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Livestock Association / McConnell Beef Ring



The following is from pages 63 to 64 of
McConnell Little Town Lost, 1982

(Click on Picture to Enlarge)

The Livestock Association was formed around 1920-24.

Jim Reed and Alymer McConnell were on the first livestock board. Alymer McConnell was in charge of handling and recording the cattle and hogs as they were delivered on shipping day at the livestock yards east of the Elevators.

There was a Scale house with scales for weighing the animals and quite an extensive set of pens for sorting and holding. All made from heavy planking and posts, which were kept in good shape with regular coats of white wash.

Monday was shipping day, for receiving the livestock and they were loaded into a livestock car for the train to pick up Tuesday morning.

The livestock were consigned to a livestock commission firm in Winnipeg. Burns Bros. were the most popular firm.

The livestock were nearly always accompanied by a caretaker, which was somebody from the district. Generally some farmer who had shipped more livestock this time than usual and so had a special interest in making the trip.

The Livestock association sponsored the Fat Cattle Livestock Show.

The Livestock car was always made as comfortable as possible with plenty of straw for bedding.

Ron McConnell was responsible for hauling the straw and as there was a car of stock shipped every week all winter he must have hauled straw under every condition imaginable, for thirty years.

Fat Stock Show Fat Stock Association Show and Sale Day


The McConnell beef ring was formed in the early 1920's.

A slaughter house was built on the S.E.1/2 of Sec. 14-15-23 belonging to Alymer McConnell, which was the homestead 1/4 of Jack McConnell. The slaughter house was about a 1/4 of a mile west of the school grounds on the north side of the road next to a willow slough, and is still standing. The first butcher was Oscar Newton. Andrew Pollock was the butcher during the 1930's.

Before the beef ring was started at McConnell, there was one in operation in the Holylea district, near McKay's on the west side of Salt Lake. Most people had a half share or if a full share they went in together with a neighbour or relative.

A steer was killed each week, and the carcass was cut up and divided so that by the time the summer was over you were supposed to have had a cut of each part of the carcass.

Every family in the ring supplied a clean white cotton bag for the meat to be placed and it was then hung on a hook on the wall.

The owner or owners of each share had to supply one beef steer when their turn came up.

The beef ring only operated in the summer, when it was hard to keep fresh meat on hand.

The steer was delivered and stood for a couple of days in a stall at the rear of the slaughterhouse so that it was starved before butchering.

With the advent of Rural Electrification the beef ring was no longer needed.