000.00, today its estimated worth is $1,519,000.00.
Roy Cooley always believed that local advertising was a great way to let his customers know what he was offering them. Here's an ad from October 6, 1935:
Here's a Cooley's Cupboard menu from the 1940s:
The 1940 US Census showed the Cooley family living at 3045 Normandy Place in Evanston. There was forty-four year old Roy, "Owner of Restaurants", forty-two year old Henrietta, twenty year old Jane, and eleven year old Lois. No live-servants this time around, but Henrietta's eighty-two year old mother Sarah Catlow was living with the Cooleys.
When Roy Cooley registered for the draft in 1942 he no longer claimed Conscientious Objector status.
In the mid 1940's, Roy Cooley expanded his restaurant empire by opening the Tally-Ho Restaurant at 1513 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, and its sister, the Tally-Ho Restaurant at 19 S. Northwest Highway in Park Ridge.
Here's the Tally-Ho in Evanston:
and the one in Park Ridge:
These restaurants were more upscale than the Cooley's Cupboards and offered more formal dining in an English countryside atmosphere.
Here's a menu from the Tally-Ho in Evanston:
But for most Evanstonians, Cooley's Cupboard was still the place to be. Roy Cooley continued to advertise in all the local newspapers, but he found a way to get his share of free advertising as well. Here's an article from the Chicago Tribune in 1949 that mentioned that a local group was ending their outing "with a late snack at Cooley's Cupboard":
Cooley's food was so tasty and so nutricious they were often asked for their recipies. Here's one included in a cookbook published in 1950:
Roy Cooley continued to advertise the holiday dinners he offered to people without a place to go, or those who just didn't want to bother cooking:
|Helen and Roy Cooley|
Roy Cooley had long ago given up the big house in Evanston - the newlyweds rented an apartment at 2061 Farwell Avenue in Chicago.
|2061 W. Farwell, Chicago|