Bentley & Renckens, Bentley and Renckens Dairy, Inc.:
An earlier dairy, Bentley & Rusch Co, began in 1923 when partners Raymond Bentley and Raymond Rusch began distributing its from a plant at 100 East 7th St. Paul Renckens bought out Rusch in 1924 and they moved the business to 62 East 6th Street. They built a new plant in 1928 at 145 Ruggles St. in 1938, they purchased property om Courtney Street, and raw milk was bought from independent farmers, pasteurized (later homogenized ) bottled and delivered seven days a week to homes. They opened a Dairy Store at 100 West Main Street i Fredonia in 1959. The buddies was sold in 1976 to one of the last dories in business in the county.
H.E. Booth, Booth’s Dairy Inc.:
Herbert E. Booth started his dairy in 1907, the business being at 327 Dove Street. He bought milk that came in each day via the New York Central Railroad and bottled it. The company incorporated in 1938, purchased the Keller Dairy in 1949, and moved to 950 Central Avenue in 1954.They sold out to Bentley & Renckens in 1966. The Big Dipper, an ice cream shop, still operates at that address.
Briggs, Briggs Dairy, N.S. Briggs & Sons, Briggs Day Service:
Noah S. Briggs began a dairy operation in 1912 on Middle Road, adding a pasteurization plant in the 1920’s (the first in the area), and a new bottling plant in 1920. The “& Sons” was added to the name in 1923 and sons F. McKinley and R. Howard became owners when Noah died in 1935, and they incorporated in the next year, They built a new plant on Lake Shore Drive in 1937. Their dairy was the first to homogenize milk. Over the years they bottled milk for Fellingers, Booths, Chants, Ceases, and Bentley & Renckens dairies (while the dairies themselves actually delivered the milk to customers). By the 1960’s the plant was the county’s largest milk distributor, as they processed 10,000 gallons per day. In the late 1960’s they bought the Seegert’s Dairy in Silver Creek. In 1969 the business was sold to Southland Corporation, and later sold again to Meadow Brook of Eeie, Pa. Briggs Dairy was la listed in the 1981 Dunkirk City Directory–and the only one listed.
William Fellinger and his sons Donald and Eugene owned this dairy on Middle Road, beginning n the 1880’s when George–William’s grandfather–sold extra milk to people in Dunkirk’s First Ward. George’s son continued the practice until 1922, when William took over with his four sons. They brought raw milk from local farmers and processed and delivered it to homes. In 1934 they started to pasteurize the milk and the family moved into the city to 638 Deer Street for better access to water. When William died in 1961, the sons continued the operation until son Gene retired. He was the last milkman to make home deliveries and after his last day in 1991 the business was closed.
Other dairies listed as existing in the city, some for brief times, included Foster Farm Dairy, John T. Hurley, Litz Dairy, Ransom Dairy, Seawright Brothers, and Walter Schultz.
Much of this info was gathered from “Milk Bottles of Chautauqua County and their Stories” by Alberta Oonk, 2008