PEORIA — With little attention right before Christmas, a nearly 150-year-old institution sold its last hog and prepared to close.
The Peoria Stock Yards will close this week, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a decline in hog sales at the yards and changes throughout the industry.
The last batch of hogs was sold at the South Peoria facility on Dec. 23, the wire service reported.
Consolidation in sale locations over the years left Peoria one of few remaining sites of a hog auction facility across the Midwest, Reuters said. Chicago's Union Stock Yards closed in 1971, and even 30 years ago, there were only three such facilities remaining in Illinois — Peoria, East St. Louis and Joliet — the Chicago Tribune reported in 1987 when the Joliet site was put up for sale. It later closed. The East St. Louis site shuttered in 1997 and one of the last remaining buildings at the sprawling complex was torn down this past summer.
Many pigs are sold directly to packing companies by farm operations, which also have grown larger as they dwindle in number.
The owner of the Peoria site, Ron Jenkins, passed away in June.