History of Metamora Packing Company
Written in the 1940's by Rosina Noe
The Metamora Packing Company, located in
Woodford County Illinois about eighteen miles northwest of Peoria, is
a great asset to the local community.
It is locally owned and is in good financial standing. The stockholders of the company are: H. J. Waldschmidt, President; John M. Alig,
Secretary-Treasurer; S. M. Snyder and F. C. Grob, Directors.
The business is in
the hands of E. B. Niles, now the plant manager and Rosina Noe is
stenographer and bookkeeper, both of whom have been with the company
The Metamora Packing Company are the
packers of peas, green beans, and tomatoes. Approximately $14,500.00
being paid out to farmers for raw material annually.
During the past depression the factory has
been a great help to the people of the community as it has given
employment to over a hundred able bodied persons who otherwise would
have been numbered among the unemployed. No children under sixteen
years of age are permitted to work. The estimated yearly payroll paid
to employees amounts to approximately $8,000.00.
The first canning crop of the season is
peas with an acreage under contract of about two hundred and seventy
five acres. The seed, which is furnished by the company is planted in
early spring. Canning begins about June 15th, The peas are cut and
hauled to viners by the growers where the peas are shelled from the
pods, after which they are trucked in boxes to the plant where the
canning begins. They are thoroughly washed, graded, and canned within
two or three hours after being shelled. This quick handling is
necessary due to the rapid deterioration of peas after being hulled.
They are then sorted and handled by a group of workers in sanitary
washable clothing, the women wearing white caps and aprons.
Beans is the next crop, the average
ranging from forty to sixty acres, the canning
season being from July 10th to August 15th. The beans are picked and
brought to the factory where seventy-five to one hundred and
twenty-five women handle each bean separately, snipping the ends off.
They are then taken to the canning room where the regular canning
process takes place.
Tomatoes, the last canning crop, are
brought to the plant by the farmers from about August 15th until they
are bitten by the frost. Only first grade tomatoes, that is, tomatoes
which are firm, ripe, and well colored are accepted for canning from
one hundred and twenty-five acres planted. After being sorted and
scalded they are peeled by a large number of ladies and are then ready
to be canned. The packing is all done by hand which eliminates the
mashed tomatoes so often found in canned tomatoes.
The company has established a market for
the sixty to seventy thousand cases of canned goods which are
ordinarily packed in normal times in Peoria, Chicago, Springfield,
Bloomington, and St. Louis. The merchandise is sold through brokers
and shipped out under buyers' labels or under the company's own Market
Basket or Metamora Brand labels.
The Metamora Packing Company is very proud
of its sanitary conditions and methods under which the foods are
packed as the plant is thoroughly cleaned and washed daily. The
canning kitchen is strictly sanitary at all times.
The company is now being operated under
the NRA and expects to operate on a normal production during the year
Visitors are cordially invited and welcome
to inspect the factory during the usual working hours.