Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Stock Yards, Packing and Provision Houses

“A Brief History of Peoria” by Democratic State Central Committee? 1896.
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails Staff

By C. M. Aldrich


    The Union Stock Yards of this city are far more important in their line than the size of our city would indicate. The yards have a daily capacity for 5,000 hogs, 3,000 cattle and 2,000 sheep. This is one of the recognized live stock markets of the country and its market quotations are posted daily in all the commercial centers. The daily receipts of stock will average about 2,000 hogs, 500 cattle and 500 sheep. Peoria is a good market for all shippers in Central Illinois and receives a large proportion of stock from Iowa. It Is an important distributing point on eastern business, all of the leading packers in the east have buyers located at the yards.
    An important item in the cattle trade is the fact that about 14,000 cattle are now being fed at the Peoria distilleries, but this is less than the usual quantity. The usual number being about 22,000 head fed and finished for market here. E. Godel & Sons and The Peoria Packing or Provision Co. have their slaughter houses and packing houses located at the yards Both of these firms do a large business in the dressed beef line and in pork packing. The houses are complete in every detail and fully up to the standard of any of the larger houses of the country and furnish employment for a large number of men. The provision business of the city is such that the larger houses, such as Armour Packing Co , Swift & Co. and T. M. Sinclair & Co. of Cedar Rapids, Ia., all have branch houses located here. The location of these branches brings many millions of dollars through the city banks that would otherwise go in other directions. The provision trade has crown enormously in the last ten years and the territory within one hundred miles of Peoria is now almost entirely supplied from Peoria with all goods in this line. Ten years ago this trade was very largely supplied from Chicago.   

     The packing houses and the branch houses located here all have men on the road working all of central and southern Illinois, western Indiana, Kentucky, northern Missouri and eastern Iowa, and this trade alone will easily amount to about five million dollars annually.


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