A look back in time


October 18, 2019 - 5:27 PM

January 1949 — Although dairying is now Allen County’s largest industry, only a fraction of this area’s potential milk production has been realized. That was the conclusion emphasized last night by John Brazee and A.J. Miller, who spoke before the Chamber of Commerce on the growth of the local Pet Milk Company plant during the past 25 years. The plant now has about 2,000 patrons from whom it purchases milk every day, employs 70 to 85 men and has 34 others who operate milk routes throughout the plant’s territory. 

October 1964 — Ray Pershall, chairman of the Chamber’s industrial committee, said he was assured by E.E. Bartle, an official of the Pet Milk Co., that the Iola plant is and has been one of the top efficiency plants in the country, and that the company remains favorably impressed with the business climate here. The decision to move some of the operations from here to the Neosho, Mo., plant was based purely on economics, Pershall said. Dale Bowyer, president of the local Chamber and a Pet official, said that the problem simply is that milk production has decreased considerably in the Neosho, Mo., area, but major packaging machinery and can-making facilities are located there. Thus it is more economical, he said, to transport the milk from here to Neosho than to move the equipment from there to Iola or continue both operations as they have been running. Boyer emphasized that the cutback will have no effect on local milk producers and haulers.

November 1964 — W.M. Jackson, local Pet manager, announced today that Monday will be the last working day at the plant for some 34 hourly employees as the work force of 53 is cut to about 19. Milk will be received and condensed as usual but then shipped by truck to Neosho, Mo., where it will be canned for resale.

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