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“The Rise and Decline of the Cheese Industry in Lorain County”

April 27, 2009

The Rise and Decline of

The Cheese Industry

In Lorain County



first settled about 1820. The ensuing three decades saw the

southerly and westerly portion of the Western Reserve being

cleared of forests and the land put into pastures and meadows.

The soil, the topography, and the climate proved to be quite

ideally adapted to dairy farming.

And so this entire section in a period of thirty to forty

years was converted from a wilderness into a vigorous dairy-

farming country sprinkled with growing settlements and com-

munity centers at five mile intervals. These villages were

quite generally patterned after the New England towns from

which the original settlers came. This pattern, so laid out,

was to continue for almost a hundred years with only super-

ficial modifications. Each year these energetic, resourceful,



* Frank C. Van Cleef is a resident of Oberlin, Ohio.

His article is taken from a paper delivered before the Lorain County Historical

Society on January 13, 1958. By way of preface to his paper he related some of

the circumstances connecting him with the subject: “My maternal grandparents

migrated from New England to Huntington, Ohio, in 1833, and the entire family

participated in the development of the industry. My grandfather Van Cleef

migrated from New York state to Wellington, Ohio, in 1849 to perform his

contract to furnish the ties for the Big Four railroad from Grafton to Crestline,

Ohio. My father was cashier, secretary, and treasurer of the Horr Warner

Company from 1876 until his retirement from business in 1913. Most of the

persons mentioned in the story were personally known to me, and I was prac-

tically reared in the midst of the cheese industry. I even added milk books

kept by each factory as a record of milk received.”


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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 2, 2009 6:32 am

    The advent of cheese industry and its growth indirectly explains about the quality of human development in any country. While growth of cheese industry is a welcome factor, the decline may be due to different factors. Hope it would pick up again in the days to come.

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