When Boxwell moved to Rock Island in 1949, a new cook was needed. Walter Whittaker had served for 25 years and had moved on. A new man was needed.
The man was Ike Davis. Davis served as the principle cook at Rock Island and, unfortunately, we know very little about him. In an interview from July 26, 2001, Ward Akers, Jr. explains that Ike did have a helper and the two of them did all the cooking and washed all the dishes–all by hand. This meant preparing three meals a day for upwards of 200 people a week on a wood stove!
As for what Ike prepared… there’s some controversy there! Akers, Jr. paints a pretty bleak picture of simple meals with just bologna and cheese for lunch. Staff members at the time, such as Bob Alley and Wolf Goethert, claim the meals were more robust and quite tasty. As Akers, Jr. was only about 8 at the time, we’ll trust Alley and Goethert on this one!