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The Eriksen Brothers of Stow

Dublin Core


The Eriksen Brothers of Stow


A history of the Eriksen family who would go on to create the Erikson Ice Cream stand.


Philip Ineson (Hans Eriksen, Sr.'s grandson)


Donated by Ellen Duggan

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Hans and John Eriksen were born in Denmark and came to America in the late 1800’s. Hans was the oldest, born in 1871 and died in 1948. John was bom in 1875 and died in 1941. There was also another brother who settled in the state of Florida.

Hans was married to Marie Petersen and they had four children: Hans, Junior, who was the oldest and he married Mary Boyd; second was Olga, who was married to Walter Stokes; third was Sylvia, and she was married to Samuel Ineson; the youngest was George and he married June Pettingill.

Before any of the children were married they lived on a farm located on the comer of Hasting Street and White Pond Road in Stow. The barn was demolished in the early 2000’s. It was here that my grandfather started the dairy business. It went under the name of Hill Side Farm of Stow. There is a photo of my mother (Sylvia) and her older sister, Olga, standing along side of the horse and wagon with the name of Hill Side Farm, Hans Eriksen proprietor. Assabet Heights, where all the new houses are, used to be the pasture land for the cows.

During WWI, Hans, Jr., joined the Army and served overseas.

In the early 1920’s they moved from the farm to Great Road in Stow, this is where Hans, Sr. started Eriksen Dairy. He sold all the cows and just processed the milk they purchased from the other farmers in Stow. Some of the farmers were Nielsen, Christianson, Mano and Noomans.

My grandfather built along building behind his house, which consisted of four stalls for his car and milk trucks. In the middle of the building was the dairy for processing the milk. There was a vat for pasteurizing the milk, an aerator for cooling the milk, a bottling machine, a tank for water to clean the bottles, and a room lined with cork to keep the milk cold. Hans, Jr., and George both worked here. I have another photo of my Grandmother and myself standing together with the dairy in the background.

In the 1930’s Hans Eriksen, Sr. sold the dairy business to Hans, Jr., who moved the dairy to Maynard, Mass., where it is now located and changed the name to Eriksons instead of Eriksens Dairy. (I have some of the old bottles that have the spelling of Eriksen).

Hans, Jr. had five trucks delivering milk and two men working in the dairy. This is when he started the ice cream business. I believe in the 1990’s, after Hans, Jr. had died, his daughter, Arlene Fraser, discontinued the milk business and just kept the ice cream business, which is still in operation by her and her family.

I recall my mother, Sylvia Ineson, saying that her father was the first dairy farmer processing milk in Stow.

John Erikson (who changed his name from Eriksen toErikson) was married to Frederikke and they had three children, Rosa, who married George Stokes; Edith who married Arthur Wheldon; and Henry, who married Millie Haskell.

John's house was the first house in Stow on the right hand side of Great Road coming from Maynard. John was a carpenter and constable for Stow under Peter Larsen, the first Chief of Police.

John's son, Henry started a chicken business (Henry was also known as "Sneaker" because he wore them all year long, which was unheard of back then). His first chicken farm was on his father's land. It was behind John's house and went behind the dairy when it was located in Stow. It consisted of two long buildings (approximately 200 feet long per building); 5 or 6 small buildings and a range, consisting of at least 3 acres, where he kept chickens in the warm weather. He also had an incubator in one of the large buildings where he would put the eggs in trays and then, in about three weeks, he would have baby chickens. Arthur Whelden, Edith's husband, and Walter Stokes, Olga's husband, worked for Henry.

Henry then bought some land on Boxboro Road in Stow; here he raised more chickens and beef cattle. There was a small farmhouse on the property where his hired hands would live. This property is now the Minuteman Airport and a housing development.

Henry's next purchase was some land in Acton, which became known as Flag Hill. Here, he started a riding stable and also brought his beef cattle from the land on Boxboro Road. He herded the cattle from Boxboro Road to Acton, like the cowboys did, only he herded them with his 1940 Chevy. He lived here with his wife, Millie, and their four children.

Henry then bought a grain operation located next to the railroad tracks in South Acton. The grain would come in by the railroad carload and he would have it bagged into one hundred pound sacks. This business is still in operation, and run by his children.

Henry also bought, with Lou Flerra, the drive-in theater that was located in Boxboro.

I believe John Erikson owned all the land including where the present Eriksons Dairy begins and goes up as far the veterinarian place in Stow. Starting with Ericksons Dairy and going toward Stow were the following homesteads: Next to the dairy was Hans, Jr's. home, then there was a small white house that Henry and family lived in, followed by John Erickson's house, and then the Jones' house (their daughter, Mary Gaudet, still lives there). The next house was Hans Eriksen, Sr's. and the old dairy followed by our house, Sam and Sylvia (Eriksen) Ineson. The balance ofthe land upto the veterinarian's was all range land.

The spelling of Eriksen and Erikson is different because some of the family changed it to the American spelling "son".