NORMAN D. BROWN, Edztor
Livestock Legacy: The Fort Worth Stockyards, 1887-1987. By J'Nell Pate.
(College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1988. Pp. xix+332.
Foreword, preface, acknowledgments, illustrations, notes, epi-
logue, appendix, bibliography, index. $29.95.)
J'Nell Pate's Livestock Legacy perhaps has opened and closed a new
historical field in one writing. On the one hand, her study of the rise
and fall of the Fort Worth Stockyards for the first time introduces read-
ers to the intricacies of stock yard promotion and management. On the
other hand, her work is thorough enough to prompt the president of
the American Stock Yards Association to note that "in this most com-
prehensive history of Fort Worth she has told the story of all [stock
yards]" (p. xii).
Although Fort Worth's colorful legacy as a cowtown precedes the de-
velopment of the stock yards, Pate's book confirms that the city owes a
great debt to the industry for helping to make it the city that it is today.
She notes that its early promoters, such as B. B. Paddock, K. M. Van
Zandt, and E. M. Daggett, as early as the 8 87os, were visionary in their
efforts to obtain packing plants for Fort Worth. It was not until 1889,
however, that the fledgling Fort Union Stock Yards began selling live-
stock and plans were made for an annual stock show. The following
year, a small packing plant began operations but failed to become
In 19o2, success for Fort Worth was assured when the packing giants
Swift and Armour began construction of huge plants in the city. Within
seven years, livestock receipts topped two million, and by 1944 were
over five million, making the Fort Worth market one of the largest in
the nation. Following World War II, however, the rise of local market
auctions and, later, the development of the feed lot industry led to the
rapid decentralization of marketing and packing. With the closing of
the Armour plant in 1962 and Swift in 1971, the Fort Worth market
rapidly declined, but surprisingly, did not disappear. Because of the
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed July 24, 2014.