Biography of A. L. Fritz
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





A. L. FRITZ. - There is no industry that has done more to bring Humboldt county to the front than dairying, a business that has been completely revolutionized in methods since it was started in the county. Where formerly the milk was skimmed from pans and churned by hand, it now passes through power separators and churns, or is otherwise manufactured into condensed, evaporated or powdered milk, thus placing milk upon the market in various forms. When he came to Humboldt county Mr. Fritz brought with him valuable experience in the dairy business gained in the east, and this has contributed in no small degree to the success which he has enjoyed throughout his career in the west.

On his father's side, A. L. Fritz, of Loleta, comes from an old Pennsylvania family of German descent, while his mother was a member of a Southern family of English ancestry. Both parents are still living on the home farm at Lexington, N. C., where Mr. Fritz was born in 1877, his parents being William and Jane (Grimes) Fritz. Of the family of eight children, A. L. Fritz is the fourth oldest, and received his education in the public schools of his home, after which he was apprenticed to the machinist trade for the usual term of training, removing in 1897 to Sheridan, Ind., at which place commenced his association with the condensed milk industry, in which he has been interested continuously since that time. His first connection with the business was as engineer at the Indiana Condensed Milk Plant, where he learned the manufacture of the product in all details and in 1899 was placed in charge of the plant. It was a new industry and Mr. Fritz took up the experimental part of the business from the start with practical energy and ability, being later sent by the company to Ontario, Wayne county, N. Y., to install a condensed milk plant at that place, and likewise one at Lexington, Ohio, spending in all five years with the company. After severing his connection with them and spending a couple of years in hunting and fishing in the northwest, Mr. Fritz was employed by the American Milk Products Company of Chicago, as manager of the Illinois plant of that corporation, which he rebuilt and changed from a creamery to a condensed milk plant, continuing there as manager when the company became one of the plants of Libby, McNeill & Libby. After having spent five years in this work, Mr. Fritz was transferred to Union, Ill., to become manager of the company's plant at that place, where he remained for a period of eighteen months, being then transferred to the plant at Loleta, Cal., as manager. This branch was established many years ago, but in 1909 Libby, McNeill & Libby took it over, added to and enlarged it and brought it up to its present high standard as a large and extensive establishment, manufacturing all kinds of condensed milk, including evaporated milk, with a combined capacity of about five hundred cases per day; of powdered milk about three thousand pounds are manufactured per day; and butter about two tons a day, the milk being obtained in large part from the lower part of the Eel river valley, stations for collecting the same being located at Newburg and Ferndale. The plant employs about fifty people, and much of its product is shipped to the islands of the Pacific coast by way of San Francisco.

Though much of his time is of necessity taken up by his business responsibilities and the furthering of the interests of the company with which he is associated, Mr. Fritz yet finds time for the enjoyment of fraternal interests, he having been made a Mason in Orion Lodge No. 358, at Union, Ill.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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