Cowtown: History of the Kansas City Stockyards

For more than a century the Kansas City Stockyards fed a hungry nation. This new exhibit features a historical treasure trove of photographs, blueprints, maps, drawings, and documents celebrating the city’s great economic engine.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 to Sunday, April 12, 2015

Exhibit extended through April 12, 2015 by popular demand.

For more than a century, the Kansas City Stockyards fed a nation hungry for fresh meat.

The heyday of the stockyards is long gone, undermined by flood, environmental concerns, and shifting economics. But this powerful financial engine is celebrated in Cowtown: History of the Kansas City Stockyards, a new exhibition of photographs, blueprints, drawings, and documents culled from more than 5,000 items retrieved from a Livestock Exchange Building storeroom in 2008.

This historical treasure trove — held and curated by the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections — chronicles the creation and steady growth of the stockyards in the West Bottoms, across the Kansas River, and into Kansas City, Kansas, over the span of 100 years.