Archived Story

Finding your way around a name

Published 5:09pm Saturday, February 16, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

A note regarding last week’s column.

In quoting William Henry Hormel I incorrectly identified his father as George A. when I should have said George John.  George John was 3 years old when his parents brought him to America.  I apologize for the confusion.

In fact, these names are often confusing as our records show that George A.’s father was born George John, but in most historical references he is referred to as John George. Maybe that is why there are so many different and unusual names used today-to avoid confusion over who’s who.

Christian and Elizabeth-George A.’s grandparents-raised their two sons, John George (for simplicity I will refer to George A.’s father as John going forward) and Christian with strict Christian principles bordering on sternness.

William Henry Hormel wrote “He [Christian Sr.] commanded the respect of his household, and at times was rather [more] feared than loved.  Father [John George] and his brother were obliged to wear the high standing collars which were in vogue in those days, and were so high that they reached to the ears. The boys did not enjoy them, but their father was a tailor and this was the fashion.  Neither of them ever cared to learn their father’s trade, but craved a wider business experience.”

W.H. Hormel also wrote about his Grandmother, Elizabeth: “Grandmother Hormel was very earnest and an active worker in her church and community.”  He describes her as being a blessing to the family.  “She never weighed a hundred pounds and was short and slender in stature.  Her two sons were over six feet tall and often, in a jolly mood, one of them would pick her up in his arms and carry her about as he would a child.  When friends and neighbors would ask her how she got such tall boys, she would reply “Oh my, they just grew and kept going so big, so tall.”

Christian died in December 1856, and Elizabeth passed away on April 13, 1867, both in Buffalo.

A Hormel descendant who has done extensive research on the family has been unsuccessful in finding the gravesites of the two of them but feels they were most likely buried in public burial ground in the center of Buffalo.

What’s happening at the HHH

 February Social Concerns-WPA Projects presented by Dustin Heckman

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.  Afterward, stop by the Austin Public Library and view the traveling exhibit, Uncle Sam’s New Deal.

 Second annual Foodie Throwdown-Taste of America

This fundraiser for the HHH will feature six competing chefs and will showcase samples from all parts of our wildly diverse nation.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 9. Come try the food and vote for your favorite area Chef. Tickets are $30. Call 507-433-4243 to order yours today.

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