SLIFSGARD, T. 1851-1929
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 5/5/2015 at 18:11:42
First User Of Cream Separator Dies At Dike
T. Slifsgard Brought First Cream Separator To America In 1862
Was Grundy County's Pioneer Dairy Promoter
He Was a Continuous Resident of Grundy County For Sixty Years
T. Slifsgaard, the man who brought the first cream separator to the United States, died at his home in Dike last Thursday night. He had been a sufferer several months from cancer.
Mr. Slifsgard was born in Denmark, 78 years ago. He came to this country sixty years ago and began farming at that time in Fairfield township. He remained a resident of Fairfield township until he moved to Dike sixteen years ago.
Mr. Slifsgard brought his faith in the dairy cow with him from Denmark. Sixty years ago farmers in this county kept a few cows as a sideline. Dairying as an industry at the time had not been born here. Mr. Slifsgard began to develop it through talking dairying and practicing it. His neighbors gradually awakened to the value of good producing cows on their farms and the dairy herds grew from year to year. In 1882 Mr. Slifsgard founded the creamery at Fredsville and to add to it as a trading center he established a general store that for years maintained a wide patronage and was the meeting place for the entire countryside for miles around. He retained his ownership and management of this store until twenty years ago when it burned down and was not rebuilt. The Fredsville creamery gained a statewide reputation. It was a model cream factory during its prime and it had much to do with the fast development of the dairy industry in northeast Grundy. Mr. Slifsgard was instrumental in establishing five different creameries all of which had their --unreadable-- in the communities surrounding them.
Cream separators were first made and used in Denmark. Mr. Slifsgard's father came over from the old country in 1882 and he induced him to bring the parts of a cream separator with him. When the father arrived at the customs house in New York the officials rated the dismantled separator as iron and they fixed a duty of $93 on it. If it had been brought across as a completed machine it would not have been admitted into the country. The parts were brought to Grundy county by Mr. Slifsgard's father, they were put together and the first machine to separate cream from milk in this country was set up and put to work on the Slifsgard farm in Fairfield township. Later the patent was bought from the Danish Separator Company and the machines were built for the first time in America.
Mr. Slifsgard had extensive land holdings in Grundy county, in Canada and in Louisiana. These holdings were disposed of during the years of his retirement.
Funeral services were held at the church at Fredsville Monday with the local pastor, Rev. Stockholm, in charge. No funeral ever before held at this church had so large an attendance.
The surviving relatives are the wife, three sons, Anton of Cedar Falls, Jeppe of Waterloo, and Hans, who lives in Louisiana. The two daughters are Mrs. George Boysen and Mrs. P. A. Johnson, of Dike.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 21 November 1929, pg 1
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