October is a month of significance

October is a significant month in the history of the Hormel family in Austin. In 1887, after years of traveling the road as a hide buyer, George found the opportunity he’d been looking for-to settle down and get serious about his life.
George had been through the area many times and had many connections. When the Anton Friedrich & Son meat market burned down, Anton Friedrich saw in George a smart man who could rebuild and keep the business going. George and Anton’s son, Albrecht, become partners and Friedrich & Hormel was soon opened for business. The Oct. 12, 1887, Mower County Transcript described the new endeavor favorably, “As fine a market as there is in the state, is the verdict of all who have seen it.”

I recently found the obituary of Anton Friedrich as printed in the May 31, 1911, edition of the Mower County Transcript. According to the account Friedrich was born on Feb. 13, 1834, in Harden, Prussia. His family immigrated to northern Michigan and there had a meat market. On March 16, 1861, he married Caroline Gies. In 1867 Anton brought his family to Austin where he continued in the retail meat business.

The territory census of 1875 lists the Friedrichs as having four children, and three are listed as surviving Mr. Friedrich upon his death. None had remained in Austin, however. Mrs. Friedrich died on Nov. 28, 1876.

The article described Friedrich as “a great lover of nature” and a landscape gardener. “He was appointed superintendent of the Oakwood cemetery in 1895; the radical improvement and extensive enlargement of the grounds were largely due to his interest. He was greatly interested in the building of the chapel in Oakwood, and he took a pride and care in the cemetery grounds that made it one of the beauty spots of the northwest.” He was listed as a member of the Austin park board and “he took much interest in municipal affairs and was alderman in 1875.”

Of his funeral the obituary reported that a “long procession headed by Tichy’s band accompanied the body to Oakwood where the Masonic and Knight Templar burial services were read. There was a universal expression of appreciation for the great work Mr. Friedrich did in beautifying Austin.”

Mr. Friedrich can also be credited with helping Austin’s economy by encouraging George A. Hormel to start a new life here.

Veldman and Friends VIP

Pre-matinee champagne brunch

Tickets are on sale now for the Veldman VIP Pre-Matinee Champagne Brunch to be held at the HHH on Dec. 6, 2014. Contact the Paramount Theatre to purchase your tickets today.

 Author Visit/Presentation

5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Oct. 16

Author Walt Bachman will present his research regarding slavery in Minnesota during the 1860s. He will share his personal connection to the time and theme. Free event sponsored by the Mower County Historical Society, the Austin Public Library, and the Hormel Historic Home.

 Social Concerns

10 to 11 a.m., Oct. 21

Presented by Jeff Baldus, Executive Director of the Austin Area Foundation. Join us to hear how the Foundation continues its mission of enhancing our community through charitable giving.

Free event, coffee and snack provided. Please call to let us know you plan to attend.

 Antiques Appraisal event at the Austin Public Library

9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Oct. 23

Antiques expert Mark F. Moran will be at the Library to evaluate your treasures. He has been active as an appraiser of antiques and fine art for more than 20 years. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $15 per item for members of the Mower County Historical Society, the Austin Public Library and the Hormel Historic Home and $25 for non-members. Register at the Mower County Historical Society Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Space is limited.

 

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