Manistee News Advocate
December 19, 1941
New Type of Barn Built for Local Dairy:
Great changes have taken place during recent years in architectural design. Schools, theaters, office buildings, churches, and homes are not what they used to be. The one exception seems to have been the lowly cow barn.
Travel over the countryside as far as you will, and you will see little or no difference between the dairy barn of today and the one 25 years ago. This is the negative side of the picture, and there are exceptions.
One noteworthy exception may be seen by driving 5 miles Northeast of this city on highway 31, thence ¼ mile north, on 22 and a mile west on the country road. Here you will come upon a unique and entirely different type of farm building. It is the new iron- clad dairy stable owned by Dontz and Son. Its pleasing architectural lines and the way it seems to hug the ground are not mere points of beauty but rather a case of cause and effect. The one-story design with separate cylindrical hay storage unit, all covered inside and out with fire resistant materials, makes it possible to remove the hay from above the valuable animals.
Spontaneous combustion or ignition from lighting is no longer a menace to the herd. Should either occur, the fire is isolated and more easily controlled. This modern plant, wherein is produced the most perfect of all foods, has been a long time in the making.
Mr. Dontz came to America from Switzerland in 1894. He worked on farms in Iowa and later in the coal lines of Illinois. In 1906, he met Miss Lillian Ethell. Three years of coal mining convinced the couple that there were better things in life. They decided that what they wanted most was to own and operate a dairy farm. In 1911, they moved with their son to Manistee, Michigan and purchased an 80-acre tract. This they developed and added to until today they own and operate 320 acres of the best dairy land in Northern Michigan.
Eighteen years have gone by since they started to breed Guernsey cattle. About 11 years ago, they started a milk route in this city. Nine Guernsey cows formed the nucleus of that undertaking. The old barn was remodeled and complete sanitary equipment was installed in order to produce better product. From time to time, it was necessary to add to their facilities with additions to the old barn. However, such a program could not keep pace with the growth of his herd and dairy business. Last winter, it was decided that a new barn was the answer.
The Dontz herd of Guernseys represented not only a big investment, but years of careful breeding, care and management. The Dontz family concluded that such a herd could not be sacrificed to disaster, and that the new barn must be a fire resistant structure.
They contacted W.R. Jenkins, the Jamesway farm building engineer in this area. Plans were discussed, preliminary sketches made and finally approved.
A competent contractor— Ernie Newmarch of Bukley—- was called in. He was confident that he could build this “new fangled” barn. The completed structure speaks volumes for his workmanship.
Inside and out from roof to concrete floor, this dairy stable stands as the last word in farm building construction. Sanitary, convenient and pleasing to look at, the Dontz dairy barn is keeping with the animals housed in it.
If you drive out to the Dontz farm any day, you will find the whole family working in some part of the business. The family consists of Mr. Dontz and his wife, daughter who makes her home with them and son and his wife, all whom are important cogs in the business.
The Dontz’s are proud of their new barn and cordially invite the public to visit them. In these critical times when the government is calling upon dairy farmers everywhere to produce more milk, it is of particular significance that men like Mr. Dontz recognize the need and are rallying to the cause.
Click here to view the original Manistee News Advocate Dontz Dairy article from December 19,1941.