Male 1854 - 1926  (72 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Loton HORTON  [1
      THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1926


      President of Sheffield Farms Co., Touring with his wife, a victim of Pneumonia.


      Began His Career as Driver of a Milk Wagon in New York--Merged Four Milk Companies.

      Loton Horton, President of the Sheffield Farms Company since its organization in 1902, and for more than fifty years in the business of supplying milk in new York City, died yesterday at Nice, France, according to a cablegram received by his sons last night. Mr. Horton was 72 years old. He had been visiting in Europe with Mrs. Horton and was planning to return to this country when he was stricken with pneumonia. For several years past he had been troubled with a weak heart, and it is believed that this was a contributing factor to his death.

      Mr. Horton's city home was at 135 Central Park West. In addition to his widow, who was Miss Tillie Spleker of Zurich, Switzerland, whom he married in 1917, he is survived by four sons. DanielS., Ralph, Chauncey and Jerome Horton. Mr. Horton was married three times.

      Mr. Horton was born on an Orange County (NY) dairy farm in April 1854. His mother died when he was three years old and his father died seven years later. young Loton Horton was bound out to an uncle by marriage, who had agreed to provide a home and educate him in return for the interest on $2500. Loton's share of his father's estate, which was in a savings bank.

      The young farmer boy knew nothing of the details of this agreement. He spent his time on the farm doing the chores which seemed never-ending, and as he grew he was doing the work of a full fledged hired man. When 16 years of age young Horton became disgusted with his situation.

      He had a long talk with his Uncle "Tim", a brother of his father. The upshot was that he left the farm where he had been working and went to Middletown to live, with the understanding that he was to be permitted to attend school in town.


      At the end of the school year young Horton came toNew York city to drive a milk rout for another uncle. The conversation which determined Mr. Horton's future did not seem particularly pregnant with possibilities at the time. His Uncle Chauncey said: "Bub, how'd you like to drive a milk wagon in the city this Summer?"

      Loton would and did. Mr. Horton used to take delight in telling of his experiences as a raw, gawky country boy on a city milk route. the only was he remembered his way was to count the blocks and houses, and he said that it was several weeks before he realized that his route crossed and recrossed the same streets.

      When his first month's collections were checked up it was found that he had turned in more for one month than preceding drivers had turned to for a three-months period. Young Horton retuned to Middletown for two more sessions of school and at 18 came to the city to take a permanent job on the milk wagon.

      When he received his money at the age of 21 he bought a route which he used as capital for joining the partnership of the Slawson Brothers, who were also his uncles. He continued with this concern and in 1901 (?) bought out the business after the death of two of the brothers.

      The following year marked the greatest forward step for Mr. Horton in the matter of handling milk. that year marked the consolidation of the Slawson Company, the T.W. Decker company, a business dating back to 1841, the Sheffield Farms Company and the Tuthill's Sheffield Farms Company. the assets of the combination were only $135,000. Today the company has more plants than it had routes in those days.

      Louis B. Halsey, a lawyer, who had turned to dairying, operated the Sheffield Farm. he was years ahead of his competitors and in 1897 brought a German chemist to operate the first pasteurization machine. Halsey had developed a herd of pure Jersey cows and was constantly experimenting with better methods of handling. He devised a scheme for freezing blocks of skim milk and putting large block into each can of rich milk. Thus the milk arrived sweet and pure.

      Dr. Royal S. Copeland's Tribute

      It was this farm which gave the name to the vast organization which now distributes milk throughout New York City. Mr. Horton became interested in the pasteurization process and employed it for his own milk.

      Although he had very little formal education Mr. Horton was recognized by his associates as a man with an extraordinary capacity for study. He knew both men and the progress of ideas. he had been at the forefront in all measures to develop better methods of handling and caring for milk for the time it left the farmer until it reached the consumers here.

      Mr. Royal S. Copeland paid him high tribute at a dinner in 1922 when Mr. Horton celebrated the anniversary of his fiftieth year in the business when he said, "No man in New York City has done as much to reduce the death rate of children."

      Mr. Horton had been under fire several times because of charges that he was at the head of a "milk trust" and artificially controlling prices. The Mayor's Committee conducted an investigation in 1917, and in 1919 there was a Federal, State and city investigation after an increase in prices had been announced.

      Mr. Horton also had a prominent part in breaking the strike of drivers in 1921. he obtained an injunction against interference, which stripped the milkmen of the power to harass dealers, and this proved an effective weapon in winning the strike for the company.

      Source: New York Times, Dec 16 1926, page 27

      Given through e-mail by Joe Chester.

    Born 22 Apr 1854  Orange County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 15 Dec 1926  Nice, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I68489  Main Tree
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2014 

    Father Gabriel C. HORTON,   b. 30 Nov 1830, Wallkill, Orange Co., New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Sep 1864  (Age 33 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Mary Ann SLAWSON,   b. Dec 1835, Orange County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1857  (Age ~ 21 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 26 Jan 1852  Orange County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F21157  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Slawson Brothers
    Slawson Brothers
    Left to right, seated: Orson W. Horton, Charles Cox, I.A. Van Bomel,Charles B. Carpenter and Emmett Stoddard. The little boy between Emmett Stoddard and Charles B. Carpenter is G.I. Slawson, son of Daniel Slawson, John Finch, Hiram Horton and Sayre J. Slawson.
    Left to right, standing, directly behind those seated: Charles Wheat, Decatur…

  • Sources 
    1. [S4849] Ancestry.com: Family Trees - Mirtallo Family Tree .