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Elliott Meat Packing Company records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S3745

Scope and Contents

The collection documents Elliott's and its predecessor companies.  The records consist primarily of production and financial records.  The company owned land and property in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas for which there are some deed, lease, and sale records.  The collection includes some employee records, employee cards (1940s-1980s) with full names, dates of hire, dates of birth, and name of insurance beneficiary; payroll ledgers; 1920 and 1946 property appraisals that include descriptions of the site and buildings; one 1945 photograph of identified men including Dudley Smith at a celebratory dinner all wearing paper hats, they may all be managers.


  • 1912-1984


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The Elliott meat packing plant in Duluth began operations in 1893 when Hiram Riddle Elliott (died 1938) and Warren Mendenhall (died 1939), who later purchased the Big Duluth, bought out the packing company owned by J. B. Sutphin and G. F. Swift.  They renamed the firm and handled a full line of beef, pork, lamb, veal, processed ham and bacon.  For 91 years thousands of people drew paychecks at Elliotts.  Owner Dudley Smith closed the plant July 27, 1984, putting 100 people out of work.  Threats of closure were ongoing for the prior two years.  The full time union employees had already taken a $2/hr. pay cut, part timers took a 50 cents/hr cut, gave up three holidays and donated a 10 minute/day cleanup period to the company two years ago totaling about $1.5 million.  Workers and the City of Duluth were in talks to see if a co-op, renting, leasing, or another plan, that might keep the plant open until it could be purchased.


49 Volumes

4.54 Linear Feet

1 oversize box

Language of Materials



The collection documents Elliott's and its predecessor companies.  The records consist primarily of production and financial records. 

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library.

Guide to the Elliott Meat Packing Company records
Finding Aid Authors: Staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526