The World's Most Sophisticated Meat Packing Plant
Emmett Nuckolls and his son G. H. Nuckolls opened the first Pueblo operation of the Nuckolls Packing Company in 1891 near the Union stock yards, about one-half mile east of Bessemer Junction station. They achieved great success and saw tremendous growth potential immediately.
In 1915 the family hired Hans Peter Henschien to design one of the world's most sophisticated meat packing facilities using his 'rational factory' theory. Henschien planned the very structure of the factory so that it would work as predictably and obediently as a machine by facilitating the most efficient flow of product throughout the plant. Meat packing firms pioneered the development of the rational factory in the early 20th century with influential builders like Hans Peter Henschien.
According to the Pueblo Chieftain, the cost of construction was $300,000 and the project located on South Santa Fe Avenue took a year to complete. The cost to build the factory today would approach $149,000,000. The meat packing plant was so massive that during its first inspection tour in October 1916, three dignitaries got lost and the fire department and plant staff had to be called to search for the missing parties.
The plant, located on six acres just southeast of the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, enjoyed a trade that extended as far south as Houston, Texas, well into eastern Kansas, and all through Colorado and New Mexico and Arizona.