Laesch Dairy history featured in book


A 1965 billboard for Laesch Dairy, courtesy of www.web.alsa.org/goto/laeschdairy.

BLOOMINGTON – A book written by area native Ellen Laesch Dalrymple not only tells the history of her family’s dairy business but also supports the ALS Association in Chicago.


“I’ve lost five family members to ALS, including my father, sister and younger brother,” explained Dalrymple.


Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease over 80 years ago and anyone receiving the diagnosis today has the same prognosis. Dalrymple hopes extra donations will keep cutting-edge research projects funded and ensure those living with ALS receive the proper care and support.


Dalrymple is excited about the opportunity of promoting her book and has had numerous responses. She admits it has been fun to reconnect with farm families or those who formerly worked at the dairy in Bloomington. Her family owned Laesch Dairy for three generations.


“(The book) takes you through all three generations of the dairy starting in 1907 to when we closed our doors in 1998.”


A Laesch Family Story: The History of Laesch Dairy mentions the family members and employees involved in the process of bottling and delivering milk. Dalrymple’s daughter was the inspiration for the book. She kept reminding her mother about the number of people responding to mentions of the dairy on Facebook.


“I started scanning old family photos and everything just kind of came together,” recalled Dalrymple. “Plus, with COVID, I didn’t have any other distractions.”


Since her McLean County days, Dalrymple spent over 30 years in the financial services industry before retiring and starting another career in property management which took her from Bloomington to Florida. She ended up in Gurnee near the edge of Wisconsin.


Dalrymple fondly looks back on what she considers a wonderful childhood as she was a big part of her dad’s life.


“The dairy was about 50 feet from our home so Dad came home for lunch almost every day. It was a really nice way to grow up,” she said.


For the first time in a long time, Dalrymple visited the recent McLean County Fair in Bloomington just days before a book signing held at the McLean County Museum of History. The last time she was at the fair, it was held at the old grounds east of Bloomington.


“It is such a nice improvement. I remember the old fair kind of being dusty and hot.”


Much has changed since then like air conditioned buildings and larger fair facilities. She considers it a nice venue for everyone participating in the fair.


For a copy of Dalrymple’s book and to donate to the ALS Association, visit the website www.web.alsa.org/goto/laeschdairy.



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