Archived Story

Spending time with the Hormels

Published 4:51pm Saturday, January 26, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

I have been asked many times in the last three months if I am enjoying my job, and my answer is always “yes!”  And when people ask me what I actually do, I say “well…..”

There are many things that make the days fly by, and one of my favorites is learning about the history of the Hormel family.  As it is with large groups, I sometimes have trouble remembering who arrived when and where first and how long they stayed.

To learn it better, I have decided to start from as far back as our records go and share what I learn with you. We are fortunate to possess a variety of historical resources regarding the family, so researching the Hormel history will be easier than searching for my own (also primarily German).

Let’s start in Germany with George’s grandparents, Christroph Christian and Elizabeth Heiser Hormel.  Christian was born in Schwalbach, Hesse, Germany in 1794, followed by Elizabeth in 1805.  From In “Quest of Quality,” 1966: “Both the Hormel’s and the Heiser families attended the German Reformed Church in Schwalbach.  Undoubtedly, the members knew each other well, so well that Christian Hormel and Elizabeth Heiser fell in love and married.  The ceremony took place in the town’s little stone church now more than 200 years old.”  William Henry Hormel writes, “The Hormel’s in America descended from the French Protestants, commonly known as Huguenots. The Huguenots were a group of Protestants who became the center of political and religious quarrels in France in the 1500s and 1600s.  Many of the Hormels took refuge in Germany (as well as Holland), but wherever these refugees from France went they became some of the most valuable and prosperous citizens in their countries.”

“Our grandparents lived in a time when the hearts of men in Germany and in large measure in all of Europe, were longing for the privilege of civil liberty. Men’s minds and hearts, especially in Germany, were thinking in terms of democracy,” William Henry continues.

It seems apparent that George A. inherited the traits of his ancestors in building his business in Austin.

 Austin Wedding Showcase

The premiere wedding resource for all those busy planning brides will be held at the HHH from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. The fashion show presented by Belles & Beaus and VeDeyo Arts will begin at 2 and will once again feature the Austin Bruins players.  Admission is $3.

 Valentine’s Day

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at 5:30 p.m. with a Gourmet dinner by Hy-Vee catering and Dueling Pianos by the River Rats from Minneapolis. Tickets are limited so call 433-4243 today.  Cost is $50 per person.

 Social Concerns

WPA Projects-President Franklin Roosevelt sought ways to bring the United States out of the Great Depression.  The programs of the New Deal became the focal point of his administration.  Join us Feb. 19 to learn about how these programs were implemented and improved life here in Mower County.  Afterwards, stop by the Austin Public Library and view the traveling exhibit, Uncle Sam’s New Deal.

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