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Carl Hilmar Guenther (1826-1902)
  • Robert S Shelton
Carl Hilmar Guenther (born March 19, 1826 in Weißenfels, Kingdom of Saxony; died October 18, 1902 in San Antonio, TX) established a mill on the Texas frontier in 1851 that grew into one of the largest food processing companies in the nation, producing well-known flour brands such as Pioneer and White Wings, home baking products under the Morrison Mills name, and Sun-Bird and Williams prepared foods. Guenther came to America in 1848, seeking greater political freedom, hoping for economic opportunity, and fulfilling a desire to see the world beyond Saxony. Although he, unlike some immigrant entrepreneurs, did not introduce innovations or inventions in his chosen field, Guenther shrewdly assessed the social and economic opportunities that the German communities in the expanding nation afforded. He lived in Wisconsin and traveled throughout the northern states for several years before settling in Fredericksburg, Texas, northwest of San Antonio. In 1860, he moved his business to San Antonio, building a home and mill on the San Antonio River. After the Civil War, innovations in milling technology and rapid increases in the state’s population and grain production spurred the growth of Guenther’s operation. By the time of his death, his company was among the biggest flouring and grist milling operations in the American Southwest.[*]
  • immigration,
  • German-Americans,
  • Texas,
  • Flour
Publication Date
February, 2016
Citation Information
Shelton, Robert. "Carl Hilmar Guenther." In Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, vol. 2, edited by William J. Hausman. German Historical Institute. Last modified February 25, 2016.