Home History Rosebud and Mathis Dairy

Rosebud and Mathis Dairy

by
Rosebud the cow standing with a group of men and women

In 1916, 17-year-old R.L. Mathis purchased 12 cows and 75 acres of property in DeKalb County – the beginning of one of the most famous dairies of the 20th century.

In 1928, Mathis Dairy began meeting the prestigious Certified Milk Standards and by the 1970s was one of only three remaining US dairies still doing so. The farm began dairy tours for children in the 1950s, where visitors received “I Milked Rosebud” buttons. Their beloved cow Rosebud participated in charity events and was milked by celebrities and politicians, including Jimmy Carter.

Mathis Dairy was eventually sold in 1995.

Caroline Parsley, The 100 Companies

You may also like

23 comments

Judy snEll November 19, 2016 - 2:16 am

My name is judy snell. My 76 year old mother and 56 year old husband fred snell jr were reminicing about rosebud and our experiences as children. We all three milked rosebud from the 1950’s thru 1970’s. Wonderful Memories. Thank you

Reply
Marcia Hair January 23, 2018 - 12:54 am

Judy, Do I remember you from Mini Skool in Dunwoody, ca 1974? I think we worked together. Marcia Hair aka Marcia Kelley

Reply
Paul June 6, 2017 - 8:40 pm

I still have my ” i milked Rosebud” button.. 40 some odd years later…

Reply
Edna aaron July 24, 2017 - 2:05 am

My dad charles w. Aaron worked most of my life at mathis Dairy !
He was killed in an accident on I285 on his way back to the dairy from his milk route. Mathis dairy holds maNy memories for me and my family.

Reply
Ron McGee February 21, 2018 - 1:13 am

My dad also worked there,i went with him in 1960 till 1970,he worked There for 30+ years,,but we went by truck numbers inst of names,lol,,his was 21,,,Harold McGee,miss that place

Reply
Best Things To Do In Atlanta – Testing August 31, 2017 - 7:17 pm

[…] histories of neighborhoods, restaurants, parks, events, buildings, streets and even a cow named Rosebud, beloved and milked by thousands of Atlanta […]

Reply
Patricia moran September 20, 2017 - 3:53 am

My Father worked here As a delivery man till 1955 (Nov) when he graduated from the Atlanta police academy. I am the offspring of the milkman. Lol. Born Dec 1955. 🙂

Reply
Lisa Aaron September 23, 2017 - 2:56 am

I milked Rosebud! I also knew the Mathis family good friends of mine! Wonderful memories broke my heart that it is no longer there! Grew up going to Wesley chapel elementary and swd! Oh and we had Mathis milk delivered! Best chocolate milk ever!!!

Reply
Laticia Gragg February 12, 2018 - 8:31 pm

My sister just gave me a mathis dairy milk bottle she bought at an antique store. She remembered that I’d been on a field trip to the dairy back in the early 60s. brought back some great childhood memories.

Reply
Anthony Sizemore March 4, 2018 - 3:46 pm

Isn’t that Jerry Clower in this photo?

Reply
Allyson Wheat May 22, 2018 - 11:46 pm

My mom worked there for all my school age years and then for years after I got out of school and got married and had children of my own. I still remember my Frisbee my uncle Jack Mathis gave me that smelled like chocolate milk and him mother, Mrs. Cookie, baking cookies for me. I have a million wonderful memories of Mathis Dairy and the Mathis family!

Reply
Jan Schroder May 29, 2018 - 8:55 pm

Thanks so much for writing to share your memories!

Reply
Jane Fields July 3, 2018 - 5:56 am

In 1975 as my July due date was approaching I asked my Mathis Milk delivery man to not leave my delivery unless I left a note in my metal milk box on my very sunny back porch. Well, July 4th came. My rrgular milkman must have been on vacation. When I came home a week later with our first born I went to put out a note to leave my regular order. Inside the box were bottles of milk from the previous week. They were hot but not one of the bottles of milk had soured!!! That was their regular milk Can you find any milk today that can match the quality of Mathis milk? i doubt it. Mathis Dairy set the bar for excellence.

Reply
Jan Schroder July 11, 2018 - 9:17 pm

Thanks for sharing your story!

