The Hainlen Family
A.C. and Louie Hainlen started a family tradition for thousands across the surrounding counties, the state, and beyond when they purchased 20 acres of land on January 1, 1914.
Jacob Hainlen, A.C.’s father, had been farming in the surrounding area for years prior to A.C. starting his own farm.
Jacob helped A.C. clear, what has been described by family, as an existing but poorly maintained orchard, prior to Jacob’s passing in November of that year.
Over the next decades, the Hainlens would spread their roots deep in the community.
Fruit, Vegetables, and More
In the beginning, to pay their mortgage, A.C. started planting various produce while waiting on new apple trees to mature and produce fruit.
A.C. continued planting various fruit and vegetables throughout the years, even submitting horticulture exhibits at the Indiana State Fair on several occasions.
Entries included plums, pears, apples, crab apples, soybeans, tomatoes, and onions.
A Family of Farmers
Over the next several decades after opening, A.C. would help all three of his boys be successful with their own businesses.
A.C. would pass the original orchard on to his oldest son, Paul Sr. He would then help the middle son, Earl, start another orchard (Earl Hainlen and Sons) south of the main orachard.
Finally, A.C. helped the youngest son, Lloyd, with opening a tree nursery about a mile away. Lloyd would go on to also establish an arboretum for educating students.
Passing the Torch
Paul Sr. ran and operated the orchard with his wife, Alta, and family for many years after A.C. passed the orcharding business to him.
Then around the mid 1980’s, he passed the orchard to his son, Paul Jr. who took over managing the orchard with his wife, Carolyn, and sons.
Then from Paul Jr, the family business was passed to his son, Len Hainlen. Len managed the orchard for more than a decade, ultimately making the difficult decision to retire in 2023.
Thankfully, Len found the perfect buyers to continue the Hainlen legacy. Clay & Tara Slaughter and Zack McIntosh purchased the orchard in spring of 2023 and have no plans of changing the Hainlen legacy (keep the name and all).
They are excited for all the new possibilities to arise in the next decades to follow for Hainlen Orchard.
A special thanks to Jennifer (Hainlen) Kirkman, daughter of Lloyd Hainlen and granddaughter of A.C. Hainlen, for the oral history and historical photos.