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Dossier: Daisy Frink, Creamery Worker & Female Co. President Before her Time

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Sleuthing Brighton Colorado, with a full Investigative Report by the Brighton History Detective® (aka Robin Kring)

Case Number: 00010, Identify Mural Subject

Mural Location: “Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza” by Hans Joseph Geist

Subject Identified Daisy Frink, Creamery Worker and president Fort Lupton Canning

DAISY FRINK (1881-1972), Creamery Worker and Later Co. pres., is shown (c. 1906) when she worked in the Silver State Creamery. It was located on Division St. (now N. Main St.), about 400 ft. north of the UP Boulder-Branch railroad tracks. “Daisy,” born Marguerite Ruth Frink, is holding a Cheese Curd Cutter (or knife) in one hand and a cheese rake over her shoulder. Both were used to immerse into vats of milk during different stages of the cheese making process. Her father, Orello Eugene (O.E.) Frink, first built the business as the Frink Cheese Factory in Brighton in 1899, one of many names and businesses connected to this building and the Frink family.

Frink had moved the family to Fort Lupton in 1895 to manage his surviving Fort Lupton Creamery, after the Panic of 1893 had crushed his meat retailing and milk processing businesses in Denver. His wife, Junietta Patience “Etta or E.P.” (Peckham) Frink, managed the creamery for several months, while O.E. remained in Denver to close out business affairs. O.E. and E.P. soon bought the Bendell Creamery (in Fort Lupton) and the Brighton Creamery (originally established in 1883, at 123 Main St., by 16 stockholders from Brighton, Henderson and Fort Lupton). Frink also added a canning factory to the Frink Cheese factory in 1904, changing its name to the Silver State Creamery. Daisy was appointed as secretary and treasurer; Blaney as president, and Otto Alfred (O.A.) Carlson as manager.

The company canned tomatoes, catsup, and corn. Gradually, more products were added, including snap beans, peas, pickles, pumpkin, and squash. The retail labels varied, incl: National, Ruby, Seal, Baby, Fort Lupton, and Overland, inspired by an oxen team Daisy would drive. O.E. had devised the idea to drive the oxen team to and from the factory to the train depot, in order to advertise his Overland brand.

Frink’s Dairy Businesses Multiply

Frink’s son, Clarence Benjamin (C.B.) Frink, took over the Creamery and also formed Frink Dairy Co., a producing company, and partnered with the son of O.A. Carlson, Charles Gustaf “C.G.” Carlson, to form Carlson-Frink Creamery in Larkspur, Colo. Carlson-Frink later became the Sinton Dairy, Inc. in Denver.

In 1922, Frink partnered with Philip A. Ruebel, Sr. (whom he had hired in 1912 to manage the cheese factory) to add a large addition, that produced up to 6,000 lbs. of cheese a day (using 60,000 lbs. of milk supplied from local dairy farms).

All these businesses were part of the Silver State Creamery and Produce Co. After O.E. Frink died in 1916, W. N. W. Blayney (who had acted as Frink’s broker from 1913-1916) organized a new company in 1936, known as the Fort Lupton Canning Co. It was in this company, after Blayney’s death, that Daisy was appointed its president and Carlson as vice-president.

Not only did the businesses of O.E. Frink flourish during his lifetime and after, but many farm laborers, including several Issei (first generation Japanese) families, credit Frink with helping them to own and start their own farms. O.E. offered sharecropping opportunities on his farmland and helped these growers find credit for seed and farm machinery. Frink then bought their produce and processed it.

The Legacy Continued

The next generations would continue Frink’s dairy and canning legacies. Daisy had married Benjamin Tucker Counter, in Fort Lupton, on Jan. 27, 1910. They had three children (Benjamin Frink, Ruth, and Helen) and an infant son who died in 1911. Following WWII, Son, Benjamin Frink Counter, and C.G. Carlson’s son, took over management of the Fort Lupton Canning Co. (having worked there summers since they were 12, and full-time after college), which operated until 1936.

In 1946 C. B. Frink died and his partner Philip A Ruebel, Sr., took over the creamery, managing it until his death in 1954. His son, Philip A. Ruebel Jr. purchased the Frink interest, and in 1956 reorganized the company as the Northern Colorado Dairy Co. The factory processed between 70,000 and 80,000 gallons of milk per day, employing 18 and receiving milk from over 250 local producers. In 1962, Phil Ruebel Jr. sold the company to Denver Milk Producers, who continued operation about three years before selling to Jim White. The Northern Colorado Dairy Co., a proud Brighton treasure, closed in 1972.

©2023 Robin Kring, including excerpts from A Postcard History of Brighton

Discover More About the Artist and the Detective

Learn more about the Artist, Hans Joseph Geist, behind the Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza mural, in the Brighton History Detective® dossier, The Case of the New Mural and its Artist (Hans Joseph Geist). See more of Hans art at: Art by Hans Geist on Facebook.

Find more Investigative Case Reports, by Brighton History Detective®, each revealing the identity of one of the 20 intriguing Brighton characters and places, painted on the mural. Investigate the sleuthing and writing stories of yesteryear, mystery, and intrigue on the Clear Creek Publishing Authors Blog site, including: New Fiction, Victoriana, Event Planning Extraordinaire, Colorado History, and Cemetery Chats.

The Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza mural is located on the southwest corner of Main St. and Bridge St., in Brighton, Colorado. The mural is a project of the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission, whose mission is to increase arts and culture awareness and promote cultural and scientific opportunities in our community. It has been made possible with funding from the SCFD and Brighton Lodging Tax Grants.

®Brighton History Detective is a registered trademark of Clear Creek Publishing.

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