Concept

Rath Packing Company

Résumé
The Rath Packing Company was a meatpacking company located in Waterloo, Iowa, between 1891 and 1985. Background George John Rath (variously referred to as George Rath and John George Rath) was born in 1821 in Breitenau, Württemberg province, Germany. He came to the United States in the late 1840s and eventually settled in Dubuque, Iowa. In Dubuque, Rath began a merchant business, making and selling soap and tallow candles. He also began a pork packing operation. By 1873 he had a new partner in both endeavors: His son, E. F. (Edward Frederick) Rath, doing business under the name George Rath and Son. In February 1891, the Rath's small pork packing plant and retail market in Dubuque was destroyed by fire. The fire came at a time when many growing towns in Iowa were trying to attract meat packers to relocate or open operations in their communities. A packing plant was a major acquisition for a small but ambitious town. Such a business meant locally-available fresh meat, employme
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