Homer Lewis MORGRET 46
- Born: 26 Oct 1898, Mount Auburn, Christian, Illinois, United States 28
- Marriage: Mildred V. KIRK
- Died: 26 Oct 1977, Mount Auburn, Christian, Illinois, United States at age 79 28
- Buried: Grove City Cemetery, Grove City, Christian, Illinois
Issued in Oklahoma
Last Residence: Mount Auburn, Christian, Illinois
From John Landis Morgrette Jr. to Homer Lewis Morgret - Apr 4, 1947. "I do not know exactly when or why we began spelling our name as we do at present."
(Source: Teri Graham)
1930 Census, Cresent City, Del Norte, California, ED# 1
Morgret, Homer L., Lodger, M,W,31,M,21,IL,IL,PA, Salesman,?
Mildred V., Wife, Lodger, F,W,-,M,-,IL,IL,IL
Marcella R., Dau., Lodger, F,W,9,S,IL,IL,IL
Noted events in his life were:
• Newspaper article: The Washington Post, 4 Aug 1918, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia. Brig. Gen. Richard D. Simms, commanding the District National Guard, yesterday announced the following commissioned and enlisted personnel changes...To enlist in marine corps, Homer E. Morgret, Company A, Fifth infantry...
• Newspaper article: The Decatur Review, 24 Jul 1926, Decatur, Macon, Illinois, United States. MT. AUBURN STORE LOOTED BY THIEVES
Mt. Auburn. July 24 - Thieves entered the grocery and merchandise store of Homer L. Morgret about 3 o'clock Friday morning by breaking the glass in the back door and looted the store of about 300 worth of goods consisting of dress goods, silk hosiery, silk underware, ties, shoes, and other articles.
The sheriff of Christian county was called but no clues to the robbers were found.
• Magazine: Changing Times, The Kiplinger Magazine, Pg. 22, May 1949. Small Town Successes
A man who built a $300,000-a-year enterprise in an Illinois Village.
HOMER L. MORGRET. How to build a successful business in a small town is shown by the career of Homer L. Morgret, of Mount Auburn, Ill. (population 450).
Morgret started out 25 years ago, with a one-horse grocery store in a one-horse town, on $1300 cash and $1100 of borrowed money. Today he operates a $300,000 a year business which includes a lumberyard, automobile and farm machinery agencies, and miscellaneous enterprises. He has $200,000 in merchandise stock, home and farm lands, buildings and equipment. Now 50 years old, he doesn't run the grocery store anymore. He gave that to his daughter and son-in-law.
"Mrs. Morgret and I came back to Mount Auburn to enter business after being away 12 years," says Morgret, "because we wanted to spend our lives in a small community where we felt at home. My birthplace is half a block from my home now and my wife was raised eight miles south of town on a farm".
Morgret had left Mount Auburn in 1912 to start his business career in Kansas City, Mo., as an officer-worker for a railroad. Then he worked in Washington D.C., as a typist in the War Department, a job he quit to join the Marines in World War I. After the war he was a Swift & Co. salesman at National Stockyards, Ill., until April 1924, when he returned to Mount Auburn.
The Morgret grocery, employing one clerk, barely broke even the first year of operation. Business picked up in the second year and in the fall of 1925 the Morgrets bought a building in a better location, formerly occupied by a bank. In 1926 they were able to buy a truck and employ a full-time driver. They started to haul their groceries and meats from the wholesale houses. They did general trucking for customers.
Morgret's first big opportunity came in 1934. The local lumberyard went out of business and Morgret rented its building, not with the idea of selling lumber but to get a railroad siding for his coal business. The townspeople soon persuaded him to handle lumber as well. This turned into one of his most profitable enterprises.
In the fall of 1934 Morgret bought his first 80 acres of farm land for $5000. There was some sentiment attached to that deal, as the land was formerly the old homestead of Mrs. Morgret. The Morgrets now own 640 acres purchased at a total cost of $69,800.
Morgret's second big opportunity came in 1936. A friend who was entering the implement business asked Morgret to give him an estimate on a building. After the friend located in another town, Morgret decided to go into the implement business himself. He still operated from the lumberyard - a property he had bought in the meantime. Once more the enterprise was very profitable.
Morgret continued to branch out. Now he owns three other buildings besides the lumberyard. One is used for automobile and tractor display and a Firestone automotive supply store. In the second, machine parts are displayed and stocked. The third is a repair and machine set-up shop. He employs 10 persons in these operations.
Morgret modestly says he cannot explain why his business developed so successfully in such a small community. Men who have done business with him have their own ideas.
Walter H. Droste, president of the Federal Land Bank of St. Louis through which Morgret financed his farm-land purchases, says: "Mr. Morgret has always kept closely in touch with all of his operations, but he has been careful to delegate authority so as to inspire initiative and leadership on the part of his employes."
H. H. Foster, assistant cashier of the Citizens National Bank of Decatur, says: "We would say Mr. Morgret's success is due to his keen knowledge of the farming community he serves and to carrying a complete inventory to meet the people's needs at all times. He sells only high-quality merchandise and apparently he gives fair and impartial treatment to all."
Morgret has a simple formula to offer to a person going into business for himself: "I feel," he says, "that success may be had in any size community with proper management and principles."
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Vol. 3, No. 5
Published by Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc
Homer married Mildred V. KIRK. (Mildred V. KIRK was born on 13 Jun 1899 in Mount Auburn, Christian, Illinois, United States,28 died on 6 Jan 1983 in Mount Auburn, Christian, Illinois, United States 28 and was buried in Grove City Cemetery, Grove City, Christian, Illinois.)