Medora in Billings County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Dreams of a Cattle Empire
Chimney Park, De Mores State Historic Site
Antoine Amédé Marie Vincent Amat Manca de Vallombrosa, more commonly known as the Marquis de Mores, was a French aristocrat with an entrepreneurial spirit typical of the late 1800s. The Marquis was one of many who sought to profit from the cattle boom of the post-Civil War era. He came west in the spring of 1883 with the dream of gaining great wealth. His business ideas included letting sheep out on shares to local ranchers, owning his own cattle and running them on his range, slaughtering the animals here in Medora and shipping dressed meat to the markets in the east in refrigerated rail cars, and eventually owning his own butcher shops in New York City and selling his meat direct to the customer. The slaughterhouse business had the corporate name, Northern Pacific Refrigerator Car Co.
The cornerstone of his plan was the slaughterhouse in Medora. The first slaughterhouse could handle 15-25 beef carcasses per day and was in operation by October of 1883. The Marquis expanded the plant in 1885 to the complex of buildings shown in the photograph. This plant could easily handle 150 beef carcasses per day, but it is unknown if it ever reached full capacity. The building complex included three icehouses, a kill room, chill room, vats, fertilizer room, cooper shop, boiler and engine room, and office space.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Medora ND 58645, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. De Mores Packing Plant (within shouting distance of this marker); Loading Dock (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Great Western Trail (about 700 feet away); In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy (about 700 feet away); Stephen Tyng Mather (about 700 feet away); Joe Ferris General Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cowboys (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ralph “Doc” Hubbard (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medora.
More about this marker. A photograph on the left side of the marker depicts “The Marquis on horseback with rifle, Medora, 1886.” Another photo is of “The Marquis’ father-in-law, the Baron Louis A. von Hoffman, a merchant banker from New York, [who] was an investor and major stockholder in the venture.” A final photograph has a caption of “View of the slaughterhouse from the northwest. You are standing close to where this photo was taken.”
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 249 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 27, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.