- The First Seventy-five Years in the Sanborn Community (1878-1953) -
O’Brien County Co-operative Creamery
The O’Brien County Cooperative Creamery located in Sanborn is the town’s largest business and a credit to all who have helped in its progress. It is one of the largest creamery plants in northwest Iowa.
Wm. Markgraf and Fred Regstorf, from Minnesota started a creamery October, 1936 in the north part of the Barker building at the corner of Main and Third streets.
A few months later they sold to a group of interested farmers who formed a cooperative unit. They started operating April 1, 1937 with Mr. Rengstorf remaining temporarily as manager.
A short time later, the same year, Dwayne Frisbie came here to manage the business, assisted by his father, Jack Frisbie.
First directors were: Abe Hofman, Sanborn, president; Merle Tjossem, Paullina, vice president, Robert Birlingmair, Primghar, sec.-treas., John Elgersma, Earl Protextor, Sanborn, Thos. Hadden and A.B. Rohwer, both of Primghar, Robert Petrich, Melvin, Henry Horn, Archer. Mr. Hofman served as president continuously until he retired last year.
At that time they were manufacturing one product - butter. During the war the creamery was selected as one of the plants to supply the need for dried milk. So in 1943 a dryer was installed and they started buying whole milk from the farmers.
A.G. Baldwin was engaged as manager in 1914.
The business increased and other products were added until they were using all the building and soon needed more. So a new building was erected at the south end of Main Street on the lots where once stood Sanborn’s largest hotel, the Phoenix. This location was chosen as it was near the railroad and although other towns made a bid for the creamery to located there it remained here because Sanborn had an ample supply of good water so essential in making a good butter.
They moved to the new building in May, 1950. Directors then were: Pres. Abe Hofman; vice-president, A.B. Rohwer; sec.-treas., L.T. Hickey; Peter Van Aalsburg, George Wachtel, Joe Fiihr, John Elgersma, Merle Tjosem and Gerrit Blankers.
This building was large and enabled them to add new equipment but soon there was need for more room and they now have under construction a 60 by 80 foot addition to be used for unloading room, can storage, additional room for dryers and will house a two stall truck repair shop.
The creamery now processes for human consumption: butter, cheese, milk powder, wholesale milk and cream sold to other dairy plants and Grade A milk shipped to Sioux City. For animal feed: buttermilk powder, skim milk powder, condensed buttermilk, condensed whey.
At present they have 21 employees in the plant (three of them are office workers), 11 milk routes and two cream routes operated by 14 men.
Their business in 1952 went over the million dollar figure. That year they churned 811, 830 pounds of butter. The first six months of 1953 they churned 750,877 pounds of butter. The first six months of 1953 the amount purchased the first six months of the previous year, 1952.
A.G. Baldwin is manager and the board of directors are: A.B. Rohwer, of Paullina, president; Joe Fiihr, Boyden, vice-president; L.T. Hickey, sec.-treas.; Peter Van Aalsburg, Maynard Hofman, of Sanborn, Don Brugman, Moneta, Gerrit Rensink and Kenneth Winkel, Ashton, Walter Henderson, Paullina.
Return to Table of Contents