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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"

History of the Clay Loam Area

by Carl Hartman

Approximately fifty years ago the first creamery was erected at the site where the present creamery now stands.  This plant was then owned and operated by a Mr. Williams of Augusta, Wisconsin.  There also were several skimming stations in connection with this plant.  One of these was located in Ludington on the Christ Drehmel property.  The other plant was operated in the Town of Seymour, south of the St. Bridget Church, the present home of Mr. Florin Hiess.  Milk was delivered at these plants by farmers living in the vicinity.  There with a small steam engine and a cream separator, this milk was separated, and the cream from there was hauled with teams in jacketed cans to the creamery where it was churned into butter.

The first buttermaker was John Mussey, who after several years was succeeded by Wm. Dudenhoefer in the year of 1906.  Mr. Williams sold the plant to Mr. August Luedtke and Sons, who operated the plant up to the year of 1911.  During these five years of ownership of Luedtke and Sons, much of the skimming was eliminated at the stations mentioned.  Many farmers had purchased separators and skimmed the milk at their homes as considerable food value for pigs and calves was to be had by feeding the skim milk.

In the year 1911, this creamery burned to the ground.  In the same year the farmers then organized and bought the dwelling and the land from Mr. Luedtke and Sons.  The name of this organization was The Ludington Farmers Creamery Association.  Mr. Charles Krumenauer was the first Secretary and Treasurer and Mr. Sommerfeldt was President and Manager.  The first building was built out of cement blocks. Mr. Dudley Herrell was the first buttermaker in this plant.  In the year of 1928 an addition was added to this plant for the purpose of installing equipment for taking in whole milk.  The purpose of this was to skim the milk at the pant and manufacture the skim milk into casein.  The same year in the month of August this building was destroyed by fire.  In the month of September a meeting was held by the members for the purpose of reorganizing a building a larger plant.  More stock was subscribed from farmers, and the creamery was erected from tile and brick.  In the year of 1934, the name was changed to the Ludington Cooperative Creamery Association and new stock was reissued to the effect.  At the present time there is a Capitol of $20,000 and about $15,000 of certificates in form of stock owned by the members.  Members and patrons now receive efficient service in milk deliveries, as all this is being done by trucks.  The present plant is equipped with modern equipment, mostly stainless steel pastuerizers, weight tanks, holding tanks and a storage tank.  The plant is now in position to offer a good quality product to the consumers and purchasers.  The 36th annual meeting of this organization was held on February 20, 1948.

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