Hooked on History: Cappeldale Dairy kept Dover supplied with delicious, body-building milk

DOVER −The Cappeldale Farms Dairy store at 707 Crater Ave., near Crater Stadium, was a great place to go in the summer to buy ice cream back in the 1950s.

And if you were in the market for a bottle of milk, one of Cappeldale's team of milkmen would deliver Golden Guernsey Milk to your door.

"Golden Guernsey Milk is of high quality," the dairy boasted in an advertisement in the New Philadelphia Daily Times in 1944. "By that we mean that it is richer in all the factors that make milk a highly desirable food, and a delicious, body-building beverage for growing children, infants and grown-ups."

The Cappeldale Farms Dairy, Inc., operated a store at 707 Crater Ave., Dover, from the 1940s through the early 1960s.
The Cappeldale Farms Dairy, Inc., operated a store at 707 Crater Ave., Dover, from the 1940s through the early 1960s.

The company was the brainchild of Herman C. Cappel, a New Philadelphia businessman who was general manager of the Greer Steel Co. in Dover.

Jon Baker
Jon Baker

Cappel was born in Gilmore on April 23, 1884, the son of George and Jennie Murphy Cappel, and moved to New Philadelphia in 1917, living at 478 N. Broadway. Before coming to New Philadelphia, he worked for the Elkins Coal and Coke Co. in Morgantown, W.Va.

Creation of Cappeldale Farm

Apparently, his rural roots created in him a great interest in agriculture. Beginning in 1927, he began purchasing land just outside of Dover in the vicinity of Deis Hill. Over the next decade, he bought several small parcels until he owned a total of 240 acres that became known as Cappeldale Farm.

The farm began to gain prominence after Cappel hired Ernest Staub, a Swiss immigrant, to manage it in 1931. Staub built up a herd of Guernsey milk cows that was known around the state of Ohio. The farm was the location for the annual field day and picnic of the Eastern Ohio Progressive Guernsey Breeders Association in June 1938.

Cappel also loved harness racehorses. His horses raced at events throughout Ohio. Two of the best known were Calumet Estell and Alice Law. In 1939, he hired Harry Spencer of Racine, Ohio, to train his 10 racehorses at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds in Dover. Cappel was a member of the county fair board and superintendent of the speed department at the county fair.

Children pose in front of the Cappeldale Farms Dairy store on Crater Avenue in Dover.
Children pose in front of the Cappeldale Farms Dairy store on Crater Avenue in Dover.

In 1940, Cappel decided to put his prize herd of Guernsey cows to good use by starting Cappeldale Farm Dairy to market the milk to local residents. However, his involvement in the company was short-lived, because he died of a heart ailment on Feb. 25, 1943, at age 58.

After his death, Cappel's widow, Bessie, took charge of the company, along with his daughter, Virginia Hinig, and his son-in-law, Charles Becker, who became president.

Farm sold to its manager

In 1944, his heirs sold a half interest in the Cappeldale Farm to Ernest Staub for $14,500 ($255,000 in 2024 dollars). According to the New Philadelphia Daily Times, the farm was one of the largest dairy units in the county.

"At the present time, the Cappeldale purebred Guernsey herd consists of 80 head of Guernsey cattle whose entire milk production of 1,000 pounds of milk a day is sold to the Cappeldale Farms Dairy, Inc., of Dover," the paper said. "Mr. Staub will retain his present employees of Vic Smith, Dan Howell and George Stoutt."

The Cappel family sold their remaining half interest in the farm to Staub in 1952. Staub continued to operate the farm until his death on Jan. 14, 1961, at age 67.

Merger with Superior Dairy

Operating a small-scale dairy company likely wasn't easy. So, on Oct. 20, 1956, Bessie Cappel announced that negotiations had been completed for consolidation of Cappeldale Farms Dairy with Superior Dairy in Canton.

A full-page advertisement from the Dover Daily Reporter on December 5, 1956.
A full-page advertisement from the Dover Daily Reporter on December 5, 1956.

"No change in personnel or operations of Cappeldale are contemplated at this time," the Dover Daily Reporter reported. "Operations will be under the supervision of C.A. (Bud) Banfill, who will continue as general manager. Mrs. Cappel will remain in the office.

"The Cappeldale Farms dairy store at 707 Crater Ave. will be operated by Banfill and Mrs. Virginia Hinig with Mrs. Hinig managing the store. The Cappeldale firm earlier this week announced sale of its Dairy Land restaurant at 207 W. Third St. to Don Skelton of Magnolia."

At that time, the company had 10 milkmen in its employ ‒ Don McCoy, Buss Lawrence, Russ Luthy, Bud Gerber, Ray Franz, Gene Walker, George Olalonosiu, Howard Schumacher, Al Campbell and John Goodwin.

'Two outstanding dairies'

To reassure customers, Cappeldale and Superior took out a full-page ad in the Daily Reporter on Dec. 5, 1956, under the headline, "Two outstanding dairies unite to better serve you."

"The union of these two prominent dairies now makes it possible for your Cappeldale milkmen to offer you quality checked products and service without parallel in the area. You'll thrill to the bigger than ever selection of dairy products available to you," the advertisement said.

Before long, however, Cappeldale became fully absorbed by Superior Dairy. Cappeldale's officers ‒ Thomas R. Becker, president; Virginia Hinig, vice president; and Bessie Cappel, secretary-treasurer ‒ filed papers with the Ohio Secretary of State's office on Nov. 2, 1967, to formally dissolve the company.

Since that time, the building at 707 Crater Ave. has been the location of Tornabene's Drive-thru and formerly housed the Blazin' Burgers restaurant.

Jon Baker is a reporter for The Times-Reporter and can be reached at jon.baker@timesreporter.com.

This article originally appeared on The Times-Reporter: Cappeldale Dairy operated in Dover from 1940 to early 1960s