Roach & Seeber's Fountain Creamery Waterloo WI, Vitrolite Corner Sign, Circa 1910

In 1883 A. J. Roach started a business producing butter known as the Fountain Creamery, which quickly became a cooperative for local farmers who brought their cattle into the small town of Waterloo, to sell their cattle’s output. Shortly after the business started three different Seeber family members joined the business as a principal owners alongside Mr. Roach, for reasons unknown to this writer.

By 1905 the Fountain Creamery was doing $30,000.00 a year in business, which was a considerable sum for a small business at that time, and they had already opened a new cold storage building in 1894 on North Monroe Street.

Eventually the Roach & Seeber Company had business in 16 states.   However, by 1923 the Roach & Seeber Company plant on N. Monroe Street was sold to the Neilson family who moved to Waterloo.   The Neilson family operated the Roach & Seeber Company for another 12 years.    I cannot find documentation as to why the business ended in 1935.   Today the old factory building is owned by the City of Waterloo after having been used as a Dairyland in the 1950-1960’s and The Waterloo State Bank for a short time also.


Apparently the company was so flush in cash they commissioned a remarkable looking vitrolite corner sign to advertise their company’s butter, which is shown here. This particular vitrolite is one of the more colorful corner signs from that era, and incorporates pictures of their main products, butter and cheese.   What’s also neat with the sign is the use of a can of what I am guessing was condensed milk, complete with a cow’s image on the lid and the side of the can!   The brass frame used in this and many other early corners signs would withstand the elements of being hung outside on the corner of a building through several cold and snowy Wisconsin winters.  Today corner signs from virtually any industry are one of the most sought after and valuable types of early advertising signs available.