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J.W.L. Slavens.

... The large supply of cheap cattle afforded by the range of the West early attracted the attention of the packers to the advantages of the locality. E.W. Pattison, of Indianapolis, Ind., made the experiment in Junction City, Kan., in 1867 and was pleased with the result. He found, however, that Kansas City would afford him better facilities, and in 1868, with J.W.L. Slavens and William Eperson, built the first packing plant in Kansas City. In the first year of their operations they slaughtered about 4,200 cattle, the first beef packing done in the city.

Thomas J. Bigger, formerly of Belfast, Ireland, came to Kansas City in 1868 and began packing hogs for the Irish and English markets, the first enterprise of this sort started in the city after the war. Previous to the war, about 1858, M. Dively and a few others had packed a few hogs, and in 1859 J.L. Mitchener opened a packing house on the east levee, but his business was ruined by the war. Mr. Bigger built a small storehouse on St. Louis Avenue in West Kansas City in 1868, for storing meat, the slaughtering being done for him by Pattison & Slavens. J.W.L. Slavens sold his interest in the packing business of Pattison & Slavens Dr. F.B. Nofsinger in 869, and formed the co-partnership known as Ferguson, Slavens, & Co., by whom was built the packing house occupied later by the Morrison Packing company...

The Morrison Packing Company, a branch of the Cincinnati firm of James Morrison & Co., established in 1845, began operations in 1884, as successors to Slavens & Oburn...

Kansas City, MO Its History & Its People 1808-1908,
by Carrie Westlake Whitney, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1908

Manufacturers in Kansas

Kansas has been a large producer of live stock from her first settlement. Her rich prairies furnished pasturage for cattle, and they increased rapidly. When the sod was subdued corn was long the principal crop. It was the main factor in the production of pork. It was early realized that the great quantity of cattle and hogs raised in Kansas and the adjoining territory would have to be slaughtered and prepared for market at some point within the state. The cities about the mouth of the Kansas River offered the ideal location for meat-packing establishments. In 1868 J. W. L. Slavens built the first packing house there. He was associated with Edward W. Pattison, who had put up the pioneer establishment at Junction City the previous year and had slaughtered there about 1,000 cattle. The Kansas City house packed about 4,000 cattle in 1868. Dr. F. B. Nofsinger purchased the interest of Slavens in the plant in 1869. In 1880 it was conducted by Nofsinger & Co. In that year Jacob Dold & Sons, packers, from Buffalo, New York, bought out the business, and they were among the big packers of Kansas City for many years. In the same year that Slavens entered the business, Thomas J. Bigger, from Belfast, Ireland, built a plant in which to slaughter and pack hogs for the English and Irish markets. The firm of Slavens & Oburn grew out of the operations of J. W. L. Slavens, and it later became the Morrison Packing Company. Plankinton & Armour entered the field in 1870, renting the plant of Pattison & Nofsinger. In 1871 this firm erected its own house, the pioneer establishment of that great firm at Kansas City. It had a packing house at Chicago and one at Milwaukee. John Plankinton withdrew from the firm in 1884, and the great establishment he helped to found is now the property of the Armours. George Fowler, of the Fowler Brothers, packers, of Liverpool, built a packing house at Kansas City in 1881. Swift & Company established a house in 1888, Schwarzschild & Sulzberger Company in 1892, the Cudahy Packing Company in 1900, the Morris Packing Company in 1903, the John Morrell Packing Company in 1903, and the American Dressed Beef Company in 1904. These houses were all established in Kansas City, Kansas, as that was the nearest large distributing point to the cattle ranges and the farms producing hogs. This has become the largest manufacturing industry in Kansas, the total output of its products running into values of hundreds of millions annually. Kansas City, Kansas, is one of the largest packing centers in the world. Wichita has a number of packing houses and is second only to Kansas City, Kansas, as a packing center. The value of packing house products in Kansas must now total close to $200,000,000 annually.

A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans,
by William E. Connelley. Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1918.