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Philip D. Armour

Founder, Largest U.S. Meat Packer.
Illinois Institute of Technology

Philip Danforth Armour was the most prominent member of the Armour family that helped to create a new industry in meat packing centered in Chicago. ■ Armour was born May 16, 1832, in Stockbridge, New York, the son of a farmer. The Armours arrived in the American colonies from Scotland before the American Revolution. ■ Philip Armour was educated at Cazenovia Academy in New York. He worked on the home farm afterwards with his father and in 1852 set out across the country for California. ■ He moved from California to Wisconsin with a sizeable fortune and in 1856 went into the wholesale grocery business in Milwaukee. He then became head of Armour, Plankington and Company, pork packers. He also became associated with his brother Herman in a grain commission and meat packing plant. ■ Out of these ventures came the firm of Armour and Company with headquarters in Chicago. It was destined to become the nation's largest meat packer with world-wide operations. ■ By 1923 the company was capitalized at $235 million. And by 1935 Armour had 30 packing plants, 50 produce plants, and 300 distribution centers with more than $1 billion in sales. ■ Philip Armour was an innovator of many of the modern livestock management techniques. ■ He and other members of the Armour family were active in many charitable enterprises. He built low cost rental apartments for his workers. He founded the Armour Institute of Technology, later known as the Illinois Institute of Technology. He died January 6, 1901, in Chicago. ■ After his death the firm prospered under the direction of his son Jonathan. At Jonathan's retirement in 1923, Armour was the world's largest meat packer.

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546