ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Jahnke Creamery Company

Watertown Creamery Co.


101 Western Ave.

SE Corner of First St. and Western Ave.






A burglar entered the Koenig mill office in First Street last Wednesday night, bored a hole in the safe, then blew it open with powder, and secured for his trouble $3.04.  He also entered the steam laundry office in the same street, the safe which was open, but the money drawer therein was broken open and $1 in small change taken.  At about 9 o'clock the same evening the Jahnke Creamery office was also visited evidently by the same party.  Mr. Jahnke goes to the creamery every evening about 9 o'clock to look the plant over, and on the above evening on entering his office at that hour found a well dressed stranger therein, who wheeled on him and flashed a revolver in his face, telling him to open the safe.  Mr. Jahnke flew out the door, began calling for help, and the fellow escaped without trying to molest Mr. Jahnke or seeking further to carry on his work.  Had he not been discovered at that time, he no doubt would have visited other places in the city during the night.  A good description has been given to the police of the fellow, and hopes are entertained about arresting him.   WG




The Jahnke Creamery Company factory in First Street [ 101 Western Ave ] has been undergoing many interior repairs and new machinery has been installed with a view to making it a model butter factory.


A Corliss engine of 35 horsepower has been put in with a 40 horsepower boiler and the latest refrigerating machine has been added. An apparatus for pasteurizing milk and cream has been added which insures pure and wholesome butter. The space formerly used for the storage of ice is now used for the storage of butter, eggs, etc. There are nearly a dozen large cold storage rooms on the three floors of the buildings.


The temperature of the rooms is kept as low as is desirable by the pipes of icy fluid which pass through the entire building originating with the cooling machine. This method of refrigeration is the most modem and practical of the age and has the advantage of keeping the stored product at precisely the same degree of temperature for months.


The company makes a specialty of preserving eggs, etc., for commission houses . . . Ten people are employed in the creamery and the daily product amounts to 1800 pounds. The factory is also turning out ice cream in wholesale and retail lots to suit purchasers.   WG



But few in the city realize the immense business transacted by the Jahnke Creamery Company.  Monday, a reporter from The Republican on his rounds for news called at the office which is at the corner of First and Western Avenue and found all hands busy.  But an obliging clerk gave him a few minutes in which he learned the following facts.  The Jahnke Creamery Company is a corporation organized in 1896 . . . In the neighborhood of 45,000 pounds of milk and cream is bought daily and the output is from 1,800 to 2,200 lbs. of butter that averages 24 cents per pound during the year.  The amount paid out monthly runs from $10,000 to $12,000.  There are 10 hands employed in the creamery with a pay roll of $600, per month and it pays on an average of 90 cents per hundred pounds of milk.  In connection with the establishment is a large refrigerator in which is stored eggs which the company buys as well as the product of the creamery.  In connection with the creamery is an ice cream department, where thousands of pounds is made during the summer months.


Everything about the establishment is sumptuously clean and there is an absence of the smell which usually lingers around such industries.




1912, continued


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That Wisconsin is a butter producing country is a well-established fact, as the natural conditions are favorable and the grasses give a peculiarly pleasant flavor and a solidity of texture to the butter which creates a great de-mand in the eastern markets, and sells at the highest price.


Of all the creameries located in this section none have a better reputation for its products than the Jahnke Creamery Co., which was established in Watertown in 1892.  At that time the Jahnke Bros. were operating three creameries in the country.  In 1899 they incorporated and took pos-session of the city plant, which is a commodious brick and wood structure, 100x108 feet and is well equipped with modern machinery. The capacity is 1,000 pounds of butter per day.


This establishment is a great benefit to the farmers in this vicinity, as they find ready sale and good prices, and there are two hundred farmers that bring in cream regular to this company, besides there are a great many customers in our surrounding territory that ships their cream by rail.


The company has three other creameries located at Columbus, Merrill and Ladysmith, also two skimming stations at Richwood and Giltedge, all in this state.  They have a large cold storage warehouse connected here with their plant that has a capacity for 3,000 cases of eggs, which is equipped with an artificial ice manufacturing system.


In the summer time the company make a specialty of ice cream and manufacture and sell two hundred gallons per day in Watertown and the surrounding territory.  Their ice cream bricks are made in several different colors and flavors.  At the present time there are six people employed, with themselves, in the busy season they have ten.


The company is incorporated with a capital stock of $27,000.  The officers of company are L. F. Jahnke, president and general manager; A. F. Jahnke, secretary and treasurer and H. F. Kleist vice-president, was born in the town of Oconomowoc.  The Jahnke brothers are well known, having been born at Concord and raised in our community.


Cleanliness in preparing and purity of ingredients are the essential consideration in the manufacture of butter and ice cream.  Nowhere in the state are these two features more strictly enforced than at this creamery.        WDTimes




Charles Krause of La Crosse, Henry Blumenstein of Pipersville and Robert Duthie of Watertown have purchased the Jahnke Creamery, the price paid being $5000.  Mr. Blumenstein has conducted a creamery at Pipersville for a number of years, and Mr. Duthie has been employed by the Baumann Dairy Co. since it began business here.  The new company is incorporated for $10,000 and will be ready for business March 1st.  The company will manufacture butter, cheese, cottage cheese and ice cream, and will deal in milk and cream.    WG



The courts have considerably tangled up the Jahnke Creamery Co. affairs, and George Koenig, who was appointed by the committee authorized by 400 creditors of the company to look after its affairs, was handling the business in fine shape, and in a manner that would save many dollars for the creditors, when Frank Langenbach of Ladysmith, one of the creditors, got a court order making him receiver and who demanded of Mr. Koenig to pay over all moneys received by him for the company, which order he refused to obey.  O. C. Hahn, attorney for the Jahnke Co., filed a petition in voluntary bankruptcy at Madison on or before the involuntary proceedings were begun.    WG






The main building of the Watertown Creamery Company plant, at the SE corner of First Street and Western Avenue, was practically destroyed by fire.  Robert Duthie, president of the company, had built dwelling rooms into the west wing of the plant, and was sleeping in the building, until awakened by heat and smoke.  Leaping from his bed, he discovered that he was cut off from the telephone.  He reportedly threw his clothing out the window and fled in his night clothing to the power house of the waterworks, from where the fire alarm was turned in.  The buildings and machinery were formerly the property of the Jahnke Creamery Company.  Not long after the Jahnke company went into bankruptcy they were purchased by Mr. Duthie’s company from the George Koenig trust for $5,000.  Later this site was the location of the Steinhorst egg plant and Berres Bros. coffee.  Now (2016) the Watertown Street Department garage.  House on left stood at Western and S. Second, facing Second (i.e., 800 S. Second) and demolished when garage was built.





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin