History of the Nemaha County Cooperative Creamery, Part II

This photo shows the Lanning Hotel.

The first organizational meeting of the Nemaha County Cooperative Creamery was called to order on Jan. 28, 1926, at the Lanning Hotel in Sabetha, by A.F. McClanahan. It was moved by Drex Burke and seconded by E.F. Ukele that John C. Lanning act as secretary of this meeting, and the motion was carried. A letter written by Mr. Meierkord from Linn, on cooperative creameries was read by J.C. Lanning. Then a talk was given by County Farm Agent Mr. Biske on Dairying, followed by talks given by E.H. Steiner, Messrs. Edwards, Ukele, Conrad, Sewell and C.E. Norrie.

It was moved by Sewell and seconded by Woodbury that the chairman appoint a committee to solicit capital stock money, and make a survey of the number of cows in this county.

It was moved by Conrad and seconded by Sewell that the capital stock of this company shall be $25,000, which carried. It was moved by Conrad and seconded by Moulton that the shares shall be $50.00 each, which carried. Moved by Ukele and seconded by Lortscher that the shares of stock bear 8 percent interest which did not carry. It was moved by Ott and seconded by Burke that the shares of stock bear 7 percent interest which carried.

J.C. Lanning

It was moved by Collins and seconded by Ukele that the chairman appoint a committee to draft a constitution and bylaws, do any other work that may seem necessary, and present the same at next meeting which carried.

Present at this meeting were: Arthur J. Collins, Edward T. Ukele, Glen R. Sewell, Adolph Lortscher, C.W. Edwards, Drex Burke, Clarence E. Norrie, Emil R. Burkey, Solomon R. Myers, Joseph W. Rochel, H.S. Moulton, George Althouse, Edward B. Strahm, Merlin Myers, Edward H. Steiner, Fred Deaver, Jacob Aberle, Burton W. Conrad, William R. Brammer, F.C. Woodbury, William E. Jounson, Charles Ott, Mr. Biske, Jacob Wittwer and John C. Lanning. By J.C. Lanning, Secretary.

The wood frame Lanning Hotel stood facing Ninth Street at the northwest corner of the 800 block of Main Street. This was a prime location for this hotel which placed it less than a half block from the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad Depot. The hotel was built by John Lanning of the present Ancestor Trail Lanning Series, and grandfather to the above John C. Lanning.

The first one to sign on the dotted line in buying stock was Brown Countian Jacob Aberle of Sabetha. Mr. Ernest Gerber, W. Henry Moore and Oral A. Bloom, all of Oneida, of which the last two were the largest stock holders each paying $300 for 15 shares. The first money paid in was by Mrs. Mary Reed of Morrill, who on Sept. 16, 1929, issued a check for $15 in favor of the new cooperative creamery association. The first cans of cream were delivered by Henry McFall of Oneida on the 9th while the opening day for business was not until the next day, March 10, 1930.

Approximately 140 patrons were signed up when they decided to start business, and by the end of 1939 they had 2,800 active patrons. Statistics began to tell the story of the association’s growth during its first ten years of operation, yet at the beginning it was the Board’s aim to enlarge its patronage. Many times delegations of farmers had asked that the routes be extended, but management had turned them down because it felt that there would be a natural increase in volume among their existing patrons from year to year.

This brings to an end for Part II of the History of the Nemaha County Cooperative Creamery. This series was first published in the Nemaha County Historical Society’s Pioneer Press quarterly, Vol. 35, Issue 4, October, November and December 2017, when I was the editor.

Part III in this series will be in February 2019. Readers of The Sabetha Herald, Hiawatha World and Horton Headlight will follow the Ancestor Trail next month with Part XIX of the Northeast Kansas American Civil War Series with the last of those soldiers who served from, or later settled in Brown County whose surname begins with the letter “S.”


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