The Oklahoma National Stockyards Company began operating as a public livestock market in October 1910. Morris and Company (now Armour) opened a large meat packing plant adjoining the stockyards at the same time. The following year, Schwartzchild & Sulzberger (now Wilson) opened a similar plant. Together they represented an investment of approximately $3.5 million. The entire operation generated 2,400 new jobs in the city with a population of only 60,000. The stockyards and meat packing plants were Oklahoma City's first major industrial installations and represented the heaviest concentration of labor in the capitol city.
In the first five years of operation, the volume of livestock handling increased by 130%. By 1966 the Oklahoma National Stockyards had become the sixth largest market in the nation on the basis of livestock handling, representing $125 million in annual business. When the number of saleable cattle soared to 919,280 head in 1973, the stockyards took the nation's lead. Today the stockyards remains the world's largest stocker and feeder cattle market.
Photo of Stockyards City main entrance, 1948
Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Historical Society