Archived Story

Hormels had more than one home

Published 4:38pm Saturday, October 5, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

Sitting in my office, it is easy for me to forget that this is not the only “Hormel” home in Austin.

George came from a very large family and many of his siblings lived in Austin at one point or another.  I have actually counted at least 10 addresses for family members from 1891 through the late 1940s.  Most are still standing and in good condition. There are probably several more and I will uncover those in time.

Ironically, three former Hormel residences are currently listed for sale. Two of them were owned by Ben Franklin Ludwig Hormel, George’s youngest brother.  From research in the County Recorder’s office I learned that Ben purchased the property at 701 First Drive NW on April 20, 1908, and built the house in 1913.  He sold it on June 18, 1921.

I had the chance to tour this home recently and found it a charming space with several features that mirror the HHH.  The dining room has a built-in buffet similar to the one in George and Lillian’s home, and a butler’s pantry with plenty of storage. In comparing the current home to pictures from the past it seems the exterior of the house is relatively unchanged from the original with the exception of the front steps, which at one time had columns on either side.

The other home owned by Ben Hormel from 1921 to 1947, 609 4th St. NW, is well known in Austin for the scalloped shingled roof and heavily treed front yard.  I have not had a chance to tour it but from the pictures online the home also appears to have the elegant features similar to those in the HHH.  The rich hard wood trim, large living room, and built in storage spaces maintain the home’s historical charm but the modern upgrades make it a great home for the future. When Ben owned the home the property included a u-shaped driveway in the back and a fishpond.

The third house currently on the market is at 401 Fifth Ave. SW.

John Godfrey Hormel, another of George’s younger brothers, and his wife Meta Fox Hormel built this home in 1924. I have not toured this property either, but I can see from the online listing that the Hormels built it with quality and elegance in mind. A historical photo from about 1930 shows a beautifully landscaped backyard and patio that is very inviting.

So, there are actually several Hormel homes in town and if you hurry, you could possibly own one.

Peer Power Partners Community Presentation

October 7 6:30-8 p.m. at the Hormel Historic Home

This free presentation will introduce a new program starting in Austin, developed to be a mentoring program model which partners youth with special needs and same aged peers to promote friendships, understanding, and advocacy.

Social Concerns

October 15

Randy Kramer, Certified Financial Planner will be presenting on Responsible Charitable Giving.  Explained in plain English, he will discuss who, what, when, where, how and how much — issues often surrounding charitable giving.

The event is free and coffee and snack will be provided.  Please give us a call to let us know you are planning to attend. 507-433-4243.


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