Publish date:

Woman who co-created the Dairy Queen Dilly Bar dies at 90

She was also the founder of the famous Moorhead DQ.
Author:

She was the founder of one of the most iconic Dairy Queens in America, and helped create arguably its favorite treat.

That's quite the legacy for Moorhead's Phyllis Litherland, who died this week at the age of 90 at her daughter's home in Chicago.

Her influence can still be seen today in Moorhead, where with her husband Bob she opened what we dubbed "The Dairy Queen that Dairy Queen doesn't want you to know about." in 1949.

The reason we called it that is because the DQ franchise continues to serve frozen treats that are either of its own creation, or were dropped by the national chain in other outlets – including a chocolate covered banana call the "Monkey Tail," "chipper sandwiches," and flavored sundae toppings including butterscotch, raspberry and cherry that had been discontinued by the chain.

This has been a cause of friction between the kiosk and executives at DQ HQ, and possibly why DQ still doesn't acknowledge the Moorhead outlet's claim that it invented the Dilly Bar.

The Litherlands are credited as being the co-creators of the chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick in 1954.

As the Moorhead DQ tells it:

"In 1954, the Moorhead  Dairy Queen was used as a site to train area Dairy Queen operators how to make the new treats. As they were working, one of the trainers made a blob of Dairy Queen on a piece of cardboard and put a stick in it and said, "ain't that a dilly?" Hence the Dilly Bar was born and introduced to the entire industry in 1955. To this day the Moorhead Dairy Queen still makes thousands of Dilly Bars by hand using the same process with a piece of cardboard."

A DQ spokesman has previously said that they appreciate the Moorhead store's popularity, but can't promote it "partially because it falls outside the dining experience DQ fans across the country are looking for."

Follow Bring Me The News on Instagram.

The Moorhead eatery's current owners, Troy and Diane DeLeon, who took over in 1995, told the Forum News Service that the store wouldn't have survived without Phyllis Litherland, noting how her husband Bob was called back to serve in Korean War before they could open for the 1950 season.

Phyllis managed to run the business that year while also taking care of their newborn daughter.

Next Up

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

CDC biohazard scientist health work

New clue may explain how rare tropical disease sickened Minnesotan

The disease, known as melioidosis, killed 2 people earlier this year.

Sen Mark Koran crop

MN lawmaker encourages donations for locals charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

"They are a good family!" Sen. Mark Koran wrote Friday.

money

Money Gal Coaching: Mastering the spiritual parts of money

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

University of minnesota sign

U of M will now require proof that employees have been vaccinated for COVID

Previously, only students were required to be vaccinated.

Jim Hagedorn

Report reveals details about ethics investigation into Rep. Hagedorn

The congressman described the report's findings as "unfounded conclusions."

33462769592_d32f34fd48_k

SkyWest cancels hundreds of flights due to server error

More than 80 have been canceled at MSP Airport.

elk

First elk in more than 100 years spotted in parts of southern WI

The elk population was reintroduced to Wisconsin in recent decades.

grand marais

10 beautiful Minnesota cities to visit for outdoor adventures

These places are perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Related

moorhead dairy queen dq

Car slams into, damages legendary Dairy Queen in Moorhead

The famous DQ was forced to shut down afterwards.

A Twin Cities Dairy Queen is taking dinner-for-two reservations

It's to coincide with the launch of DQ's new chicken and waffles basket.

It's back! Free ice cream at Dairy Queen on Wednesday

DQ does this every year to mark the first day of spring.

What gives? MN misses out on special edition DQ Blizzard

The treat is only available in cities hosting Opening Day games.

When spring arrives, so does free Dairy Queen ice cream

DQ will be giving away free vanilla cones on Mar. 20.

moorhead dairy queen dq

Legendary Moorhead Dairy Queen opens for 70th year

The harsh temps weren't enough to stop long lines on the big day.