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Cow Town: 1941

Cow Town: 1941

July 1941. "Union Stockyards, Chicago." Medium format negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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What A Load Of Bull Hockey

On my boot camp liberty from Great Lakes in 1959 I ate a steak diner at a restaurant near the stockyards and as Long Gone mentioned there was an air of domestic creatures but we enjoyed the meal nonetheless.
After the meal we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Not the most exciting liberty but then it was a more innocent time and we did get to chat with a few young ladies plus caught the train back to Great Lakes in time.

Stock Yards L Train Loop

In the upper right, just underneath and to the left of the "ARM" of the Armour Meat Packing Co. sign, is a one-car L train of the Stock Yards Branch. This branch line, which started and ended at the Indiana Avenue station of the South Side Elevated RR Co., made a loop around Chicago's Union Stock Yards, making stops at all the major meat-packing plants. The line was opened in 1908 and shut down in 1957.

Gone But Not Forgotten

The stockyards may have closed in 1971, but when this Nebraska boy moved to Chicago in 1977 on warm summer nights when the wind was just right, the distinctive smell of cow manure would still drift into Hyde Park dozens of blocks away.

No. 2 City

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. One of the closest to the stockyards is called the "Back of the Yards".

It's got to be better smelling now.

Long Gone

When I was a South-Side Chicagoan in the 1950s & '60s, many a time when the wind was right, the stench of cattle and cattle waste would permeate the air of our neighborhood. Many more times I remember hearing the "moos" in the distance. The Union Stockyards closed in 1971.

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