Business & Professional
Alvin & Clara Schenkel Family
In 1930, Alvin Schenkel decided to quit his job with the Kitchen Maid Factory in Andrews to start his own dairy business. He bought two cows, named Mousie and Bessie, purchased a few bottles and milk cans and went into production. Alvin and his wife, Clara, milked the cows and took the milk around to Huntington residents to sample.
The local population took to the product, and more than 80 years later, Schenkel’s Dairy is still providing milk to the locals, and many more beyond.
From their early success, Alvin and Clara were able to purchase more cows. In 1940, they bought farm land from Victory Noll on Flaxmill Road – the same location where the dairy still stands. In 1943, they began pasteurizing milk. In 1951, Schenkel’s became Huntington’s first Grade A dairy. They were accepted as members of the All-Star Dairy Association in 1961, joining other highly-rated independent dairies across the United States.
The dairy remained in family hands following Alvin’s death in 1954. Three sons — Marion, Kenny, and Dick — took over the corporation. The sons handed the operation over to the third and eventually a fourth generation of Schenkels. Production continued to be of the highest quality, with Schenkel’s earning multiple national awards, including All-Star Dairy of the Year.
Schenkel’s stayed at the forefront of technology in the industry, first moving from glass bottles to paper cartons in the 1960s, and then into plastics jugs beginning in the 1970s. In the 1980s, they purchased a number of other dairies as production consolidated to where Schenkel’s was the lone dairy in the county and just one of 13 in the state.
The dairy was sold in 2000, but the Schenkels remained involved in the business, and over the years family members have given back to Huntington County as generous philanthropists and volunteers with numerous organization and projects.