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Our Story

140 years ago, William Henry Dougherty returned home after the Civil War and purchased 160 acres of land, now known as, Dougherty Orchards. He planted five acres of apple, cherry, and peach trees and founded Dougherty Orchards in 1883. Five years later, William Henry passed the business along to his oldest son, Dolen Dougherty.

Dolen took over the business in 1888, making improvements and expansions. His oldest son, John Clayton, joined the business in 1909. Because of John Clayton’s education in horticulture and a lifetime of living on the farm, he increased the size and quality of the orchard. 

In 1960,  the orchard was passed down to John Clayton’s son, Arnold. Arnold and his wife, Ann, increased the size of the orchard to 65,000 trees on 100 acres, making it more than 300 times larger than its original size! Buildings were added near the original apple house, an irrigation system was installed, our automatic grading system was introduced, and our cooler was built capable of holding 15,000 bushels of apples. Also during this time, our cider press was replaced by a newer version capable of pressing 25,000 gallons of cider during a fall season!

In 1981, the orchard was passed down again to Arnold’s son Sandy Dougherty. In 1983, our 100th anniversary was celebrated and Dougherty Orchards was officially recognized as the oldest family-operated orchard in Indiana.  Sandy and his wife, Joan were awarded The Hoosier Homestead Award and the Centennial Business Award. 

After the unexpected and untimely death of Sandy and Joan in 2004, the orchard was left to their children (Andra, Shannan, and Tyler) In 2016, Andra purchased the orchard from Shannan and Tyler to become the sole owner. Andra added the winery the same year. With her husband Jr., and five children, they are the current owners of the business. Her children will be the 7th generation to own and operate Dougherty Orchards. 

140 years of family photos:


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