Meat Packing Industry in Salt Lake City

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This page was last updated on November 22, 2019.

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Salt Lake City Meat Packing

From about the 1880s onward, commercial meat packing in Salt Lake City was a small, localized operation, with individual butcher shops buying livestock from local farmers and ranchers, and offering the finished meat products to the public by way of local butcher shops. In October 1891, Knight & Co. moved their meat market to a new location at State Street and Second South (101-103 East Second South). J. W. West was the manager. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 1, 1891)

There was talk about the need for a union stock yards and packing house in Salt Lake City, and the benefits in jobs and general economic growth that such an enterprise would bring as early as April and September 1888, with booster talk by the Chamber of Commerce in 1890. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 13, 1888; Salt Lake Herald, September 16, 1888; Salt Lake Herald, April 3, 1890; October 3, 1890)

September 28, 1890
John White of White & Sons showed plans for a new packing house to be built in Salt Lake City, pending the final location of the new Union Stock Yards of Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake Herald, September 28, 1890)

March 31, 1891
John White and sons, and others, organized and incorporated the Utah Slaughtering company, located in North Salt Lake. The company also had property within Salt Lake City, as 396 West First South. (Salt Lake Herald, March 31, 1891, "today"; Salt Lake Herald, January 6, 1892)

The new stockyards were completed, just over the county line in Davis county, in June 1892.

(Read more about Salt Lake Union Stockyards in North Salt Lake)

July 3, 1892
White & Sons, doing business as Utah Slaughtering company, completed a new brick building at 396 West First South, measuring 66 feet by 100 feet. It had a railroad spur inside the building, and included a chill room for carcasses of beef, pork, and mutton. The building could store 200 tons of ice. (Salt Lake Herald, July 3, 1892)

July 4, 1893
J. H. White was president of Utah Slaughtering company, and general manager and treasurer of White & Sons company. At the same time, Utah Slaughtering company was sued in Third District Court for maintaining, since June 1, 1892, a public nuisance of putrid odors at its packing house near the Hot Springs. (Salt Lake Herald, July 4, 1893; September 26, 1893)

The Union Stockyards and the Utah Slaughtering company were operating in a close and adjoining relationship, with carloads of cattle and hogs being shipped to the stockyards, consigned to Utah Salughtering company. While the slaughtering house was located adjacent to the stockyards, the unfinished and finished meat products were sold from the location at 396 West First South.

(After July 1905, there are no more references to Utah Slaughtering company in available online newspapers.)

June 1, 1904
Utah Packing Company filed articles of incorporation "yesterday," to take over the previous Knight & Company, which itself had started business in about 1899. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 2, 1904)

The location of Knight & Co., and the later Utah Packing Company before the move to the Salt Lake Union Stock Yards, was in downtown Salt Lake City on First South, between Second West (300 West) and Third West (400 West). The site was sold in April 1906. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 14, 1906)

(The mainline of the Oregon Short Line Railroad between Salt Lake City and Provo was along Third West, known as 400 West today.)

Cudahy In Salt Lake City

In October 1908, Cudahy leased a new building built for it. The facility was intended to be a warehouse for wholesale sales of finished meat products that were likely shipped from Cudahy's packing house in Los Angeles. Measuring 99 feet by 165 feet, the building was located at 461-467 South on Third West (400 West) in Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake Herald, October 28, 1908)

Prior to this time, Cudahy was a regular buyer of cattle from Hanson Livestock company of Logan, Utah, and Lewiston, Idaho. The cattle were shipped by rail to Cudahy's facility in Los Angeles. (Salt Lake Herald, January 8, 1908)

The completion in April 1908 of the new slaughter house of Utah Packing company, adjacent to the newly reorganized Salt Lake Union Stockyards in North Salt Lake, provided plenty of carcasses of unfinished beef, pork, and lamb (mutton). This also changed much of the business of shipments of cattle, hogs and sheep, essentially putting an end to the export shipment of live animals, and the import shipment of carcasses to and from out-of-state destinations. The Salt Lake Union Stockyards had been completed in 1892, north of Salt Lake City, across the county line and in Davis County, within the city limits of North Salt Lake.

North Salt Lake Meat Packing (Salt Lake Union Stock Yards)

November 18, 1904
Utah Packing Company had started operations at the Salt Lake Union Stock Yards (in North Salt Lake), where it would soon erect a building valued at $100,000. (Davis County Clipper, November 18, 1904, citing Deseret News, November 16, 1904)

(The Salt Lake Union Stockyards, in North Salt Lake, had been completed in 1892.)

December 30, 1904
Utah Packing company at the Salt Lake Union Stock Yards was shipping a carload of dressed meat to Salt Lake City daily. (Davis County Clipper, December 30, 1904)

February 10, 1906
The Utah Packing Company was reorganized to provide financing for its new packing plant at the Salt Lake Union Stock Yards. An underground subway was to be built under the Rio Grande Western tracks to allow livestock unloaded from Oregon Short Line cars to pass under the RGW tracks. The previous organization from 1904 failed to raise enough capital to build the new packing plant. (Deseret Evening News, February 12, 1906, "Saturday")

May 11, 1906
By mid May 1906, work was under way on the new plant of Utah Packing company, to be finished by August 1st; later delayed until mid October, and again until November 1st. (Coalville Times, May 11, 1906; Salt Lake Tribune, September 30, 1906; Vernal Times, October 13, 1906)

October 20, 1906
The nearly completed Utah Packing company plant was destroyed by fire, suffering a loss of $65,000, later changed to $100,000. (Deseret Evening News, October 22, 1906)

A new plant, a duplicate of the plant that burned, was to be ready by September 1, 1907. (Ogden Standard, December 5, 1906)

