Rath Packing Company
- E.F. Rath’s father, George had been in business in Dubuque
since before the Civil War. After their plant there was destroyed
by fire, they moved the business to Waterloo.
- The first Waterloo plant cost $25,000, and was very small.
- During the first year only about fifteen workers were employed,
and 10,000 hogs were slaughtered.
- In 1922, the company had branches at Des Moines, Galesburg IL,
Memphis TN, and Birmingham AL.
- At that time, E.F. Rath was secretary and treasurer of Rath Packing
Company in Waterloo.
- The hogs, cattle, sheep and calves were purchased within a radius
of 150 miles of Waterloo.
- Livestock was delivered in trucks and wagons by the farmers who
were paid cash.
- Livestock were led up a chute to a killing room. Then the carcasses
went to the steaming, scraping and scalding areas.
- The carcasses were placed
on a conveyor which took them through the other stages of packing
including the chill room, salt cellar, smoker, and freezing room.
- The plant had a refrigerating system which was used for chilling
dressed carcasses and maintaining low temperatures in the storage
rooms. The temperature of one freezing room was kept below zero.
- From the freezing room, the meat was loaded on refrigerated railroad
cars for distribution to markets across the country.
- As the company grew, more buildings were added to the plant.
Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, June 27, 1922