Millington Cheese Factory in 1873
Published in the Kendall County Record, December 11, 1873.
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
It gives me infinite pleasure to notice all of Millington's successful enterprises. A call the other day at the cheese factory put me in possession of several items, which, may be of interest to many readers of the Record. Mr. Partridge the proprietor came here about two years ago. Without any flourish of trumpets, went quietly to work building the factory. He believed that the farmers would soon recognize that it was in their own interest to patronize the business, which has occurred to some extent. The factory is calculated to work up the milk of several hundred cows, but has not yet been supplied with a quantity sufficient to run it to half its real capacity. Certainly such neglect should not, and will not continue. This will change when it becomes fully understood that cheese and butter making by factories is one of the best paying enterprises farmers can go into at the present time.
The factory is a substantial structure built mostly of stone. Its dimensions are 33 feet by 78 feet, and two stories high. The buttery, 18 by 33 feet, has recently been attached to the main building. The whole, with the fixtures cost the sum of $5,000.
The factory from the "tower to foundation stone" is as neat and clean as a New England kitchen. Having been born and bred a Yankee it is quite probable that the proprietor received his first lesson there. He now enjoys the best facilities for cleanliness through a large spring of pure water. Spring water is brought directly into the factory. By means of an engine, jets of hot water or steam can be thrown where desired. Mr. Partridge has availed himself of all the best appliances used in cheese factories.
It requires thirty pounds of milk, which is about three gallons, to make one pound of butter. Three pounds of cheese can be made from the same quantity of milk. Alternatively, later in the fall, the milk may be set 24 hours, when the cream can be taken off for butter and the milk worked up into cheese. With the buttermilk added to it, the market price of such cheese is about one and a half-cent per pound less than cheese made from new milk.
This past season, Mr. Partridge has sold the cheese as fast as it has been fit for market at prices from ten to twelve and a half cents per pound. The butter has netted the patrons 35 cents per pound. The milk from which cream is removed for butter is set in long narrow pails and stands, or rather floats in a tank of water, which reaches, nearly to the top of the pails. The cream is churned in large barrels with dashers that utilize steam to do the work.