Monday, February 8, 2010

Steinbach Meat Company, Inc.

This article appeared in the April 2010 issue of the Lucas County Newsletter

The name Steinbach has meant quality meats in Lucas County, Iowa since 1889.  Herman Joseph Hubert Steinbach, his father, Hubert, and brother Bert came to Lucas County from Germany in 1884.  Hubert's wife, Elizabeth, came in 1887 with children Margaret, Frank, Jake and Bill.  A married sister, Gertrude Ruth came around 1912, with her husband and children.

Herman had learned the meat business in Honnef, Germany, a little village a few miles south of Bonn.  He, his father and brother came to America to avoid serving in the army under the leadership of Kaiser Wilhelm, II.

During his first five years in Chariton, Herman was employed in the Yengel Meat Market while he became acquainted with an American meat market and the English language.

In 1889 he opened his own meat market at 207 North Main Street in Chariton.  There was a lodge over this market, and about the year 1901 a fire broke out in the lodge room, which also destroyed the market.  The market was moved to part of the lot where the First State Bank is now located on the north side of the Chariton square.

In 1907 the building at 915 Braden was purchased and became the new Steinbach Market.  It operated in this location, in the building on the east side of the alley on the north side of the square until 1918, when Herman's two oldest sons, George and Albert, were due to be drafted into the military service during World War I.  Rather than try to operate without the help of his sons, Herman decided to close the market.  He and the boys then went into the service of custom slaughtering for Chariton meat markets and farm patrons.  Fortunately, the war ended before the boys were called to service.

After the war was settled, George opened and operated the market from 1922 until 1935, in the same location as the previous market.

After the mines in Lucas County were shut down during the depression, and many miners left town unable to pay their bills, the market was forced to close.

George opened a locker plant in 1936 in the old Chariton Ice Company building.  He operated there until 1946, at which time he purchased the Schreiber building at 226-228 North Main Street.  After remodeling this building for lockers, he opened one of the most modern locker plants in the state of Iowa.  It remained with that rating for years.

A new slaughter plant was built in 1954 on East Ilion.  A feed lot was also on this property.  In 1970 the business was incorporated, with sons Lawrence (Larry), Leo and Jim as partners.

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