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Meet Your Neighborhood Milkman: Kennedy Terrones

Milkman Kennedy Terrones

Meet your neighborhood milkman, Kennedy Terrones. 

Meet Your Neighborhood Milkman: Jason Matthieu

Milkman Jason Matthieu

Meet your neighborhood milkman, Jason Matthieu.

Delivered Fresh Since 1920
One hundred years ago, Ben Smith began peddling milk to his neighbors for extra cash. Carrying bottles of milk from his Jersey-Durham cow, he walked door to door every day that summer. Eventually, saving up enough of his earnings to buy his first car: a Ford Model T.

Ben grew up on his grandfather's farm in Minnesota. That's where he first learned how to milk a cow. At ten years old, he'd get up before dawn to milk the cows, and once more before bed. He spent the rest of his day helping run the family farm with endless chores - from working in the fields to herding cattle. 

Meanwhile, Ben had relatives in Washington, including his brother, Roy. The family members out west would send letters describing how wonderful this part of the country was, with its mild winters and dry summers. The Pacific Northwest was calling, but it would still be some years before Ben, his mom, and five siblings finally boarded a train for their new home in Seattle.

Twelve years after arriving in Washington, Ben built a home in the Arbor Heights neighborhood of West Seattle. It was there that his neighbors sold him their cow and had the idea of selling milk. With the cow producing seven gallons of rich milk each day, there was always plenty of extra. 

And so, he'd load up his Ford Model T with quart-sized glass bottles and drive through town, providing fresh milk to his neighbors. When he wasn't going door to door, he was working in the steel mills. But he still had dreams of turning his milk operation into something full time.

In the fall of 1920, Roy shared with him an advertisement about a West Seattle retail dairy for sale. For $3,800 the dairy could be theirs, along with a 50 gallon-a-day milk route, a Dodge truck, and 18 cows. He didn’t need much convincing.

The brothers each pitched in to buy the dairy, and the two were officially in business.
The Flying Smiths
Determined and ambitious, Ben Smith always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He wasn’t afraid to take risks or try new opportunities. Milk production wasn’t the only business venture for the Smiths. They delivered home heating oil and operated Smith Tractor, which had seven stores in Washington and one in Alaska.

It was this same enthusiasm that he would later instill in his seven kids, including sons, Howard and Dan. 

It started while the two Smith brothers were attending Washington State University. When they started talking about buying an airplane, Ben helped them herd the cows into other fields and fenced off 40 acres for a landing area. 

The farm, which was south of Kent on the West Valley Highway, had still resembled a pasture - save for the windsock and a few T-hangars. It shortly became a popular spot for local businessmen, where they formed the Valley Flying Club, using the field as their operating base. However, as soon as things started to progress, the war broke out and civilian flying was banned. The cows returned to the fields.

Howard became an Army Primary School flight instructor and later joined the Air Transport Command. While in the service, he started making plans for his father’s field. He wanted to turn the farm into a haven for private flyers. 

After World War II ended, the Smith family began constructing their airpark and the cows were once again herded off. They added a control tower, a 3,000-foot runway, more than 30 hangars, along with a restaurant and lounge catering to small aircraft owners. What began as a spot for Ben’s sons to fly at home would become the Pacific Northwest’s busiest airparks for private flying. 
The Great Northwest

With relatives already in Washington, Ben Smith and his family often received letters describing the natural wonders of the Evergreen State. They read about the sweeping views and majestic mountains, the temperate climate and fertile fields. Pioneers went westward in search of land and opportunity, and eventually, the Smith family did too. In 1907, Ben, his mother, and four siblings boarded a train in St. Paul, Minnesota bound for their new home in Seattle.

Thanks to its diverse climate, rich soil, and steady rain, western Washington has always been an agricultural utopia; the region is especially ideal for dairy herds. More than ten years after arriving in Seattle, Ben established his farm in the foothills of Kent Valley, surrounded by lush green pastures.

One hundred years later, it’s easy to see why the Smith family put their roots down here. There’s a lot to love. Besides the spectacular views all around us, there’s a real passion in our state for supporting local. Without our friends and neighbors, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Washington is a little slice of paradise, and we’re proud to call it home.

Meet Your Neighborhood Milkman: Marty Good

Milkman Marty Good

Meet your neighborhood milkman, Marty Good. 

The Milkmen Managers

Route managers, Brent, James, Jaireme, and John share their Smith Brothers Farms experience. 

Meet Your Neighborhood Milkman: Jason Chambers

Smith Brothers Milkman Jason Chambers

Meet your neighborhood milkman, Jason Chambers.

Meet Your Neighborhood Milkman: Jason Grinolds

Smith Brothers Milkman Jason Grinolds

Meet your neighborhood milkman, Jason Grinolds.

Meet Your Neighborhood Milkman: Erik Peluso

Milkman Erik Peluso

Meet your neighborhood milkman, Erik Peluso.