Today’s Tidbit | August 25, 1874 – John Hau

On this day, 136 years ago, my great grandfather, John Hau, was born in St. Joe, Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., Wisconsin. He was the son of Wilhelm and Kathrine (Tuepper) Hau. He married Elizabeth Fuhrman on June 12, 1900.

John ran the Cozy Tavern at 102 North Main St. in Fond du Lac, but after prohibition began, he when into the restaurant business. In 1919, he founded the H & H Cafeteria, with Edward Halverson, at 105 S. Main Street. The restaurant moved to the former Commercial Bank Building, located at First and Main, which they purchased in 1923. In its first year of operation, the cafeteria employed seven persons, but over the years it expanded to employ 21. He bought out Halverson and renamed the restaurant the Lion Cafeteria.

Following 50 years in the business, John retired in 1959, selling the business to his sons Clarence and Raymond (my grandfather).

Much more about John Hau and the Lion Cafeteria can be found here.

John Hau - early 1900's

 

John and Elizabeth (Fuhrman) Hau | 50th Wedding Anniversary - June 12, 1950

Tuesday Treasure | March 16, 2010

When my Grandpa and Grandpa Hau passed away several years ago, I was lucky enough to receive many of their things. Among them was my grandpa’s high school yearbook. Raymond Christian Hau was raised in Fond du lac, WI. His father, John, was in the restaurant business, a business that Ray would eventually join. Ray graduated from Fond du Lac Senior High School in 1926.

The 1920′s in America was an era distinguished by several inventions and discoveries of far-reaching importance, unprecedented industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. The city of Fond du Lac was no exception. It was a classic American mid-western small town, highlighted by its bustling main street. After his graduation, Ray attended Lawrence college in Appleton, his being the first generation of the Hau family to attend college.

Yearbooks from this era are far different from the color photo laden, current events filled books of today. They contain pages full of  poetry and song; pages detailing highlights of the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes; and in-depth descriptions of the accomplishments of the Service Club, Glee Club, Commercial Club, Peptimist Club, etc. The class motto for the Senior Class of 1926 was “Character is All!”

The class president described their senior year as follows: “…it was our senior year that we must look to appreciate truly our high school life. The hopes of years were at last realized. Early in November the school addition, containing the new combined gymnasium and auditorium, was finally completed. What senior has not experience a sincere thrill of pride and of satisfaction as he has entered the gymnasium for programs, pep meetings, parties, and basketball games? We are equally proud of our cafeteria where we have enjoyed hot dinners on cold winter days and appetizing lunches after organization parties. Our school life has been further rounded by the new courses of home economics, manual training, auto mechanics, and physical education….”

It’s hard to imagine our ancestors as high school kids. My only memory of my grandpa is as…a grandpa. I’m grateful to have these treasures. They really help me to know him better.

Tuesday Treasure | February 9, 2010

My treasure for today comes in the form of an article that appeared in the June 1976 issue of The Real Estate News Observer. The focus of the article was inflation, and the example they used was the 1938 menu from my great grandfather John Hau’s cafeteria style restaurant, The Lion Cafe. The restaurant, located in Fond du Lac, WI, was described in the article as “the leading restaurant in a town of 23,000″. They went on to publish the entire menu!

The Lion Cafe was owned by the Hau family from it’s founding in 1919 until it closed in 1968. Much more can be read about it’s history here.

1938 Lion Cafe menu - Click to Enlarge

Tuesday Treasure | November 17, 2009

This is the marriage certificate of my grandparents on my mom’s side, Raymond Christian Hau and Florence Rose Heller.

Marriage Certificate of Raymond Christian Hau and Florence Rose Heller

My grandpa was born in Fond du Lac, WI on February 29, 1908. He spent a year at Lawrence College in Appleton. Ray eventually went to work for his father, who owned the Lion Cafeteria, in Fond du Lac.

My grandma was born and raised in Montello, WI. She graduated from St. Agnes School of Nursing in Fond du Lac and then worked, until their marriage, at St. Agnes Hospital.

Ray and Florence were married, on October 10, 1933, at St. John the Baptist Church in Montello. Their marriage was witnessed by Ray’s sister, Delores, and Florence’s brother, Howard.

Surname Sunday | HAU

My mother’s surname is Hau. Wilhelm Hau came to America from Prussia, probably in the 1860′s. He settled in Sheboygan County, WI as a farmer. He married Kathrine Tuepper in 1869. They had nine children together. Wilhelm died in 1884 at the age of 41. One of their sons, John, is my great grandfather. He, together with his sons Raymond and Clarence, owned and operated Hau’s Lion Cafeteria in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI.

Tuesday Treasure | May 5, 2009

My great grandfather, John Hau, founded and operated the Lion Cafeteria in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI from 1919 until turning it over to my grandfather and great uncle in 1959. More about the restaurant can be found here.

In the 1920′s and 30′s, before the installation of air conditioning, the Lion Cafeteria tried to keep its patrons cool with the help of oscillating electric fans that were mounted on the walls.

One of these fans was handed down to me by my grandparents, Raymond and Florence Hau. They had it sitting on the floor in their entry way closet. I don’t remember this, but my mom says that they would bring it out in the summer months to help circulate the air.

General Electric fan c.1920's from the Lion Cafeteria

General Electric fan c.1920's from the Lion Cafeteria

My fan is all original except for the plug on the end of the electric cord. It is very heavy and solid. It still works and is very quiet, but since the cord is frayed, I don’t turn it on very often. Notice the blade guards. They certainly don’t guard against much! The fan is painted dark green and the blades are brass.

In the photo below of the Lion Cafeteria in the 1930′s, a couple of these fans can be seen mounted on the wall. I’ve had this fan for many years, but didn’t notice it in the restaurant picture until recently.

Lion Cafeteria c.1930's

Lion Cafeteria c.1930's