May 15, 1907
A photo of the new plant of Utah Packing Company, which was to be ready in "about fifteen days." (Salt Lake Herald, May 15, 1907)

September 12, 1907
Completion of the Utah Packing company's plant was delayed for at least another month, pending the completion of railroad spurs, and the hiring of a "practical" manager. There were also reports that the company was to be sold to Western Packing Company of Denver, which was controlled by National Packing and Provision Company of Portland, Oregon. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, September 12, 1907)

March 20, 1908
Utah Packing company had hired a manager with good experience, and he had already moved his family from Denver. The plant was to begin operations on April 1st. (Davis County Clipper, March 20, 1908)

April 1908
Utah Packing company started operations at its plant at Salt Lake Union Stock Yards. Capacity reported as 300 cattle, 1,000 sheep and 1,000 hogs. (Salt Lake Herald, December 27, 1908)

April 28, 1908
Utah Packing Company was reorganized as the Inter-Mountain Packing Company, to provide more funds for expansion of the company. (Deseret Evening News, April 28, 1908, "today")

May 21, 1908
Utah Packing company shipped its two carloads of dressed beef, to Denver. (Davis County Clipper, May 20, 1908; Deseret Evening News, May 20, 1908)

July 10, 1908
Utah Packing Company was formally sold to Inter-Mountain Packing Company. (Salt Lake Herald, July 11, 1908, "yesterday"; Davis County Clipper, July 17, 1908, "last week")

January 26, 1910
Fred E. Schlageter, formerly of Ogden Packing & Provision, organized along with other Ogden businessmen, the Utah Packing & Provision Company, with plans to build an $80,000 packing plant in North Salt Lake. Schlageter was one of the pioneer owners of Ogden Packing Company when it opened the first large-scale packing plant in Utah, in 1901. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, January 26, 1910) (No further action seems to have taken place, other than incorporating the company, due to a growing shortage of hogs in Utah.)

May 1, 1910
The plant of Inter-Mountain Packing company closed on May 1, 1910 due to severe shortage of hogs. The capacity was 600 hogs per day. The sale of hogs had started to fall off in about November 1909. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, May 1, 1910)

(Due to the shortage of hogs in Utah, Ogden Packing & Provision at the Ogden Union Stock Yards was buying hogs in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska and shipping them to Ogden.)

April 23, 1916
A group of investors were interested in re-opening the plant of the Inter-Mountain Packing company, which closed in May 1910. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 23, 1916)

By May 1916, there was a caretaker and watchman at the plant for at least five years. (Davis County Clipper, May 19, 1916)

June 1, 1916
The Mountain States Packing Company had been organized to take over the interests of the Inter-Mountain Packing Company. (Milford County Chronicle, June 1, 1916; Davis County Clipper, June 2, 1916)

Cudahy In North Salt Lake

November 5, 1916
Cudahy Packing Company purchased the plant of the Inter-Mountain Packing Company, along with an interest in the adjacent Salt Lake Union Stock Yards. The packing plant was to receive $100,000 in improvements and would be ready for production by January 1, 1917. Negotiations had been under way for several months. (Salt Lake Telegram, November 5, 1916, page 1 and page 6, with photos)

December 6, 1916
Cudahy stated that their remodeling of the Inter-Mountain Packing plant would be completed by March 1st. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 6, 1916)

"As a matter of fact, the Cudahys had a distributing and processing plant in Salt Lake for many years, and for years bought the hog supply and shipped it to their packing plants. We had such a plant here for thirty years. Up to the past five or six years we enjoyed a good business, but the farmer and stock raiser found it profitable to feed stock and we found business here dwindling to zero an account of local slaughtering and the sale of goods at less than we could afford to sell. Hence we had the option of abandoning the intermountain country and surrendering the trade we had built up after thirty years of effort to local competitors and writing off our extensive investment, or of locating a packing plant here, and, as you know, we selected Salt Lake as the logical location." (J. A. McNaughton, Cudahy traffic manager, quoted in Salt Lake Tribune, December 6, 1916)

Although Cudahy had what was called a branch office in Salt Lake City, there were rumors as early as January 1915 that Cudahy was interested in building its own slaughter house (often referred to by its French translation: an "abattoir") and packing plant in the Salt Lake City area. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 13, 1915)

A review of records at the Davis County Recorder's Office found the following:

-- Cudahy Packing Company of Nebraska, October 1916 -- located in T1N, R1W, sections 2 and 11; Book of Deeds, pages C302, E101, 292

-- Salt Lake Union Stock Yards, November 1916 -- located in T2N, R1W, section 26, SE quarter; Book of Deeds, page E113

-- Salt Lake Union Stock Yards to Cudahy, May 1917 -- located in T1N, R1W, section 2, SE quarter; Book of Deeds, page C302

April 4-6, 1917
Cudahy Packing company held a livestock show and public open house to mark the opening of its new packing plant at the Salt Lake Union Stock Yards. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 5, 1917, with photos, pages 1 and 17)

In 1916 Cudahy Meat Packing Company bought the Intermountain Ice Packing building on Center Street just below the railroad tracks. It became such a successful meat-packing plant that the street which is now Center Street was called Cudahy Lane. Cattle were shipped in and processed meats were shipped out to destinations all over the world. The plant was closed in 1972. (Utah History Cyclopedia, North Salt Lake)


Salt Lake Meat Packing Newspapers -- Digital images of various newspaper articles about Salt Lake City and North Salt Lake meat packing.

Salt Lake Union Stock Yards -- Digital images of various newspapers about the Salt Lake Union Stock Yards in North Salt Lake.