Over two hundred years ago
the New England Milk and
Cream Dairy traveled only a short distance from the cow
to the table. In the hundred years between 1860
and 1960, people moved away from farms and cows,
and dairying changed from women’s work at home
into a mechanized industry. A delivery person —
the milkman — brought dairy products to villages,
towns, and cities. At first, milk route men, and
occasionally women, came in wagons with milk cans
and dippers. Later, the wagons were replaced by
fleets of trucks rattling with glass bottles.
Without milkmen, generations of families in cities
and towns would not have had fresh milk in their
coffee, cream on their cereal, or pudding for
dessert. Infants would not have had cows’ milk to
fill their bottles.
In the same time period, dairying and the milk
delivery system had to adapt to change. New
processes and government regulation made
commercial milk from far away dairies safe to
drink, and science and mass advertising persuaded
homemakers of milk’s nutritional value. By the
1960s, social, economic, and industrial changes
caused milk delivery to shift to the self-service
supermarket, and platoons of home delivery milkmen
said goodbye, but not in Paragould.
Cover of a promotional booklet for
H. P. Hood and Sons, circa
Courtesy of the Society for the
Preservation of New England
The day the milkman
we moved to Paragould in 1966, I ask the Foremost Dairy here in Paragould
for home deliver of milk. I was
quite surprised to find out that they did not do home delivery. So, to answer your question,
Foremost quit delivering milk in the early 1960’s.
We had had milk delivered in Kentucky
before moving to Paragould, and we wanted the service to continue, so I called
their competitor, Sealtest, and success! They had a route man who would deliver
milk and other products to our home.
So from the time we moved to our home on Highland Street we had a milkman
Bud Mann. A man
named Bud, Bud Cloyce, that is, delivered our mail. Now we were set up for the next 25
years, with “Bud”, as both made their delivers, one Bud six day of the week
and another Bud three times a week.
We had four children and we used seven gallons of milk and three gallon of
orange juice each week while they were all home. It did dwindle down to a smaller amount
after Marilyn died and I only had one child at home.
the early 1990’s we were the only family in Paragould that had milk delivered to
our home. The day that we stopped the delivery of milk to our home was
August 31, 1994. All the children were gone from home.
The History of Coleman Dairy