Biography of Michael Dettling
San Francisco, CA Biographies





MICHAEL DETTLING
Having participated in the milk and dairy business since his early boyhood days in his native Switzerland, Michael Dettling is now the owner of the largest independent dairy in the city of San Francisco, which is the Del Monte Creamery, situated at 375 Potrero avenue. He was born July 20, 1865, and is a son of the late Frank and Elizabeth (Lagler) Dettling, who were born in Switzerland and there passed their entire lives, the former having been a dairyman and farmer.

In his youth, Michael Dettling attended the common schools of his home community, but in his very early years he found it necessary to work, which he did, first milking cows, and then learning to make cheese. At the age of nineteen, he left his home and passed four years in France, then in 1887 he came to San Francisco, where he first worked milking cows, and afterward drove a milk delivery wagon. In 1897, with a small capital of three hundred dollars which he had carefully saved, he acquired a horse and an old wagon, with which equipment he started in business for himself, that of buying and selling milk. Friends refused to consider his efforts seriously, but he persisted, working early and late, and eventually bought a small house facing, on Utah street. This was the beginning, and he gradually increased his property holdings until he owned the land through to Potrero avenue, and finally constructed his excellent, modern dairy plant, with its own up to date refrigeration system. Mr. Dettling did not have easy progress all the way. He lost his property in the fire of 1906, but rebuilt and in his new plant he introduced pastenrizers, at a time when they were considered an experiment. He was the first dairyman in the city, also, to use automobiles in his business. Today he operates twenty eight routes in the city of San Francisco, and employs fifty five people. He is manufacturing a new beverage called Stillicious, which is a chocolate flavored milk drink. It is bottled under strictly sanitary conditions, subjected to a heat of two hundred and forty degrees, and has found great favor in the city, both with adults and with the youngsters. He specializes also in pasteurized and certified milk, in churned buttermilk, in Delmolac, which is a sour milk tonic, and altogether his products are the equal of the best obtainable in the world. As noted previously, he has the oldest of the independent dairies in San Francisco. His honesty and courteous service have become matters of common knowledge in this community where he has given so many years of service, and his pronounced success is well deserved in every particular.

In 1894, Mr. Dettling was married to Miss Bertha Schuman, who was born in San Francisco, and is a member of an old family of this vicinity. To their union was born a daughter, Florence.

In politics, Mr. Dettling has always given his support to the republican party. He is a thirty second degree Mason, belongs to the Mystic Shrine, and is also a member of the Sciots, Grutley Verein, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Inner Circle, the San Jose Verein, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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