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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND PROVISION CO.

CLEVELAND PROVISION CO.

The CLEVELAND PROVISION CO., founded in 1854 as Rose & Prentiss by BENJAMIN ROSE and Chauncey Prentiss, and incorporated as the Cleveland Provision Co. in 1876, was the leading meat packer in Cleveland for over a century. Established at a time when farmers began turning over the slaughter of their livestock to city packinghouses, Cleveland Provision was exclusively a pork-packing facility until 1887, when it expanded to include beef and lamb. First located on Ontario St., the company moved to 2527 Canal Rd. in the Flats to be near the Ohio Canal, a shipping point and a source of cut ice, needed to preserve freshly slaughtered animals before the widespread use of mechanical refrigeration in the 1890s. Cleveland Provision then moved to the heart of the stockyard district at 3378 W. 65th St., where the company discontinued its own killing. Under the direction of John Nash, Cleveland Provision developed the Wiltshire and Rose Premium brands of smoked meats. The largest of two dozen local packinghouses, it was among the first to package bacon in see-through boxes. Although the firm remained in business under the name the Cleveland Provision Co. until the 1950s, it was successively bought out by Lake Erie Provision in 1937 and then by Ohio Provision in 1954, when the operation was moved to 6101 Walworth Ave. As a consequence of changes in the industry (see CLEVELAND UNION STOCKYARDS CO.), the company, processor of Sandy Mac brand meats, closed in 1962. At the time, it was the city's largest remaining meat packer, as Swift & Co. and 3 local packinghouses had recently suspended operations.