The earliest dairy service to Follansbee was provided by farmers who brought raw milk in dairy cans. Customers would come out to the milk wagon and collect their milk from the cans into their own containers. Farmers delivered milk, cream, buttermilk, butter and fresh eggs to residences. John Magee was listed as a dairyman in a 1908 city directory. D. H. Jacobs was a well known dairyman from Follansbee Heights mentioned in the Follansbee Review in 1915.
The Cross Creek Valley Dairy, owned by Maderia and Schwertfeger, had one of the oldest routes in Follansbee. In November 1915, the Wellsburg Dairy Products Company was in the process of taking over the Valley customers and promised to introduce pasteurized milk to the city.
In 1919, the West Virginia Dairy advertised in the city paper that beginning in May, “milk is 13 cents a quart and 7 cents a pint.” In October, The Lantz Brothers were also advertising the sale of “pure milk & cream – butter – buttermilk.” Their address was Banfield Avenue. Lantz Dairy became the town’s most familiar supplier of milk, serving the city for generations.In 1931, the proprietors of Lantz Brothers were still Emmett and Fred Lantz. However their address had changed to Penn Street & Virginia Avenue. They served the legal notice that the trade-mark of their business as a “Bottler” would be Follansbee Dairy, Lantz Brothers.
Joe Prest (at 100 years old) recalled delivering milk for Lantz Dairy with a horse drawn wagon. He said the horse knew where to go. On one occasion, the horse became disagreeable and bit Joe’s hand causing a large scar. People paid their bill by putting money in the empty bottles returned to the dairyman when the next delivery occurred.
A collection of Lantz Diary bottles can be seen on the following website.
- Lance Dairy ad, Follansbee Review, December 1936
- Follansbee Review, “Dairy Company Secures New Milk Rout,” November 26, 1915, front page.
- Follansbee Review, “Review of the Week,” (D.H.Jacobs), October 8, 1915, p. 5.
- Follansbee Review, “West Virginia Dairy (Ad),” May 2, 1919, p. 9.
- Follansbee Review, “Emmett Lantz Bros. Fred (Ad),” October 7, 1919.
- Follansbee Review, “Notice of Registration of Trade Mark..,” October 22, 1931, p. 4.
Horse-drawn wagon for West Virginia Dairy circa 1918. Photo courtesy of W.Va. State Archives.