Archived Story

Hormel minister was a gifted speaker, writer

Published 5:16pm Saturday, June 22, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

We go back to the Hormel family genealogy this week.  Each of George’s 11 siblings left a mark on the family and I have already told you about the first Elizabeth who died in infancy and the second Elizabeth (Lizzie), who were both born before George Albert. He was the third born and the oldest boy.

Nineteen months after George’s birth on Dec. 4, 1860, William Henry was born on July 4, 1862, in Buffalo, N.Y. Known as Henry, he, like the other Hormel children, attended public school in Toledo.

Upon his high school graduation he attended Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio, and then McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Henry apparently chose his vocation at an early age as George mentions in his autobiography that Henry was already planning to “train for ministry” as early as 1877.

Henry met his wife, Margaret Elizabeth Stewart, while in Wooster, and they married on June 26, 1891, in Genesco, Ill.  They had two daughters, Olive born in 1892, and Dorothy in 1894.  In 1897 a son, Paul, was born but he died in infancy and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery surrounded by many other Hormel family members.

A Presbyterian minister, William Henry moved his family to Austin in 1894 to be near George who was busy building his business. He made his home at the corner of Greenwich and Alleghany Streets (presently near Second Street and Third Avenue Southwest).

Henry served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Austin from 1894 to late 1899. On the website of Westminster Presbyterian Church Henry is listed as a former pastor with this note: “Mr. Hormel was called not only because his brothers were living in Austin at that time, but also because he could preach in German and therefore communicate with the large German speaking element who lived on Austin’s east side. The church during Mr. Hormel’s ministry was located in the building erected about 1890, and still standing at the northwest corner of 4th Avenue and 8th Street NE.”

Henry was an eloquent speaker and writer and I have quoted his manuscript, “One Generation Under the American Flag,” several times.

After serving a few other churches, Henry and his wife retired to Owosso, Mich. Following Margaret’s death in 1934, Henry moved to Boston where he lived with his daughter, Olive.

He died on August 26, 1954, at the age of 92, and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery here in Austin.

Community Jazz Band

A return visit by the Austin Community Jazz Band at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 1 is sure to entertain again this year.  What a great way to kick off your Fourth of July celebrations. Music will range from traditional to pop to contemporary.  Wine and beer will be sold.

Steve Sanders

Austin families will be entertained by Steve Sanders from Snapdragon Seeds at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11. Event is free.

This an upbeat children’s educational music project that teaches rhymes, patterns, synonyms and the intellectual power of asking questions.


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