The Life of a Butcher
“Hey, dad! Now that I got my first deer what are we going to do with it?”
Miles Brothers Meats (MBM) works nonstop from October to December and the months of June and July. Deer hunters give MBM a lot of business.
Starting the Business
Curt Taylor started MBM in 1942 but it was originally called Vienna Locker. The locker was located in the back of a grocery store in Vienna, Ill. Back then, they only took in cows and pigs to butcher. The locker began butchering animals and processing them for farmers not long after that. The workers used a ladder “like the ones in the library that rolls” stated Caleb Miles, to reach the top of the meat stack.
The business is now owned by the third generation of the Miles Brothers. Miles’ great grandfather, Ernest Miles Sr., bought the locker from Taylor in 1956. In 1958, the locker was officially opened for deer season. Miles Sr. processed cows, pigs, and deer in the same building until 1967. During that year, Miles Sr. built a new building down the road from his house.
In 1992, Ernest Miles Jr. and Kendall Miles took over the locker and changed the name to Miles Brothers. Later that year, they decided to sell the building and move to Goreville, Ill. While at that new location, they worked during every deer season and off season. In 1996, Jr. wanted out of the business and tried to talk Chad Miles and his brother into taking over the business but they did’t want to.
In 2007, the Miles Brothers bought a locker in West Frankfort, Ill. Miles Jr. argued that they should have stayed in Goreville. They only processed deer because of inspection and licensing issues for livestock in the first three years. In 2010, they started processing cows and pigs. They worked up to processing sheep, goats, buffalo, elk, and wild hogs.
From 1942 up to now, at least one person in Caleb Miles’ family has worked in the locker. One day, Miles hope that he and his brother will own the locker and become the fourth generation of Miles Brothers.
What Do They Make?
They make jerky, summer sausage, deer meatloaf, slim jims, and everything in between. My personal favorite is the honey BBQ slim jims and deer jerky.
Watch the video below to see Miles give a tour of Miles Brothers Meats.
WARNING THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS BLOOD AND DEAD ANIMALS!