History and Development of Litchfield Creamery Company

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Litchfield Creamery Company Building Litchfield Illinois August 14, 2018
Litchfield Creamery Company Building Litchfield Illinois August 14, 2018

The Litchfield Creamery Company was founded in 1912 and was located in the 2nd block of West Sargent Street. The Company operated in this building on a small scale as evidenced by the picture of the original plant.

In 1915 Mr. Charles Hauser became associated with the Litchfield Creamery Company, and in the early part of 1916 a new plant was completed at the present location. During the early years about 29 or 30 people were employed. A complete line of dairy products was developed for sale in the local area.

World War I created a tremendous demand for dairy products for export to Allied countries. To meet this demand the Company encouraged more milk production and in 1919 processed more than 23 million pounds of milk. Most of the milk was sold as sweetened, condensed and evaporated milk. After 1919 the demand for dairy products for export was gone. The dairy industry suffered greatly through most of the twenties.

During the twenties the Company grew gradually and about 1930 began manufacturing Milnut. Milnut was a new product to consumers and for several years the sales were slow. In 1932 the Company processed over 18 million pounds of milk. Under the direction of Charles Hauser, the Milnut operations started a rapid expansion. In 1934 the offices were enlarged, the plant operations were expanded and new equipment was installed. Most important was the construction of a new receiving room.

In 1936 the Company purchased a milk plant at Warsaw, Indiana. The plant was converted immediately to the manufacturing of Milnut.

In 1936 a warehouse was constructed adjoining the local plant on the east. With the building of this warehouse the original plant lost all of its identity. The sale of Milnut continued to expand and during this year more than 54 million pounds of milk was processed.

In March 1938, the offices were moved to the present location and another receiving line was installed to handle the increasing volume of milk.

Late in 1939 cottonseed fat replaced cocoanut fat in Milnut and the name was changed to Milnot for identification purposes.

World War II created a greater demand for dairy products and the dairy farmers increased their herds to meet this demand. In 1941 a new warehouse was constructed and is located on the north side of West St. John Street. During this year the milk received and processed amounted to more than 117 million pounds. During the war the Company packed many thousands of cases of evaporated milk for the Government.

In 1947 a new plant was constructed at Warsaw, Indiana and it is considered one of the most modern milk evaporating plants in the country.

Litchfield Creamery Company Building Litchfield Illinois August 14, 2018
Litchfield Creamery Company Building Litchfield Illinois August 14, 2018

In 1950 the offices were enlarged, and new equipment was installed in the Litchfield plant.

At the present time the volume of milk processed amounts to about 84 million pounds a year from approximately 2500 dairy farmers. Most of the milk is sold in the form of cream or butter and Milnot. Milnot presents one of the most efficient methods known for utilizing skimmed milk which is rapidly being recognized as the most important part of the cow's milk. The Litchfield Creamery Company employs 120 people.

In the local area, the Company continues to market Litchfield ice cream, milk products, cheese and Sunshine Butter.

Story taken from Litchfield Centennial Book 1853-1953

The Litchfield Creamery Company Building was torn down in July 2019.

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society