Fred Reuter's Cheney Cheese Factory opened in 1903. Using local milk, the factory produced award wining cheese for over a decade.
opened the Cheney Cheese Factory on May 4, 1903, of which he was sole owner and
proprietor. The factory processed 4,000
pounds of milk a day into cream cheese of such excellent quality it took first
prize at the Washington State Fair in Yakima the year Fred entered his product
in competition. This business venture
proved to be a great boost to the economy of Cheney and surrounding rural
promotional booklet said this,
The Cheney Cheese Factory gives a splendid
market to the farmers for their product and pays them from $1,200 to $1,800
They boasted that
the factory produced 29,000 pounds of cheddar during its first year, 64,000
pounds in 1904, and 103,000 of cheddar in 1905. The factory’s capacity was
listed at 550,000 pounds of cheese per year, held back by a shortage of milk.
At the time, Cheney
produced about one-third of the cheese sold in the State of Washington, since a
large portion of the milk produced, especially on the west side of the state,
was going to the production of evaporated and sweetened condensed milk.
years of suffering from the pains of rheumatism aggravated by his work in the
cheese factory, Fred was finally forced to give up his thriving business about
served on the City Council, was a member of the Odd Fellows, served as Cheney's
Postmaster for 8 years, and served with Cheney's Police Department for 9 years.