APOSTOLIC HERITAGE

HISTORY & GENEALOGY

NEWSLETTER

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SERVING THE GREATER LIVINGSTON COUNTY AREA

NUMBER 5 - MAY 2001

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HONEGGERS AND CO., INC.

HONEGGERSí 50TH ANNIVERSARY

JULY 1978

THE HONEGGER FEED BUSINESS GOES BACK TO THE LATE 1920íS WHEN SAM AND FRANK HONEGGER OWNED ONE OF THE TOP GUERNSEY DAIRY HERDS IN ILLINOIS. THE HERDíS SUCCESS WAS ATTRIBUTED TO THE HONEGGERSí DEVELOPMENT OF BETTER FEED RATIONS. AS THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS BECAME BETTER KNOWN, NEIGHBORING FARMERS BEGAN ASKING TO BUY HONEGGER FEED.

THEIR FIRST MILL WAS BUILT IN FORREST, ILL. BUT AFTER A FEW YEARS, THEY MOVED TO NEARBY FAIRBURY AND ESTABLISHED ANOTHER. THAT MILL BURNED DOWN IN 1949, TO BE REBUILT THE FOLLOWING YEAR. A GRAIN TERMINAL WAS ADDED AND THE COMPANY WAS ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING A MAJOR MANUFACTURER AND DISTRIBUTOR OF FORMULA FEEDS.

IN THE EARLY 1950íS HONEGGERS WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING A GOOD NUMBER OF FARMERS INTO THE POULTRY BUSINESS WHEN THEY FOUND OUT THAT FARM FLOCKS COULD NET $4 A LAYER. PART OF THAT NEW BUSINESS WAS BASED ON THE ECONOMICS OF PUTTING POULTRY HOUSES ON 40 ACRES OF LAND AND SHOWING A PROFIT.

HONEGGERS ALSO WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO SHOW THE PROFITS THAT COULD BE GAINED FROM CENTRAL FARROWING HOUSES FOR SWINE. THEIR NEW SCIENTIFIC FEEDING PROGRAMS IN THE 50íS COULD BOAST THAT PIGS FED "BIG H" FEEDS WERE "THE FASTEST GROWING PIGS ON EARTH."

HONEGGERSí REPUTATION FOR EFFICIENT FEED WAS WIDENED WHEN IT TOOK THOSE FAST-GROWING PIGS AROUND TO DEALERS IN WHAT IS CALLED THE "PIGMOBILE". OPEN HOUSES TO SHOW OFF THE HONEGGER "PIG POPPERY" AT THE FAIRBURY RESEARCH FARM ATTRACTED THOUSANDS OF FARMERS. AND TO PROTEST PRICE CONTROLS 30 YEARS AGO, COMPANY OFFICIALS TOOK A PIG TO WASHINGTON AND WALKED IT DOWN THE CAPITAL STEPS.

DURING THE LATE 40íS, HONEGGERS WAS PRODUCING HALF ITS FEED PRODUCTS FOR POULTRY. WITHIN A DECADE, IT WOULD DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF FEEDS MADE FOR HOGS AND CATTLE. THE TREND TOWARD INTEGRATED POULTRY PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING HAD BEGUN TO CUT INTO THE FIRMSí TRADITIONAL MARKETS.

THE LATE 1960íS WERE PROBLEM YEARS FINANCIALLY. IN FISCAL 1968, THE COMPANY LOST A HALF MILLION DOLLARS. LATE THAT YEAR, PETROLEUM RESOURCES CORP. (LATER CALLED PRC AND THEN CORTERRA) PURCHASED THE STOCK OF HONEGGERS. PRCíS ONLY BUSINESS UNTIL 1968 WAS OIL AND URANIUM, BUT IT WAS DRIVING TO BECOME A TOTALLY INTEGRATED FOOD AND PROTEIN COMPANY. WITH HONEGGERS AS A BASE, PRC TOOK AIM AT THE EGG MARKET. IT ESTABLISHED THREE OPERATING DIVISIONS: HONEGGERS (FEED), BIG H FOOD (PULLET AND EGG PRODUCTION BUSINESS) AND BIG H COUNTRY FARMS (EGG AND POULTRY PROCESSING AND MARKETING).

