Henry Heinz, born in 1844, to German immigrants in Pittsburg, PA, helped support his family as a teenager by growing and selling vegetables in the family garden. After graduating from college and getting married, he started a business selling horse radish. In 1875, a national financial collapse drove the young company into bankruptcy. Despite the legal freedom bankruptcy gave him, Heinz regarded each of the company’s outstanding debts as a moral obligation and personally paid back every penny.
Heinz went on to found the H.J. Heinz Company with its 57 varieties and became a leading American businessman. A devout Christian, he was known for the generous treatment of his employees and his generosity to Christian causes. Throughout his life Heinz conducted his business and personal dealings with the same integrity that led him to pay back hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars he technically did not owe. He began his will with these words: “I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will as the most important item in it a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour.”
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1