Utah History to Go
The Rise and Fall of Ogden's Packing Industry
Change and Creativity
Struggle for Statehood
Struggle for Statehood Chronology
In 1895 Utahns Wondered When Statehood Would Come
A State is Born
Party Politics and Utah Statehood
The Constitutional Convention is Called
Constitution Was Framed in City and County Building
African American Community and Politics, 1890-1910
The Broad Ax and the Plain Dealer Kept Utah's African Americans Informed
Clarence E. Allen Was Utah's First Congressman
How Utah Lost One of Its U.S. Senate Seats in 1899
Salt Lake Native Was Interred in the Kremlin Wall
The Shooting of Arthur Brown, Ex-Senator From Utah
Convict Labor Helped to Build Utah's Road
Strawberry Valley, 1st Federal Reclamation Project
Women's Suffrage in Utah
Woman Suffrage Dominated Politics in Utah
Kanab Residents Chose Women to Run Their Town, 1912
Ruth May Fox, Forgotten Suffragist
Soren Hanson's "House That Eggs Built"
Utah Arts Council
Utah State Historical Society
The Beginning of Public Support For Libraries
The Pasta King of the Mountain West
Celebrating the New Year in Salt Lake's Chinatown
Electrifying Utah-Engineer Lucien L. Nunn
A Brewer-Sportsman's Prairie Style Home in Ogden
Saltair Village Was a Unique Place to Live
Boxing Fans Take the Plunge at Saltair
Castilla Hot Springs Attracted Many Visitors
Minstrel Shows
Utah State Capitol
Utah in the Spanish American War
Captain Richard W. Young and Spanish-American War
A Soldier's Life at Fort Douglas in the Early 1900's
Methodist Women Missionaries Worked Hard in Utah
Flour Mills
Guano Sifters on Gunnison Island
The Lehi Beet Sugar Factory
The Salt Industry Was One of the First Enterprises
From Free Salt to a Major Industry
Hospitals and Health Crazes in the Late 1800's
The Myths and Legends of Butch Cassidy
Butch Cassidy
Would the New State of Utah Go Metric?
A Look at Working Women in the Early 20th Century
Jobs in 1900
Explosion of Pleasant Valley Coal Company
The Lucin Cutoff
Southern Utah's First High School
Life Was Precarious in Turn-of-the-Century Utah
Salt Lake City Had Its Typhoid Mary
Vaccinations in Wasatch County
Promoting Physical Fitness
Woman's Home Association Tried to Help the "Fallen"
Juvenile Delinquency Posed Problems For Utahns
Traveling Gypsies Brought an Exotic Lifestyle to Utah
The First Large Factory in Utah
The Rise and Fall of Ogden's Packing Industry
Newsboys Claimed Their Street Corners in Downtown
The Bamberger Electric Railway
The First Cars in Two Small Towns
A Bicyclist Challenges the Great Salt Lake Desert
Daredevils of the Sky-Early Aeronauts in Utah
Ogden Defeats Salt Lake City in a War of the Wheels
Utah's Immigrants at the Turn of the Century
Boys' Potato Growing Clubs
Joe Hill and the I.W.W.
Socialist Women and Joe Hill
A Bit of Polynesia Remains
Justice Zane and Antipolygamy
The Salt Lake Valley Smelter War

Miriam B. Murphy
History Blazer, June 1996

In 1901 a group of men organized the Ogden Packing Company with a capital investment of $7,500. In 1906 the first packing plant was built. During the next decade the facility was constantly expanded until by 1917 the Ogden Packing & Provision Company, as it was then called, encompassed almost six acres or 240,650 square feet. It was reportedly the largest meat packing plant west of the Missouri River and comparable to large eastern plants in its output. The  development of the packing industry in Ogden was a direct outgrowth of the Junction City's prominence as "the livestock capital of the Intermountain West. Millions of head of cattle, sheep, and hogs were bought and sold annually at the bustling Ogden Livestock Yards and processed by local slaughterhouses and packing plants."

Located at the west end of the 24th Street viaduct, Ogden Packing & Provision Company had a daily capacity in 1917 of 1,250 hogs, 1,500 sheep, and 300 cattle, numbers that could be increased with the addition of refrigeration space. The manufacturing or processing divisions of the company could handle twice that amount. In addition to fresh pork, beef, mutton, veal, and lamb, the company also produced ham, bacon, sausage, cooking compounds, lard, tallow, and by-products, including fertilizer. These products were shipped throughout the Intermountain Area and into all regions of the United States and abroad. During World War I exports to Great Britain and France enhanced company profits. In addition to its main plant in Ogden the company had branches in Salt Lake City, Price, Butte, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The two California facilities were new, having been completed in 1917.

To keep the operation running at capacity the company's officers worked with representatives of the livestock industry in the West and urged stockraisers to increase their herd size--especially the number of hogs. To that end they "brought brood sows into the country for distribution among the farmers and their boys." Their slogan in Utah was "Raise a Pig."

OP&P claimed to employ the largest number of men and women in any single factory in Utah. Indeed, the company had expanded during World War I at a pace that R. & L. Polk's Ogden City Directory for 1917 called breathtaking. At war's end Utah's booming canneries and meat packing plants were forced to cut production as demand dropped. Not only was the government not buying as much canned goods and meat for the troops, but postwar recession was causing the average family to cut back on its purchases as well. By 1920 OP&P was unable to pay its creditors. Officers and board members of the company were forced to resign and a committee of stockholders took over in an attempt to salvage the business.

The industry did recover, in part because of the continuing success of the Ogden Livestock Yards--at one time the 12th largest livestock yard in the United States. "The annual Golden Spike National Livestock Show drew so many visitors to Ogden that the Golden Spike Coliseum was constructed in 1926 at a cost of $100,000 to house it and other industry events," Murray M. Moler wrote. That same year the stockyards handled almost 1.5 million head of livestock, including sheep, hogs, cattle, and horses, and Utah packing plants produced 22 million pounds of fresh meat and meat products valued at $4 million. Some 75 carloads of meat and meat products were sent to southern California alone.

But the trucking of livestock directly from farms and ranches to feedlots and slaughter houses greatly affected Ogden's stockyards and major packing plant. The Ogden Livestock Yards were reduced to a weekly auction and the city's packing houses to small operations. In that they followed a nationwide trend, according to Moler. Even the fabled Chicago stockyards closed as did those in many large metropolitan centers.

The livestock industry remains an important component in Utah's economy, but it is no longer "Ogden's financial backbone."

Sources: "Utah's Packing Industry," Utah Payroll Builder, November 1917; Jesse S. Richards, "Ogden: Industrial, Agricultural and Livestock Center, Utah Payroll Builder, July 1927; Ogden Packing & Provision Co. Creditor's Agreement, Dated February 24, 1920, pamphlet in Utah State Historical Society collections; Murray M. Moler, "A Century in the Livestock Trade," Ogden: Junction City, ed. Richard C. Roberts and Richard W. Sadler (Northridge, Calif: Windsor Publications, 1985).


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