Livestock Industry in Buffalo, NY

The text below is an excerpt (pages 8-9) from
The Beginnings of Buffalo Industry
By Robert Holder
(online August 2013)

It would be hard to say just when the livestock business began in
Buffalo. But in 1852, according to one Buffalo historian, H. Perry Smith :

It was no uncommon sight in those days to see a drove of hogs, cattle, and sheep over a mile in length, reaching from the foot of Main Street out towards the stock pens. Many fine "porkers" found their way, from those droves, under the barns or into the yards of residents along the road and were never claimed by the owners. A shortage of a few head in every drove was, in those days, not an unusual thing.

About 1855 the New York Central and the New York and Erie Railroad companies built pens and chutes for loading hog and cattle cars. Before that, the stock was unloaded on long planks set up against the cars.

A seventeen-year-old German immigrant, Christian Klinck,  arrived in Buffalo in the 1850's. He had only enough money to pay his railway fare to Buffalo, but he immediately gained work as a butcher and earned $6 a week. By 1868, through thrifty saving, he was able to enter the meatpacking business and founded the Christian Klinck Packing Company. His South Buffalo enterprise on Depot Street eventually covered twenty-five acres and comprised twenty-five buildings. Today, Klinck & Schaller, Inc., under the presidency of Christian Klinck's grandson, is the continuation of this pioneer Buffalo firm.

The Jacob Dold Packing Company was started in 1860. At that time, .Jacob Dold, Sr. had a small butchering establishment on Abbott Road. Two years later he set up a packing plant at the Elk Street Market. By 1872 he was doing business at a location in East Buffalo. An annual payroll of $3,000,000 covering 2000 workers, marked the progress of the company by 1920.

In comparing pioneer meatpacking with the meat processing of more modem times, Jacob Dold, president of the company, said the following in the Buffalo Year Book of 1920:

There was then none of the modem efficiency which is now known all over the world, as being one of the most important features in every up-to-date packing house. ... As the industry ... grew, new methods ... of curing and chilling products gradually changed the great waste of edible meats which now goes into scores of tempting and appetizing food products.

Other important packing houseswere the Danahy Packing Company, Klinck Brothers, Louis Fuhrmann, Laux and Edbauer, and the New England Dressed Meat and Wool Company.

Besides being a livestock center, ranking highest in sheep handling, Buffalo was also the second greatest horse market in the country. Two large commission dealers in horses were the Bailey Horse Company, located at 23-25 Newell Street and the Crandall Horse Company at 949 William Street.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2013
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