Kraft-Phenix Cheese Co.
L. Kraft, a native of Ontario, Canada, started a cheese delivery
operation in Chicago in 1903 at the age of 29. Within a few
Kraft was making as well as distributing its products. A 1928
merger with Phenix Cheese created Kraft-Phenix. This large
company provided about 40% of all cheese consumed in the United States.
[Source : "Kraft
Inc.", Encyclopedia of Chicago]
Rhoads, Mark. "Illinois
Hall of Fame - James J. Kraft". Illinois Review. Friday,
November 10, 2006
The Kraft-Phenix Corporation took over the small Knaur Cheese Manufacturing Company at the request of John S. Knaur, President, that had been operating in Denison.
Cheese Company Makes Denison Southwestern Headquarters
Land and a
number of buildings formerly occupied as a cotton seed oil mill in
northwest Denison, Texas, has been selected by the Kraft-Phenix Cheese
Corporation as the location of a major manufacturing plant of several
units. Construction of the plant at an estimated $100,000 has
buildings are located on the Katy between Ray Yards and Denison, where
there are trackage facilities for about 64 cars, with additional room
for track expansion when necessary.
The company will ship into Denison and out of this city many carloads
of products annually, as may by the preparation under way to make the
Denison plant the largest milk and egg plant in the southwestern
territory, covering several states. Denison will become
headquarters for the southwestern states covered by this large
corporation. This plant will materially affect for the better
progress and prosperity of dairy and poultry farmers in Northern Texas
and Southern Oklahoma.
LAND AND BUILDINGS DONATED
Citizens of Denison recently purchased the land and buildings and
turned the property over to the corporation, believing that the
benefits derived through building up a market for the surrounding
country would warrant the expenditure, since a year round market will
be provided. On the land is one brick building 500 by
sixty-five feet, that will be used as the main manufacturing plant.
This building is now being remodeled and will house the milk
production and cheese manufacturing department, the mayonnaise
manufacturing plant, egg-breaking department and cold storage.
Later it is planned to add a box factory and possibly a glass
factory, through other companies. There is an abundance of
glass sand around Denison.
In addition to the manufacturing units the company will move to Denison
from Kansas City its southwestern office and division headquarters,
which will occupy a new brick office building on the land recently
acquired. The first expenditures are approximately $100,000,
exclusive of present structure. A number of wooden structures
on the land that will not be used are being dismantled.
POWDERED MILK SECTION, TOO
The Kraft-Phenix plant in Denison will be the largest plant of its kind
in the southwest, according to plans laid out here by architects from
the Chicago office. The cheese manufacturing plant now
operated here with a capacity of only 20,000 pounds of milk daily will
be moved to the new factory that will have a daily output of at its
opening of 100,000 pounds of milk daily and ample room for expansion.
Aside from the straight manufacture of cheese, fancy package
goods will be prepared, and tentative plans call for a number of
sub-plants in different sections of Texas and Oklahoma that will
furnish plain cheese for the Denison factory that will be shipped to
this city and blended into package preparations. The plant
will also have a powdered milk section.
The egg-breaking plant and mayonnaise manufacturing section will have a
capacity of 800 cars of eggs annually, with ample expansion room.
This is equivalent to 8,000,000 dozen eggs and figuring them
at 25c per dozen will an outlay of approximately $2,000,000 in
cash for eggs alone, in addition to the milk production
department. Because of the many decided advantages of this
section for the poultry industry, the egg-breaking plant will prove a
boon to poultrymen, and already the large poultry farms are adding to
their flocks, not by the hundred but by thousands of baby chicks.
Chicken farms are bobbing up on every highway around Denison.
Many are as side issues to other employment and those already
operating are proving profitable to owners. The big plant
will ensure a year round market for eggs, it is pointed out.
CHEESE FACTORY OPENS SOON
The cheese manufacturing section is expected to be ready for operation
early in February, as most of the machinery has arrived, while the
other departments will be open by March 1, when the southwestern
division headquarters will be moved to Denison. The plant
will open with 300 employees and more will be added as the different
units expand. Many carloads of glassware for putting up
mayonnaise dressing, as well as other containers used, will be handled
through this monster plant.
The Kraft-Phenix Corporation was attracted to this territory because of
the ideal conditions for dairying, poultry raising and shipping
facilities. Denison being served by five steam lines and an
interurban. The cheese factory now in operation handled 1,000
pounds of milk daily when opened. Farmers began to realize a
good profit for their milk and increased dairy herds until 20,000
pounds of milk is delivered daily. the capacity of the present plant.
Back in 1921 there were no cheese factories in the south. A
year later there were two and in 1928 there was manufactured more than
6,000,000 pounds of cheese in the south. Farmers in this
section in the past have been urged to raise poultry and promote
dairying. They did so, but many times saw the market for their products
vanish. Prices went down to nothing and the discouraging
features too big and they turned attention to cotton, faring little
better. Now they are planting food crops for stock and
poultry, many are grinding their own feed that they use. while there
are poultry farms or small tracts of land around Denison and they are
proving profitable, as a recent close survey revealed.
PRODUCTION HAS DOUBLED
While the supply of eggs and milk from this immediate area will be
large and will increase from time to time, it is pointed out that a
great deal of milk and many carloads of eggs will be shipped to the
Denison plant of the Kraft-Phenix Company. There has been a
one hundred per cent increase in a year and the indications are now that
this year will see another big increase in production.
Several dairy herds have been moved to farms in the Red River valley
near Denison and business men are turning their attention to poultry
and dairying, since they realize the importance to their trade
The much talked of and often mentioned poultry and milk industry that
has lagged for a lack of stable market conditions has finally been
established, and not only Denison and this immediate area will benefit,
but it is expected the market will spread over a very territory with
the coming to Texas of the largest milk products company in the