Merkle Dairy cars from Athearn / Roundhouse

Does anyone on this group happen to know anything about the Merkle Dairy? I have learned that there was at least one such car as an acquaintence from Athearn told me that they worked from a photograph to produce the car. I have also been in touch with a couple of other people with very limited knowledge of the dairy including one who was the granddaughter of the owner. But she had little to share; the dairy was closed before she was even born and she only knew of it from what her parents told her.

While my name is spelled with "el," there were some long ago in my family who spelled it "le." So, I have more than just a passing curiosity to learn a little more about them.

Anyone out there with any knowledge?



------------------------------------------- Dan L. Merkel

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Dan Merkel
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Merkle Dairy? I

acquaintence from

the car. I


of the owner.

was even born

my family

curiosity to learn


Merkle Dairy Co. was having significant problems during the Great Depression. Then owner Frank Merkle sold out in 1938, and used the proceeds to go into the Juke Box business. Juke Boxes apparently did a lot better than the dairies at the time.

I haven't been able to find a lot on Merkle Dairy Co., but at this point it looks like the dairy farm was somewhere in or around Evanston, IL, and the bottling plant was in Chicago.


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Len spake thus:

Evanston? Are you sure?

I grew up there, and although it wasn't *that* long ago (I was there in the 60s), I can't think of any nearby places where there could have been a fully-functioning dairy farm. I remember taking school field trips to what was then the nearest dairy farm, Hawthorn(e) Melody Farms, in Libertyville, which is quite a ways from Evanston.

Turns out our neighbor used to be a chemist at a dairy (not farm) in River Forest, Bowman Dairy.

Reply to
David Nebenzahl


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This would have been in the 1920's through 1938, and I suspect Evanston wasn't quite as built up back then. It's also possible the dairy farm was further out, but using the Evanston post office as a mailing address. The info available, aside from Frank selling out in 1938 to get into Juke Boxes, is sketchy at best.


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