Muncie’s ‘Meaty’ Past
Karen M. Vincent
Minnetrista Director of Collections
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Watching the Sausage Get Made
It was located on Broadway Avenue in Muncie—now Martin Luther King Boulevard—and it smelled bad. At times, it smelled really bad. It was the meat packing company that started as Kuhner and closed many years later as Marhoefer.
Although I can’t imagine wanting to see meat packing in action, some of the local schools used to tour the plant. My mother once told me that after going through the plant as a child, she swore off meat, especially hot dogs, until her memory of the tour faded sufficiently.
Collection Artifacts: 1929 Pocket Calendar & Lard Can
Gottlieb Kuhner and his sons founded Kuhner and Company which, by 1913, included nine retail butcher shops and Kuhner Packing Company. As shown on the 1929 pocket calendar, the packing company produced bacon, sausage, dried beef, ham, lard, and other products. You can nearly see that the lard can depicted on the calendar is nearly identical to the can in the collection.
What you can’t see so easily is that Kuhner’s tag line, developed by advertising manager Robert H. Myers, Sr., was “Kuhner Meats Make Keener Appetites.” In the 1950s, Kuhner Packing Company became Marhoefer Packing Company. That company closed in the 1970s.
The Short History of Kuhner Junior High
In the early 1960s, Muncie Community Schools built a new junior high school on North Elgin Street and named it for the Kuhner family. According to a fairly knowledgeable source—my husband—the students were allowed to choose the school nickname and colors. Apparently, several of the students, including my husband, wanted to be the Kuhner “Weiners,” but the administration nixed that idea. Instead, the Kuhner Junior High nickname was the “Falcons.”
Kuhner Junior High School was only in existence for about ten years. The building currently houses the Muncie Area Career Center.
Do you remember Kuhner Weiners or Kuhner Junior High? Please share your memories in the comment.