News: Willard – North Hendren Co-op (50th Anniversary – 1974)


Surnames: Mertens, Krainz, Gregorich, Lucas, Smrecek, Wuethrich, Bauer, Timmler, Koschak, Randt, Musich, Rhyner

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Loyal, Wis.) 21 Mar 1974

Oen hundred seventy-five persons gathered on March 24, 1974 at the dining hall of the Holy Family Church, Willard (Clark Co., Wis.), to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North Hendren Cooperative Dairy Company of Willard. Father Mertens of Willard gave the dinner prayer, and the ladies of the church served the dinner.

The annual meeting which followed was presided over by the factory's president, Robert Krainz, Willard. Irving Timmler, R. 2, Greenwood, was elected director for three years. Other directors are Vice President, LaVern Gregorich; Secretary, William Lucas, and Treasurer, Ralph Smrecek, all from Willard.

A most enjoyable speech was given by Mr. John Wuethrich, Greenwood. He reminisced through the changes of North Hendren and the community of Willard fro the past 50 years. He remembers coming to Willard with horses and wagon to pick up cream, and at many times the roads were so bad that the cream was shipped on the train to Greenwood. He commented on the fact that one thing the Willard people are noted for was that they paid their bills. In closing he congratulated the patrons on a sound financial report and wished the factory continued prosperity.

Mr. Bauer, manager of Lan O'Lakes, Spencer, congratulated the patrons ofn their 50th anniversary. He stated the fact that North Hendren has been a part of the Land O'Lakes for 6 1/2 years, and hoped they would be for the next 50 years. He spoke on the many shortages of today and noted that the last 50 years also had their crises, and with luck and a lot of prayers, they would make it another 50 years.

Irving Timmler, North Hedren delegate and Young Farmer candidate, gave a short summary on his trip to Land O'Lakes annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Guests for the evening were former manage and cheesemaker, Mr. and Mrs. Ignatz Koschak, Greenwood, now retired; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Randt, Loyal, owner of Randt's Dairy; Mr. and Mrs. Alton Musich, Willard, owners of a dairy farm in the Town of Hendren.

Present employees and former directors were also given recognition. Door prizes were awarded and everyone then adjourned to the Willard West Side Hall and enjoyed free refreshments.

The factory was issued a charter on December 21, 1923, at which time the first vat of cheese was made and the only time the plant shut down was during the milk strike of the late 1920's. The factory's building has noted many changes during the years, but it is still situated on the same site in the Town of Hendren. The factory started with a handful of patrons and now with 90 patrons, had a business of sales of more than $1.5 million dollars for 1973.

The factory's present manager and cheesemaker is Harold Rhyner. 



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