October a big month for Hormel history

Published 7:01 am Sunday, October 18, 2015

This time last year I wrote about the significance of October 1887, as that is when the partnership between George Hormel and Anton Friedrich began, which resulted in George’s settling in Austin.

Another important October date occurred four years later, in 1891, when the newspapers of Austin reported that the Friedrich & Hormel butcher enterprise was being dissolved effective Nov. 1.

In the anonymously written manuscript, “A Business is Born,” the author wrote that “Mr. Hormel, intent upon developing a packing house, could not tolerate a man who would not pull with him and take his business seriously, and who seemed to have the idea that once a butcher always a butcher, a man who never knew anyone to go beyond being a butcher and who could not see the possibilities of a pork packing establishment … The apprenticeship for Mr. Hormel was over; the butcher shop part of his life was past. Without a partner, without anyone to place a damper upon his spirit, his enterprise or his energy, the hide buyer was on his way to becoming a packer.”

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Mr. Hormel reportedly told the press, upon the dissolution of the partnership, “that it was his intention to carry out the plans heretofore mentioned by making a small packing establishment one of the industries of Southern Minnesota.”

The Austin Daily Herald shared its opinion of the disbanding. “This branch of the business, which has been under the direct supervision of Mr. Hormel, has a wide reputation and is favorably known throughout Southern Minnesota. It has always been an easy matter to dispose of the limited stock Friedrich & Hormel could produce. Mr. Hormel possesses tireless, persistent enterprise and vim, and is bound to be successful. Mr. Friedrich is a thorough student of the butcher business and that branch will also be kept at its usual excellent standard. We wish them both the success that energy merits.”

Other significant October dates during the time the Hormels lived in Austin include 1901 when they purchased their home at 208 Water St. for $3,000. In October of 1902, they moved into the home after it had been extensively renovated.  Finally, in October of 1927, Mrs. Hormel presented the keys to her beloved home to the YWCA as a donation for the young women of the community.

October is a wonderful time of year for many reasons. I am sure the Hormels considered it a month in which to celebrate a few moments of their lives.

Board of Directors Meeting

4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19

 Best Bartender Contest

5 p.m. doors open, 6 p.m. competition,

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Enjoy samples and vote for your favorite bartender.  Live music by J.T. Thompson. Food available for purchase. $5 per person.