Archived Story

Hormel brother tells a gem

Published 5:03pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

I hope your holiday celebrations were spent just the way you wanted and that you are looking forward to a new year ahead.

I feel like I found a treasure of family history in looking through the manuscript of William Henry Hormel, George’s brother.  Following is another fun Christmas memory to share with you.

In this one, William is remembering his Uncle Jacob Decker, who I will write more about later, who enjoyed making Christmas a special time for his many nieces and nephews.

“Uncle Jacob had planned a surprise for us all, to take place on Christmas Eve. We had seen pictures of Santa Claus, and heard much about his love and friendship for children, but we had never seen a real living Santa Claus with a jolly smiling face, buffalo coat, sleigh bells, and whip.  At the jingle of the bells we were suddenly awaked out of our peaceful sleep and happy dreams.  He actually came to us in our bedrooms, with his pack full of good things for us, and for other homes, which we supposed he would visit on his rounds.  We were not afraid of him for we knew, from all that we had heard about his kindness to children, that he was a good man who came not to harm any one, but only to be and to do good.  Nevertheless we felt strangeness toward him mingled with fear, for we thought of him as one who was in a large measure outside and above the humanity to which we belonged.  But he exhibited love and good cheer for all as he talked to us and poured out his gifts on our bed covering, while we were tucking ourselves under them with a curious fear.  He left us with good cheer, and our hearts and voices responded with words of thanks, good cheer, and come again.  We learned afterwards that our Santa Claus was our good Uncle Jacob Decker, who always gave us a good time whenever he came to our home.”

William wrote that their Uncle Jacob enjoyed the holiday as much as the kids did. He was like an older brother in the family and they loved spending time with him.

Wishing you all a happy and safe new year!

Social Concerns: “Owl Talk”

Presented by Larry Dolphin of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center

Jan. 21, 2014

Come meet Guka, the barred owl and hear Larry tell us all about this Nature Center resident. Event is free. Coffee and treats served.

Call to register. 507-433-4243

 Austin Wedding Showcase

January 26, 2014, 12-3 p.m.

Area wedding specialists will be showcasing their unique products and services.  Fashion show presented by Belles and Beaus at 2 p.m. Admission is $3 per person.


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