Fort Worth Stockyards
The arrival of railroads in 1876 made the area a very important livestock center. Fort Worth Union Stockyards opened for business on January 19, 1890, covering 206 acres. On February 7, the Fort Worth Dressed Meat and Packing Company was founded. This facility was operated without profit until purchased by G. W. Simpson of Boston. In an effort to produce revenue, they reached out to the Swift and Armour companies to establish packing houses. By 1886, four stockyards had been built near the railroads. Boston capitalist Greenleif W. Simpson, with a half dozen Boston and Chicago associates, incorporated the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company on March 23, 1893, and purchased the Union Stock Yards and the Fort Worth Packing Company. The Stockyards experienced early success. By 1907, the Stockyards sold a million cattle per year. The stockyard was an organized place where cattle, sheep, and hogs could be bought, sold and slaughtered. Fort Worth remained an important part of the cattle industry until the 1950s. Business suffered due to livestock auctions held closer to where the livestock were originally produced.
The Fort Worth Stockyards now celebrates Fort Worth’s long tradition as a part of the cattle industry and was listed on the National Register as a historical district in 1976. The listing included 46 contributing buildings and one other contributing structure. Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks within the district include the entrance sign, the Livestock Exchange Building, and the Thannisch Block Building housing the Stockyards Hotel. State Antiquities Landmarks also include the entrance sign as well as the Armour & Swift Plaza and the Cowtown Coliseum.