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Location DB > United States > Texas > Fort Worth > Fort Worth Slaughter Houses
 Name
Fort Worth Slaughter Houses
 Viewing Options
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 Database Info
created by John Campbell on 1/13/2004 10:59 PM
last modified by Dee Ashley on 11/25/2016 9:40 PM
 Viewability
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
 Overview
 Description
demolished a couple months ago.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: forget it
 Physical Information
Address
701 NE 23rd St
Fort Worth, Texas
United States
Owner: n/a
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • rust
  • unsafe flooring
  •  Interesting Features
    Lots and lots of graffiti

    Almost all but the one building to be integrated into the Majestic Group's plans for the property have been demolished. I think one other might still be standing, but not for long. They are almost done razing that whole area.
    - DA (November 2016)
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • razor wire
  • Demolished
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1893
    Closed: 1971
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment

     History
    [Posted by Abandon-x]

    SWIFT AND COMPANY. Swift and Company, headquartered in Fort Worth, was a major branch of the nation's leading nineteenth-century meat-packing firm and one of the nation's Big Four meat-packers of the early 1900s. The company was founded in Chicago in the 1880s by Gustavus Franklin Swift, inventor of the refrigerated railway car. Swift's technological innovation enabled his company to deliver fresh meat from meat-packing centers in the Midwest to large urban markets in the Northeast. Prior to his invention, livestock were slaughtered and packed for shipment in barrels of salt. Swift and Company was drawn to Texas by entrepreneur Greenlief W. Simpson, a wealthy Bostonian who moved to Fort Worth in 1893. Simpson had purchased the Fort Worth Union Stockyards that year from a group of Fort Worth businessmen and sought to establish a gathering point for the region's livestock by offering Texas cattlemen fifty cents more per head than the livestock market in Kansas City. The rush of cattlemen offering their herds to Simpson swamped his capacity and led to cash shortfalls. To ensure a buyer for regional livestock and improve his cash flow, Simpson hoped to attract Swift and Company and Armour and Company, the era's two largest meat packers, to Texas. Swift and Company were interested in relocating meat-packing operations closer to places where cattle were raised and entered into negotiations with Simpson, the city of Fort Worth, and Armour in the late 1890s.

    Despite obvious benefits to all parties, Swift and Armour agreed to develop operations in Texas only after negotiating subsidies from both Fort Worth and Simpson. Each company received roughly twenty-two acres on which to build a meat-packing plant and a one-third interest in the Fort Worth Stockyardsqv Company. A Fort Worth citizens' committee raised $100,000 to be divided between the two companies. In exchange, Swift and Armour agreed that all livestock slaughtered in their plants would pass through the Fort Worth Stockyards Company and that they would pay customary yardage and other charges. As a result of their combined two-thirds ownership of the Fort Worth Stockyards Company, J. Ogden Armour was named president and Edward F. Swift, son of Gustavus Swift, was named vice president. Simpson was named second vice president. The agreement was finalized around 1902, and the Swift and Company plant opened in March 1904, during the annual fat stock show. Within ten months, the Swift and Armour plants had spent six million dollars to purchase 265,272 cattle, 128,934 hogs, and 40,160 sheep. Within a few years, West Texas cattle once driven up the Eastern and Chisholm trailsqv to slaughterhouses or rail stops in the Midwest were all processed at Fort Worth. By 1904 Fort Worth was the country's fifth largest livestock market behind Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, and St. Louis.

    The Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 constituted the first industry regulation, and legislation to regulate stockyards passed fifteen years later. Spurred on by its early success, Swift and Company added a canning factory at its plant site in 1906, and in 1908 doubled its plant capacity by adding beef, calf, and sheep coolers, fertilizer plants, an enlarged hog slaughtering area, and new pork and curing cellars. To meet increased demand, the Fort Worth Stockyards Company expanded its pen capacity to accommodate 18,000 cattle and 14,000 hogs. In 1918 the company again expanded, raising its slaughtering capacity from 1,500 to 2,000 cattle per day. Swift developed local investments in Fort Worth as it had in cities where it established other meat-packing plants. With Armour, it became joint owner of the Fort Worth Belt Railway Company, the Stockyards National Bank of North Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Cattle Loan Company, and the Reporter Publishing Company, which published The Live Stock Report until the 1920s. In 1921 Congress passed a Packers and Stockyards Act to limit the influence of meat-packers. The federal law required meat-packing companies to liquidate their interests in stockyards, banks, cattle loan companies, railroads, and industry trade publications. Both Swift and Armour accepted the law grudgingly, delaying complete compliance for over a decade through litigation. While still controlled by Swift and Armour, the Fort Worth Stockyards Company sold its Belt Railway to the Texas and Pacific and the Missouri Pacific in 1931 and its Stockyard National Bank to Fort Worth National Bank in 1934. In 1936 Swift established a new corporation known as United Stockyards, which enabled it to comply with the letter of the law, but also to acquire majority interests in eleven stockyards, including the Fort Worth Stockyards Company. United Stockyards owned the plant and land upon which the Fort Worth Stockyards Company operated until 1989.

