Friday, June 12, 2009

Creamery Fete

I was trying to clean and sort in our basement today, and have a bad habit of getting absorbed in the history held within the stuff. But I had to share this article, front page news exactly 63 years ago TODAY; what timing! There was a big celebration at the co-op creamery where my grandfather was a buttermaker. My father was about Bean's age when this festival was held. He assumes he was there...

From the Fairmont Daily Sentinal, June 12, 1946

500 Hear Thye At East Chain Creamery Fete

Picnic Dinners, Talks by Old-Timers, make Aniversary A Success

Gov. Ed Thye filled two non-political dates in Martin County Tuesday and didn’t hurt his chances for being the next United States senator from Minnesota a single bit.

In the afternoon, he was the principal speaker at the East Chain creamery’s 50th anniversary celebration and in the evening he was at the Cedar Point area boy Scouts meeting at the Scout camp. He was accompanied by Mrs. Thye.

East Chain’s celebration was a big event. Something like 500 people picnicked together at noon in the fine woods just north of the creamery, as fine a setting for such an event as the state affords. Like the creamery, the anniversary of which was being celebrated, the dinner was “cooperative” with abundance for all, even the Fairmont intruders who barged in without so much as a dill pickle to contribute on the menu. And there was oodles of ice cream for everyone, both before and after the program.

High School Band Plays

Howard Johnson brought his high school band down from Fairmont in the school bus and the way hose youngsters played for an hour one might think they were getting a million dollars for it.

Frank Pierce, the busy chairman, had to take liberties with the regular program as official duties at his office in St. Paul kept Gov. Thye busy until after noon and his arrival at East Chain was much delayed.

Walt Norman got the crowd to going with group singing that made the old woods ring, more or less. Henrietta Dahl helped with accordion accompaniment.

John Dickenson, secretary of Fairmont’s Chamber of Commerce, felicitated nicely for the very considerable Fairmont group taking the afternoon off to be neighborly. John pours forth speech into the microphone quite as elegantly as he pours coffee at Kiwanis lunches.

Major Nelson was dragged out of the crowd and onto the platform where, after the usual coaxing, he was persuaded to kill off a few of the minutes of waiting for the governor.

Pioneer Buttermaker Talks

John Knutson, now of Hanska, talked interestingly of the ten or more years he served as buttermaker and manager of the creamery in the horse and buggy days when one drove into East Chain village, put up his horses at the livery barn and had dinner at the hotel.

Somebody, the reporter forgets who, told about the beginnings of the creamery in 1896. Enough cows were pledged in the community to assure a sufficient milk flow and seven public spirited men went good at the Martin County Bankd for a loan to upt up the first building, provide the machinery and hire a buttermaker. CR Boynton, still of the East Chain community, was the man haired, Rheumatism finally caused him to change his vocation to farming. The creamery is only one of numerous cooperatives rural butter factories once dotting the county that remains today, a monument to fifty years of successfully pulling together for the common good.

Rowley talks at 90

A special highlight was the splendid talk by Tim Rowley, ninety years old, so feeble physically that he hat to sit while speaking, but with strong voice and mentality as keen as ever. Tim, as everyone knows, is Martin County’s oldest living pioneer, having lived at East Chain since 1859. During most of the creamery’s period of service he was on the board as secretary.

OC Johnson, superintendent of the dairy division of the state department of agriculture, extended felicitations and encouraging words. Art Temple, the present buttermaker, held the mike for a couple of minutes.

Pete introduces Thye

After all this stalling for time, which the large audience didn’t seem to mind at all, the governor finally arrived….

And it goes on to talk of bidding for cakes baked by the Catholic ladies, and everyone eating more ice cream, but needing to get home for milking time. I love the cooperative spirit and the tone of the article!

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