Mittelstaed’s was one of the largest general department stores in the city of Milbank, SD. It had several departments, including a complete grocery. August Mittelstaed opened a general store in Milbank in 1883 and his brother Gustav joined the business in 1886. The store was popular with the local German and Germans from Russia population, so employees had to speak both German and English. Gustav's sons, Arthur and Harold, took over operations in the 1920s. Mittelstaed Brothers was the longest surviving general store in Milbank, and by 1928, it was known as Mittelstaedts and was the only general store in Milbank. In 1943, it closed its grocery section and ceased being a general store.
This ironstone butter churn is missing its dasher and has a crack, but it has maintained its elegant beauty. The "6" indicates that it held six gallons and oval stamp at the bottom reads "A. Mittelstaedt Milbank, So. Dakota". The churn wall is decorated with two birch leaves.