The Muskingum Livestock Sales Company was organized in the summer of 1941, under the leadership of the later Bernard Anderson and the late Bernard Porter. Mr. Anderson headed the Muskingum Livestock Market Inc., which lost its Lee Street facility to fire in May 1941. Anderson and Porter joined together with others in forming the Muskingum Livestock Sales Company, which announced in September of 1941 that they would construct a farm and stockyard at the former site of the Muskingum Livestock Market Inc. The newly chosen board members of Bernard Anderson, Bernard Porter, George Wilking, Ben Tunis, Ernest Gorsuch, Sam Bell and John Graham initiated the building of the new facility at an estimated cost of $10,000. The building capital was raised through the selling of stock to local patrons. In October of that year, construction began on what was later quoted to be “the best livestock layout in the state”. In late January of 1942, the new Muskingum Livestock Sales Company’s barn and stockyard was completed. The new facility which was contracted by Winn Brock, with help of farmers and local people, provided twenty-seven thousand square feet of under roof area for handling of livestock and a restaurant to provide meals for its customers.
The Zanesville community welcomed the new barn at its first sale on February 4, 1942. Over one thousand people witnessed the selling of over six hundred head of cattle by Auctioneer Russell Marker. The highlights of the first sale included the selling of the prize steer raised on the George Wilking farm at the price of $13.40 per hundred pounds. Also the prize heifer of the day belonging to Homer White was sold at the price of $12.80 per hundred pounds. After seven hours of buying and selling, Muskingum Livestock Sales Co. reported that an excess of $35,000 worth of livestock had passed through its sale ring on opening day.
Many changes took place at the Lee Street site. The addition of three new section of pen areas were to provide room for handling larger numbers of livestock. Also, new loading docks were built to accommodate the loading and unloading of animals.
In 1980, the decision was made to purchase the Zanesville Community Sales facility on Malinda Street and move the operations to that location. Extensive repair, painting, and clean up was conducted and on August 6, 1980 our present location was opened. There have been several changes since that time. Additional pens have been built, a drive-thru dock was added, a new electronic scale installed, and a computer system set up in the office.
Many individuals have contributed to the progress of Muskingum Livestock Sales Co. General Managers have included Bernard Anderson, from 1942 to 1966; F.E. (Abe) Barnett, 1966 to 1979, Ted Fowler, 1979; Glen Watson, 1980; Dale Flowers 1980 to 1988; Terry Blyther, 1988 to 1999; and Denny Ruff, who started in 1999. Additional contributors to Muskingum Livestock included C. R. Cochran, Ray Smith, Herbert Elliott, George Vandenbark, Gail Cline, Bernard White, F.E. (Abe) Barnett, Eloise Barnett, Roy Ream, Glenn King, Larry McCutcheon, Weldon Krebs, Daryl Porter, Richard Johnson, Don Drake, Bill Burwell, Dave Phillips, and Carl Longstretch. They have served as past directors succeeding the members of the first board. Present board members include Dennis Michel, Tom George, Bruce Knipe, Larry Lapp, Jeff Schuhart, Tom Sweeney and Casey Clemons.
The selling of livestock has been handled by various auctioneers over the years including Bert Foster, Harry Hawk, Walter Bros., Jim Watson, Bert Richmond, Wayne Graham, Roger Kreis. Currently Roger Kreis, Daniel Mitchell and Vernon Yoder call the sale.