Dairy Products and Oleo Margarine

Compiled by Judy Hansen


70 YEARS AGO June 10, 1932: “A campaign against ice cream vendors is about to be launched by the State Department of Agriculture. Some vendors are actually selling frozen custard, which does not comply with Wisconsin law.” Gina B.


Anyone else remember the ice cream store in Greenwood (Korupps(sp?) I believe) where you bought a quart of ice cream wrapped in newspaper to take home? My grandpa used to do that when we visited him in town. Great memories of a 4 to 5 year old. Years later the margarine was only sold in white and you had to squeeze a bead or pill of color to make it yellow. I didn't remember it being illegal, but that makes sense. I never tasted it until I left home. Jean R.


There were five of us and my mom would put us on the steps, give us the canning jar and tell us to shake it. It was wonderful stuff. I still have trouble eating the butter in the store. I also remember a big fire at a farm around Withee area. Must also have been in the early 50's. Darlene P.

I remember that Grassland butter had a different taste and I loved it. I believe it was made by Grunklee at the time I liked it so well. I really don't remember when it started as a brand name. Does anyone remember when you had to bring your own container to get butter? We also made our own butter by putting our cream in a 2 qt canning jar and then shaking it until it was made into butter. Then we took out the butter and washed it to get the whey off of it. The butter was made with either sweet or sour cream. It was sure yummy. Elaine G.

The Grassland label was always Wuetrichs, no other. When I stayed in town for class plays I lived with Alan & Nell Wuetrich, so I got to know the senior Mrs. Wuetrich. A wonderful lady who once said they were millionaires, still sat and darned socks. She told me how they started on a farm with a chicken or two that some kind person gave them and very little else. When I was in high school (1947-51) Wuetrichs sold butter under 43 different brand names. Now it's incomprehensible how many and how far reaching the operation is. Jean R.

All this talk about butter reminded me of something. We didn't live on a working farm, so had no access to milk, thus no way of making butter. When Margarine came out, it was cheaper than butter, so we got that. If I remember right, it was white, like lard, in a plastic bag. Somewhere in this was a capsule like a pill. You had to massage the bag, eventually breaking the capsule, thus releasing what must have been yellow food coloring. My older brother had the job of "mixing the margarine" so, often we had a marbled white and yellow spread for our food when he got distracted. Judy H.


In the dairy states, when margarine came out in yellow blocks, the dairy industry made such an uproar about it, because it looked like butter, but sold for much less. Laws were then passed to protect the dairy industry, to prevent it being packaged to resemble butter.  Personally, as a child, I really liked pushing that reddish button and mixing it all up in the plastic bag.  Today, you couldn't pay me to eat that stuff. Unknown


The good old days I guess. I don't think I tasted real butter till I went to visit my Gram. At home, all we had was Margarine... and noodles.... I think that's what happened when mom and dad first moved away from Clark county, we were very poor. But mom always says they didn't know they were poor at the time, so it wasn't so bad. We always had good stuff at my Gram's (And she was poorer than us!) but there was always meat and cheese and of course, ice cream. She lived in the next house down from the one she used to live in - on Center road outside of Dorchester. Never saw any Oleo in her house! But we never missed the Schwan's man, he'd come while we were doing chores, and Gram never skimped with him! Always lots of ice cream when I'd spend my month there in the summer. A fishing stop at Mauel's, and a "town run" and stop at Hawkeye. I want to take a picture of that big old ice cream cone in front of Hawkeye's. I can't be the only one who knows that as a landmark. Gina B.

I remember in the later 50's when we used to have relatives in Illinois bring cases of oleo to our house. I don't remember for sure of the color, but think it was a light yellow. And to think I had grown up on a farm before I got married. Dolores K.


I remember that same thing about the margarine. I understand that at one time margarine was illegal in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Most of the stuff you mixed was bootlegged from Iowa. Not sure when margarine was finally legal. Darlene P.


I remember the bag of white margarine and the button of dye. We loved mixing it. I do not remember what it tasted like but it was fun to mix. This was during World War II or right after the war ended. Sandra B.