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Franke's Cafeteria records

Franke's Cafeteria records

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Finding aid for the Franke's Cafeteria records

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

May 9, 2011

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-11-26T12:06-0600
Language: English

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Franke's Incorporated. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Title: Franke's Cafeteria records
Dates: Bulk, 1919-1983
Dates: 1891-1989
Quantity: 23.0 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains the records of Franke's Incorporated, operators of Franke's Cafeteria.
Identification: BC.MSS.11.63
Language: English


This collection is arranged topically and chronologically.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the records of Franke's Incorporated, operators of Franke's Cafeteria.

While the collection has documents that date to 1891 and 1989, the majority of the collection dates from 1919 to 1983. Primarily this collection consists of accounting records, administrative records, and blueprints for Franke's cafeteria operations in Little Rock, Ark., Hot Springs, Ark., and Fort Smith, Ark.

Historical Information

Charles A. Franke started what would become one of Arkansas's longest operating businesses in 1919, when he opened a small doughnut shop in Little Rock. That doughnut shop quickly grew into a full production bakery operation. By the late 1920s, the bakery supplied goods for Franke's several hot shops but also supplied a retail truck-sales operation and a wholesale business serving central Arkansas. The first Franke's cafeteria opened in 1924, and would soon become the foundation of Franke's business. In 1954, the Franke family sold the bakery to concentrate solely on cafeteria operations. This focus on cafeteria operations led the company to a program of expansion and new capital investment in the 1950s and 1960s. Following an eventual downsizing, two Franke's cafeterias remain in operation, both in Little Rock.

Charles August Franke was born in Illinois on December 19, 1888. In the records of this collection he is most often referred to as C. A. though his obituary also list Bud as a nickname. Franke was a director of the Commercial National Bank in Little Rock, member and president of the Arkansas Restaurant Association, and very active with the YMCA among other activities. At some point prior to 1910, Franke moved with the family to Auburn, New York, where he graduated from Cornell University. His degree in mechanical engineering led him to a position as treasurer and superintendent of the Auburn Ignition Manufacturing Company. At the onset of World War I, Franke registered for service, noting that he was already a sergeant in Company M of the 3rd New York Infantry. His obituary notes that he was stationed at Camp Pike in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and moved to Little Rock after his discharge. Charles Franke died October 7, 1967 in Little Rock, he was 78.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Business -- Arkansas -- Little Rock.
Cafeterias -- Arkansas -- Little Rock.
Fort Smith (Ark.)
Franke, Charles August, 1889-1967
Franke, William J.
Franke's Cafeteria. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Hot Springs (Ark.)
Lewis, Fred R.
Little Rock (Ark.)
Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson Architects. (Little Rock, Ark.)


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Franke's Cafeteria records, MSS.11.63, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Carolyn Franke, 2011

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