WILLIAM WALKER WAS INSTALLED AS PRESIDENT OF HONEGGERS IN 1971. RICH FUNK WAS NAMED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND TREASURER.

AT THE POINT, THE 11 OUTLYING FEED MILLS REPRESENTED ABOUT 20% OF HONEGGERSí DOLLAR-VOLUME BUT TIED UP 40% OF ITS WORKING CAPITAL AND GENERATED ABOUT THREE-FOURTHS OF THE INTERNAL PAPER WORK. BY LIQUIDATING OPERATIONS, STREAMLINING THE OFFICE SYSTEM AND REDUCING PERSONNEL BY NEARLY TWO-THIRDS, THE COMPANY REVERSED THE FINANCIAL PICTURE. IN THE PROCESS OF REORGANIZING, HONEGGERS LOST A GOOD PORTION OF ITS FEED BUSINESS, ON PURPOSE.

HONEGGER FEED HAD BEEN SOLD IN 10 STATES, AS FAR EAST AS PENNSYLVANIA, UP TO THE LATE 1960íS. ITS SALES TERRITORY HAS SINCE BEEN PULLED BACK FROM THE EASTERN REGION. TODAY, BIG H FEED IS MANUFACTURED AT ONLY FOUR LOCATIONS - FAIRBURY; JASPER, IND.; AND CHELSA AND MT. PLEASANT, MICH.

WALKER RETIRED IN 1974 AND WAS SUCCEEDED BY GEORGE HAWKINS, WHO IS CREDITED WITH BRINGING BACK MUCH OF THE FEED BUSINESS AND MAKING THE COMPANY PROFITABLE. HONEGGERS SOLD ITS 240 ACRE RESEARCH FARM IN 1971. THE COMPANY IS NOW OWNED BY EHE CORP., A GROUP OF PRIVATE INVESTORS.

FEED VOLUME TODAY ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN $10 MILLION IN ANNUAL SALES - ABOUT 50% OF THE FIRMíS BUSINESS. GRAIN, WHICH HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT IN THE COMPANYíS OVERALL OPERATION, ACCOUNTS FOR THE OTHER 50%. POULTRY FEEDS, WHICH MADE UP ABOUT 50% OF THE TONNAGE WHEN HAWKINS JOINED HONEGGERS, NOW ACCOUNTS FOR ONLY 20-25%. HOG FEEDS ARE THE BIGGEST PART OF THE BUSINESS NOW, WITH THE TREND TOWARD MORE SUPPLEMENTS AND LESS COMPLETE FEEDS. HONEGGERS HAS BEEN ADDING NEW PRODUCT LINES AND CAN PROVIDE SWINE COMPLEXES TO PROVIDE COMPLETE FARROW TO FINISH OPERATIONS.

(JUNE 30, 1989, AFTER 60 YEARS OF BUSINESS, HONEGGERíS & CO., INC. CEASED OPERATIONS)

THE FOUNDERS OF HONEGGERS AND CO. INC.

SAMUEL HONEGGER 1905 - 1991

SAMUEL R. HONEGGER

FORREST - THE FUNERAL OF SAMUEL R. "SAM" HONEGGER, 86, LIFELONG RESIDENT OF FORREST, FORMER OWNER OF A POULTRY AND FEED BUSINESS IN FORREST AND FAIRBURY, WAS HELD AT

10 A. M. TUESDAY AT FORREST APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH OFFICIATED. BURIAL WAS NORTH APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN CEMETERY, RURAL FORREST.

VISITATION WAS HELD FROM 4 TO 8 P. M. MONDAY AT CULKIN-DIGGLE FUNERAL HOME, FORREST, AND ONE HOUR BEFORE THE SERVICES AT THE CHURCH TUESDAY.

