A requiem for the stockyards

stockyards dock house

You are looking inside the "Dock House," of the soon-to-be-no-more stockyards in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The "Dock House" was a gathering place for cattlemen, drivers, and interlopers who always enjoy spinning or hearing a good tale. My source tells me the BS inside the "Dock House," was probably thicker than it was in the cattle pens. Now, one can only imagine.

stock yards building

See more pictures at Corndancer dot-com

There is irony in the language on the wall poster above which says, “You can only borrow what you are worth today,” a corollary to “what have you done for me today?.”  The “Dock House” where the poster hangs is part and parcel of “the stockyards” in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Today’s worth of the stockyards is diminished in the face of “progress.”

The stockyards are being demolished by dis-assembly to make room for a new structure to be erected by the new owners of the property, Central Moloney, Inc., the next-door neighbor to the stockyards. Get in on the start of this interesting story and see more pictures on the Photo of  the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here while you look.

Pine Bluff stockyards

What formerly transpired at the stockyards now commonly takes place on the internet and closed circuit TV, leaving thousands of local stockyards similar to this one,  in the lurch.

Once a bustling hub of business, this 69-year-old stock yard in Pine Bluff, Arkansas owned by the Glover Livestock Commission Company is no longer active, although the company is. It is not alone in its dilemma, hundreds of other local stockyards have met a similar fate.

Formerly cattle sellers and buyers would congregate at stockyards like this and do business on “sale-days.” Participants in the process forged long-term face-to-face friendships and business relationships. Lounges like the abandoned “Dock House” above vibrated with tall tales and down-home humor. Now the same business transactions are being made over the internet and closed circuit TV. The participants probably don’t know each other from Adam’s Off-Ox.

Office building at stockyards

This building at the Pine Bluff Stock Yards once housed offices, a popular restaurant and "The Rancher," a successful western store. The structure is more than 70 years old.

stock yards loading ramp

The back of the old office building as seen though a loading ramp in the stock yards building.

Every time we scratch our heads and wonder “what else could possibly be invented,” up jumps a radical new idea which grabs our collective imagination and forces a shift in business practice. This is not to castigate the new process, far from it, because this story reaches you with in the same venue that spelled disaster for the stockyards. Our point is to remember and respect what got us where we are. It is the eternal conundrum. We ride the wave of new means, methods, and technology, but decry some, but not all of the results. It’s called reality. Welcome to the global marketplace, have a nice day.


Without stepping in, well … you know. See all-new pictures of the stockyards inside and out in our Weekly Grist Gallery. You’ll see pictures not available anywhere else, plus all of the Corndancer and Weekly Grist pictures, bigger and in high resolution. Neat stuff and low-carb, low-calorie, and your mamma will approve of it.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind



4 Responses

  1. Oh the stories these facilities could tell if they could talk … and yes, of a time gone by and probably not to return.

    I think of Cincinnati and it’s stockyard days … which formed the foundation for consumer-product giant Proctor and Gamble as the slaughtered fat was used in their first product …. candles!

  2. Thanks Frank, I hope all is well with you. While traveling to Lake Erie to sail in a regatta back in the eighties, we drove past P&G and it was like driving past a city in and unto itself. I had no idea they started with candles. Amazing.

    • Soap (Ivory) was their first mass marketing effort … then the rest is history.

      Interestingly, a chemical company (Emery) processed the fat into the biproducts that P&G used. Emery was just up the road from the stockyard with P&G being on nearby property to Emery …. maybe even adjacent.

  3. […] A requiem for the stockyards (weeklygrist.wordpress.com) […]

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