Central Dairy was established in Columbia in 1920 by Dot Sappington, who opened a branch in Jefferson City in 1932 at 108 East Dunklin.
Initially, products from Columbia were brought to Jefferson City for resale, but Sappington built a new dairy building at 610 Madison and installed the now-famous ice cream counter in the front of the dairy.
Sappington sold the Columbia business to his son and partner, William Roy Sappington Sr., in the mid-1930s.
The dairy was located near several schools and in the 1950s was considered “the place” to hang out and meet friends.
Prairie Farms began in 1938 and now has over 800 dairy farms. The company manufacturers and markets a full line of dairy food products from its own 17 plants, along with 13 others through subsidiary companies and joint ventures throughout the Midwest.