Who was Fred Harvey? One of the greatest stories of the West and of Arizona during this time had to do with a young man named Fred Harvey. An immigrant to America in 1850, young Fred Harvey found himself working as a railroad mail clerk. He came to know the awful conditions that railroad travelers had to endure: bad food, bitter coffee, poor service and high prices. In 1875, Fred Harvey met with the owners of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. He suggested that a chain of quality restaurants and hotels be opened along the route of the railroad. Fred Harvey’s idea was approved. The first Harvey House was opened for business in Topeka, Kansas, in the spring of 1876. The success of Fred’s restaurant was immediate. Passengers, trainmen and townsfolk all came to the Harvey House to eat. What made Fred’s restaurants so good? Great food, pleasant, efficient service and fair prices were the key. Soon Harvey Houses were being built all along the rail line of the Santa Fe Railroad. Fred Harvey was born on June 27, 1835 in London, England. At the peak of his company’s business there were 84 Harvey Houses, 6 in Arizona. Route of the Santa Fe railroad and location of Harvey Houses in Northern Arizona. 112  Chapter 11 • Arizona’s People