Hormel family had deep rootsPublished 5:33pm Saturday, August 10, 2013
By Holly Johnson
Hormel Historic Home
Emma Marie Hormel, the fifth of the 12 children of John George and Susanna Hormel also lived in Austin for a time.
Emma was born on June 11, 1864, in Buffalo. Moving with her family to Toledo, Ohio, when she was just a toddler, she grew up and raised her family there before she and her husband moved to Austin in 1909.
She is recorded as living in the family home at 21 Langdon St., Toledo, and working as a milliner in 1881. William Henry Hormel describes her, along with her sister Lizzie, as a great help to her mother in running the home. On Nov. 4, 1885, she married Levi Peter Fisher. Levi was born on April 29, 1862, in Elkhart, Ind. and was also of German heritage.
He worked as a paper hanger for the wall paper company Verrell & Fisher in Toledo until the 1903 Toledo City Directory lists him as “moved to Minneapolis.”
According to a letter written by Donald A. Hormel in 1960, Emma was a school teacher before marrying Levi and then worked as an interior decorator in Toledo.
The couple had four children: Marguerite May, 1887; Herbert Hormel, 1891; Helen Alberta, 1893; Donald Dean, 1895. Both Helen and Donald died before age 2.
When the couple relocated to Austin in 1909, Marguerite, 22, and Herbert, 19, came with them. Marguerite is listed as a teacher in 1911 and Herbert as a butcher. The family made their home at 310 S. St. Paul Street (now First Street SW), where Emma’s (and George’s) parents had lived for many years.
Marguerite married William Moses Ramsell on Nov. 18, 1915 and had two children: Helen Margaret in 1916 and Billy in 1918. There is an infant photo of Billy displayed in the HHH Atrium being held by his Great Aunt Lizzie (Emma and George’s sister).
Levi worked in several capacities for the Hormel Company until 1922, when the couple moved to Long Beach, California, where Levi worked to market his newly invented tin scale.
Upon Emma and Levi’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1935, they returned to the site of their 1885, honeymoon, Niagara Falls. They were presented with a certificate and life membership into the Niagara Falls Honeymooners Club. Emma died on Dec. 22, 1947, and Levi died in December of 1957.
All Access Community Explorations
July 22-Aug. 21 (Mondays and Wednesdays only)
Tours of the Home may be limited on Mondays during the program. Please call ahead for schedule.
2nd Annual Fourth Avenue Arts Triathlon
Aug. 21, 1 to 3 p.m.
No Registration required for this fun free arts activity at three locations-The Paramount, The Public Library, and the Hormel Historic Home.
Italian Murder Mystery Dinner
Saturday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.
Tickets are $30 per person or $200 for a table of 8. Order online at or by calling the HHH, 507-433-4243.