PALLBEARERS WERE BRENT HONEGGER, ANDY HONEGGER, ADAM HONEGGER, DOUG HONEGGER, DAN HONEGGER AND RANDY RICH.

MR. HONEGGER DIED AT 4:52 P. M. FRIDAY, JULY 19, 1991, AT FAIRVIEW HAVEN NURSING HOME, FAIRBURY. HE HAD BEEN IN ILL HEALTH THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.

HE WAS BORN MARCH 9, 1905, IN FORREST, A SON OF EDWARD AND BERTHA HAAB HONEGGER. HE MARRIED LEAH RIEGER FEB. 10, 1932, IN FORREST. SHE SURVIVES.

ALSO SURVIVING ARE FOUR SONS, LYLE, FAIRBURY; JERRY, FORREST; GORDON, MORTON; SAM, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.; 11 GRANDCHILDREN; FIVE GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN; ONE BROTHER, FRANK, FAIRBURY; AND TWO SISTERS, KATHRYN AND NATHALIA HONEGGER, BOTH OF FAIRBURY.

HE WAS PRECEDED IN DEATH BY FOUR BROTHERS AND SIX SISTERS.

MR. HONEGGER WAS CO-FOUNDER OF HONEGGERíS AND CO. AT FAIRBURY AND ALSO OF HONEGGER FARMS INC. IN FORREST. HE SERVED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNTIL RETIRING IN 1971.

HE WAS A MEMBER OF FORREST APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

MEMORIALS MAY BE MADE TO FAIRVIEW HAVEN NURSING HOME, FAIRBURY.

FRANK HONEGGER 1901 - 1992

FRANK E. HONEGGER

FORREST - FRANK E. HONEGGER, 90, FORMERLY OF FORREST AND FORMER OWNER A FAIRBURY BUSINESS, DIED AT 2:30 A. M. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 2, 1992 AT FAIRVIEW HAVEN NURSING HOME, FAIRBURY.

HIS FUNERAL WAS AT 10 A. M. FRIDAY AT FORREST APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN CHURCH MINISTERS OFFICIATED.

VISITATION WAS HELD THURSDAY AT CULKIN-DIGGLE FUNERAL HOME, FORREST, AND FOR ONE HOUR BEFORE THE SERVICES AT THE CHURCH FRIDAY.

MR. HONEGGER WAS BORN NOV. 30, 1901, IN FORREST, A SON OF EDWARD AND BERTHA HAAB HONEGGER. HE MARRIED HULDA KILGUS SEPT. 12, 1928, IN FORREST. SHE DIED DEC. 13, 1977.

SURVIVING ARE ONE SON, JAMES, FORREST; TWO DAUGHTERS, VELMA KOEHL AND JOAN GLENDENNING, BOTH OF FORREST; TWO SISTERS, KATHRYN HONEGGER AND NATHALIA HONEGGER, BOTH OF FAIRBURY; FOUR GRANDCHILDREN; AND FIVE GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN.

HE WAS PRECEDED IN DEATH BY FIVE BROTHERS, SIX SISTERS AND ONE GRANDCHILD.

MR. HONEGGER WAS A MEMBER OF FORREST APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

HE WAS CO-OWNER OF HONEGGER CO., INC., AT FAIRBURY AND HONEGGER FARM INC. AT FORREST.

MR. HONEGGER SERVED ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF FAIRVIEW HAVEN NURSING HOME, FAIRBURY, AND APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN HOME FOR THE HANDICAPPED, MORTON.

MEMORIALS MAY BE MADE TO FAIRVIEW HAVEN NURSING HOME OR APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN HOME FOR THE HANDICAPPED.

 


This web page was prepared and is maintained by Adam J. Barrone of Fort Wayne, Indiana for the author,
Derrick K. Babbs


Last Modified:† 21 April 2002
Apostolic Christian Heritage and Genealogy by Derrick K. Babbs
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