In honor of Father’s Day I share a glimpse into the character of John George Hormel, George A. Hormel’s beloved father. George was very influenced by his father, and his death in 1896 came as a shock and blow to George as he had found great comfort in having him in Austin. George wrote of how his father’s death impacted the family.
“Nothing I had ever faced before required so much fortitude. The world had become an indescribably lonely place. While he lived, there had always been a warm flowing sympathy, a well of inspiration ready and waiting for each one of us to partake. And none of us, I think, until the day he wasn’t there, had ever realized how often we had gone to him for understanding and help.”
Following this loss, George continued to be motivated by the character he saw reflected in the life of his father. His obituary, from the May 7, 1896 Austin Register, described a man who was cherished by his family and all those around him.
“John George Hormel was born in Germany, near Frankfort on the Main, July 24, 1830. At four years of age he came with his parents to Buffalo, New York… In 1865 he removed with his wife and four children to Toledo, Ohio, where he engaged in the tannery business under the firm name of Hormel and Heyer, until 1890, when he retired. But his energetic spirit chaffed under severance from business interests, and in July 1895, at the urgent solicitation of his family, he removed to Austin, Minnesota, that he might enjoy the activity of business with his sons without bearing its cares and responsibilities.
Here he was so renewed in heath and strength that it seemed as if his best and happiest years were yet before him, when he should see the fruits of his life long consecration to home and family and God.
But one week ago Wednesday night, April 29, he was taken with severe chills, followed by la Grippe and pneumonia. From this he sank rapidly, and Wednesday morning quietly breathed his last, at 5:30, surrounded by most of his family.
Mr. Hormel was a life-long member of the German Reformed Church, an earnest, consistent Christian. His disposition was a peculiarly happy one -- a blending of gentleness and firmness, contentment and ambition. In business he was both conservative and energetic. In his home he was remarkable for his ingenious ability of entering into and appreciating the natural endowments of each one of his children, so as to encourage and develop each along their own chosen line of life work. No one was constrained or discouraged but each was trained regardless of expense or self-sacrifice for whatever vocation they wished to enter.”
Wishing you all a day of celebration of those who have made or continue to make an impact on your life.
Hormel Historic Home
208 4th Ave. NW
Austin, MN 55912