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October 6, 1983


PIX #1 - Scenes of E.W. Kipka Dairy Farm at about turn of the century and for some years hence. The Interior of the barn where cows were kept and milked remains about the same today. Note that there was also a silo near the barn...even back then.

PIX #2 - O.E. Kipka, brother of E.W., had his own milk business...buying milk from his brother or other farmers, and delivering it in the typical wagon shown above. O.E. called his business Lynwood Dairy.

Ols milk bottles from earlier times and the old dairies in Fostoria that used them always interest readers. Today's story is continued from "Potluck" ar- ticles of the past, but also includes some information about the Kipka fami- lies who were involved in the dairy business at the turn of the century.

About a year ago I received a telephone call from Mrs. Clair Frankart, who with her husband resides on the former E.W. Kipka farm west of Fostoria on a private road leading south of Hancock County Road 226.

It's quite amazing what that telephone call led me to discover...and remember from years ago.

Mrs. Frankart asked if there had ever been a dairy at the western edge of Fostoria. When I informed her, "Yes, the Kipka dairy," she said they owned the Kipka farm and lived there, and that they had found many milk bottles on the property.

In the meantime, I learned sources of more information, and among them Ray Dell photos, I discovered pictures used with today's articles...just waiting to be that today's readers could know more about the Kipka dairy and the family.

I had been referred to Ed Dreitzler, Columbus Avenue, for more information, but because of his illness was referred to Mrs. J. C. Biller, Mt. Jackson, Va., a granddaughter of E.W. Kipka who had the dairy on his farm west of Fos- toria. Mrs. Biller's mother, Lelie Kipka Dreitzler, daughter of E.W. Kipka, 97, resides in a nursing home in Mt. Jackson, Va., area but is reported to still have a keen memory of the past.

The E.W. Kipka dairy was already in operation in 1896. Accompanying photos show exterior and interior views of the barn.

According to Mrs. Biller, the E.W. Kipka dairy operation was very modern for that period in time, having stanchions and mechanical milkers.

In the basement of the Kipka home they had a large tank with running cold water to cool the milk in the five-and 10-gallon cans. At first milk was sold by the dipper (unbottled), but eventually it was sold in pint and quart glass bottles. Bottle washing and sterilization was done in the basement of the home.

But believe it or not, only one of the bottles which the Frankharts have sal- vaged is a Kipka bottle, and they intend to keep it.

At about the same time E.W. Kipka started in the dairy business, his brother O.E. did also, at 459 Findlay St., the exact location where Eli Fox lived later and had Fox Dairy.

According to Mr. Biller, Otto had no herd of milk cows. All of the milk he sold he bought either from his brother or other farmers. He sold it house-to- house from the wagon shown in the accompanying photo. NO one has been able to identify the man standing beside the Lynwood Dairy wagon is Otto or just an unidentified driver.

That wasn't all of the Kipkas in the milk business. In an 1896 directory James H. Kipka was listed as a boarder, living with the O.B. Kipka family at 459 Findlay St., where the Linwood Dairy was located.

But, in later directories, 1913 through 1924 James H. Kipka was listed as living at 129 Elm St., with wife, Minnie, and he was in the dairy business. I can vouch for James at that time since I worked for him on holidays and Saturdays, riding with him in a wagon similar to the one illustrated. I know he housed his horse in a barn behind the house, which was about where Lowell School is now. He did not have a dairy in the strict sense of the word, so he must have purchased his milk in bulk or bottled from O.E. Kipka.

Now back to E.W. Kipka farm and dairy on South Ridge Road. Mrs. Biller re- calls that the dairy business was very lucrative back in those days, presum- ably because E.W. Kipka had his own dairy herd. At any rate, in about 1926 he sold the dairy business to Alfred Holman, who continued it for many years. Kipka did not sell the farm at that time but retired and moved into Fostoria, residing on South Wood Street. The underpass took his house.

In the 1924 directory O.E. Kipka was listed as a farmer, but was residing at 211 W. Center St. He and his wife, Grace, had two daughters, Helen Shervey, the eldest, and Virginia who was younger. Helen is deceased. Virginia is now Dr. Pierce, a renowned cancer specialist at Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York.

Some readers will recall that after the death of Otto Kipka, his wife, Grace, married W.C. Huber; also that she worked at The J.B. Rogers Co. for many years.

The Frankart family bought the E.W. Kipka farm from the heirs of that family in 1962 and have resided there since. The farm and the house is well-main- tained and is a comfortable place to reside.

Mr. Frankart retired from Chrysler Foundry before it discontinued operations in Fostoria.

Acknowledgements: For assistance in preparing today's article, the author is indebted to: Ray Dell for photos, Leona Manecke, Mrs. George Evans, Mrs. Ed Dreitzler, Mrs. Charles Huber, Mr. and Mrs. Clair Frankart, and Mrs. J.C. Biller.



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