“In Muskogee, Oklahoma, I saw an unusual sandwich called “corn-dog.” This sandwich was a wiener baked in cornbread. The corn-dog was very good, but took too long to prepare. The problem was how to cover a hotdog with batter and cook it in a short time.
In the fall of 1941, I told this story to a fellow student at Knox College whose father was in the bakery business, and then gave it no further thought.
Five years later while in the Air Force stationed at Amarillo Airfield, I received a letter from my fellow student, Don Strand. To my surprise he had developed a mix that would stick on a weiner while being french-fried. He wondered if he could send some down that I could try in Amarillo. Having plenty of spare time, I said ‘yes.’
Using cocktail forks for sticks, the U.S.O kitchen in which to experiment, we made a very tasty hotdog on a stick, that we called a “crusty cur.” They became very popular both at the U.S.O. in town, and at the P.X. on the airfield. My friend continued to send mix and we continued to sell thousands of crusty curs until I was discharged – honorably – in the spring of 1946.
We decided to sell them that spring. My wife did not like the name “crusty curs.” Through trial and error and discarding dozens of names, we finally decided on the name “Cozy Dogs.”
Cozy Dogs were officially Launched at the Lake Springfield Beach House on June 16th, 1946.”
This story was told by Ed Waldmire Jr. to his son Bob, during an “interview” on January 30th, 1959. Bob was in the 8th grade at the time.
After the Cozy Dogs were launched at the Lake Springfield Beach House, Cozy Dogs were introduced at the Illinois State Fair the same year. The first Cozy Dog House was located on South Grand between Fifth and Sixth Street in Springfield. A second Cozy Dog House was located at Ash & MacArthur. In 1949, Drive In was born; built on “Route 66” South Sixth Street. In 1996 Cozy Dog moved to its current location, where Sue (Ed’s daughter in law) Josh, Eddie, Tony & Nick (Ed’s grandsons) continue on with the business right next door to the original location.