|
Hamburg Reporter - Hamburg, IA
  • Art Vogel honored for sparking celebration

  •    Art Vogel was honored during the Popcorn Day celebration for his role in the celebration’s roots.

        Art Vogel wasn't born in Hamburg, but he got here as fast as he could. Born in Marion, Kan., in 1921, he moved to a farm southwest of town in Missouri when he was four years old, along with his parents, Alex and Anna, and brother Walter.


    • email print
  •    Art Vogel was honored during the Popcorn Day celebration for his role in the celebration’s roots.
       Art Vogel wasn't born in Hamburg, but he got here as fast as he could. Born in Marion, Kan., in 1921, he moved to a farm southwest of town in Missouri when he was four years old, along with his parents, Alex and Anna, and brother Walter.
       The Great Depression took its toll and they were forced to move closer to the Missouri River. It was there, in the spring of 1943, that Mother Nature forced her hand, flooding the entire bottom area, forcing the Vogel family to find temporary shelter at a hotel in Hamburg. As if this misfortune wasn't enough, the house went up in flames as a result of their attempt to dry it out by lighting a fire in the stove.
       And so it was that in 1943, Alex and Arthur Vogel started what would become Vogel and Son Popcorn Company. In 1948, when chemical fertilizers made their debut, the Vogels started Vogel Fertilizer Company, so that area crops, including popcorn, would have improved quality and increased yield. That company is still in business as Vogel Agri-Service.  In the 1960’s, Art purchased the old water tower at the railroad station and used it for popcorn storage – it held one million pounds of popcorn! Their hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit was rewarded with phenomenal growth in these companies over the next decades. The town of Hamburg and surrounding communities have reaped the benefits of increased economic growth as a result.
       In 1960, Hamburg had been without the Peony Festival for many years, and yet Kiwanians were inspired to start an annual celebration after coming together to produce the town's  Centennial festivities in 1958. Art Vogel suggested they call it Popcorn Day and he would provide a good entertainment act to cap off the day, something he would continue to do for many years to come.
       From that time on, with the unfailing support of his wife, Betty Jo, Art served the Hamburg community in many ways. He was on the school board from around 1953 until 1960, and on the Fremont County Board of Education for several years in the 60’s.  He diligently worked to bring Grape Community Hospital into being and served on the founding Board of Directors for many years. He recently made a matching donation to Southwest Iowa Home Health that made it possible to purchase telemedical equipment for use in patient homes, train staff in its use, and implement use of the program.
       A favorite organization of Art's has been the Boy Scouts of America, and he served on the Board of Directors for the Mid-America Council of Boy Scouts of America. He purchased the building for our local Boy Scouts, making Scout Hall a reality for them.
    Page 2 of 2 -    If a baseball team needed uniforms, Art would pitch in. When the Colonial Theater needed restoration, Art played a role.
       After Vogel Popcorn Company was sold, and ConAgra Snack Foods carried on with the popcorn business, Art and Betty Jo found time to pick up the reins of a housing project, Fox Circle. One by one, they designed and built most of the homes there, selling them at cost.
       While currently Art spends some of his time in California with daughters Anne and Debra, and summers and holidays are filled with visits with his five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, his heart remains firmly planted in Hamburg. His wish is for the community to continue to work together to keep the spirit of Popcorn Day thriving well into the future.

        calendar