Heatwole's Dairy PaperDid you know May 30 – July 4 is the first-ever Northfield History Month? Learn more about the events here.

Every weekday this Northfield History Month, come on over to the Northfield History Collaborative to learn a little more about one of the newest additions to our online collection of materials that help tell Northfield’s history.

“Cows, Colleges, and Contentment.”

When it comes to the history of Northfield, we don’t talk a lot about the cows. The Northfield History Collaborative is aiming to change that with the addition of 1,500 pages during the last year of a Northfield-produced dairy trade publication.

“Heatwole’s Dairy Paper” (later “Minnesota Dairyman”) was published from the Northfield News’ press for six years, beginning in 1906. It circulated not only in this area, but statewide and nationwide. Many of the photographs feature famed farms in Massachusetts, though there are also many Northfield-area farms and farmers mentioned.

The publication was initially named for Joel Heatwole, publisher of the Northfield News and congressman from 1895 to 1903. It was renamed after Heatwole’s death in 1908. The editor of this publication, though, was W. F. “Bill” Schilling, one-time editor of the Northfield News, longtime columnist (think Maggie-Lee-type longtime) and lifelong representative on any number of farm and dairy boards, locally and nationally. His picture is on the cover you see above — click on it for a larger view.

“Heatwole’s Dairy Paper” does the best job of explaining itself in its first issue.

Minnesota is known throughout the country as the Bread and Butter State. This title she has earned honestly, producing more flour than any other State in the Union and also making the best butter of any State or any country in the world. For this reason alone, if for no other, does the editor of Heatwole’s Dairy Paper claim that there is room for an up-to-date paper devoted exclusively to the dairy interests of this great bread and butter State and the adjacent country on the south, east and west.

But there are many other reasons for the publication of a distinctively dairy paper, and with these all first class dairymen are familiar. To place our dairy interests properly before the world and in a manner that will do them justice the work must be done by practical dairy enthusiasts who are in every day contact with dairymen and good dairy cows. Mr. Heatwole, the proprietor, owns one of the best dairy farms in the Northwest, and on this farm is associated with him Mr. W. F. Schilling, editor of the paper and a practical dairyman as well as a student, and who has been a dairy writer for some years. This practical work, together with the association of many dairymen in the best dairy section of the Northwest, gives a foundation and atmosphere that cannot be obtained in some sky-scraper located in the larger cities away from the farm and everything that pertains to farm life.

Heatwole’s Dairy Paper will give its entire efforts to the dairy interests alone and will aim to voice the sentiment of the dairy farmer, the butter and cheese maker and also the dairy student. Already this paper has the assurance of hearty co-operation and support from the leading authors of dairy literature in the Northwest, and every article will appear neatly printed and as nearly correct as is possible to handle contributions from authors in various sections of the country.

Our thanks go to the Minnesota Digital Library, which scanned these 1,500 pages for us.