A sweet ride through a bakery’s history

By: 
Wade Young, Montgomery Messenger
It was a sweet treat for more than 25 people who attended the Montgomery Historical Society’s Show and Tell on Thursday. It was held at, and about, Franke’s Bakery. (Wade Young Photo)

It was a sweet tour down memory lane for the latest show and tell for the Montgomery Historical Society.

The journey started and ended at the famous Franke Bakery on Thursday, June 28 for the society’s bimonthly Show and Tell meeting. With more than 25 people along for the ride, Jean Franke, the granddaughter of bakery founder Emil Franke, narrated the story of the pastry shop’s humble beginnings.

The beginnings of the bakery echoed the today’s stories of so many people coming to America for a better life. She spoke about how her grandfather left what was Austria at the time around 1908. He left alone, she said, leaving his wife back in the homeland because she was a lower class citizen. He entered the United States through Maryland not knowing any English and eventually ended up in St. Paul with a brother. “He married in 1914 and heard about a bakery for sale in Montgomery. He took a train here and bought the bakery two weeks after getting married,” Franke said. “Grandma said she would only live here a year. It was a long year for her because she died here in 1987.”

Franke explained that Montgomery didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for her grandfather.

“He ran into problems here. Because he was from the Austrian side, some people here thought he was too German and Jewish. They said he had no right to fly the American flag,” she said. “The issue went to court in Le Sueur County Court and a judge agreed with grandpa and he was granted the right to fly the American flag.”

She also explained that her.....

To see more on this story pick up the July 5, 2018 print edition of the Montgomery Messenger.

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