The Lamont Creamery

One of the first creameries in this part of the state was built by John Stewart in Delaware County near Manchester in April of 1872. Due to the good farm land in this part of the state settlers began arriving quickly. The farming industry grew at a very fast pace. The need for more creameries arose and it soon became a fast growing profitable business. John Stewart expanded his business by building a second creamery in Wards Corners in 1874. John's creamery at Wards Corners was a large wooden framed building in the center of the newly settled Wards Corners. John sent one of his best employees, Edward Brigham, from the Manchester creamery to become the first butter maker at the new creamery at Wards Corners, now known as Lamont. Butter from the creamery in Wards Corners was packed in 58lb tubs and hauled to the Manchester creamery for rail shipment.
John Stewart’s creamery at Wards Corners is shown above in the left of the photo. It is the large building with the brick chimney and wooden cupola.

John Stewart entered his butter in the Saint Louis exposition in 1874 and won first place. He entered again in 1875 and won first and second place. Due to his success in previous competitions he decided to enter the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, an international competition in 1876. He won receiving a gold metal. This was Americas first gold metal for butter ever won in a worldwide competition. Rumors quickly began to circulate that the butter that actually won the competition was made in the Wards Corners creamery by Edward Brigham and not made in the Manchester creamery as stated in the contest entry. This rumor however has never been proven true and the Manchester creamery received credit for the award.
The gold metal shown above won by Stewart’s Manchester creamery, or maybe by Brigham in the Wards Corners creamery, is in the archives of the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines.

The wooden creamery was replaced by a stone building shown above in 1885 also built by John Stewart.

In 1898 the creamery became a Co-Op owned by its members. The Creamery continued to grow for many years and was a valuable asset not only for the farmers of the Lamont area but also for the local community. It was closed in 1955.
The creamery in latter years enlarged with new additions.