W. Joseph Grand.

Illustrated history of the Union Stockyards; sketch-book of familiar faces and places at the yards online

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Online LibraryW. Joseph GrandIllustrated history of the Union Stockyards; sketch-book of familiar faces and places at the yards → online text (page 1 of 17)
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LiBRARY OF CONGRESS.



Cfpii.- - G3pijri3lill}c.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY

OF THE

UNION STOCKYARDS



SKETCH-BOOK OF FAMILIAR FACES AND
PLACES AT THE YARDS

NOT FORGETTING

Kaminiscences of the Yards, Humorous and Otherwise, Joe Getler and
His Cats, the Hustling Commission Men, the Widow of th^
Deceased, the Belle of the Stockyards; Beside Valuable
/- / Hints to Farmers on Breeding, Selling, Shipping and

\// '^ Conditioning, and Veterinary Recipes; and Con-

'''^ ^ eluding with the Man of "Ups and Downs."

^ /

By W. JOS. GRAND



THOS, KNAPP PTG. & BDG. COMPANY ^^^

341-851 Dearbori^ Stre^^^^^JSV^ n \
Chicago ^^



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£f-2?^f




Copyright 1806, by o\f i ^1

W. Jos. Grand



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CONTENTS.

Page

Frontispiece 1

Tlie Union Stockyards 7

Reminiscences of the Stockyards 83

Joe Getler and His Cats 41

"Packingtown" 46

The Slickest Confidence Game in Chicago 58

The World's Greatest Horse Market 61

Builders of the Horse Market 77

Wild Horse Harry and his Horse ''x^^igger" .. ..... 92

America's Popular Auctioneer 100

Mary the Apple Woman 102

The High Priced Auctioneer of America 105

Dan McCarthy and his Goats 108

Dressing Lamb and Mutton at the Stockyards 109

"Bill" 115

Kosher Killing 118

Jimmy Norton and his Dog "Harry" 121

Evolution of Cattle 125

Human Nature at the Cow Market 128

Evolution of the Hog 180

"Old Sandy" • • • • 185

Inspection 1B7

Jack-Knife Ben 141

Disposal of the Steer 146

The Maltese Cross 152

5



6 CONTENTS

Page

Breeding < 154

Bridle Bill 167

Horse Dealing 169

Willie the Telegraph Messenger 174

Buying Horses 177

Gallagher and Brown 185

Care and Conditioning of Horses 187

''The Duke of Somerset" 190

Selling Horses 192

Tne Itinerant Barber Shop 196

The Widow of the Deceased 198

Sea Faring on Cattle Boats 214

Billy the Letter Carrier 217

Transit House 219

The Belle of the Stockyards 221

The Can-Rush 226

Commission, Feed Charges, Dockage, etc 228

One Kind of Stick-to-ativeness 229

Daily Drovers' Journal 280

The Pen-Holders 231

Champion Beef Dresser of the World 288

Jack, Pety and Paddy 286

The Stockyards Scribes 240

Gus the Ham Tester 242

Manufacture of Butterine 244

Cattle Ranches and Ranging - 248

Range Horses 266

In Coach and Saddle 271

Veterinary Recipes 296

My Ups and Downs, With Good Advice to Fellow

Men SIO



THE UNION STOCKYARDS:

THE GREATEST LIVE STOCK MARKET IN THE WORLD.

"You can get quicker action for your money at the Stockyards
than in any other place on earth.*'— A Consignor.




WAY back in 1848, when the
population of Chicago was
less than 50,000, when her
shipping and commercial in-
terests were no greater than
those of many a little western
city of to-day whose prosper-
ity is dependent upon the dys-
peptic caprices of a statesman
elected on a silver or gold issue, when she existed as the
country's metropolis only in the imagination of the
Utopian few, John B. Sherman, now one of the most
esteemed men in the West, took a step which went one
half way toward making Chicago the magnificent city
she is to-day. He felt one of the city's needs, and his
powerful mind devised the remedy which should turn
toward Chicago the major portion of the wealth of the
West. Chicago needed a live stock market,and John B,
Sherman established the Old Bull's Head Stockyards at
the corner of Madison Street and Ogden Avenue, and this

7



8 ILLUSTRATED HISTORY

was the initial move toward making Chicago what she
is at present — the greatest live stock market in the
world.

Previous to the construction of this stockyard, cattle
and hogs were dumped on the sand hills and sold at
so much per head — and the price of cattle in those days
may be estimated when a crippled hog sold for $75.
As business increased, Sherman's far-seeing mind again
grasped the situation, and he saw the necessity of get-



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OLD SHERMAN STOCKYARDS.

ting nearer the city. The site he selected for the
new yards was at Cottage Grove Avenue and Thirtieth
Street, and here he started what was known as the
Sherman Stockyards.

At this time there were made several other ventures
of the same kind, none of which, however, were success-
ful. Among those making these ventures were the Fort
Wayne, Illinois Central and Lake Shore railroads. These



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS 9

roads, backed by comparatively unlimited capital and
spurred on by large self-interests, pitted themselves
against a single man, with little money at his command,
and lost. John B, Sherman, however, had the better
capital of all; he had almost the insight of a seer, the
perspicacity of a trained speculator and the magnetic
power over men of a Napoleon. A lesser man might
have opposed his single strength to the combined force
of the competitor. Not so John B. Sherman. He made
his interest the interest of the opposition, he exercised
his ingenuity to make all their interests mutual, and
within an incredibly short space of time, in 1865,
his opponents had become his partners, a partnership
which, with Sherman always at the helm, has resulted
in a prosperity beyond which the most sanguine expec-
tations of tbd stockyard company or the interested citi-
zens of Chi«:ago could not aspire. The company in-
corporated with a capital of $10,000,000, which has
since been nearly trebled, as the Union Stockyards and
Transit Company.

The site of the stockyards had been again changed,
this time to a quarter of a section of land bound by For-
tieth and Forty-Seventh Streets on the north and south,
and by Halsted Street and Center Avenue on the east
and west. In those early days this yard was far beyond
the limits of the city, being sufficiently isolated to
satisfy even Chicagoans that it was at a proper sanitary
distance. Its site was a reedy swamp, upon the un-
measured front feet of which no real estate dealer had
yet cast a covetous eye. Old Nathaniel Hart still re-
members and talks of the laying of the first plank



10



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



which converted the bog into a teeming mart, and ex-
changed the croaking of bullfrogs for the grunting of
swine and the chirping of reed birds for the voices of
men. Chicago grew, however, and one morning John
B. Sherman awoke to find his cattle market midway
between the city hall and the city limits, and his awak-
ening was disturbed only by the complaints of near-by
3'esidents against the odors of cattle, and the excoriations
of sanitary committees. Hard work and bliss is not




THE GATEWAY TO THE STOCKYARDS.



all which attends the progress of the founder of a new
industry; he must take a share of the world's fault-
finding also.

At their first construction the stockyards covered one
hundred and twenty acres with two thousand cattle
pens, whereas today, thirty-one years later, three hun-
dred and forty acres covered with five thousand pens,



OF THE UNION BTOCKYARDS



11



stables, railroad statioDs, unloadiDg platforms, a splen-
did horse pavilion and a magnificent hotel are included
within the grounds of the stockyards. Takingin "Pack-
ingtown," which is, indeed, the stockyards proper, the
area of the yard would be increased to six hundred and
forty acres and extend to Ashland Avenue, a territory
large enough to furnish the site for a prosperous city.
And, indeed, the population of a goodly city is con-




A FULL PEN.



tained within the boundaries of the yards, the various
branches of the stock market and packing-house indus-
try providing occupation for an army of employes,
men, women and children, to the number of 40,000 — a
population almost as large as that of the whole of Chi-



12



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



cago at the time when John B. Sherman constructed
the first stockyards over on the West Side This is
within th3 yards; outside of the stockyards palings is
one of the busiest, although by no means one of the
most aristocratic, portions of Chicago. Rows of dwell-
ings, hotels, liveries, blacksmitheries, furniture stores,
groceries, meat markets, and last, but never least, sa-
loons, cluster thickly on the outskirts of the yards, the




SHEEP FOR OUTSIDE SLAUGHTER HOUSES.



din of activity from city and yards rising from early
dawn till far into the night, and uniting in sounds o^
enterprise whicli are the business man's anthem.

How few people of the city know that the stockyards
have done more to make Chicago the metropolis of the
West and her name a synonym for almost preternatural
rapidity of growth than any other industry I How many
know that of Chicago's nearly 2,000,000 people one-
fourth derive support, directly or indirectly, from the
stockyards? How few have ever realized the amount of



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS



13



eastern, western and European capital invested in Chi-
cago on the strength of the influence of the stockyards
alone I The food products sent out from the stockyards
supply nourishment to the entire world. Should this
great industry be suddenly stopped for a period of six
months the armies of Europe would be deprived of ani-
mal food almost to the point of a meat famine; and
should it be suddenly annihilated there would be a revo-
lution in the live stock shipping trade.




BEEF FOR JOHNNY BULL.

During every one of the three hundred and sixty-five
days in the year, except Sundays, there are here off ered
up in sanguinary sacrifice to the necessities of man
15,000 hogs, 5,000 cattle, and 5,000 sheep, not consid-
ering the highest record for one day, which reads:
Hogs, 42,000; cattle, 10,000; sheep, 12,000.

All the great railroads of the East, West, North and
South are centralized here by means of the stockyards



14



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



belt line, and every railroad in Chicago is connected
with the Union Stockyards system. The tracks owned
and controlled by the Union Stockyards and Transit
Company are one hundred and thirty miles in length,
including main lines, siding and storage tracks, and
were constructed in every particular to expressly facili-
tate the company's business. Unloading platforms are
assigned each railroad and are so constructed that en-
tire trains can be unloaded at once as quickly as a sin-




RAILWAY STATION.



gle car. A passenger station, well equipped and modern
in all its appointments, practically enables the inhabi-
tants of this district to step from their doors to ele-
gant Pullman cars going to every part of the country.
The stockyards and the Chicago River are connected
by means of a canal, the frontage of which is lined with
docks which are increasing in number every year.



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS 15

About fifty miles of streets and alleys connect the
pens with the loading and unloading chutes of the
railroads, 50,000 cattle, 200,000 hogs, 80,000 sheep and
5,000 horses being thus easily handled and accommo-
dated at one time now, whereas to handle from 1,500 to
3,000 animals forty years ago seemed a herculean task.
Viaducts, which are in strength if not in beauty fine
examples of the builder's skill, have been erected, lead-
ing to all the packing-houses to facilitate the transfer
of stock from one point to another. A system of un-
derground drainage has been gradually brought to a
high state of perfection, the consequent sanitary con-
dition of the yards insuring the health of the stock,
and making every one familiar with the stockyards
skeptical of the justice of Germany's complaints that
American meat is diseased. An electric light plant
floods the yards at night with a brilliant white light
which makes it quite as possible to transact business
at midnight as at high noon. Six artesian wells, aver-
aging 1,B00 feet in depth and aggregating in capacity
600,000 gallons daily, provide the stock with an abun-
dance of the very purest of water, its crystal clear-
ness as it runs into the many drinking fountains being a
marked contrast to the dull and murky water consumed
by the human beings of the city.

The expense of maintaining this colossus among stock
markets amounts to from $2,000,000 to $8,500,000 an-
ually, while the cost of establishing it is a mystery of
uncounted millions. The yards were purchased about
four years ago by the present company, which in-
cludes an English syndicate, for $28,000,000, The capi-
tal is $25,000,000.



THE UNION STOCKYARDS



17



As a live stock market Chicago has do rival and do
competitor. Chicago sets the values aod quotatioDs for
every other market iD existeDce, aDd the maD who
ships live stock to Chicago as a rule has it sold at its
true value aDd has the proceeds Id his pocket at the
time of day wheD the buyers aDd sellers at all the other
markets Id the world are whittliDg sticks, waitiDg for
the wire from Chicago which shall apprise them of







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MESSENGER AND MAIL-CARRIER AT THE YARDS.



Chicago's quotatioDs. Here is a sample of the slip of
yellow paper by meaDs of which Chicago daily sets the
price of beef, pork aDd mutton in every country Id
both hemispheres:



18 ILLUSTRATED HTBTORY



THE WESTERN UNION TEI.EGRAPH COMPANY.

IMCORPOR&TEO ^

ai.OOO OFFICES IN AMERIC A. CABLE SE RVICE TO ^^THE WORLD.

THOS. T. ECKERT. President and Ceneral Ma naged ^T



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SEND the following mesBage •object to the term»| S'Oft TTli or» -

on back hereof, whlch.«re hereby apreed to. " /'^ j^ //j^ ^ ^ ^ i| t>y /

^ 0/lMtUL<f ^^U^D-C.<My^ C^d^U^^^it^ dd^l<.C^O

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No other market on the globe has the facilities to re-
ceive, care for and handle such vast numbers of stock
as are received here. The total receipts of stock for
1895 were: Cattle, 2,588,558; calves, 168,740; hogs,
7,885,288; sheep, 8,406,789; horses, 118,198. The total
shipments during the same period were: Cattle, 785,092;
calves, 9,882; hogs, 2,100,618; sheep, 474,646; horses,
109,146. During the past thirty 3^ears, from 1865 to
1895, the total receipts were: Cattle, 49,214,668; calves,
1,669,422; hogs, 152,779,500; sheep, 80,080,121; horses,
988,818. The shipments for the same period were:
Cattle, 22,160,264; calves, 891,819; hogs, 49,895,872;
sheep, 8,942,161; horses, 909,508.

The largest receipts in one year were:

Cattle (1892), 8,571,793; calves (1898), 210,557; hogs



OF THE UNION STOCKYAEDS



19



(1891), 8,600,805; sheep (1895), 8,406,789; horses (1895),

118,198; cars (1890), 811,557.

The largest receiiDtsof stock in one month were:
Cattle, 885,466; calves, 81,898; hogs, 1,111,997;

sheep, 898,820; horses, 16,791; cars, 81,910
The largest receipts of stock in one week were:
Cattle, 95,524; calves, 8,479; hogs, 800,488; sheep,

98,168; horses, 4,869; cars, 8,457.




SHIPPING CATTLE.

The largest receipts of stock in one day were:
Cattle, 82,677; calves, 8,089; hogs, 74,551; sheep,
81,884; horses, 1,481; cars, 8,864.

The owners of these great droves of cattle are put to
no trouble of handling from the moment the stock ar-
rives at the yards. From that time until it is sold and
transferred to the new owner the stockyards employes
feed, water, yard, handle and in every particular care



20



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



for it. The charge for this service is : Yardage for cattle,
twenty-five cents per head ; horses, twenty-five cents per
head; hogs, eight cents per head; sheep, five cents per
head; calves, fifteen cents per head; feed — timotliy
hay, $1.50 per hundredweight; prairie hay, $1.00 per
hundredweight; corn, $1.00 per bushel. One yardage
charge covers the entire time the stock remains in the




REMOVING A CRIPPLE.



yards, whether it be one day or one month. The feed
used is of the best quality.

From these sources are derived all the revenues neces-
sary to cover all the expenses of the stockyards. While
these revenues may be immense, the expenditures main-
tain a just proportion thereto, as will be seen when it



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS



21



is said that these expenditures include the cost of con-
struction, feed, bedding, weighing, fuel, gas, electric
light, lost stock, salaries of 1,500 employes, attorneys'
fees, taxes, insurance, stationery, salaries of officers,
cost of maintaining the police and fire departments,
and interest on bonds and capital invested, all of which




WEIGHING CATTLE.



expenses are incurred strictly for the maintenance of
the market.

The greatest harmony of feeling prevails among all
the stock agents of the West and Southwest, all of
whom make it their interest to induce the shipping of
live stock to this market, and every legitimate means
is taken to keep the advantages of the Chicago market



2^



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



before the minds of the distant live stock shippers,
not the least of which is that the lesser pro rata in
billing here considerably enhances the value of stock.
There are in daily attendance at the stockyards about
one hundred foreign buyers from England, Scotland,
Germany, France, Belgium, and nearly every other
important country on the globe. In addition to these




CLOSING A SALE.



there are buyers from the East and also from the large
packing-houses of the yards, the latter selecting the
cattle which again appear in public as corned beef,
minced tongue, deviled ham, and the like.

The presence of all these buyers from Europe, from
the East, from the packing-houses and from the
large feeding farms insures a quick disposition of all
stock. As a consignor remarked the other day, "You can



6f the union stockyards



23



get quicker action at the stockyards for your money than
in any other place on earth." This fact, coupled
with the equally important one that this is a strictly
cash market, renders the Union Stockyards the most
desirable as well as the model market of the world.
From an artist's point of view, it does even more than
that, for the presence of these buyers, so diversified in




FOREIGN BUYERS.

habit, language, manner and appearance, lends the in-
terest of variety to a scene which is already picturesquely
interesting. In fact, while there is nothing beautiful
about the yards, they are one of the best places in the
world to study human nature.



24



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



There are also in daily evidence at the yards as many
as two hundred cattle and horse commii=!sion men.
What they add to the life of the place may bd imag-
ined when it is said that they have among them about
8,500 employes — salesmen, stenographers, typewritists,
book-keepers, accountants, messengers, etc. This body
of men is best described by the term unique; they are




TYPEWRITISTS GOING TO LUNCH.



an aggregation apart, one which embodies the quintes-
sence of business success — pusli — a fraternity of ener-
getic spirits of which any city miglit he proud, and
which is a credit to any country. Thoy are hustlers
from the drop of the hat, at six o'clock in the morning
"off to Guttenberg," and seven at the latest finds them
abroad, not indeed seeking whom they ma}^ devour, for
they are a straight set, but out for business, fresh and
festive as the day itself, ready to give and take in hon-
orable interchange.



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS



25



From early morning until four in the afternoon the
combined brains of the commission men are at their
highest tension, and he who runs may see tlie play of
just such metal as has made this city a metropolis and
this country a great nation. Untold millions are
handled by these men in the course of a year, and every
dollar disposed with such honor, exactness, punctuality,





HUSTLING COMMISSION MEN OUT AT 7 A. M.

and dispatch as would be hard to match, and which
might with advantage replace the slower methods of
much downtown business. A more honorable, industri-
ous, conscientious, upright and big-hearted lot of men
is not gathered together elsewhere in any one place
on earth. A failure has never been known among them,
although they take great chances in making advances.



26



ILLUSTRATED HISTORV



Many of these commission merchants are at home in
some of the handsomest residences of Chicago, the
stone fronts which face the incoming steamers of the
Great Lakes. Nevertheless they are to be found at their
places of business day in and day out, ''hustling" with
as much earnestness as their salesmen to advance the
interests of their consignors. Their consignors are the



\.



5,^




COMMISSION MEN ON FOOT AND IN THE SADDLE.



farmers^ breeders and stock raisers throughout the
country, and it is but fair to these unimpeachable and
enterprising brokers to say that they have the un-
bounded confidence of their out-of-town constituency.
The brokers may be seen at all hours of the day and
in all kinds of weather on foot or in the saddle, as the
occasion demands, attending to affairs and transacting
an enormous business. They are a living application
of that law of God, expressed in a nutshell in the vul-
gar saying, "The early bird catches the worm," and



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS



27



which, elucidated for the benefit of finer intellects,
simply means the survival of the fittest.

There is no scandal or gossip in these men's air; they
are too busy for pettiness, and business and genuine
high-mindedness combine to hold them superior to
vulgarity. Their words go between each other for thou-
sands of dollars, and a sale running into four, five and




'CLOSED.



six figures takes place on the shake of hands They are
a band of brothers whose pocketbooks are ever open to
the deserving needy, and the cause of worthy charity
wins from them a willing ear. Not long ago $580 was
subscribed by them within two or three hours for an
unfortunate man who had met with an accident, and
such ready generosity is no uncommon incident.

These are men who can not be judged by their clothes,



28



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



for with them finery is a secoDdary consideration to
utility, but a brighter, brainier, jollier, more hail-fel-
low-well-met or more truly gentlemanly lot of men
cannot be found in a long day's search. One ad-
ditional fact greatly to their credit is their punctil-




AN ARM OF THE LAW AT THE YARDS.



iousness in keeping their promises, engagements and
appointments to the very letter and minute. Indeed,
it would be no had move if the South Water Street
commission contingent should be removed to the yards



OF THE UNION STOCKYARDS 29

for lessons in integrity, as there have been rumors of
"doing and come" in the business atmosphere there pre-
vailing. There is plenty of room on Halsted Street
from Forty-second to Forty-seventh Street, and the
increased facility of access to the fruit and vegetable
markets for a greater number of people would make
the new location the great central market for these
supplies. In short, the live stock commissioners, who
have done much to make the stockyards the unique spot
that it is — a teeming center of honorable business ac-
tivity — should have warm places in the esteem of all
their fellow townsmen

An association formed by these hustling commission
men, the twelve horse commission men excepted, is the
National Live Stock Exchange. The object of the Ex-
change is the promotion and development of the live
stock industry in all its branches, and the protection
of the interests involved It is in every sense a volun-
tary association, and was organized in 1885 by that
popular and sagacious gentleman, C. W. Baker,
Branches of the Exchange have been established in St.
Louis, Kansas City, Fort Worth, Sioux City and
Omaha — Chicago, of course, being the headquarters.

The officers are:

President, W. H. Thompson, Jr., Chicago; Vice-pres-
idents, J. G. Martin, South Omaha; J. H. Nason,
Sioux City; Don McN. Palmer, St. Louis; W. B.
Stickney, East St. Louis; John N. Payne, Kansas
City; W. E. Skinner, Fort Worth; Secretary, Charles
W. Baker, Chicago; Treasurer, Levi B. Doud, Chicago;
Executive Committee, C. A.Mallory, Irus Coy, Chicago;



30



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY



J. A. Hake, D. L. Campbell, South Omaha; H. D.
Pierce, W. M. Ward, Sioux City; W. H. Hiiies, Charles
James, St. Louis; E, B. Overstreet, C. M. Keyes, East
St. Louis; C. G. Bridgeford, J. C. McCoy, Kansas
City; G W. Simpson, C. W. Simpson, Fort Worth.

In the center of the Union Stockyards is situated the
p]xchange Building, where are the handsome quarters


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Online LibraryW. Joseph GrandIllustrated history of the Union Stockyards; sketch-book of familiar faces and places at the yards → online text (page 1 of 17)