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Thursday, May 24, 1979


PIX #1 - Quart bottles from G.H. russell and Union Dairy bottle is labeled with Union dairies and a pint container from raised, not printed letters.

PIX #2 - Two sizes of Fox Dairy bottles are shown with a pint-size Ziegler bottle. The Fox bottles, one a half pint "creamtop" with spoon used to extract cream, are collector's items because of the baby's face that appears molded in the glass at the top of the bottle.

PIX #3 - Joe Mager - Dairyman

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second and last installment of a column on Fostoria dairies.


Ammer Dairy Co., another starting in 1919, was located on East Center Street where The Review Times parking lot is now.

They were in business until 1922, when Seneca Dairy Co. took over the business.

Fostoria Creamery, also starting in 1919, was located in the vacated dilapated building still standing on South Union Street beside the B and O tracks. They later became known as George Freese and Son Creamery. They did not sell milk retail, but turned all of their milk into butter and other products selling wholesale.

They like all the local dairies depended on farmers in this area for their supply of milk and cream, it being brought to town by horse and wagon or by rail.

Fostoria's railroads extended north, south, east and west, providing a means for farmers to send their milk cans to town by rail. All Fostoria dairies relied on the same means of transportation for their supply of milk.

Because of a lack of space, also because complete data is not available, it is not possible to provide a rundown on all of the dairies, creameries, and cream stations which are contained in the accompanying list. The creamery stations listed were collection points for milk and cream, serving as agents for various dairies.


Fox Dairy, which started in 1929, was owned by Elias and Alfred "Al" Fox... a father and son operation. They were in business until 1962, when they sold out to San-a-Pure, Findlay, who continued to serve Fostori with home delivery. In fact, home delivery by San-A-Pure continued until a few years ago, when the declining number of customer who wanted that service made it impractical.

Fox Dairy at the start, according to Glenn True, a long-time employee, consisted of a very small operation. Elias Fox milked a few cows, bottled the milk and distributed it to customers from the trunk of his car. Later, Al Fox joined the operation and it grew to a larger operation, providing pasteurized milk, cottage cheese, coffee cream, whipping cream and chocolate milk.

Glenn True started with Fox Dairy in 1947, working until the sale of the business to San-A-Pure. He then worked for the new owners for two years. Others who worked for Fox Dairy were: Glenn Hunker, Allan Russell, Harold Havens, Floyd Anspaugh, Carl Harding, James Pierce.

Ziegler Bros. Dairy also made ice cream and ran a retail ice cream shop in the frame building that stood on North Main Street, now demolished, where Kinn and Theobald Insurance office is now.

Russell Dairy never operated a milk processing plant. They purchased their product from Fox Dairy, packaged under the Russell name.


In 1936, those dairies still in operation in Fostoria felt the need to announce an increase in the prices for milk products. The advertisement read:

Due to excessive weather conditions, causing an extreme shortage of milk, we are quoting the following prices effective July 16, 1936:

Qts. milk 10 cents
Pts. milk 6 cents
1/2 Pts. coffee cream 10 cents
1/2 Pts. whipping cream 20 cents
Qts. buttermilk 8 cents.

Cooperating Dairies: Sen-Wood Dairy, C.H. Shoemaker, Alfred Holman, Baker Dairy, G.H. Russell, Elias Fox, Zeigler Bros. Dairy, Alfred M. Zeigler, The Fostoria Union Dairy, O.D. Wells, Ralph K. Weaver.

I would guess the quart of milk cost eight cents prior to the increase. That would seem an insignigicant increase as compated to the cost of food prices in this era of spiraling inflation, and high food prices.


A true, but humorous story is told by Charles Pierce, a one-time employee at Union Dairy. It relates to another one of their "smart" delivery-wagon horses. Pierce was acting as a substitute driver for a route. As Pierce progressed on the route he was depending on the horse to show the way, which they could do. As Pierce was looking at some records the horse stopped. Without looking up, he dangled the reins and said "giddap" a couple of times.

The horse responded by shaking its head. Finally he looked up and saw that they were at an intersection and a funeral procession was proceeding by. The horse, Pierce later learned, had been trained by the regular driver to stop for funeral processions and other traffic lines which blocked the way. Who said animals are dumb?

Even after pasteurized milk became available, some of the smaller dairies furnished whole milk until regulations no longer allowed the sale and delivery of milk in Fostoria unless it was pasteurized. However, many people preferring whole milk went directly to farmers and thus avoided the ban. Eventually this practice became unpopular and the smaller farm-dairies became extinct.

There are undoubtedly some liing persons who were affiliated with dairies in Fostoria, and I know that by listing those whom I just happen to know I will miss some, but nevertheless here they are: Paul Ward, Glenn True, Wade Baker, Vera Stoneberger, Glenn Hunker, Allan Russell, Harold Havens, Carl Harding, Charles Pierce, Maurice Reeves, Odessa Duckworth, Marion Feindel, Russell Thompson, Joseph Magers, Russell Thompson put in 40 years in the dairy business first with Pure Milk and Dairy, then with Meadow Gold before retiring.


To Fostorian Joseph Magers, 456 W. Center St. must go the honor with the dairy business. He started with Union Dairy in 1949, working there for two years in their wholesale division. Then he went with San-A-Pure in 1954 and has worked there continuously. He handled glass bottles and saw the introduction of waxedpaper and plastic containers. He knows about the price increases of milk products through the years.

Most of his years he has only had to contend with trucks...not horsedrawn vehicles. It's the kind of business that has provided continual, reliable employment, and he has made lots of acquaintances through the years as he delivered to homes and later to stores and supermarkets.

If there have been any disadvantages to Magers work it has probably been the hours...rising very early to get loaded for deliveries.


Most every industry attracts "buffs" who are inexception. In Fostoria the most avid collector of such items is Dennis Hall, who has quite a collection of milk bottles, caps and other items, a few of which are illustrated by the accompanying photos. Your editor is indebted to him for his generosity.

Other general background data about the use of milk in early times was used with permission of Fred Rawlingson, Editor, "Make Mine Milk".

Thanks to: Vera (Earl) Stoneberger for use of group photo of Union Dairy personnel. Dorothy (Rowe) Thornton for use of photo of horsedrawn milk wagon.

Mrs. Al Fox for use of advetisement for 1936 price increase.

To all others who responded to questions in general about Fostoria dairies.

To Odessa Duckworth for photo of her brother O.E. Duckworth, and to Maurice Reeves for photo of father Jack.

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