The History of the Arctic Ice Cream Company

Founded by Alfred F. Stephens, Detroit Michigan 1908

Charles E. Stephens secretary.

From the Burton Collection:

Alfred Foster Stephens is the Vice President of the Arctic Ice Cream Company of Detroit, in which connection he has built up a business which is the second largest in the city. A spirit of unfaltering enterprise has actuated him at every point in his career and unflagging industry and determination have carried him to a point of business prominence which he now occupies. He was born on a farm in Oakland County, Michigan September 15,1869, and is a son of Chilion and Margaret O. (Fiero) Stephens. After acquiring a district school education in Oakland County he attended the State Normal School at Fenton, Michigan, and in 1890, when a young man of twenty-one years, came to Detroit. Here he entered upon the manufacture of ice cream on his own account and from 1899 to 1907 was connected with the Detroit Creamery Company. In the succeeding year he founded the Arctic Ice Cream Company, of which he has since been the president, and today the business is the second in size of its kind in Detroit. In addition to the main plant in this city the company has condensing plants in Grand Ledge, Fenton, and Hastings and milk receiving stations at Richmond, Birch Run, Shear's Station and Shotke Station, and an ice cream plant in Grand Rapids, all in Michigan. At the beginning new customers were secured through personal solicitation and the equipment consisted of a small manufacturing plant and two wagons for delivery. Today the company has forty-five trucks and thirty-five wagons and employs an average of one hundred and fifty men. Thirty thousand gallons of milk per day are received and during the manufacturing season from the first of May until the first of October the daily output of ice cream is eight thousand gallons. Shipments to all parts of the United States are made from the condensing plants and the business has become one of the most important industries of this character in the middle west. Mr. Stephens was joined in wedlock to Miss Zillah Perkins of Detroit, and they have become the parents of two children: Russell Browett, born October 19,1909, in Detroit; and Frances Helen, born September 26,1911. Mr. Stephens is a member of the Grand River Avenue Christian Church. His political support is given to the republican party and he never lightly regards the duties of citizenship but has never sought office as a reward for party fealty. He belongs to the Fellowcraft Athletic Club and the Detroit Automobile Club and also to the Kiwanis Club, while along the line of his business activity he is identified with the Michigan and National Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers and as a representative of these bodies is continually studying everything that has to do with the development, promotion and protection of the trade.


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