Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on! We’ve talked a little bit about the dairy business in DeKalb County before, so today let’s take a look a DeKalb County company well-known for its delicious dairy products: the County Line Cheese Company.
The County Line Cheese Company was founded by Swiss immigrant Fred Marolf, Sr., in 1913. Named for its location, the plant stood right on the county line, just on the northern border of Allen County. For many years, five local farmers provided most of the milk for Marolf’s company, and since milk production was lower in the winter, County Line only produced cheese from April to September—about two hundred pounds per day.
The original plant was used until the 1957, when it was replaced with a 12,000 foot building. That same year, Marolf’s son took over the business. A whey drying plant was also built in the ’50s, which allowed the liquid left over from cheese-making to be processed for use in cereal, baked goods, and processed meat.
Toward the end of the 20th century, the company changed hands. In 1981, Beatrice Cheese bought County Line. Then in 1990, ConAgra Foods Inc. acquired the brand, closing the Indiana factory the next year and relocating the label to New Berlin, Wisconsin. The DCI Cheese Company in Wisconsin currently produces a variety of cheeses under the original County Line label. Want to see more? Click here and search for “County Line Cheese.”