Cattle Brands Board Photo
Date: c. 1950
Description: This photo is of a man (probably a commission agent) standing by a large board with cattle brands, a very important part of the livestock trade. Cattle, hogs, and sheep were branded with certain symbols belonging to the producer, showing who each animal belonged to. When livestock was being traded though commission firms the producer’s name and brand would often be used to ensure that the right animals matched up with the right producer. Commission workers had to be familiar with all different types of brands to do their jobs well.
This photo was taken in the Livestock Exchange Building, which was located at what was once South Chambers Street, renamed South Cunningham. The main building was built in the 1890s, and originally housed the business offices for the Sioux City Stock Yards Company, incorporated at the centralization of the stockyards in 1894. In 1902 the building expanded to include a bank, as well as more offices. In 1915 the building expanded again to include an addition for the Livestock National Bank. Along with the bank and business offices for the company, the building also housed offices for various commission firms, a hotel, and a telegraph office. Most of the building, apart from the Livestock National Bank addition, burned down in 1998 and was never rebuilt.
Donor: Damon and Vickey Lohry