Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company
Posted On: 05/30/2017 - 3:37pm, Posted By: Christine Engels, Archives Manager, Manuscripts Department
By 1830 Cincinnati had become famous for its pork production. The region saw a marked increase in hog cultivation after corn became a major crop throughout the Midwest. Farmers needed a way to make a profit on surplus corn without high transportation costs and found that by fattening the pigs on the corn they could solve one problem while simultaneously making a profit on it.
The first slaughterhouses in Cincinnati were on Deer Creek between Mt. Auburn and Walnut Hills, but by 1867 two stockyards had opened in the West End, the Great Western Stock Yards and Sales Pens at Harriet and Millcreek and the Union Stock Yard Company at Hamilton Road near Camp Washington. The Great Western Stock Yards was the first large livestock company in Cincinnati. By 1873 several other stockyards opened in Cincinnati, mostly in the Millcreek, Brighton, and Camp Washington area along Spring Grove Avenue. In 1871 the Union Stock Yards and the Great Western Stock Yards combined under the name United Railroads Stock Yard Company of Cincinnati located at Spring Grove Avenue near Hopple Street with J. L. Keck as its first president followed by William J. Lippincott. In 1883 the United Railroads Stock Yard Company bought out its competitor, Cincinnati Stock Yard Company, and changed its name to Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company.
Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company stock certificate for Mrs. Katherine Schneider, April 27, 1949
The Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company entered the livestock business at a time when demand for hogs, the city's main revenue source, was in decline. By 1860 Chicago and other western stockyards had surpassed Cincinnati as a producer of hog products due to many issues including the growth of railroads. They were able to remain fairly competitive for some time although meat production fell steadily in the post-World War II years. The stockyards closed in 1980.
Blank Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company stock certificate
The Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company was also involved in leasing property and buildings along Spring Grove Avenue and the area between the Mill Creek and the railroad lines. In addition to this they also ran the Avenue Hotel as both a place for those involved in the livestock trade to put up for a night and as a meeting place for various boards and organizations related to the stockyards.
The records of the Cincinnati Union Stock Yard Company are comprised of board minutes, financial and annual reports, livestock and property information, as well as drawings of buildings, local roads, and livestock equipment from 1866-1976.
Double deck hog house designed in St. Joseph Stock Yards and used in Sioux City with modifications, January 17, 1917