First president of the International Live Stock Exposition and namesake of the Spoor Trophy awarded to the winning team of the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest.
1851-1926 | Artist: Ruth A. (Temple) Anderson (1851-1857)
Impact & Accomplishments
John Spoor was the first president of the International Live Stock Exposition (1900-1908), and thereafter, its chairman for several years.
The Spoor Trophy, awarded to the winner of the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest, is named in his honor.
He was also president and chairman of the Union Stock Yards and Transit Company and the Chicago Junction Railway Company. He and Arthur Leonard, with financing from Fred Prince, established the nation’s first industrial district adjacent to the Chicago stock yards, in 1905—the Central Manufacturing District.
Born in Freehold, New York, Spoor came to Chicago in 1886, as general manager of the Wagner Palace Car Company. He soon became one of the major Chicago players in integrated business pursuits centered on rail transportation, banking, industrial development, and the livestock industry.
An avid art and book collector, John Spoor was a trustee of the Newberry Library.
Did You Know?
Morgan Services (the industry’s oldest multiplant laundry operation) was launched by John Alden Spoor in 1887 with three partners when they bought the American Steam Laundry in St. Louis. Spoor ran a railroad sleeping car business and converted the laundry to wash sleeping car bed linens on a customer-owned goods basis.
The Spoor Trophy - a large bronzed bull - is awarded to the overall winning team of the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held at the North American International Livestock Expo. In 2019, Oklahoma State University brought home the coveted Spoor Trophy.