|Oshkosh Daily Northwestern
June 26, 1953
Bloechl Meat Market Started Here in 1899
Store is one of oldest of type in Oshkosh
The Bloechl Meat Market, one of the oldest establishments of meat
dealers in the City of Oshkosh, was established in 1899 by John Bloechl,
who came here from Chicago, and Louis Putz.
The concern, known as the Bloechl and Putz Market, was located at 1043
Fifth St., and the business has been carried on at the same address ever
Mr. Putz withdrew from the business in 1914, after which it was
operated by Mr. Bloechl alone. The latter's son. Louis Bloechl, entered
the business in 1919, and became the owner when the senior Mr. Bloechl
The Southside concern is another of this city's many "third
generation" firms, Louis Bloechl's sons having started in the meat
business almost as soon as they could safely "handle a cleaver."
photo of John and his son, Louis, delivering meat in a horse-drawn
Still Active in Market
Louis Bloechl is still active in the meat market, although the business
management is handled by Clarence Bloechl, his son. Another son, Eugene
Bloechl, is also associated with the firm, as is a grandson-in-law.
Meat market operations have changed a good bit since the earlier days.
Meat was chopped in those years by means of what was known as a "hand
rocker," a device which, as its name would indicate, was rocked back
and forth by hand until the meat had taken on the required texture.
Bloechl's first meat grinder was operated by gasoline.
There were no chicken "pickers" in those days. When the
holidays rolled around, neighbor women were glad to pitch in at
"picking bees." They kept the feathers using them to make into
pillows and feather ticks.
Lambs and sheep were also handled by neighbors. The women took the
wool, washed and dried it, sent it out for carding and made into
Old-fashioned sausages were made by hand. There were no such things as
automatic stuffers. Sausages were stuffed, instead, by means of a
funnel-shaped steer horn.
Nor were there streamlined refrigeration mechanisms in those days.
Several times each week the iceman visited the meat market to fill up the
huge ice box.
Tools were kept sharp by hand, and the showcase was made of wood and
was scrubbed inside and out every week. The floor was covered with sawdust
instead of with tile.
Huge barrels of homemade sauerkraut and herring were kept on hand. Once
a week, lard was rendered out in a big cast iron kettle. Before the lard
had cooled, the neighbors would come in for "scraps."
Thanks to Bernice Robl Bloechl for a copy of this story.
Comments by Bernice Robl Bloechl
The meat market continued operation under Erwin's Grandfather Louis,
then Erwin's father George, until about 1969, when the "Mom and
Pop" stores faded out. They did business on the same corner for 70
years. Across the street was the Berger Grocery Store, owned and run by
Louis's sisters, Mary Bloechl Berger and Ann Bloechl Kellerman. The
Bloechl's come from a long line of butchers. They also settled in Chicago.