    By 1958 the Fort Worth plant of Swift and Company was valued at $10 million. The company employed more than 1,700 people and processed raw materials totalling $65 million annually. In its heyday the firm provided medical care, emergency leave, and a pension plan for workers, held company picnics at Lake Worth, sponsored a marching band, chorale group, baseball teams, and educational offerings, along with a company newsletter. Unionization had come to the stockyards with the Great Depression,qv but members of the National Brotherhood of Packinghouse Workers, to which Swift employees belonged, did not participate in stockyards strikes in 1946 and 1952. But the 1950s also marked the decline of the meat-packing industry in Fort Worth, as local livestock auctions and feedlots replaced the need for centralized markets. A drought in West Texas exacerbated the difficult times and led to Swift and Company's first employee layoffs in 1951. Decreased demand for its products forced Armour to close its Fort Worth plant in 1962. Rumors that Swift would cease operations led Local No. 9 of the National Brotherhood of Packinghouse Workers to accept pay cuts in 1962 and 1969 to save the Swift plant and its 1,400 employees. At the time Swift had a payroll that exceeded $10 million and spent an annual $50 million buying livestock. Efforts to save the plant failed, however, and in 1971 Swift closed its Fort Worth meat-packing plant. Two fires in the mid-1970s destroyed the plant, leaving only the firm's administrative offices, which later housed an Old Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant. In 1988 a state historical marker was placed at the former packing house site.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Chesapeake Energy is setting up to complete some demolition after working out a deal with the Fort Worth Historical Society. Some of the iconic frontage will be preserved and restored, however the rest of the old buildings and such will be scrapped and a park is to be built in the southern section.
     Stories


    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Fort Worth Slaughter Houses January 04
    Tue, Jan 13th, 2004
    posted by John Campbell
    42 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Ft Worth Slaughter Houses 6/1/04
    Sat, Jun 5th, 2004
    posted by chillerthriller123
    7 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    My trip
    Tue, Jun 21st, 2005
    posted by Armed Geoduck
    24 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    c-nail's engagement
    Thu, Jul 28th, 2005
    posted by coffinnail
    2 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Fort Worth Slaughterhouse 10/05
    Sun, Nov 6th, 2005
    posted by SODAPOPCULTURE
    9 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    More...
    Thu, Mar 9th, 2006
    posted by Armed Geoduck
    19 pictures
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    Post Prison Break
    Sat, Oct 11th, 2008
    posted by Bustedknuckle
    13 pictures
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    An overcast day
    Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
    posted by altaria
    24 pictures
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    Twisted Orchid's Photos - 2010
    Mon, Jul 12th, 2010
    posted by Twisted Orchid
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Bean looks around
    Sun, Nov 7th, 2010
    posted by The Bean
    23 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    packing meat
    Sun, May 1st, 2011
    posted by insulinguy
    23 pictures
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    How have I not added photos of Swift yet?
    Fri, Nov 25th, 2016
    posted by Dee Ashley
    9 pictures


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     Panoramas

    2012
    Sat, Jun 23rd, 2012
    posted by fatwax4


    2012
    Sat, Jun 23rd, 2012
    posted by fatwax4
     Web Links

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 8 / 10
    Coolness 8 / 10
    Content Quality 6 / 10
     Validation
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 7/23/2017 6:53 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jul 23 17 at 18:53, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jul 23 17 at 17:02, Dee Ashley updated gallery picture I'll never forget you, old friend
  • on Jul 23 17 at 17:02, Dee Ashley updated gallery picture :)
  • on Jul 23 17 at 17:01, Dee Ashley added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Jul 23 17 at 16:57, Dee Ashley deleted 4 pictures from gallery How have I not added photos of Swift yet?
  • on Jul 23 17 at 16:55, Dee Ashley added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Nov 26 16 at 16:09, 2Xplorations validated this location
  • on Nov 25 16 at 22:05, Dee Ashley updated gallery picture I'll never forget you, old friend
  • on Nov 25 16 at 22:04, Dee Ashley updated gallery picture this WAS the tallest rooftop tat was left standing
  • on Nov 25 16 at 22:03, Dee Ashley updated gallery picture Deep and profound
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