By J'Nell Pate
Stockyards helped to set up a few of America’s maximum towns. Early at the scene have been stockyards in towns resembling Cincinnati, differently often called “Porkopolis,” and meat stockyards and packing powerhouse Chicago, which was once thought of the #1 farm animals industry within the state. Markets quickly opened within the Midwest and finally multiplied extra westward to California and Oregon.
Other smaller markets made huge contributions to the undefined. The cow cities of fortress worthy and Wichita by no means reached the prestige of Chicago yet did have huge cattle receipts. castle worthy, for example, grew to become the most important horse and mule marketplace in 1915, as global struggle I produced an elevated call for for those animals.
Meatpacking moguls often called the massive Four—Phillip Armour, Gustavus fast, Nelson Morris, and Edward Cudahy—usually financed those growing to be markets, managed the meatpacking company and, in flip, the stockyards businesses. even if the participants replaced, this oligopoly remained intact for a lot of the length of the stockyards undefined. besides the fact that, as railways gave approach to highways, the markets declined and so too did those moguls. via the top of the 20 th century, virtually each significant marketplace closed, bringing an finish to the stockyard era.
J’Nell Pate’s exam of this period, the folks, and the markets themselves recounts an important a part of the background of America’s meat industry.
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Within the next twenty years Hampshire County, Massachusetts—located one hundred miles inland— specialized in grass-fed cattle for the Boston market. One of the earliest public livestock markets of record in the colonies existed nearby at Brighton. John Winship constructed holding pens there in 1756 to serve his own slaughterhouses. 2 16 A M E RICA’ S H I STORIC S TOC KYARDS : L IVE STOC K H OTE LS Trade also developed in the middle colonies. In 1641 the Dutch on Manhattan Island led colonial North America in livestock sales.
Because the cattle industry had not recovered from a disastrous winter of 1886–87, cattlemen after 1890 sought alternative means of financing their operations. Eastern investment, which had provided most of the financing, declined tremendously after 1890. An 1893 nationwide financial panic choked off new money. Local business leaders, forerunners of official chambers of commerce in their western communities, created their own markets. They invited one or two of the large meat packers to visit their city, donated land, built roads, and added utilities to induce the packer or packers to build new facilities in their town.
With the ringing of a bell on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. 8 Both auctions and sales by private treaty took place at these markets. At the time of the American Revolution, herds on the way to market often numbered in the thousands. Some farmers owned two hundred head of cattle, although an average farmer probably possessed no more than twenty cows. During George Washington’s administration, Alexander Hamilton’s whiskey tax made unprofitable the practice of farmers’ turning their corn into alcohol.
America's Historic Stockyards: Livestock Hotels by J'Nell Pate