Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Yengels and their meat market

One of the minor tasks during reorganization of some displays at the museum last week was to remove this fading image of Yengel Meat Market from the general store, where it had been displayed in a frame, extract it from that frame and archive the increasingly fragile image in the library. In general, it's not a good idea to frame and put on long-term display a vintage photograph, especially one that is obviously fading.

Jacob Yengel (1840-1916), born in Germany, established the family business on the south side of Chariton's square not long after his arrival in 1866 and was joined by his sons during 1896 --- Fred J. (1872-1944) and Robert J. "Bert" (1874-1949).

That year, 1896, Jacob partnered with Henry Kubitshek to build what generally was known as the Kubitshek Block on the southwest corner of the square. Yengel owned the the eastern quarter of the building; Henry, the rest.

This image probably was taken prior to 1896 in the original Yengel location, but I just can't be sure of that. The window on the left and the vintage appearance of the fixtures suggest that it dates from before the Kubitshek Block was constructed.

Only two of the three men are identified on the back, Fred and Bert Yengel, and its not clear which is which. The third man may be Jacob; I just can't say.

The brothers continued the business into the 1940s --- Fred died in 1944 and Bert carried on alone until retirement in 1946. After that, the space was used by a variety of other businesses. The Kubitshek Block itself (below, on the right) was destroyed in a 1965 fire.

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