Business: Gorman Co-op Dairy Co.


Surnames: Slemec, Lesar, Hribar, Knopps, Lunka, Jordan, Meyers, Yaeger, Meinholdt, Ruzic, Perme, Rouen, Morgal, Kaltinger, Prebil, Schlinsog, Schultz, Volovsek, Landini, Denzine, Oblack, Pozega, Quails, Janezich, Schneebeli

----Source: Family Scrapbook

In 1917 the local farmers banded together and decid¬ed to build their own cheese factory. Joe Slemec ordered the lumber from Fairchild and it was shipped by the F & NE Railroad to the Gorman depot, The land used was donated by Frank Lesar Sr. The work then began, however since money was scarce and farmers were busy clearing the land the building wasn't completed until 1918. Mr. Frank Hribar Sr. and Mr. Lesar Sr. held offices at this time. Upon completion of the factory a party was held and I am told, it was a festive event.

Mr. Knopps was hired to make cheese; no doubt he was a busy man, as he ran his own factory in Tioga at the time. In 1920 Mr. Knopps gave up his job and Joe Jordan was cheese maker. Joe was from Willard, he was an older brother to Ludwig Jordan. Joe held the job until 1922. During this time Joe Lunka was secretary. George Meyers had the job as cheesemaker from 1923 to 1925. Meyers was from Loyal.

In 1926 Walter Yaeger took over the job and held it through the year of 1928. In 1929 Otto Meinholdt, from Greenwood, was hired - he worked until 1936. Otto married our school teacher, Miss Frances Fainter, sometime during those years. In the year of 1932 a severe wind storm hit our area and the factory was badly damaged. However they still managed to make cheese as the repair work went on and it started at once.

Vincent Ruzic from Willard then was hired. He worked as cheesemaker from 1936 to 1940. His sister Frances often helped him in the factory. During these years Emil Malnar was president and John Perme was secretary. In the years of 1941 to 1948 George Rouen was the cheesemaker. He came from Athens, Wisconsin. Whenever he needed extra help he hired Frank Volovsek.

It was while Rauen was here that he bought a truck and many farmers had the truck pick up their milk. Times were beginning to change. Young farmers from the area with muscle and strong backs were hired as milk truckers. Some of the people who held office at this time were Joe and Louise Morgal, Alvin "Beany" Kaltinger, Anton "Bill" Prebil and his wife Molly.

In the year of 1949 Bud Schlinsog was hired, he stayed until 1950. In 1951 Bud Schultz from Arpin, Wisconsin took over. Then in 1952 tragedy struck, Bud was killed in a car accident. Overnight, arrangements had to be made to get the cheese made. Frank Volovsek took over and had Louis Landini Jr. help him until another cheesemaker could be hired.

From 1954 to 1957 Mike Denzine ran the factory. Some of the people who held office during these years were Paul Oblack Sr., Frank Pozega, Elmo Quails, and "Hank" Janezich. At the time of the closing of the factory Frank Auman and Louis Fortuna also held offices. In 1957 the farmers decided to close the factory. Neillsville Condensary bought the equipment. Sometime later Frank Lesar Jr. bought the building. Then later on Louis Jr. and Mary Ann Lesar took possession of it. At the present time it is owned by Randy Schneebeli.

I appreciate all the help I had from people I called about the early years concerning names, dates and spell¬ing, as I was too young to remember. If I have omitted some names, it was not intended, also dates may vary but bear with me, I have tried to do my best.

Submitted by: Molly Prebil



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