Louis Latzer was born in 1848 and died in 1924. He was educated at nearby McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill., and at Illinois Industrial University in Champaign, Ill. He returned to Highland when his father died in 1869 so that he could run the family's farm. In 1887, Louis took over the Helvetia Milk Condensing Company located here. Said to have been a keen student of chemistry and bacteriology, Lewis was curious about why milk spoiled. Product spoilage was a huge problem which had reach drastic proportions prior to his taking over the reigns of Helvetia. Louis Latzer perfected the process of condensing milk and the company became a huge success. In 1922, the Helvetia Milk Condensing Company became the Pet Milk Company, with 23 plants across the United States.
Louis built this homestead for his wife and family in 1901. The home had many modern features of the day, including running water pumped by hand to a holding tank in the attic, a manufactured gas light system, speaking tubes between many of the rooms and one of the first telephones in the community.
Mr. Latzer was known as "The Father of Pet Milk." Tours of the homestead and Pet Milk Museum are available by calling 618-654-7957. Groups of eight or more are preferred.
The Homestead, located at 1464 Old Trenton Road, just outside Highland, Ill., was deeded to the Highland Historical Society (click here for map).
Latzer Homestead hosts: Homestead