Kankakee, Illinois: Dairy Queen Franchise #1Not the first Dairy Queen, but the first franchise Dairy Queen. An important distinction among purists (the first was in Joliet).
- Wall St., Kankakee, IL
- I-57 exit 312. West on Hwy 17/Court St. through the city, cross the river, then take the first left onto Wall St. The Dairy Queen is two blocks south, at the corner of Wall and Station Sts.
- Store hours if you want to eat.
Visitor Tips and News About Dairy Queen Franchise #1
Franchise #1 would be, of course, the first franchise, not the original, so take that Illinois. I know nothing about this apparent debate, but logically, any franchise would not be the original store.[Neil Winebrenner, 12/21/2004]
According to Dairy Queen's official corporate history, the first "Dairy Queen" store opened in Joliet, Illinois in June, 1940. The first products that triggered the Dairy Queen concept were invented by a father and son in the mix plant business in Green River, Illinois, and sold in Kankakee in 1938.
I grew up just minutes from the oldest Dairy Queen, not in Iowa, but in Illinois. I know that it is the oldest, because it is franchise #1, and I met the founder's widow at the Kankakee County history museum. Take that Iowa![Bob Smith, 01/05/2002]