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Lehr's Meat Market

About Us


The Lehr family came to this country from Hesse/Darmstadt Germany in 1833. After settling in Biddleborn Illinois they soon introduced their meat cutting skills to the local residents. This was a part of our heritage that was finally turned into a business by Emil Lehr and Tony Lehr in the early 1900's.Emil and Tony started out just North of Tilden Illinois custom butchering for farmers in 1918. In 1924 the business was moved to Tilden where the Lehr Brothers ran a successful grocery store and slaughterhouse. In 1944 Emil and his family moved to New Athens Illinois where he purchased his home and butcher shop. The two story home they lived in was also the store,complete with a cooler that they sold their meat products from. After updating the existing building where they slaughtered at,a new grocery store was added in 1955. Emil's son David (then 18 years old) who was always at his fathers side joined Emil in business after graduating high school in 1955. When the demand for wrapping meat came about,Emil's wife Olivia did the wrapping,and was later joined by David's wife Carolyn in 1961.

  Business flourished through the 60's and into the 70's. David,who had been running the business for years already,decided it was time to close the grocery store in 1974 and concentrate on the growing demand for cutting,wrapping,and freezing beef and hogs. The grocery store was replaced with a huge cooler and processing room with a small freezer adjoining the building.

  In 1979 David's son Jeff (age 18) joined his father in business and runs the shop to this day. We have scaled back our processing a bit to make time for our oncoming sausage business. Today we still hand craft all our sausages the way it was done almost 100 years ago.