The dairy was first located ina small building about 40 feet west of the present site. In 1939 the business moved to the building at 212 West Main Street.
In 1940, ice cream was added to the dairy products line.
A sizeable addition was built in 1948, more than doubling the space available. Four Divco stand drive trucks were purchased in 1949, replacing Chevrolet panel trucks.
The end of World War II has sparked a major increase in route sales and store traffic due to returning service men establishing new households in record numbers. Six trucks were used to service the routes both retail and wholesale.
Many neighborhood grocery stores were on the routes, and factories were also supplied with milk for lunch breaks.
The advent of supermarkets and other dairies promoting gallons at lower prices started the downsizing of the retail routs until only one remained.
Weber Mullen passed away suddenly in 1973, leaving Gerry and Frank Jr. to run the business. Frank Jr. passed away in 1981. Gerry Mullen had sold the business to Weber’s son, Bill, in 1976. Many changes have taken place over the ensuing years such as the cessation of the bottling operation and turning to a vending situation.
Howard “Pinky” Herold has a double distinction. He was the last routeman for Mullen’s and retired in 1980. He also worked more years than any other employee – a total of 35 years.
Bill Mullen operated the business from 1976 until 1997 when he sold it to Ron and Gloria Luepke with the provision that the Mullen name and product quality would not be changed. In 2006 the Luepke’s sold the Dairy to Troy and Shannon Milbrath. That commitment by the Luepke’s and the Milbrath’s has been faithfully kept and business prospered.
Mullen’s Dairy has become a landmark and an Icon in the Watertown area. Many former residents and their children make it a ritual to sop at Mullen’s for a malt, milk shake, sundae or an ice cream cone. They serve great lunches too! The walls of the dairy are adorned with pictures and memorabilia of years past. What a legacy!