Skip to main content

Miller Ice Cream collection

Identifier: MSS 844

Scope and Contents

The Miller Ice Cream Collection traces the evolution of Miller Dairy Farms, located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Contained within two boxes encompassing the years 1964 to 2007, this collection offers a comprehensive narrative. It includes an almost uninterrupted series of the Sundae School Newsletter, articles documenting the triumphs of Miller Dairy Farms, as well as training materials for the ice cream stores, such as the Original Award-Winning Presidential Ice Cream Sundae Poll.

Among other items in this collection are ephemeral items and assorted materials that shed light on the broader context of Miller's Ice Cream and the influential figure of Bryce E. Thomson, the former President of Miller Dairy Farms.


  • 1964-2007

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections at the Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Miller Dairy Farms, located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, began producing ice cream in 1896. Founded by Dennis and Mary Miller, the couple initially crafted ice cream using a hand-crank freezer and delivered it by bicycle. They later expanded their business, selling ice cream in 22 Miller stores and through 200 independent dealers throughout Michigan and Indiana. Dennis Miller passed away in 1953 at the age of 83.

Bryce E. Thomson began his career with Miller Dairy Farms in 1940 as a traveling salesman. After completing his military service in 1946, Thomson assumed the role of supervisor for 11 of Miller's ice cream parlors. By 1964, Thomson had been named Vice President of Miller Dairy Farms, eventually rising to the position of President before retiring in 1979. In his post-retirement years, Thomson took on the role of publisher and editor for Ashby’s Ice Cream Dealers’ publication, "The Sundae School Newsletter."


.63 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Folders are listed by their location in each box, any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entirety of the collection.

Other Finding Aids

Miller Dairy Farms Records:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated Jill Thomson Groth in 2018.

Processing Information

Janette Núñez processed this collection in 2023.

Finding Aid for the Miller Ice Cream collection
4 Published And Cataloged
Janette Núñez
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA