Our History

In 1938, near Moline, Illinois, J.F. McCullough and his son, Alex, developed the delicious dairy product millions have come to know as Dairy Queen soft serve. The McCulloughs’ innovation was the beginning of today’s system of over 6,000 Dairy Queen and Dairy Queen restaurants in the United States, Canada, and many other countries in Europe, Central America, the Far East, and the Middle East.

The McCulloughs arranged to test their new product in an ice cream retail shop in Kankakee, Illinois, owned by Sherb Noble. Noble held an “All You Can Eat for 10 Cents Sale” one August afternoon. More than 1,600 people lined up to try the new treat, and the McCulloughs knew they had an exciting business opportunity. All they needed now was an efficient way to dispense their soft serve product – and they soon located a freezer, invented by Harry Oltz of Hammond, Indiana, which could produce a continuous flow of the product.

J.F. McCullough often referred to the cow as “the queen of the dairy business.” Thus, the Dairy Queen name originated. The first Dairy Queen restaurant, owned by Noble, opened in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois.


Lynn’s Dairy Queen was started by Lewis and Betty Lynn of Connellsville. In July of 1951, the Lynn’s were traveling out west to visit relatives when they had their first taste of Dairy Queen in New Mexico. Being very impressed with this new product, they pursued what was to become a lifelong relationship with Dairy Queen. In September of 1951, they signed an agreement to become a store operator and the Connellsville Dairy Queen, which opened on May 24, 1952, was the 14th store to open in Pennsylvania. After operating as a walk-up soft serve store for 33 years, the Lynn’s opened a new Dairy Queen Brazier in 1985. In 1991, their daughter, Judy, became the owner/operator of the restaurant. She had been the manager since the newer restaurant opened in 1985. Since 1991, Lynn’s Dairy Queen has grown into a family of restaurants now known as Lynn Dairy Queens, Inc.

We are a Christian company and strive to treat others the way we wish to be treated. We support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the American Heart Association, the Salvation Army, The Leukemia Society, Connellsville Area Community Ministries, City Missions and other charitable organizations. We assist schools and church groups throughout our area with donations and fundraisers.

Although much has changed in the world and in the Dairy Queen system throughout the years, one constant has remained: Dairy Queen restaurants are still, and always have been, a place to find Little League teams celebrating a victory, business people on their lunch break, and families taking time out to enjoy great food and soft serve treats. We strive to be to the best destination in our community by creating smiles and stories.