On Generosity and Compassion: Grandpa Arthur’s Legacy

Grandpa Arthur always had a big heart. Naturally, this carried over into his business. From his famous giveaways to lived lessons on forgiveness, he left a legacy that remains integral to the Muenster Milling foundation.

Freebies

Recognizing and feeling grateful for all he had, Arthur made it a point to give back and spread that same joy with his customers. The highlight of his job was giving away promotional gifts. He loved being able to delight people with small trinkets like cups, hats and shirts, or note pads and pens, etc.

Once word caught on, regular groups of townswomen would make it a point to come up to the feed mill. Anytime Grandpa would get in new giveaways/promo items, they’d be first in line for their free treasures.

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Grandpa Arthur loved being able to put a smile on their face. He was even generous enough to dig through the pile of goods and fish out the exact color they requested. He even valued those that were only there for the free goods and felt good about giving it all away.

When asked why he gave away so much stuff for free to people he knew wouldn’t buy anything, his response, was simply “It made their day, and that makes me happy.”

Forgiveness

1955 was a controversial year at the Mill. Over the course of a few weeks, employees noticed someone had found their way into the Mill and was stealthily stealing small change out of the office drawer. Despite the proper locks and security, the thieving continued, though no one could quite figure out how they were entering the building.

One day Arthur decided to have Werner stay overnight at the Mill to see if he could catch the thief. Werner was only there about an hour when he heard two kids talking under the basement stairs. As he listened in, he could make out that the youngest boy, about 13, had never participated before. He overheard the older boy, about 15, giving instruction saying, “it’s easy- nothing to it. I do it all the time.”

Werner caught the boys red-handed and called Arthur. The older boy ran off and Werner took off after him, telling the other one to stay put. When Arthur got to the Mill the younger boy was standing there, terrified about getting caught.

It turned out the boys got into the basement of the Mill through a foundation vent in the alley. It was hidden from anyone’s view, so they just removed the vent cover, dropped in to the basement, and from there they took the stairs up into the Mill and into the office area.

Arthur didn’t call the police, and chose to alert let the boys’ parents about the incident instead. After finishing high school, the young men came by the Mill and asked for Arthur for a job. Arthur told them he thought they had learned their lesson and hired them both. Ten years later each of these men were still working at the Mill and remained loyal employees for their tenure.

In the end, Grandpa didn’t start this business to become rich, he wanted to make a difference, and it’s a legacy we at Muenster Milling aim to continue.

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