Genealogytrails Harrison County, Missouri
James Martin Eisenbarger
1882-1954



James Martin and Erma Eisenbarger Family


James Martin Eisenbarger, son of John Eisenbarger and Frances A. (Asher) Eisenbarger, born January 8, 1882 in Harrison County, Mo.  Married Erma E. Arkle on September 13, 1905.  Moved to Minnesota in 1919. They are the parents of Ernest, Inez, Ora.  This family operated the Sunrise Guernsey Dairy.

Sunrise Guernsey Dairy- A Family Enterprise
The summer sun rose slowly in the east, sending shafts of light over the rich land.  The early light revealed a farm site, its homes and red farm buildings surrounded by a spacious lawn and a profusion of flowers.  The tranquility of the early dawn was soon broken by the sounds of cattle as they entered the red barn.  Figures could be seen moving in the farmyard and soon the soft whir of the milking machines could be heard.  Another day was beginning at the Sunrise Guernsey Dairy owned and operated by J.M. and Erma Eisenbarger and sons, Ernest and Ora.

The J.M. (Jim) Eisenbarger family (James, his wife Erma Arkle Eisenbarger and children Ernest, Inez and Ora) moved from Missouri to the Granada area in 1919.  They moved to a farm just south of Fairmont in the mid 1920's and entered the dairy business for the first time in a partnership enterprise with a family named Hotchkiss.

The move back to Granada occurred when James purchased a part of the Otis Park homestead in section 33 of Center Creek township.  The family moved to the Center Creek farm in 1930, erected additional buildings and began the Granada dairy business, first known as J.M. Eisenbarger Dairy and later (when in partnership with his two sons and their wives) as Sunrise Guernsey Dairy.

The milking herd consisted of 50-60 Guernsey cows.  The milking was handled by proprietors James, Erma, Ernest and Ora with additional hired help.  Daughter Inez also helped with the dairy until her marriage in 1931.  Milking machines were used.  The milk was strained in the barn and then carted to the separate milkhouse to be bottled, cooled and prepared for delivery.  Milkhouse work was done by daughters-in-laws Dora and Lucille with additional hired help.  All milk bottles were hand washed and sterilized.  Then quarts, pints and half pints of milk and cream were bottled, capped and chilled in large vats of ice water until the bottles were crated and packed in ice in the delivery truck.  (Ice was obtained from Fairmot lakes and stored in the dairy icehouse).

Deliveries were made seven days a week to Fairmont grocery stores, the Hunt Hospital, and many private residences in the city..  Milk sold for 9-12 cents per quart.  In order to sell Grade A raw milk, the dairy was regularly inspected and certified by the Minnesota Health Department.  During the winter when roads became impassable, the milk was taken 2 1/2 miles by bobsled to Highway 16 and then by delivery truck to Fairmont.  The dairy business was continued until 1943 when the herd was dispersed and the business was sold to the Nelson Ice Cream Company of Fairmont.
compiled by Lucille Eisenbarger Gorgen and Delores Eisenbarger Gronewald, Nov. 1987

[transcribed from personal papers of Ora G.Eisenbarger, by Melody Beery]


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