Edward C. Lasater & the Dairy Industry
Edward C. Lasater had a hand in just about everything happening in Brooks County - including the dairy business. But unlike political bosses and other nefarious characters, Mr. Lasater's hands were clean. It was these clean hands that brought in the cows that at one time formed the largest herd of Jersey cattle in the entire United States.
Mr. Lasater started in 1895 with a plain run-of-the-mill cattle ranch. In 1904 he encouraged the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad to run a line to his property and in 1909 he brought in his Jersey cows and started his creamery. In those days, the real milk money was in products like cream, butter and cheese (which is where grade "B" milk goes, in case you ever wondered). In the 1800s, city dwellers lived in fear of tuberculosis and undulant fever and it wasn't until Louis Pasteur invented his sterilizing bottle-washing machine that they could enjoy the peace of mind their country cousins had from drinking milk from cows they knew personally.
The Falfurrias chamber of commerce informed us that the butter that made the town a household word across Texas is no longer produced locally. The name was bought by a large dairy company and butter is still marketed under the famous name - but it doesn't come from South Texas. Falfurrias' famous butter is still remembered in a vintage sign that remains mounted on a downtown wall.