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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

RATH, George John

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Family History: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=caferg&id=I142

RATH, George John. (Wuerttemberg, Germany, Dec. 21, 1821--Dubuque, IA, Jan. 17,1906). In 1849 Rath moved to Dubuque where he formed a partnership with John H. STROBEL to establish the STROBEL AND RATH PACKING COMPANY. Rath established his own meat packing business in Dubuque in 1870, and began a partnership with his son, Edward F. Rath in 1887 that led to the formation of the packing firm of GEORGE RATH AND SON. Salted and smoked meats, lard and bacon were shipped by boat to New Orleans. Business was also expanded into Illinois and Wisconsin.

Advertisement from 1926. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

In 1890 the slaughtering plant was destroyed by fire. The elder Rath wished to retire, and Edward and his cousin John W. Rath accepted a proposal from Waterloo, Iowa, to relocate from Dubuque. George C. RATH, another son, purchased the remaining Dubuque buildings from his father and brother in 1891 and then sold the site to Strobel. (1) George J. Rath remained in Dubuque as a director of the new company and served two terms on the city council.



1. "Another Pork Packing House," Dubuque Daily Herald, September 29, 1891, p. 4

Oldt, Franklin. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880, p. 863

"John Washington Rath," Online: http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=163