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1908 Flood, Morris Packing Plant
1908 Flood, Morris Packing Plant
Title1908 Flood, Morris Packing Plant
DescriptionPostcard of the Morris Packing Plant during the 1908 Flood
Historical ArticleThe Nelson Morris meat packing house, patterned after the Morris plant of Chicago, was built in 1903 in the West Kaw Bottom on the west bank of the river, opposite the stockyards. The post card pictures the plant five years later during the 1908 flood.

A front-page story in The Times Sept. 11, 1903, told the plans for building the plant. A headline read: New Packing House Will Cost Two Million Dollars. The story continued:

Ralph Oesterle of Chicago, chief engineer of Nelson Morris & Co., came to Kansas City yesterday with plans for the new $2-million packing house which the company will build on the West Kaw Bottom. A force of men was put to work yesterday clearing the site. An idea of the size of the plant may be obtained from a statement given by Mr. Oesterle last night. There will be 13 buildings in the plant proper, all brick and as fireproof as possible.

Mr. Oesterle put 24 men to work clearing the lot from flood debris. The site will be cleared by next week when between 200 and 300 men will be put to work on excavating for the foundations. Mr. Oesterle said last night that the work on the plant would be pushed and that it would be ready to begin killing July 1 of next year (1904).

The plant will have a killing capacity of 2,500 cattle, 4,000 hogs and 2,000 sheep a day. A cold storage plant with a capacity of between 25 and 30 million pounds will be built as will car shops at which the company will make and repair refrigerator cars. An ice plant capable of making 150 tons of ice a day will be constructed.

Mr. Oesterle and C. E. Dienger of Chicago, the companyĆ¢??s purchasing agent, are at the Savoy Hotel.

The Morris plant was completed according to schedule and operated for 20 years as one of the big four packing companies. But from the time of its construction it was plagued with floods and fires. Several times flood and fire occurred simultaneously and firefighters were compelled to work from river boats.

Kansas City Times
November 9, 1979

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local Subject1908 Flood
Morris and Company
Missouri River
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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