The Livestock Exchange Building was constructed in 1898, dedicated on June 9, 1899, and was a central hub for the local livestock, meatpacking and railroad industries in St Joseph Missouri for most of the last 100 years. The building provided offices for a variety of operations with a common interest; The first floor included the Stockyards offices as well as a bank, post office and even a cigar stand. In addition, the USDA, Western Union Telegraph Company and countless railroad companies, livestock commissions and packing companies had offices located here. It continued to serve in this capacity until roughly 2008. This building was directly involved in the prosperity of St Joseph in the early 20th century as it was the center of the livestock industries which were among the most important in the United States at the time. In fact, by 1902, St Joseph was the 5th largest livestock market in the United States and it produced roughly 30 million dollars worth of product, or 3.8 percent of the total output of the entire country. In 30 years, the population here had increased from 1,000 inhabitants to over 15,000 and the stockyards and meatpacking industries employed more than 4,500 residents. Business was good while it lasted. But by the 21st Century, The Livestock Exchange building was one of the only such structures left standing from all the other major cities. It was designed by one of the most prominent architects of the time, E. J. Eckel. Eckel designed a wide variety of significant buildings here and elsewhere throughout the country. Five years after its completion, the Livestock Exchange building was hailed as "The handsomest and most convenient structure of its kind ever erected for the livestock trade."