Letter to the Editor

Procter & Gamble history

Friday, September 4, 2009

With the celebration of Procter & Gamble's 40th anniversary in Cape Girardeau, I would like to tell a little story I know about the company's history.

The original Hoberg Paper Mill was founded in Green Bay, Wis., by John Hoberg. In the early 1880s my grandfather's brother, Dominick Knowlan, moved to Green Bay, married Rose Hoberg (daughter of John Hoberg) and worked for John Hoberg in the Hoberg Paper Mill.

Unfortunately, at an early age John Hoberg was pulled into his machinery and killed, leaving his wife, daughter Rose and three young sons. Dominick Knowlan, being quite a bit older and experienced, took over management of the paper mill and ran it for 15 or 20 years. During his tenure there, he was credited with inventing colored tissue paper and rolled toilet paper.

About 1908, John Hoberg's oldest son, William Hoberg, took over the paper mill and ran it for many years. It later became Charmin and now is one of America's greatest corporations, Procter & Gamble.

When you buy a roll of famous Charmin toilet paper, think of my dear old great-uncle Dominick.

JACK H. KNOWLAN Sr., Jackson