Lee County Biography


In a history of the wide-awake, progressive business men of Dixon mention should be made of R.W. Church, now superintendent for the Borden Condensed Milk Company. He is thoroughly acquainted with every phase of the business under his control, seems to have every detail in mind and at the same time gives due prominence to the more important features of the business having to do with its substantial and growing success. Born in New York in 1869, his educational opportunities were only those accorded by the public schools. He has been connected with the milk business for the past twenty-four years, having been associated with the Borden Condensed Milk Company in New York, Wisconsin and in Illinois. Long experience has thoroughly acquainted him with every phase of the business, which he has carefully studied, and thus step by step he has worked his way upward, his efficiency and reliability being recognized by those under whom he has served. He came to Dixon July 13, 1911, to accept the superintendency of the Borden Condensed Milk Company at this place. The business was here established on the 1st of July, 1902, the company buying out the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, which had been established July 8, 1889, although the buildings were started in 1887. The Borden Company purchased the plant and equipment of the old company and today the plant has a capacity of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of milk daily. This is purchased from local farmers, three hundred dairymen delivering milk to the plant, while fifty-eight hundred cows are kept to supply the product. The company has ninety acres of ground and the three buildings are each three hundred and sixty-five by eighty feet and two stories in height. An electric plant furnishes power for the works and two hundred and twenty-five people are employed at the plant in the manufacture of condensed and evaporated milk. They also make a large amount of candy, mostly caramels, as a by-product. They make their own gas for mechanical manufacturing and the water is supplied from artesian wells upon the place. Everything is most sanitary and the plant and equipment are the largest in size in the world. It may well be understood therefore that the men at the head of the enterprise are most capable and energetic business men, thoroughly conversant with every phase of the work, and onerous are the duties and responsibilities that devolve upon Mr. Church as superintendent of the Dixon interests.

In 1893 Mr. Church was united in marriage to Miss Sue I. Lewis, a native of Dundee, Illinois, and they have become the parents of three children, Kenneth L., Donald and Harriet, all attending school. Mr. Church holds membership with the Masonic fraternity and he gives his political indorsement to the republican party, of which he has always been a stanch advocate. He is always ready to support any plan or project that is a matter of civic virtue or civic pride but he has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, and gradually he has advanced to a position of prominence, making a record which is most creditable. There is no phase of the business with which he is connected that is not familiar to him and his long experience has enabled him to speak with authority upon any matter relative to the production, care and use of milk. He is indeed alert, wide-awake and progressive and ranks with the foremost business men of Dixon.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.


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