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Manuscripts by Subject - Business / Commerce - #10486

Title: Fargo Chamber of Commerce Records

Dates: 1915-1983

Collection Number: 10486

Quantity: 8 feet

Abstract: Consists of subject files, correspondence, annual reports, audit reports, programs, promotional material, photographs, motion picture film audio-tapes, memorabilia, and scrapbooks.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Fargo Chamber of Commerce Records from the Chamber July 30, 1986. This collection was processed and the inventory prepared by Karen Mund, Kari Rombs Kohlhoff, and Grace Wanttaja in July 1988.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: The Fargo Chamber of Commerce has dedicated such copyrights as it possesses in this collection to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of researchers.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: Two feet of material were removed from the Fargo Chamber of Commerce Records and transferred to the appropriate collection management area of the State Archives. One-half foot of publications such as bulletins, magazines, newsletters, domestic newspapers, studies, and reports were removed and transferred to the library collection.

One and a half feet of photos, audio tapes, motion picture films, and audio cassettes were transferred to the Photo Archives. The photo material depicts churches, businesses, groups, aerial views of the city, and National High School Rodeo Finals. Included are eight video cassette tapes of the 64th Annual Meeting of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce in 1975. Titles of the two motion picture films are The Old West Trail and Roughrider Country. A variety of subjects are included on the eighteen audio tapes such as Fargo industrial, F/M story, Mrs. Hagen, music, meetings, and Chamber action.

A button and a banner from the National High School Rodeo Finals, ribbons from Fargo's Fall Festival, and stickers from the Fargo-Moorhead Centennial were transferred to the ephemera collection.

Related Material: Oral history interviews on audio cassette tape with: Judge Ronald N. Davies, Dr. Orin Alva Stevens, Ole Gunvaldson, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Cooke, and Henry Martinson.

WDAY-TV Newsfilm Archives, 1953-1978, ca. 2 million feet of 16 mm motion picture film. Card index available.

Red River Valley Historian, North Dakota Issue. Fargo, 1975. NDSU 28 CM (Summer 1975), p. 24-29.

Dora Aronson Papers Ms., 1913-1937, 20586.

Many other collections relating to Fargo are available in the manuscript collection.


The Fargo Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 27, 1879 by 28 Fargo businessmen to promote "the hospitable welfare and the development of the town". J. S. Campbell, architect and contractor, was named chairman and H. C. Stevens served as secretary for the first meeting. In 1880, after the initial organizational meeting, Major A. W. Edwards became secretary and W. F. Ball was elected president and served until 1883. Other earlier presidents were George S. Barnes, R. S. Tyler, J. C. Hunter, R. S. Lewis, and J. P. Hardy. In 1895 the Chamber changed its name to the Board of Trade and in 1911 to the Fargo Commercial Club. December 8, 1927, another change was made to the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo, North Dakota; it is still the official name.

Within the Chamber more than 20 committees work with and through numerous agencies and organizations to accomplish their objectives. The Agricultural Committee pursues projects that better farming and agricultural industries. Cooperation with the Cass and Clay County Commissions and other agencies to secure efficient bridge facilities between the two cities is the object of the Bridge Committee. The Retail Committee coordinates retail activities through the various shopping areas of the city. The primary objective of the Aviation Committee is to improve air service for the Fargo-Moorhead area. The major concern of the Convention and Tourism Committee has been the attraction of traditional and new visitors to the community. The NDSU Committee serves as liaison between the business community and NDSU to share and promote ideas that will benefit both. Membership Committee goals are to develop a strong membership of business firms, inform them on items of interest and install pride in community. Other committees within the Chamber are Traffic, Health, Education, Parking, Legislation, Water, Transportation, Energy, Industrial, Finance, Roads, Fire Safety, Special Events, Wholesale, and Community Planning. The Fargo Chamber of Commerce has sponsored or assisted in a variety of activities over the years, e.g. band days, Soap Box Derby, basketball tournaments, Fall Festival, hog show, feeder tours, Red River Valley Fair, clean-up, Christmas decorations, welcome billboards, 4-H Club Institute, and Skating Carnival.


"A Century Together", a History of Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. 1875-1975.
Fargo Chamber of Commerce Records. 1915-1983, Mss 10486.

Fargo Forum, June 4, 1950 and November 25, 1979.


The Fargo Chamber of Commerce Records date from 1915 to 1983 and measure 8 feet. This collection documents the important part the Chamber has played in all aspects of city life, especially commercial and industrial growth. Meetings, administration, programs, activities, and projects of the Chamber are also documented in the collection. The collection consists of two record series: subject files, 1915-1983, 2 ft. and one oversized folder; and scrapbooks, 1942-1960, 6 ft.


