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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Austin HornbostelBurgers’ Smokehouse president Steven Burger was on hand Monday for the Moniteau County Historical Society’s monthly meeting. Burger walked the group through the history of his family’s business, from founding to the present day.

The Moniteau County Historical Society is back in the swing of in-person meetings. The group hosted its regular monthly meeting Monday following a presentation about the history of Burgers' Smokehouse.

Burgers' Smokehouse president Steven Burger was on hand to address the group, walking attendees through the timeline of his family's business from founding to the present day.

The business can trace its history back to its first generation in 1927, Burger said, when E. M. Burger began selling country hams off his farm. Throughout the years, four generations in total have led Burgers' Smokehouse. The second generation — led by Steven's father, the late Morris Burger — took the helm in 1962. Generation three came on in the mid-1980s and the newest fourth generation in the mid-2010s.

Across that timeline are dotted various milestones that Burger detailed in his presentation — E. M. Burger's "Ham House" being built in 1952 to accommodate his growing business; Morris' development of an environmentally controlled curing process in 1962; the company's foray into private labeling, leading to a distributor network in 1973; organic growth fueled by mail orders and a partnership with Cracker Barrel in 1982; the establishment of a board including independent directors in 1992; the opening of a slicing facility in Desloge in 2000; the company joining a quarterly CEO peer group, Eagle Forum, in 2006; and the acquisitions of Clifty Farm in 2019 and Hobe's Country Ham in 2020.

The next guest presenter at the Historical Society will be Dr. Joan Stack, curator of Art Collections for the State Historical Society of Missouri. Stack will present before the July meeting, giving the group a review of Missouri history through the eyes of artists.

Following a brief pause for refreshments, the group got down to the business of its regular monthly meeting.

In the past month, the group has been facilitating its annual cemetery flower sale. With only a few bushes left to sell, the Historical Society reported it was a success; total flower sales numbered at $6,466, resulting in a $3,176.82 profit for the group. All told, 126 saddles and 173 floral bushes had been sold as of Monday night's meeting.

The group also discussed a few other items in committee reports — a new flag display in the meeting room window, a successful tour day for second-graders at the museum, and the addition of three new lifetime members and one annual member during the past month. The group was also informed it has a scholarship recipient for this year, to be announced at California High School's scholarship awards night Thursday.

In new business, the group learned that the Maclay Association in Tipton has taken possession of the old Presbyterian church property in Tipton and will begin a fundraising campaign in the near future to help with repairs to restore the property.

The Moniteau County Historical Society's next regular monthly meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 14.

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