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Iowa History Daily: November 4 - Frederick Louis Maytag II

Iowa History Daily: On November 4, 1962, Frederick Louis Maytag II died. President and Chairman of the Maytag Company, founder of Maytag Dairy Farms, and Iowa State Senator, “Fred II” also established the Fred Maytag Family Foundation during a life balancing a wide array of interests and business acumen.

Born to Elmer “E.H.” Maytag, son of Maytag Industries founder Frederick Louis Maytag I, Fred II left Iowa for educational opportunities at the Culver Military Academy and the University of Wisconsin before returning to the state. When E.H. died suddenly at the age of 56 in 1940, the 29-year-old Fred II found himself in the position of President at Maytag Industries.

Although E.H. laid the groundwork for Maytag Dairy Farms starting with the purchase of a single cow to supply the family with fresh milk in 1919, in 1941 Fred II took what had grown into an award-winning herd of Holstein-Friesian cows into a business. With his brother Robert, Fred II paired Iowa State University scientific process with American ingenuity to create the first great American blue cheese.

Also during the 1940s, Fred II oversaw the transition of Maytag from washing machines to military production and back again. An Iowa Senator from 1946 until 1952, Fred II also served as chairman of the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and on the board of Grinnell College. A true Renaissance man, Fred II enjoyed scuba diving, piloting his own plane, photography, and a host of other interests before his untimely death of cancer at the age of 51. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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