The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 13, 2014

Women recall days at creamery

DANVILLE — Last month I wrote about a milk can tag from 1960 from Sugar Creek Creamery in Danville that was part of the ephemera collection of Norman Skinner of Perrysville, Ind. Seeing that tag prompted octogenarian Joyce Guymon of Danville to call me.

Guymon was raised on Poland Road back when it was considered rural Danville. She remembers going to the Paul F. Cox Feed Store and Hatchery at 706 E. Main St., across the street from where Watson Tire is today.

“We used to buy goslings in there and made pets out of them,” she said.

Guymon graduated from the two-room Liberty School and Danville High School with the Class of 1946.

“There were eight of us who graduated from Liberty School,” she recalled.

Guymon worked at Sugar Creek Creamery, which used to be on Washington Avenue, next to the Cossey Coal Company, she says, between 1946 and 1948.

“I worked in the lab on the fourth floor,” she said.

In the lab, Guymon tested samples of sweetened condensed milk sent to Danville from a Sugar Creek plant in Arkansas.

“Sweetened condensed milk was new back then,” she said. “We would put a sample in the heat and we would weigh it.

“Another girl weighed and tested cream,” she remembered.

Guymon said she would record her test findings with a cylindrical recording machine — similar to the cylinders used on old-fashioned player pianos — and the same piece of equipment that she said “guys would dictate their notes into.”

Probably the most significant thing that happened to the young woman those two years while she was working at Sugar Creek Creamery was that’s where she met Melvin “Bud” Guymon, her future husband.

Guymon said Bud “dumped the cans of cream on Sunday.”

“That’s how we met,” she said.

Another one of Bud’s jobs was loading ice and butter into the rail cars that were headed from the Danville plant to the East Coast.

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