Soon, other packers set up slaughterhouses and butcher the animals that farmers drove in from the surrounding prairies. To accommodate the ranchers, grocery keepers opened inns and provided fenced-in pens and pastures for the livestock to attract more business and add another revenue stream.
Matthew Laflin bought land at the southeastern corner of Madison Street and the Southwestern Plank Road (Ogden Avenue) and built Chicago's first privately owned stockyard called the "Bull's Head Market." It opened in 1848 and served the public.
|Bull's Head Market on Madison Street and the Southwest Plank Road (Ogden Avenue). Surveyed by Henry Hart in 1853.|
|The Three-Story Bull’s Head Tavern. Circa 1850s|
In 1855, John Sherman leased the yard, and the following year he also leased the Merrick Yards at 29th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.
Chicago Tribune "The Fire on Sunday, March 14, 1857, Morning:"
The barn that burned near the Bull's Head Tavern was owned by Laflin & Loomis and was entirely destroyed. The loss of $250 was not insured. It was situated on the corner of Harrison and Laflin Streets.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.