It is often the case that individuals who excel as lower-level employees in one business will leave that business and start their own enterprise (unless, of course, there exists a non-compete agreement). Such is the case of George W. Stark and Erwin K. Wetzel, both of whom worked for Kingan & Co. Meat Packing prior to forming their own meat packing company named Stark, Wetzel & Co.
Stark, Wetzel & Co. produced a variety of meats, ranging from the bacon advertised above, to the “Grand Duchess Steak,” which the company claimed could go from the freezer to the plate in three minutes. Stark, Wetzel & Co. was also involved in promotion of the Indianapolis 500. In 1952, and for years to come, they sponsored the Stark & Wetzel Rookie of the Year Award. The winner the award was given $500 and a year’s supply of meat from Stark & Wetzel. George W. Stark also served on the original Indianapolis 500 Festival Board.
Stark & Wetzel closed its Indianapolis location at 502 W. Ray Street in 1974 when it was sold to Rath Meat Packing of Waterloo, Iowa. Wetzel died the next year, and Stark died about fifteen years later. Both are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery.