Fort Worth Stockyards incorporated

March 23rd, 1893

On this day in 1893, the Fort Worth Stock Yards were officially incorporated. The Fort Worth livestock market became the largest in Texas and the Southwest, the biggest market south of Kansas City, and consistently ranked between third and fourth among the nation's large terminal livestock markets for five decades, from about 1905 to the mid-1950s. When the Texas and Pacific Railway arrived in Fort Worth in 1876 promoters built pens to hold cattle, but business leaders were already dreaming of packing plants and stockyards to make their community a permanent focus of the cattle industry. By 1886 four stockyards had been built near the railroads. Boston capitalist Greenleif W. Simpson, with a half dozen Boston and Chicago associates, incorporated the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company and purchased the Union Stock Yards and the Fort Worth Packing Company in 1893. In 1896 the company began a fat-stock show that has survived to the present as one of the largest livestock shows in the nation, the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. An agreement with Armour and Swift brought in two of the nation's largest meatpackers, who constructed modern plants adjacent to the stockyards. By 1936 Texas had become the largest-producing state for both cattle and sheep, with Fort Worth as the industry's hub. The stockyards began to decline in the 1950s as the industry became more decentralized, and today the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is primarily a tourist attraction.

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Fort Worth Stockyards incorporated

March 23rd, 1893

On this day in 1893, the Fort Worth Stock Yards were officially incorporated. The Fort Worth livestock market became the largest in Texas and the Southwest, the biggest market south of Kansas City, and consistently ranked between third and fourth among the nation's large terminal livestock markets for five decades, from about 1905 to the mid-1950s. When the Texas and Pacific Railway arrived in Fort Worth in 1876 promoters built pens to hold cattle, but business leaders were already dreaming of packing plants and stockyards to make their community a permanent focus of the cattle industry. By 1886 four stockyards had been built near the railroads. Boston capitalist Greenleif W. Simpson, with a half dozen Boston and Chicago associates, incorporated the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company and purchased the Union Stock Yards and the Fort Worth Packing Company in 1893. In 1896 the company began a fat-stock show that has survived to the present as one of the largest livestock shows in the nation, the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. An agreement with Armour and Swift brought in two of the nation's largest meatpackers, who constructed modern plants adjacent to the stockyards. By 1936 Texas had become the largest-producing state for both cattle and sheep, with Fort Worth as the industry's hub. The stockyards began to decline in the 1950s as the industry became more decentralized, and today the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is primarily a tourist attraction.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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