The Henry County, Ohio, Historical Society
P.O. Box 443
Napoleon, OH 43545
Cheese Factory, Liberty Township
(Beginning in February 2017, we will be running stories from Henry County, Ohio, Vol. 2, as a way of focusing on some of the more interesting and often forgotten people, places or events that helped form the Henry County we know today.)
A cheese factory operated in northwest Liberty Township in the late 1890's and early 1900's. It stood on the southwest corner of what is now County Road V and Township Road 11. The building faced east directly across the road from the "Ratsville" country store which faced west and stood on the southeast corner of the same cross-roads. On the corner a few yards to the north of the cheese factory stood a huge cottonwood tree until the spring of 1975 when it was cut down by county workmen. On the north side of the factory building was a wooden water trough and at the front to the east of the building was a sliding door hung over a high loading platform.
(Photo above - Cheese Factory, Liberty Township)
For families that did not churn and sell butter, the cheese factory provided an important outlet for milk in the area. The seller was responsible for conveying his milk to the factory. Usually this was done by horse and spring wagon. Thus, Luella Leist (Mrs. Warren Leist) hauled their milk from beyond the Fulton-Henry County line north of Bonnell's Corners, with her youngest child Wilmer sitting on the seat beside her. Clint Leist hauled Ed Leist's milk, and probably that of a few other neighbors, from the Leist home on the west side of the road north of the Liberty Chapel Cemetery. Herb Hoffman hauled milk from the Dan Hoffman farm (west bank of Turkey Foot Creek in section 22 east of Frank Fetterman's corner a mile south of Bonnell School house). The cheese factory ceased operating with the opening of the Pet Milk Condensery in Delta and the Van Camp Condensery in Wauseon. At that time the condenseries arranged for milk routes to pick up milk at farms and deliver it to the factories. With the condenseries in the area, farmers received the first regular pay checks in their life time. However, the prices set and paid by the milk companies did not begin to pay for the work of the entire family in the production of the milk.
Submitted by Dr. Marjorie Whiteman
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The Henry County Historical Society was formed
in 1970 to perpetuate the history of Henry County, Ohio, to learn about and preserve
the artifacts of the county, and to generate interest in the past of the county.
Our primary focus at this time is the completion of the restoration
work on the beautiful Dr. John Bloomfield Victorian home, built circa
1879. This house is located at the corner of West Clinton and Webster streets
in downtown Napoleon, across from the Napoleon Public Library. The house has been completely restored and is decorated with authentic period furnishings.
Work is in progress on the carriage house
and gardens. The home is open for special events, educational programs
and private tours. We welcome new and old members alike to lend a hand and help us in our
many programs and activities.
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