Steer Terra-Cotta Cornice
Description: This steer-shaped, terra cotta cornice was one of 12 identical cornices that originally hung on the Livestock National Bank. The bank was started by I. C. Elston and Fred L. Eaton in 1895. The bank was originally established to service the many different businesses in the stockyards are of the Floyd River Valley: meatpackers, commission agencies, and the like. Everyone in the city was open to use the bank however, and as it grew in reputation it became very popular. The Livestock National Bank merged with several other area banks to form the Northwest Bancorporation under the Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis. The bank ran as part of this corporation but retained its own name. In 1969 the bank merged with Morningside Savings Bank under a new name, Norwest Bank. By that time the Exchange building was opening up to other business and the meat industry was on the decline. Today the assets of the former Northwestern Bank are owned by Wells Fargo Bank.
The Livestock National Bank Building was built as an extension to the Sioux City Livestock Exchange Building. The bank addition was designed by William L. Steele and opened in 1915 (the Exchange Building it was part of was built in 1890). The terra cotta samples are exquisite, and the building is one of the finest examples of Sullivanesque architecture in Sioux City. In 1998 the majority of the Exchange building burned down, but the bank addition stood relatively undamaged. In 2005 this addition was cleared for demolition, but the terra cotta samples were salvaged before demolition began. Four of the twelve steer head pieces were used in the Promenade fountain, commemorating the Sioux City stockyards and the meat industry that was the life of Sioux City for so long. Four are housed here at the museum, two of which are on display. The location of the remaining four is unknown.
Donor: Gretchen Schalge