Re: Hygrade ~1600 series

Douglas Harding

I do have one photo of a HyGrade reefer, circa 1929. The attached photo is of the loading area of the Decker meat plant in Mason City, from a Decker Brochure. The reefer with the prominent “Decker” on the side is actually a Mather Reefer leased to HyGrade, the reporting marks are partially visible on the end of the car. The late Richard Hendrickson made the identification.


Doug Harding


From: <> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding via
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2021 10:23 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Hygrade ~1600 series


This is what I have on HyGrade the company. I do not have anything on their reefers, and all my reference material is packed for an upcoming move.


Hygrade Food Products dates back to the 1800s. To Central Hanover Bank & Trust in 1929


The Storm Lake IA plant was opened in 1935 by Kingan & Co of Indianapolis and Nash Brothers. Kingan bought out Nash Brothers in 1937. Kingan was purchased by HyGrade in 1952.


In April 1982, IBP bought the old Storm Lake plant from Hygrade for $2.5 million. The Storm Lake workers were not welcomed back. Hundreds applied for positions at the new plant, but fewer than thirty were hired. Wages averaged $7 per hour, or $14,600 per year – less than half the average salary of the old workers. IBP imported a largely immigrant work force to man the plant.



Hygrade purchased Carstens Packing Co of Tacoma WA in 1952 and closed the plant in 1990. Carstens was the largest independent meat packer on the west coast.



HyGrade purchased Kingan of Indianapolis in 1954


HyGrade acquired F Schenk & Sons of Wheeling OH


Hygrade sold to Sara Lee in 1989



From: <> On Behalf Of Steve SANDIFER
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2021 8:40 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Hygrade ~1600 series


I don’t know how correct it is, but Red Caboose produced a Mather wood meat reefer with Hygrade on it about 20 years ago. I have one HFPX 2793. I believe Hygrade was formed in 1951. I look forward to this discussion.



J. Stephen Sandifer


From: <> On Behalf Of nyc3001 .
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2021 4:08 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Hygrade ~1600 series


Hi guys,

On Terry Link's canadasouthern site is a consist with two HFPX reefers numbered 1614 and 1618. Does anyone have more information about this series? I would like to model a Hygrade's reefer but know little about them.

-Phil Lee

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