Subject files date from 1915 to 1983 and measure 2 ft. Included in the subject files are the annual reports and audits of the Chamber, audits of the License and Water Department of the City of Fargo, parking and industrial surveys, brochures and bulletins of Fargo and surrounding areas, agenda and minutes of the advisory and policy committees, correspondence and reports on the National Plowing Contest and National High School Finals Rodeo, programs and schedules of events of the Fargo-Moorhead Diamond Jubilee in 1950 and the Centennial in 1975, and old mortgage notes and receipts for lumber and furnishings for the first Fargo Chamber building. Arrangement of the Chamber subject files is alphabetical by keyword. Oversize material consisting of a map of the Fargo-Moorhead area, a poster of Fargo's Fall Festival, and two "Vote Yes For City Manager" placards are in drawer 407.

Scrapbooks measure 6 ft. and date from 1942 to 1960. The scrapbooks contain photos and newspaper clippings as well as loose clippings which document the events and activities of the Chamber. Subjects documented in the scrapbooks include Wells Fargo Days, Fargo-Moorhead Centennial, All-America City, Fargo's Fall Festival, Band Festival, Centennial, NDSU Homecomings, tornadoes, and the Diamond Jubilee. The scrapbooks are arranged alphabetically by keyword in box 3 and the oversize volumes are shelved separately.


Subject Files

Box 1:

1. Adult Education Directory 1957
2. All-America City 1960
3. Annual Reports 1915-1919
4. Annual Reports 1929
5. Annual Reports 1930-1935
6. Annual Reports 1936-1939
7. Annual Reports 1940-1944
8. Annual Reports 1945-1949
9. Annual Reports 1950-1959
10. Annual Reports 1960-1967
11. Annual Reports 1970-1979
12. Annual Reports 1980-1983
13. Assessed Valuations, Fargo 1922
14. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1917-1923
15. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1924-1929
16. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1930
17. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1930-1934
18. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1935-1939
19. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1940-1944
20. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1945-1949
21. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1950-1954
22. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1955-1959
23. Audit, Chamber of Commerce 1960-1965
24. Audit, License Bureau 1954-1959

Box 2:

1. Audit, License Bureau 1959-1965
2. Audit, Water Department 1969-1970
3. Biggest Little City 1915
4. Brochures, Fargo
5. Building and Furnishing, Commercial Club 1920-1921
6. Business and Civic Federation of ND 1945-1956
7. Career Guidance Directory 1964
8. Cass County Information 1956
9. Census Distribution 1926
10. Centennial, Fargo-Moorhead 1975
11. Chamber of Commerce 1953-1960
12. Community Calendar 1970-1971
13. Community Fact Survey 1950-1965
14. Community Services Directory 1962
15. Diamond Jubilee, Fargo's 1950
16. Economic Data Book 1965-1968
17. Fargo Information 1950-1970
18. "Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation"
19. "Fargo-Moorhead Today" 1976
20. Great Northern Railroad 1930
21. Hotel/Motel Guide, Fargo 1972
22. Hymns, North Dakota 1947
23. Industrial Survey 1957
24. License Bureau 1960-1965
25. Membership List 1959
26. Mortgage Files 1902-1919
27. Mortgage Files 1921
28. Mortgage Files 1926-1947
29. North Dakota Information 1950-1960
30. Parking Survey 1958
31. Plowing Contest, National 1960-1963
32. Promotion of Chamber
33. Red River Valley Interpretive Program 1976
34. Rodeo, National High School Finals 1965-1970
35. Rodeo, National High School Finals 1970
36. Rodeo, National High School Finals 1970
37. Rodeo, National High School Finals 1970

Box 3:

1. Rodeo, National High School Finals 1978
2. Rodeo, National High School Finals 1979
3. Sheyenne Diversion 1954
4. Solicitations Policy 1955
5. Speakers Bureau 1958
6. All-America Cities Scrapbook Inserts 1959-1960
7. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1942-1943
8. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1946
9. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1947
10. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1947
11. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1948
12. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1948
13. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1950
14. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1951
15. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1952
16. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1953
17. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1954
18. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1957-1958
19. Clippings Scrapbook Inserts 1961
20. F-M Centennial Scrapbook Inserts 1957
21. Miscellaneous Scrapbook Inserts 1951
22. Clippings Scrapbook 1958-1959


1. All-America Cities Award Scrapbook 1959-1960
2. Bulletins Scrapbook 1948
3. Clippings Scrapbook 1942-1943
4. Clippings Scrapbook 1944
5. Clippings Scrapbook 1945
6. Clippings Scrapbook 1946
7. Clippings Scrapbook 1947
8. Clippings Scrapbook 1947
9. Clippings Scrapbook 1948
10. Clippings Scrapbook 1948
11. Clippings Scrapbook 1950
12. Clippings Scrapbook 1951
13. Clippings Scrapbook 1952
14. Clippings Scrapbook 1953
15. Clippings Scrapbook 1954
16. Clippings Scrapbook 1957-1958
17. Clippings Scrapbook 1961
18. Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook 1950
19. F-M Centennial Scrapbook 1957
20. Miscellaneous Scrapbook 1947-1948
21. Miscellaneous Scrapbook 1951

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