Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Delmar Ralston Purina Feed Mill

In January of 1951 Ralston Purina Company started work on a new million dollar mill in Delmar, Delaware.  It would process chicken feed for the local poultry business. It would employ 42 people to unload grain railcar, mix the grain, bag the feed, and handle the bookkeeping.  It was on a 32 acre site a mile north of Delmar.  It would turn put 600 tons of chicken feed a day.  

The Grand opening was on June 4th, 1952 and between 7,000 to 8,000 people attended the opening to hear Eddy Arnold sing and to tour the mill.  Delmar schools had an unofficial holiday.  With temperatures in the high 80s there were six people who had heat prostrations. The Delmar Fire Department revived them all. Two governors; Elbert Carvel of Delaware and Theodore R Mckeldin of Maryland spoke.  Governor John S Battle of Virginia was invited but backed out at the last minute.  Various Purina officials and County and Town officials spoke.

Sterling Anderson White (1906-1970) was the plant manager. He later would be President of the Delmarva Poultry Industry Association and in 1967 he move employment to the Berlin Milling Company.

George Hastings a busy man with 100 pound bags coming down every 10 or 12 seconds.
R C Walker 

Howard Hopkins 

At this time Eddy Arnold was being managed by Colonel Tom Parker.  Parker had not picked up Elvis Presley to manage yet and his management services of Eddy Arnold would come to an end in another year.  The Eddy Arnold show included The Dickens Sisters and The Oklahoma Wranglers.  

On Colonel Parker staff was Tom Diskin who was the brother of the Dickens Sisters, so unsurprisingly the Dickens Sisters were on the show. 
above the Oklahoma Wrangers

Tom Parker also managed the Willis Brothers (Guy, Chuck and Sketter Willis and Roy Wiggins on steel guitar) who performed as the Oklahoma Wranglers. So the whole thing was a Tom Parker production.   

It was a big day for Delmar. 

Today the mill is owned by Amick Farms and has recently expanded again with the addition of corn pit, elevators and grain silos.

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