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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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RYAN PACKING COMPANY. Operated by William A. RYAN, the packing plant in 1876 was located along Jones Street.

In February 1876 it was reported that 729 hogs had been slaughtered and dressed in one day. (1) In the same month, Ryan announced the construction of a smoke house near his packing plant. (2) The $20,000 addition built within the main building measured 23.5' x 45 feet and was 46 feet high. (3)

In February 1878 an article in the Dubuque Herald stated that Ryan had purchased 1,500 tons from of ice LINEHAN & PIER for summer curing of meat. (4)

In August 1879 Ryan & Son began construction of a new packing plant at the corner of Iowa and 12th STREETS. The site was to be used for the sale of fresh offal and cured meats from the older plant. (5)

It was reported in the February 5, 1880 issue of the Dubuque Herald that seventy-five railroad cars of pork had been shipped from the company during the preceding week. Led by T. J. Ryan who lived in Chicago and S. D. Ryan, the company in 1891 had a capacity of handling 1,000 hogs daily and employing one hundred at full operation. (6)

The company was incorporated on March 4, 1893 by S. D. Ryan, B. P. Duffy and B. F. Stendman who also served as directors. The business was capitalized at $600,000. (7)



1. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, February 9, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760209&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, February 12, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18760212&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

3. "Dubuque," Dubuque Herald, December 2, 1876, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18761202&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, February 3, 1878, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18780203&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

5. "New Packing House," Dubuque Herald, August 27, 1879, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18790827&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "The Ryan Packing Company," Dubuque Daily Herald, December 1, 1891, p. 4

7. "Ryan Packing Company Incorporated," Dubuque Daily Herald, March 5, 1893, p. 4