The Fairmont Creamery Company

A 1921 exhibit for Better Butter, made by the Fairmont Creamery Company. NSHS RG4218.PH:1-10

A 1921 exhibit for Better Butter, made by the Fairmont Creamery Company. NSHS RG4218.PH:1-10

The Fairmont Creamery Company was incorporated March 29, 1884, in Fairmont, Fillmore County, Nebraska. Wallace Wheeler, an implement dealer, and Joseph H. Rushton, an  attorney, founded the company for the production and sale of butter, eggs, and poultry. Local townspeople and farmers owned the remainder of the total stock of five thousand dollars. From a small business, the company became one of the nation’s largest food processors, later known as Fairmont Foods.  

Insulated bag for Fairmont Ice Cream. NSHS 10586-45

Insulated bag for Fairmont Ice Cream. NSHS 10586-45

During 1884 and 1885 the creamery operated only in the summer months due to a lack of raw materials. However, the company was soon a profitable enterprise for its stockholders. Its first product was butter, and the butter produced in Fairmont was recognized nationally for its excellence. During the next few years the Fairmont Creamery Company started six new plants in southeastern Nebraska towns, beginning in Crete in 1889. It eventually opened more than three thousand cream stations throughout the United States that provided a market for farmers’ home-separated cream.

Read here about the growth of the Fairmont Creamery Company until as Fairmont Foods, it became one of the country’s five hundred largest corporations. The Nebraska State Historical Society has an archival collection relating to the Fairmont Foods Company. Photographs of the company’s facilities, employees, and products are posted on the NSHS website. – Patricia C. Gaster, Assistant Editor for Research and Publications

Feeding chickens at the Crete plant. NSHS RG4218.PH:1-74

Feeding chickens at the Crete plant. NSHS RG4218.PH:1-74

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2 Responses to The Fairmont Creamery Company

  1. Karen Nicholson says:

    I was just given a flat spatula with the ingraving of Fairmonts better butter on the rounded handle. It was my great grandmothers. I was wondering if they were given away as a promotion , or how she recieved it. Does anyone know?

  2. pgaster says:

    The spatula may have been given away as a promotional item or as an inducement to enter a cooking school or contest. A 1925 newspaper account of a cooking contest in Spokane, Washington, said that “a pie or cake spatula from the Fairmont Creamery” was given each woman who entered the contest. You might also wish to contact the Fillmore County Historical Society (PO Box 333, Fairmont, NE 68354), which maintains a museum in a former office building of the Fairmont Creamery Company in Fairmont, to see if they have similar items.

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