Born in Hortonville, Wisconsin, at 15 Nagreen was a vendor at the 1885 Seymour Fair. After not experiencing success selling meatballs, he had an idea. Knowing that the visitors to the fair would be hungry after gazing at the exhibits but wouldn't be able to walk and eat, he smashed a meatball and placed it between two slices of bread. His idea was a success and he returned every year until his death in 1951.
The name of the Hamburger came from the idea of "Hamburg steak", or ground beef. Since this was a popular item in Seymour at the time of the 1885 fair, Nagreen decided to call the sandwich the "Hamburger". This claim is supported by various local history organizations, but not widely accepted; see History of the hamburger in the United States.
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