Nebraska Historical Marker: South Omaha People

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Nebraska Historical Marker: South Omaha People



MCC South Omaha Campus, South 27th & Q streets, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska

View this marker's location 41.206705, -95.955952

View a map of all Nebraska historical markers, Browse Historical Marker Map

Marker Text

People journeyed from many distant lands to this prairie village that grew so rapidly it was called The Magic City. South Omaha's stockyards and meat-packing plants were their destination for hope and opportunity. Union Stockyards, founded in 1883, became a major livestock market due to its location adjacent to river and rail transportation.

By 1892 South Omaha had become the nation's third largest meat-packing center. From 1934 to 1967 it was home to the Big Four packers (Armour, Swift, Cudahy, Wilson) processing cattle, hogs, and sheep with a system Henry Ford copied for his car assembly lines. With good paying, unionized jobs, South Omaha's immigrant communities raised children, developed churches and social clubs. The interracial labor union played an important role in supporting the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

From 1955 to 1971 the Omaha Stockyards was the world's largest. As marketing and meat-packing decentralized, the last Big Four packing plant closed in 1976. The stockyards closed in 1999, leaving only the 1926 Livestock Exchange Building.

However, the people's journey continues.

Further Information



John E Carter, “The Birth of the Omaha Stockyards: A Photographic Essay,” Nebraska History 94 (2013): 188-195

Marker program

See Nebraska Historical Marker Program for more information.