It is a market for live-stock, and for dairy and farm products, and has slaughtering and packing establishments, flour mills, creameries and cheese factories, canning and preserving factories, carriage works, a flax fibre mill and grain elevators.
The city is also the centre of large dairy interests, and there are many creameries in the county.
Among the leading products are those of the furnaces, foundries and machine shops, flour and grist mills, planing mills, creameries, bridge and iron works, publishing houses and a packing house; and brick, tile, pottery, patent medicines, furniture, caskets, tombstones, carriages, farm machinery, Portland cement, glue, gloves and?hosiery.
In 1891 cheese factories and creameries numbered 1 733, and in 1899 there were 3649.
Butter for export is made in creameries, where the milk, cream and butter are handled by skilled makers.
The creameries are provided with special cold storage rooms, into which the butter is placed on the same day in which it is made.
The government offered a bonus to those owners of creameries who would provide cold-storage accommodation at them and keep the room in use for a period of three years.
Besides furnishing technical and general information as to the carrying on of dairying operations, the government has established and maintained illustration cheese factories and creameries in different places for the purpose of introducing the best methods of co-operative dairying in both the manufacturing and shipping of butter and cheese.
The collection of milk by the creameries and cheese-factories is carried on with great efficiency.
In the early 'eighties the organization of creameries and cheese factories began in the county-seats; they depended upon gathered cream.