Ackley and the story of John Washington Rath

An Ackley banker and industrialist wrote a huge chapter of hog industry history here in America.

Hardin County’s John Washington Rath (1872-1951) served as the first president of the Rath Packing Company in Waterloo. This is pork month and a good time to recall him.

He was born Feb. 26, 1872 in Ackley and lured to Waterloo back in the days the meat packing industry was just imagining itself.

Rath attended business college in Chicago then returned to Ackley to work in his brother’s bank. He came to Waterloo in 1891 and, with his cousin, E.F. Rath, founded the Rath Packing Co. that same year. John W. Rath served as president from 1898 to 1943.

He was chairman of the board of directors from 1943 to 1950.

For the full story, see this week's Herald-Ledger. Subscribe by calling 1-800-558-1244 ext 122 or email Deb at or by clicking here.

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