I was certainly saddened to read that the Milnot plant in Seneca has closed after 70 years in production.

I was certainly saddened to read that the Milnot plant in Seneca has closed after 70 years in production.
Milnot opened its plant in Seneca in 1948, canning sweetened, condensed, and evaporated milk. All canned milk production under the company eventually moved to the Seneca plant. Now it’s going to El Paso, Texas.
I always thought the neatest thing about the facility was the brass floor strip denoting the Missouri-Oklahoma line that the building straddles.
According to the company’s history, Milnot was started in 1912 as the Litchefield Creamery Company in Litchfield, Ill. It changed its name to Milnut and then to Milnot in 1939.
A plant was opened in Warsaw, Ind. in 1946 and then the Seneca plant in 1948, where an estimated 15,000 people showed up to celebrate the occasion, according to one news article.
It was built on the state border to avoid a 1923 law regarding the transport of filled milk products across state lines. At the time, milk had to be sold in the same state it was canned in, so having the Milnot plant on both sides of the state line allowed the products to be sold in both Missouri and Oklahoma. It was a clever and legal way to abide by the law, which eventually changed in 1972.
As of 2015 Milnot has been owned by the Ohio-based Eagle Family Foods Company, which is who made the decision to close the Seneca plant.
Newton County lost its other canned milk plant, Pet Milk in Neosho, in 1985. Pet Milk, located where the Newton County Sheriff Department and Jail is now on Coler Street, had been in business in Neosho since 1927 - a 58 year run.
And now we say goodbye to Milnot after 70 years. Farewell!

Wes Franklin writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.