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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Updates to Recent Posts

I received a note from Ron Miller (SLHS '51) after last week's item about the dairy.  You'll recall his maternal grandfather ran it, and Ron (aged 3) appeared in the last photo.  I appreciate his additions to the story.  I especially like his comment about listening to the St. Louis Cardinals on the radio.  Here's what he had to say:

Perhaps I can add a little something to your information regarding the Imperial Dairy.  Of course, Mr. Scarborough was my grandfather, and as I grew from the three year old over-coated toddler in the last picture.  I spent a fair amount of time at the dairy, having gone out with grandpa to round up the cows at milking time on more than one occasion. Now that was a joke because by the time it was afternoon milking time, the cows were lined up in the pasture to walk down the trail to the barn where they knew they were going to unload the days product while they ate wonderful silage that came from the silos you mentioned in the photograph. 
Grandpa's full name was William Lawrence Scarborough, and everyone knew him as Bill.  He and the family moved to Sugar Land from Mullin, Texas during a crippling drought.  My mother, Nan Scarborough (Miller) was just a girl at the time, but she remembered the train trip to Richmond with much fondness.  Her dad, Bill Scarborough, had been a cotton gin operator before the drought.  He also had served as a sheriff who enforced the law with an ax handle.  Yes he had a six shooter, but he never did have to use it to enforce the law. 
Regarding the Imperial Dairy, he had some pretty significant clientele in that some folk would drive all the way from Houston to purchase butter.  And the herd of Jersey cattle provided some of the best tasting milk that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking.  Sometimes we would pour the cream off of the quart size bottles to set aside for our cereal.  Yummy, yummy.
The dairy had to close about the time I was a junior or senior in high school because pasteurization became the law of the land.  Of course there was no way that Sugar Land Industries would establish a plant to meet the law's requirements.  So, my grandpa was forced into retirement.  We moved into a bigger house and grandma and grandpa moved in with us.  In someways that was a blessing because grandpa loved baseball and we shared time listening to the Cardinals and Phillies games.  He was a big fan of Satchel Paige.  I treasure memories of those days when we would hang out under the shade trees with the radio hooked up to an extension cord that ran from the garage to the tree branches, just low enough for the radio plug to reach it.  Good times with a man that I revered!
I had helped with the milk route delivering bottled milk to the door steps of people in Sugar Land when I was a boy.  Yep you got it.  That was from a horse drawn cart that grandpa loaded with bottles of milk that clanked together as the horse trotted along the route. 
Best regards to you as you continue to be the historical scholar of Sugar Land. 
Ron Miller

Sugarland Industries published a dairy newsletter for a short time.  I don't have exact dates, but I think they published it in the late '30s and early '40s.  I presume WWII put a stop to it.

T. C. Rozelle saved a few copies in his archive.  Here's the issue from January 1940.

Finally, I want to thank Frank Lampson (DHS '68) for searching the official records and informing me that Sugar Land had 4.4" of snow on February 12, 1960.