Reply
Leslie Hawkins January 20, 2020 - 4:02 am

I remember our Tilson Elementary field trip to the dairy in the late 60s. Don’t forget our Cub Scout trips. Rosebud. The ducks in the pond. The hay rides. Cutting lunch break from Gordon High to Mathis dairy for chocolate milk on our way to McDonald’s on Candler Rd. A wonderful time to be growing up.

Reply
Robert August 25, 2018 - 6:30 am

When I was a ten year old boy I had two big white ducks . I finally was looking for a new home for them and the dairy let me put them in there big pond . I went to work for the dairy 13 years later . I started training to take over a route for a guy retiring. I don’t remember his name but he was tall and slender and always stopped first thing by the Waffle House and got him a bowl of grits. There was a Doberman Pincher dog that chased this milkman up into his truck ,the milkman grabbed a full half gallon glass jug and slammed it right on top of his head and put that dogs lights out for ever.That was one tuff job delivering milk ..Our trucks were preloaded when we arrived than we would go to the icehouse and load ice all over the milk .I thought that was goofy because it was cold as heck outside. I was told the ice would prevent the milk from freezing and it did . The worst part was we could not run any heat at all and we had to ride with both doors slid back wide open , 15 degrees outside wind blowing in and 400 pounds of crushed ice in the truck and not melting. The only place I had to sit was on newspapers stuffed in a plastic bag .I lasted one week . I FROZE MY ASS OFF .

Reply
Matthew Murray January 8, 2019 - 9:06 pm

My grandfather worked at Mathis for years back in the 50-60-70’s I use to deliver milk with him when on summer vacation up from Alabama. My goodness I such a great time being 10-11 years old getting to ride around in his truck all night and deliver milk. I use to get such a stomach ache from drinking to much of the chocolate milk. Boy howdy the kids today don’t know what they are missing

Reply
jim harris June 26, 2019 - 11:47 am

Earliest memories of my family get togethers include mathis dairies, I can remember my sister trying to ride the pig in the petting area, whoops, still have the little milk bottles we got choclate milk in. Is there anything on the farm site today to commemorate such a wonderful place that holds such memories for us who grew up around there?

Reply
Mark McGue November 12, 2019 - 7:25 pm

I remember going there on field trips when I was in elementary school….’74-‘75. I always looked forward to milking Rosebud! That chocolate milk was terrific as well.

Reply
Carol Jeanne Trout May 9, 2020 - 3:08 am

I first became acquainted with Mathis Dairy and Jack Mathis in the mid-1970s while lobbying for certified raw milk in Iowa. Ten years later I was living in Houston but went to Atlanta on business and had dinner with Jack. He pointed out a place in the hotel lobby where Rosebud had been for a convention and I asked, “Jack, how old is Rosebud now?” To which Jack replied, “Oh honey, they’re all named Rosebud.”

Reply
Pattie Brown May 26, 2020 - 12:38 pm

Just decided to Google Mathis Dairy when listening to news about milk, and remembering days my boys Spencer and Joey loved going thru the drive thru for a bottle of chocolate milk.
Great memory in South DeKalb raising the boys and having a memory they have now about Rosebud, chocolate glass bottles , and milk deliveries Loved the strawberry Kiefer .

Reply
Cole Roseberry June 4, 2020 - 2:29 am

Rosebud the cow is named after my grandmother .Jack Mathis dedicated the cow with her name in honor of his friend and neighbor. His nickname for her was rosebud. Do to her Beautiful roses she grew along the fence separating our property’s, and the last name we bare.

Reply
John Bell April 23, 2022 - 10:39 am

Me and a buddy or two made the hike to Mathis Dairy numerous times (McAfee Rd) for Chocolate Milk and to ride the paddle boats down at the pond. Also, that love for that Mathis Chocolate milk tempted me to indulge in a bit of juvenile crime. During the summer we often would “camp out” in the neighborhood at various friends backyards or in some wooded area. Actually we would sit around a campfire or justwalk around the area all night. Around 5:30 or so we would write short notes for the Mathis milkman stuffed into the empty return bottles at various homes asking him to leave a quart of Chocolate Milk in addition to his normal delivery. Ashamed to say there were probably a few complaints made by my neighbors to the Mathis billing department.

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

The Atlanta 100