Cooperstown Creamery

The Cooperstown Creamery, later called the Griggs County Creamery, opened for business in the spring of 1925 in the building between Greenland Lunde and the Stromme and Graby livery stable, and continued in business in that location for 45 years, until a fire ended the existence of the creamer.

Elmer Schultz and L.A. Nelson, founders of the business, stayed only a short time.  O.P. Shelstad came in 1928 and ran the creamery until the 19,10's.  His four sons, Bennie, Clarence, Irvin and Marshall, all worked in the creamery at some time or other.  Marshall also ran an ice cream parlor in Cooperstown for a short time.

In the 1940's the business was purchased by Oscar Wendt, who sold to Herman Haugen about 1950.  Haugen died about 1954 and two of his sons, Lyle and Herman, Jr., ran the creamery for a short time after his death.  Andy Hagle went to work for the creamery in May of 1955, about a month before the Haugens sold to Elroy Lee.  Hagle stayed on and learned the business, and bought it from Lee in the fall of 1964.  The building burned September 21, 1970 and Mr. and Mrs. Hagle went into the retail dairy business and opened a restaurant.

Andy remembers that milk was still being bottled in glass & first year he worked at the creamery.  He and Frank Pfeifer, who also worked for the creamery at that time, recall that there was a special knack to ha4ing the milk bottles or they would fly out of the bottle washer and smash.  Milk was bottled three times a week, and Andy remembers picking up Grade A milk from the Irwin Froiland and Torger Soma farms.  There were also cream routes, and the creamery would pick up cream from stations in Hannaford, Binford, Jessie and the Riverside Store near the Cooperstown Bible Camp as well as from some farms along the way.  Other farmers brought cream to the creamery.

Churning cream into butter was a daily chore, and the creamery produced up to a million pounds of butter a year.  What wasn't cut and sold locally under creamery label was sold to Armour's.

Andy remembers that the creamery processed about 200 cases of eggs per week.

During the time the creamery was in business there were other dairies bottling and selling milk.  Among them were Leisures, Bergs and Froilands.  Some went out of business and others sold their bottling operations to the creamery.

For a while the Haugens operated a small ice cream machine in the creamery, but that was discontinued.  (Herman Haugen, Jr., later went into a dairy in Jamestown with a larger scale ice cream business.)

When Lee switched to paper cartons about 1956, he became affiliated with Land O'Lakes Creameries.  In 1960 he switched to Fairmont and Andy Hagle continued with that line of dairy products until 1980, when Fairmont sold to Cass Clay, the line he now handles.

Some of the employees of the creamery in its last 25 years of operation include: Ellis Pittenger, Robert Pottorff, Edna May Hopewell, Paula Bovaird (Olgaard), C. Reiten, Martha Norgard (Goplen), Nora Frigaard, Ruth Haaland.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 186

News & Events