Beginning at the left side of the picture, the Conway Hotel is visible. Dwayne Goode reported that his father’s barber shop used to be on the first floor below this Conway Hotel.
The Donaghey Building on the southwest corner of Parkway and Oak was built by George Washington Donaghey shortly after the turn of the century. Donaghey, a carpenter who received his training in Conway at John Pence’s cabinet shop and funeral home. He became governor of Arkansas in 1908 and oversaw the construction of the State Capitol in Little Rock.
In 1903, the Conway telephone exchange was moved to the Donaghey Building on the southwest corner of Oak and Parkway. By 1910, there were 277 telephone customers in Conway. In 1911, the company bought a new switchboard with a larger capacity and installed it in a new building on West Oak Street.
The company, with its 375 subscribers, had about 200 miles of open wire (steel) strung throughout the city. The city council would eventually insist that the unsightly wires be replaced by a less visible system in the business district. It was then that Conway Telephone was sold to Southwestern Bell. Sammons remained as the manager.
By the 1930s, there were 753 telephone customers in Conway. The three operators worked six days a week and each had about ten pairs of cords with plugs. Each telephone in the system was represented by a light and a numbered hole on one of the switchboard panels. When someone wanted to make a call, he would pick up his telephone receiver. This caused a light on the switchboard to come on. Phone numbers were four digits.
The operator would take a plug and stick it into the lighted hole and flip a switch which allowed her to talk to the caller. She would then stick the plug at the other end of the cord into the hole of the number requested by the caller. The operators also tended to keep up with the doctors’ whereabouts and be the source of information if the firetrucks or ambulances were dispatched.
Goad’s Café is the building on the right side of the photo with the smaller Coca Cola sign on it. Luther, or "Uncle Luke" as he was affectionately called, Goad and his brother, Judson "Jud" Goad, opened Goad Brothers Bakery and Café at 1304 Oak Street in 1921. Luther, an Army cook in World War I, did most of the cooking while Jud operated the bakery. Morning Glory Bread as well as other baked goods were baked and distributed from there.
Goad’s was L-shaped with an entrance on both Oak and Parkway. Railroad workers and passengers would usually come in through the Parkway entrance. When the passenger trains stopped in downtown Conway, one of the Goads—Jud or Luther—would deliver plates of food to the train’s engineer and fireman. When a westbound train stopped, they would get in their Model T Ford to deliver food to that side of the track.
For 16 or 17 years, the restaurant was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Luther had a place to sleep in the back of the café and was available to serve anyone who needed a meal. If both had to go to a funeral, they got a friend or employee to keep the café open and running.
The last building to note is partially visible on the north side of Oak Street near the center of the picture, next to Faulkner County Abstract Company. The Log Cabin Democrat was published in that building for 80 years, moving to north Front Street in 1980.