I am sure there is some history of cream station preceding this but I have been unable to get substantial information regarding it.
The Home Creamery was established in 1904. This building is now the house owned by the EVENSON estate. In 1905 Albert ISDO worked at the creamery. In 1906 Edward H. SCHRAAN was manager. In this same year Alfred BRIGHT (not BRIGHT, our barber) ran a cream wagon. He leased a farm from ERICSON and Jimmie MCGEE took his place on the wagon. H.G. WARKENTIN bought for Hanford produce but for lack of business he closed shop and shipped his machinery back to Sioux City. In 1907 T.A. THORSTENSON bought cream at the Golden Rule store. In 1908 J.D. WEAVER and John HOKLE built a salt house at the Brewster Creamery. Barney KRUKEMEYER was at this time in the creamery’s employ. During this year THORSTENSON’S vacated the Golden Rule store, so he bought cream at the HUBBARD and PALMER Elevator. He was a traveling auditor for this line of elevators and later in the year moved to Madelia. George HENDERSON then bought cream.
In 1909 E.H. SCHRAAN, creamery manager, took his own life with no apparent cause. He was found hanging in the barn behind the creamery. After his death a meeting of farmers was held hoping to form a co-operative and buy the creamery. T.K. OLSON (GRIMSTAD) acted as chairman and C.R. WEST, secretary. Shares were to be sold at $10 each and not more than ten to a customer. The Co-op was organized with G. CASPER, president; F. HAGERMAN, vice president; John MEIR, treasurer; and T.K. OLSON, secretary. Checks were to issued every two weeks. Henry W. BECKER was secured as buttermaker. A.O. STADHEIM of Albert Lea was also a buttermaker here. Either the Co-op will buy the SCHRAAN Creamery or will build. Directors of the organization were: O.P. NORLAND, Henry STUDE, Adam BAUCHLE, S.J. SPEED and H. VON BEHREN. Cream stations operating during this time were C.E. YOST in the MCCHESHEY-HENDERSON building and Fred BEHNIKE.
In 1910 the Farmers Creamery had two routes, Adam RUCKELSHAUSEN and Ernest BAUMGARD were the cream haulers.
In 1910 Andrew BESSER had a harness shop and feed mill and purchased cream. One day when he was opening the cans to get a cream test, he found the farmer had by mistake grabbed his wife’s flour supply for the family’s bread. She had kept her four in a covered cream can to keep it dry and sanitary!
In 1911 F.J. OPPEK was a cream buyer here. By this time Henry BECKER, buttermaker at the Farmers Creamery, was succeeded by Harry MADSEN. Fred LAUSEN of Sherbourne came here with his high powered auto and made regular trips on one of the cream routes. By 1912 there were four routes to be covered. Harry MADSEN resigned and was replaced by E.J. WOLFE of St. James, a man with six years’ experience. In October, the creamery closed until spring.
E.J. WOLFE bought cream at the old lumber office during this time. After reopening, the creamery closed in May of 1913 and Mr. WOLFE again bought cream for Fairmont. Andrew BESSER closed his station on July 31. The creamery was reopened but closed in September for insufficient business. R.F. SORENSON bought for the Pipestone Produce in the old lumber yard building until the creamery reopened. Fred NELSON became manager for Pipestone Produce in October. In April of 1913 the creamery reopened with E.J. WOLFE manager, F.J. OPPEK continued to buy cream and sold the new oil Splash Dairy Separator. In 1914 Barney KRUKEMEYER rented the creamery building and repaired it ready to go by spring. The Tribune stated, “Barney is a good buttermaker and is expected to make a success of it.” Barney bought cream and poultry. In 1915 he was also an agent for Cedar Rapids Oil and Gas. I think his shed for this was on the present BERREAU property. I was only three years old at the time and my memory is sort of foggy! This year the creamery property was for sale to the highest bidder and Andrew EVENSON bought the building and land for $352.50.
Cream station operators then were John WEY, B. KRUKEMEYER and Fred NELSON. In 1922 a cooperative creamery again tried their luck. The directors were E.S. STARNER, John GRIMSTAD, John VOORHEES, John SHAY, Emil SCHARPING, C. HARTMAN, C.J. PAINE of Brewster and H.B. ANDEREGG, Worthington. Carpenters began work and C.E. OBER, local drayman, hauled his second load of bricks for the building.
At this time the Worthington creamery station was moved to the OBER building by B. KRUKEMEYER, where it continued to operate until 1939, ending a twenty-five year cream buying career.
The creamery opened for business with L.R. RUNKE, manager of the Wilder Creamery for fourteen years. Ray CLARK took the first load of butter to Heron Lake where they shipped in carload lots. This same year the creamery changed buttermakers. Mr. D.D. BLACK arrived and stayed until 1938. Mr. BLACK is now deceased since 1955. In 1926 Joe SMITH of Delft assisted at the creamery. When he left Jack MESSMAN became helper.
In 1930 Vince BUSCH installed a new boiler at the creamery. Brewster was the only town in Nobles County to have a cooperative creamery.
In 1931 Herb HENDRICKS of Albert Lea was the buttermaker, while Mr. BLACK was on vacation. In 1933 a new churn was installed, the old one was bought by Emil SCHARPING to be used as a tank. It was decided to retain Vic GIESENDRFER as assistant during the winter months also. In 1935 truck service was inaugurated, Frank BAUCHLE being the first hauler. In December of 1938, Mr. BLACK left and C.V. LUND was again buttermaker. In 1940 there was a great deal of concern about keeping the only cooperative creamery in the county open. It was given a trial run for two weeks. Volume was what was needed. However the volume did not materialize and in 1940 the creamery was purchased by H.H. JENSEN and Sons of Sioux Center, Iowa. No change in help was made. Those employed at the time of the change-over were Barney KRUKEMEYER, helper, Henry BAUCHLE and Alfred OLSON, truckers and Mrs. Joe WEINANDT, bookkeeper.
In 1948 Jensen built an addition on the creamery for added loading facilities and storage space. In December of 1949 Mr. H.H. JENSEN passed away and Kenneth and Elmer continued in the business. In 1951 Kenneth moved to Sioux Center, Iowa to run a dry goods store.
The creamery closed in December of 1952 and the building now houses an implement shop.
Bookkeepers other than Mrs. Joe WEINANDT included Lila JENSEN (Mrs. Lowell BRISTOW) and Shirley GERDES.