By Guest Columnist Mary Jane Boutwell
When Herman Mosby, Sr. opened a creamery in Canton, it was on Center Street just behind where the Subway restaurant is today (the corner of Liberty Street and Center Street). In the beginning, the milk was handed to someone inside the front doorway in five- or ten-gallon milk cans. Later, the milk was delivered in the alley behind the store; and, in 1951, the creamery relocated south of Canton on the west side of Highway 51. The Mosby Creamery operated by selling milk to local schools and the hospital, always outbidding Pet and Borden for the milk business until Mosby, Sr. sold out to Flav-O-Rich.
When the Creamery was located on the corner of the square, the telephone office was across the alley. To make a call back then, one picked up the receiver and told the operator who they wished to call. The operator, which was always a woman in those days, would connect the call.
The need for a creamery was created by the government encouraging farmers to diversify and add milk cows to their row crops. The failure of one crop was bad, but not a major disaster, with this second income. I can remember in my family the twice-monthly milk checks made life easier, even though major purchases still had to wait for the fall row crops’ income.
Herman, Jr. told me Madison County Agent Sam Estess and local veterinarian Billie Flynn persuaded his father to move from Meridian to Canton to start the creamery. The Mosbys had owned and run a creamery in Meridian.