Franz Brothers' Packing House

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

Among Springfield's "vanished industries," the packing house of B. Franz & Bro. deserves special mention. For years a leading establishment of its kind in Central Illinois, its history reflected the opportunities afforded worthy enterprises in this community in the early period and paid tribute to the industry and initiative displayed by this family, so well known in the meat business. John B. Franz, better known as Baptiste Franz, was a native of Baden, Germany, and came to this country in 1865 at the age of 18 to seek his fortune. After some experience in various meat shops, following the family tradition, he opened a stall in the old market house at 4th and Monroe in June, 1859. By 1872 he was in position to rent the entire building - over which he exercised complete control until 1876, when he bought the 5th and Madison corner and erected a substantial building for his retail trade. A brother, Fredoline, arriving from Germany in 1876, was taken into partnership three years later. Gradually the firm entered the wholesale trade while retaining its retail outlet, and erected the large and commodious packing plant shown above, located about a mile northwest of town. Franz Brothers had the first ice machine in the city, also their own electric light plant. On down the years to about 1918, when the firm suspended operations, it developed into one of the best known packing houses in this territory, with a large and profitable business. Both Baptiste and Fredoline Franz have been dead for a number of years, but members of the family are still active in the meat business and in other enterprises and are identified with all movements for the community's advancement, as were the original partners.

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.