Pillars of the City Committee seeking plaque nominations through Dec. 31

Published 6:45 am Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Pillars of the City Committee is still seeking nominations from the general public of individuals they believe should have a plaque on the flood wall pillars on North Main Street.

Nominees are individuals, both past and present, who have made significant contributions to Austin via growth, economic impact, health, education, culture, recreation, communications, business or scientific innovation.

“It’s important that people realize that community nominations are the key to this program,” said Austin City Clerk Ann Kasel.

Email newsletter signup

Each year, the committee unveils inductees during Freedom Fest in July.

There are currently 15 pillars on the flood wall:

• Lyman Baird – former mayor and city attorney;

• Gertrude C. Ellis – first female Mower County Superintendent of Schools;

• Robert Enright – former city alderman and mayor;

• Jon W. Erichson – former city engineer and public works director;

• Norman Hecimovich – former councilman and veteran’s advocate;

• Ira James Holton – former Hormel Foods president and chairman of the Hormel Foundation board and American Meat Institute;

• George A. Hormel – founder of Hormel Foods;

• Jay C. Hormel – former president of Hormel Foods;

• Richard L. Knowlton – former president of Hormel Foods and chairman of the Hormel Foundation board;

• Esther Morse –first chair of the Austin Ladies Floral Club, which helped create the Austin Public Library;

• John O’Rourke – former KAUS radio broadcaster and mayor;

• Gary Ray – former director of Hormel Foods and chairman of the Hormel Foundation board;

• Bonnie Besse Rietz – former city councilwoman, first female mayor, vice-chair of the Hormel Foundation and Riverland Foundation board member; and

• Dr. Richard J. Schindler – former member of the Minnesota State Ob-Gyn board, YMCA Board and Minnesota Opera Board

More information on the current pillars can be found at www.ci.austin.mn.us/boards-commissions/dedicated-pillars.

Nominations for 2020 are due to Kasel by Dec. 31. They can be sent via email to AnnK@ci.austin.mn.us, mailed to 500 Fourth Ave. NE, Austin, MN 55912, or brought to Austin City Hall.

A copy of a submission form can be found at www.ci.austin.mn.us/Pillars Application.pdf.