A look back: National Milk Day

By Dr. Bill Stewart

Jan. 10, 2018, has been designated as National Milk Day.

Milking the cows was a chore universally engaged in by rural residents, both rich and poor. As late as 1910, President Howard Taft was keeping a milk cow on the White House grounds.

May 4, 1909 – While attempting to build a fire in an open fireplace today at the home of his parents near Flint, Roy, the little 4-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvel, was burned to death by his clothing catching fire. At the time of the accident, the mother was in the barn milking and the rest of the family was away from home, leaving Roy in the house all alone.

 

April 6, 1910 – The scarcity of milk cows and beef cattle was never so noticeable in this section of the country as now. In fact, it is almost impossible for the local meat market men to get beef cattle to supply their customers. It is next to impossible to find a milk cow. Ordinary cows are selling at $50 and very scarce at this figure. Butter and milk are fast becoming a luxury.

May 16, 1911 – Mrs. Sarah Shaneyfelt, one son and a daughter – and two small Winsett boys, neighbors who were spending the night at the Shaneyfelt home – were seized with something like ptomaine poisoning in the middle of the night. Dr. Wilhite, of Falkville, was hastily summoned and succeeded in relieving all five. They had eaten light bread and buttermilk with sugar in it. Some of the milk was sent to Birmingham to be examined. Mrs. Shaneyfelt lives five miles west of Hartselle.

 

Nov. 22, 1916 – Knocked down by a cow that she was milking, Mrs. Irene L. Langston, a prominent and wealthy landowner of this county, succumbed today to injuries she received when she was thrown to the ground.

 

May 22, 1919 – Beautiful music will soon be made in the T. J. Cain home on Danville 4. Mr. Cain bought his family a new organ in Hartselle today. He is putting up his spotted (white-red-black) milk cow (about 7 years old) as security.

Dec. 7, 1923 — Leslie C. Fite, associate sanitary engineer of the United States health service, has been called to the tri-cities after conferring with Morgan County health officials. Mr. Fite expressed himself as in favor of pasteurizing milk and a large use of milk. “I believe it as important to get people to drink more milk after it is pasteurized as it is to have the milk so treated,” Mr. Fite declared.

 

Nov. 5, 1942 — The cafeteria recently begun at the Hartselle City School through the efforts of Mrs. J. E. Stone Jr., Mrs. B. G. Hall and Miss Buford Kracke is going extremely well. Pupils are enjoying hot lunches for 10 cents per plate, with milk 3 cents extra.

April 7, 1955 – John O. Burleson still had no word to give out to some 18,000 Morgan Countians waiting to receive free surplus food commodities. Most of the foodstuffs are still not located in shipment to Hartselle, supposedly shunted off on a rail siding. Last week, Mayor Burleson received a carload of butter; this week he got a carload of dry milk solids. Items en route are dried beans, rice, shortening and cheese.

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