Famous Cheesemaker J. L. Kraft was Born in Niagara

Famous Cheesemaker J. L. Kraft was Born in Niagara

One famous person to be born in the Region of Niagara is James Lewis Kraft (1874-1953). Kraft was an entrepreneur and inventor, who was born in a small community south of Niagara Falls called Stevensville.

After immigrating in 1903 from Stevensville to Buffalo and then Chicago he began selling cheese from a horse-drawn wagon. Kraft developed and patented in 1916 a revolutionary process for pasteurizing cheese so it would resist spoiling. The rest is history.

Kraft of German origin was born to Mennonite parents who attended the Reformed Mennonite Church in Stevensville. A newer Reformed Mennonite Church building can still be found in this small hamlet at the corner of West Main Street and Ott Road. The cemetery outside the church contains the tombstone of his parents and other relatives. Check carefully the attached photograph and you'll see the spelling of Kraft with two k's.

Except for naming a road after him, there is no recognition that this famous person was born and lived in Stevensville until he was 29 years of age.

What a great location for an entrepreneur to open a cheese shop specializing in Kraft products.

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