Z.L. Biggs, 1860


1859 -

Zebulon Leviathan Biggs, aged 23 years, emigrates from parts unknown to the United States. The vessel Galathee is swallowed by the ocean shortly thereafter, taking with it the ship's log, the passenger manifest and over one hundred souls. No proof of Z.L. Biggs' journey remain.

1860 - 

Establishes a family hog farm in Tennessee.

1861 - 

Conscripted as surgeon for the Confederate Army. Shows such a great interest in human anatomy, and is so often cited in pro-Union newspapers, he is nicknamed "The Butcher of Missionary Ridge"

1866 - 

Upon returning from the war, successfully patents several specialized medical instruments for the dressing and amputation of wounded soldiers in the field. 


1875 -

Z.L. Biggs, 39 years, is coupled in matrimony to Willhelmina. Couple retains ownership of TN farm and immediately moves to New York.

1888 -

Biggs meets a curious pharmacist named H.H. Holmes while peddling his specialized medical instruments. Holmes immediately takes an interest in the devices, and offers to buy a full set.


Zeb and Judith Biggs, fraternal twins

1889 -

In exchange for leads on potential renters, Holmes provides Biggs with specially preserved cadavers used in sales demonstrations at local Universities. Meanwhile, Biggs begets a pair of twins with Holmes' estranged wife. He sends the mother and children to his farm in Tennessee to hide from prying eyes.

The twins are named Zeb and Judith.


1893 -

Holmes puts up cash and sponsorship for Biggs to run a booth at the Chicago World's Fair near the Midway. 

Biggs establishes the grisly Theatre of the Puppet, an anatomical dissection exhibit used to sell his specialized skin stripping, and meat rending tools.

Theatre of the Puppet, Chicago World's Fair Columbian Exposition, 1893


H.H. Holmes

1894 - 

Biggs officially dissolves partnership with Holmes, who is subsequently apprehended and sentenced to death for a series of murders in the Chicago area. The lawyer charged with Holmes' case swears the man before him is not Holmes. The judge orders the trial to be held nonetheless.

1895 -

Wife Wilhelmina dies in childbirth; the child dies with the mother. Doctors were not present at the family home during the surgery.

Two men are seen entering, and then quickly exiting the H.H. Holmes "Murder Castle" near evening hours. The building is suddenly rocked by a series of explosions, and burns to the ground. Witnesses describe the two fleeing men as H.H. Holmes and Z.L. Biggs; the police do not investigate. Biggs' tools are not recovered from the basement. 


1913 -

Fraternal twins Zeb and Judith Biggs marry in a short ceremony. Judith gives birth days later to their first child, Mary Waynelle Biggs.

1918 - 

Biggs family is awarded lucrative government contract to provide meat to WWI ration effort. Biggs Meats is founded. The product sent to troops is heavily salted, mushy and tastes nothing like pork.


Albert Herman Webster 'Al' Biggs

1928 -

Z.L. Biggs is moved to the "Family Room."

1929 -

October 29, baby boy Albert Herman Webster 'Al' Biggs is born. He is one of an already burgeoning family.

1940 - 

Ten year old Al is sent home from his consolidated school because of his strange interest in anatomy and dissection. His teacher find it unnatural. 

Neighborhood cats and dogs often go missing. Al's father Zeb begins learning the boy about the hog trade.

1941 - 

Biggs Meats renews its contract with the United States Government to supply pork, beef and "edibles" to the war effort. Zeb and Judith significantly expand rendering operations throughout the United States, including opening additional rendering farms in Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Iowa.


1963 - 

Biggs Meats is renamed Biggs Family Rendering. School lunch programs begin to see an increase in supplies due to an unknown government contract. The quality of the food, however, is questionable, and the term "mystery meat" is quickly adopted.

1976 - 

Zeb and Judith are moved to the "Family Room."

Logo 1980s.jpg

1981 - 

Al Biggs, now 52, purchases neighboring hog operations in Iowa during the Farm Crisis. He also accepts a number of lucrative contracts throughout the state of Iowa, including no-bid contracts from Lt. Gov. Terry Brandstad.

Partnering with Pioneer Hi-bred Al moves to Johnston, Iowa in anticipation of expanded Iowa operations. He begins testing genetically modified seed corn on swine digestive systems.

1990 - 

Biggs Family Rendering is awarded a lucrative government contract with the United States Government providing meat for the Desert Storm war effort. 

Soldiers complain of strange side effects from an unknown source. Doctors eventually diagnose the series of symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome. Biggs Family Rendering is not investigated,


1993 -

Biggs Family Rendering consolidates operations into the Iowa division. Some assets are liquidated, others are split among the family. The Biggs family sells the Tennessee property and moves to Iowa.

2010 - 

Big Al grows tired of the hog slaughtering business and passes control back to the family. Al turns to his grandfather for inspiration and opens "Big Al's Slaughterhouse in Des Moines, IA. Some find their experience inside the museum frightening...others never find their way out.

2011 -

Growing more distant from reality, Al decides to hand the reigns of his "living museum" over to his younger brother Trig. The attraction is renamed The Slaughterhouse.



2017 - 

With a hefty grant from the United States Government, and a firm promise from the FBI not to investigate, Trig and Lefty Biggs move The Slaughterhouse to a new location - the old Iowa Paint Factory. Securing ample soundproofing and direct drainage into the Des Moines River. After all, who wants to clean up all that blood?