University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Town of Cassel centennial

Cheese factories,   pp. 54-56

Page 54

The original cheese factory was built in
1910, by John Seubert, an investor in real
estate. He installed Anton Schuster, a
Swiss immigrant, trained in the making of
Cheddar, Brick, and Swiss cheese. He
operated the factory for several years
until he suffered a fatal attach of appen-
dicitis. He was replaced by Wendall Kobbs
for a short time, and then was succeded
by Albert Pagel. In 1919, Ray Wadzinski
became the cheesemaker here, while two
brothers, Ed and John Lensmire came
from Manitowoc and operated the neigh-
boring plant on Hwy "N", known later as
the Pine Valley Co-op. For reasons
unknown, the two cheesemakers, Ray
and John, switched factories, and so John
and Ed became the operators of this plant.
Ed stayed a short time, then returned to
his home in Manitowoc.
John and Lillian Lensmire
Cassel Garden Farmers CO-OP Cheese Co.
Wilichowski, Vice President; Earl Brandt,
Secretary; Peter Bergs, Treasurer; Roger
Altenhofen, Director; Kenneth Lepak.
In the early years, each farmer deliv-
ered his own milk in cans to the factory,
first with horse drawn wagons, then later
with pick-up trucks. In 1940, the Co-op
purchased its first truck for can milk pick-
up. With progress, bulk milk tanks were
introduced on the farms and consequently
bulk trucks were put into operation in
1967. Today, 4 bulk trucks are in daily use.
As the Co-op grew and increased in
production, so did the need for expansion.
A new plant was built and put into opera-
tion in 1952, and yet another addition in
1969, when the plant was switched to
semi-automatic cheese making.
Disposing of the whey in the early
years was no problem, as the farmers
would take the whey themselves and feed
it to their pigs. then it was sold to differ-
ent whey companies until 1972, when the
Co-op bought into the Midwhey Powder
Company in Edgar
Another facet of operation was needed,
and that was the marketing of cheese.
Therefore, in 1974 the co-op together
with four other cheese manufacturers,
formed the West Marker Co-op, located in
Mosinee to market their product.
John Lensmire was the manager and
On April 15, 1921, the Cassel Garden
Cooperative Cheese Co., was formed. It
was so named by John's wife, Lillian,
because of the beautiful field of wild flow-
ers that grew around the plant. Twenty-
seven farmers bought shares to start the
Co-op, and they also had to each deliver a
cord of wood a year to keep the boiler
The officers of the first year were:
President; Charles Leiterman, Vice
President; Ben Krahn, Secretary;
Llewelyn Morgan, Treasurer; Richard
Matthiae, Director; Robert Berens. Other
long standing officers through the years
were, Carl Wilichowski, Paul and Carl
Lemke, Marvin Ringle, Max Winkert,
Henry Michlig, Dan Schenoha, Merlin
Paul and Norbert Bergs, who still serves
in the capacity as a hired bookkeeper.
Present officers are: President; Charles
Calvin Lensmire, Kenneth Lepak, Charles Wilichowsk, Peter Bergs, Earl BrandA Roger Altenhofen,
Norbert Bergs

Go up to Top of Page