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Iowa History Daily: October 18 - Cow Caper at AE Dairy

Iowa History Daily: On October 18, 2007, a cow caper unfolded on the East Side of Des Moines after vandals damaged the iconic Annie the Cow and her calf Eric statues from the corner of Hubbell and University. Return and restoration ensured the pair of Guernsey Cow statues would continue to serve as an important landmark in front of Iowa’s largest independently owned dairy for years to come.

Starting alongside the Great Depression, Iver Erickson and Bill Anderson offered Des Moines home milk delivery. By the late 1930s, Anderson held sole ownership of a growing business which continued to expand over the mid-20th century. At a 1950s peak A-E milkmen serviced roughly 150 routes throughout Iowa while offering a variety of products.

In 1966, Annie the Cow debuted on the important intersection headquarters of the company between the Iowa State Fairgrounds and downtown Des Moines. The 14’ tall fiberglass statue weighs nearly 2500 lbs. A decade later, in 1977, the smaller statue of Eric the Calf debuted.

When an errant driver struck the pair of bovines during the wee hours of October 18, 2007, the car pulled Eric the Calf away from the site while damaging one of Annie’s legs. After recovery and restoration, the two statues returned to their iconic post out front of Anderson Erickson at Hubbell and University. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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