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Friday, March 13, 2015

A San Fernando Valley Milkman's Kindness

Manfull Dairy Farm - Milk Cap - Gift of Gary Fredburg to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. (click on image to enlarge)

Manfull's Dairy located on Wentworth Street in Pacoima was just one of many dairies located in the San Fernando Valley.  Its amazing what one small item like an old milk cap can start.  I've just spent the last hour learning about the dairy's union trouble in the late 1940s.  The union protested the fact that Manfull's loyal milkmen refused to join, and (unsuccessfully) canvassed the milkmen's routes to persuade the customers to buy from another dairy.  Another article in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye.

A 1957 human-interest story by Gene Sherman describes the actions of a helpful San Fernando Valley milkman who went above and beyond the call of duty.  One of his customers was a widow that had moved to Pacoima from Milwaukee in 1955 with her eight children and ailing husband to fortify his health.  He died later that year and she struggled to make ends meet.

When the widow told her Manfull Dairy milkman, Andy Bancroft, that she could no longer afford the five quarts of milk a day her children drank he took it upon himself to see if he could help in any way.  Mr. Bancroft asked if she had any insurance, to which she replied just a few old policies that lapsed long before the death of her husband.  Mr. Bancroft persuaded her to let him take the policies to his own insurance agent to see what could be done.  Long story short – the young widow received a check for $1313.73 (comparable to approximately $11,000 today) thanks to an “extended term” clause.

When Cyrus Manfull, the owner of the dairy, heard the story he ordered that her milk delivery be reinstated free of charge.  Score one for San Fernando Valley neighborly kindness.

1 comment: said...

what a great story, we can always read more of these. Thank you Tiffany