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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Kerrville’s Kerr-View Farm

Kerr-View Farm's "Farm Maid Ice Cream" metal advertising sign.
Click on any image to enlarge.

I am always grateful for the generosity of folks who share their Kerr County historical items with me. An acquaintance in Boerne sent over a collection of items from Kerrville’s Kerr-View Farms, a working dairy, poultry and truck farm which could once be found “five or six miles south of Kerrville.” One source suggests the farm later became part of the Shelton Ranch, though I’m not sure where the farm stood.
Some Kerr-View Farms
product packaging
The farm was owned by Benno and Clarice Wiedenfeld, and it was quite an operation.
The first mention of the farm in local newspapers was in the September 9, 1926 issue of the Kerrville Mountain Sun in a front-page story: “Wiedenfeld sees great future for poultrymen.” The story tells about the farm’s chick hatchery, with newly-installed modern equipment, “the first plant of its kind to be installed in this section of the state.”
“Weidenfeld’s mechanical hen,” the story reported, “is no longer an experiment. Skeptics who didn’t believe there ‘was any such animal’ last season came, saw the hatchery in operation and were convinced. As a result, it is believed that the 12,000-egg capacity plant will be inadequate to supply demands and Wiedenfeld, a scientifically trained man, never believes in looking back after being convinced he is on the right track.”
Detail of marketing designs
Kerr-View Farms produced eggs and raised poultry according to the story, but it also had a fine dairy herd. Most people remember Kerr-View Farms for one of its products: ice cream.
Over the years I’ve come across a few things from the Kerr-View Farms, starting with a large metal advertising sign which offered “Farm Maid Ice Cream” at 10 cents a pint.
The Kerrville Mountain Sun, in another front-page story in its March 24, 1932 edition, reported “Modern Ice Cream Plant in Operation at Kerr-View Farms.”
“The plant, recently completed at an expenditure of $7,000 is the last word in efficiency,” capable of “freeze 10 gallons of ice cream a minute.”
“Kerr-View’s ice cream plant will wholesale its output. Cream already is being supplied dealers in Kerrville and is being shipped to neighboring towns. Only pure dairy products from Kerr-View’s own registered Jersey herd are used in the manufacture of the ice cream, according to Wiedenfeld. There are no adulterations and the cream is to be known as ‘Kerr-View’s Jersey Ice Cream,’ with the slogan ‘Milked Today – Frozen Tonight.’”
Milk bottle paper caps
The company also provided milk and cream to local markets and customers. A Kerrville friend gave me some of the milk bottle paper tops last year – my favorite one says the coffee cream was ‘produced by a tubercular free herd.’ Another friend gave me a Kerr-View Farm fryer-hen carton.
Among the product packaging I notice a nice consistency in the logo – a hand-drawn script K, followed by legible serif letters. In the flowing ribbon underline you can often find “Kerrville, Texas.”
Benno and Clarice had two children, a son who died as a toddler, and a daughter, Anna Jean Wiedenfeld MacDonald. Benno passed away in 1977, Clarice in 1980, and Jean in 2011. (Jean’s late son, Granger MacDonald, was a successful builder, who passed away in June.)
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who appreciates the kind generosity so many people show him – and on a daily basis. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times September 5, 2020.

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1 comment:

  1. Remember all this well. After our cow died, Milk and dairy products were delivered to our front porch by Benno himself. We would leave empty bottles on the porch and he would "re-fill" them. The farm was just past what is now Comanche Trace. Look up as you pass C T, you will see the building on a foot hill which was the location of the Kerr view....As usual great article, Joe.


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