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HUGH G. HARRISON, The First President of the Minneapolis Chamber, Now Deceased. TWENTY, FIVE years ago today, Oct 7 18S1, the date falling on a Thursday, the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, newly born, re corded its first business transaction. Thus was born an institution which has grown astonishingly, drawing upon it self the attention of the world which has become a -power among the com mercial organizations of the country which handles within its walls a busi ness conservatively estimated at a hun dred millions dollars every year and that, more than anv other one factor, has operated fo*r business concentration and solidity and has made the city of Minneapolis what it is today. Oct. 6, 18S1. is the date of the sign ing of the aiticles of organization by the origin.il movers Ou Aug. 12, 1881, a group of eight men, consisting of George Rogers, O. Carter, A. B. Ta\lor, Samuel Morse, T. A. Sammis, Charles Wheeler, Louis Duensing and E. D. Bowen met in a small room at Third and Hennepin avenue to discuss the matter of organization upon which Colonel Rogers had been working for almost a ear. These names appear upon the list of the twenty-six original membeis, with the exception of Mr. Duensing, who was admitted to mem bership in the first year after the or ganization. It was decided to call a later meet ing. Meanwhile a canvass was made and a larger attendance secured. Twen ty-six men pledged themselves, and others then came in rapidly. Oct. 6, 1881, the association was incorporated under the Minnesota statutes provid ing for the organization of chambers of commerce and boards of trade, and on Oct. 7 the first business was transacted. There was at that time, besides the Millers' association, a Minneapolis board of trade. This latter organiza tion coneefned itself chiefly with mat ters looking to the general welfare of the city, but was not a commercial or trading body. It was desired that the new organization should be known as the "Board of Trade," and Colonel Rogers in its behalf approached the ex isting board of trade with a proposition that it reorganize itself, call itself the "Chamber of Commerce"a name, it was argued, that would be more appro priateand permit the new association to take the name "board of trade." The proposal was rejected with scorn, as was a later suggestion that the two bodies unite. The board of trade of those davs was rather an aristocratic organi7ation Most of the prominent men of the city were members, and the newcomers were looked upon as of doubtful standing. Since the board of trade had a right to the name under the law, there was nothing for the new body to do but call itself the chamber of commerce. This accounts for the name, which for a grain trading body is not entirely ap propriate. The chamber has had thirteen presi dents. In the list appear names iden tified not only with commercial and financial Minneapolis, but with public spirit and philanthropy. They stand not only for wealth, but for the energy that has built up the city. The names are: H. G. Harrison L. R. Brooks E. V. White Chas. M. Harrington George A. Pillsbury John Washburn C. M. Lorlng James Marshall F. L. Greenleaf E. S. Woodworth Charles A. Pillsbury Peter B. Smith J. H. Martin During nearly the entire period, the office of secretary has been filled by George D. Rogers, the Nestor of the grain trade. C. C. Sturtevant held the office for a short period soon after the organization. The first annual report of the Cham ber makes an interesting comparison. The table for 1881 and that for last year tell the story of advancement. Receipts of oats, barley, rye and flax were so small at that time that the secretary's office kept no record of them. The statements show: Crop year 18S1-S2. Crop year 1905-06 Reeelnts, Receipts, bushels bushels Wheat 16 317,250 00,283,610 Corn 309,000 .J.S32 360 Oats 420.8J0 28,236,140 Barley 14,740.150 Bye 1,712,500 Flax 12,173.100 Total 17 047,050 Barrels. Flour produced 3 142,970 solidation of the Chamber and the Millers' association. Other pioneer firms were Owen Far guson & Co., of Duluth, whose head, commonly called "Old Fargy," was known in the trade from Liverpool to his home town. Smith & Dewey, Spen cer & Forbes, Otto Hartman & Co. and Barnes & Tenney were firms in business at the head of the lakes before the or ganization of the Duluth board of trade or the Minneapolis Chamber. G. W. Kirkbride was in business here, C. B. Newcomb had offices in Red Wing and Stillwater, Strong & Miller, of which firm Henry Miller (recently deceased) was a member, operated from Red Wing, and Brooks Bros., of Min neiaka, Minn., was another house. Lennum & Co., of which firai Nate Lennum was head, did a good business and David Dows & Co., of St. Paul, had a high standing in the trade. J. Q. Adams, now active every day at the Chamber, was in charge of the St. Paul office of David Dows & Co., and after ward managed the Duluth office. A. G. Chambers was in Jamestown, N. D., Shipping wheat. The Original Membership. The twenty-six men who organized the Chamrer were: George D. Rogers D. C. Bell H. G. Harrison Anthony Kelly James A. Lovejoy Frank L. Morse D. Syme S. W. Serl Robert McMullen R. L. Crockett O. P. Csrter Charles Wheeler E. D. Bowen Samuel Morse T. A. Sammis From this list of pioneers the names of Harrison, Rand, Russell, Buxton, Kelly, Lovejoy, Frank L. Morse, and Syme have been stricken by death. A. H. Bode was living in California at last account, and E. V. White in Gladstone, Mich. A. D. Mulford was last heard from in New Jersey. A. B. Tylei at last report was a citizen of Tennessee, R. L. Crockett is supposed to be in Chicago, and S. W. Serl was liv ing on a plantation, near the Missisippi river in Alabama. John Dunham and W. F. Meader, who are often recalled by the older members when in reminiscent mood, are living here in retirement,. Mr. Dunham's health having taken him out of the ranks of the Minneapolis merchants sev eral years ago. Samuel P. Snider be longs in the same lass of once active men and business leaders now retired in part from participation in affairs. Rob ert McMullen found greater fame and more opportunity in local politics than in the grain pits, and D. C. Bell, tho not actively connected with the cham ber of commerce for many years, is one of the leading business men of the city. C. M. Loring, besides watching the in terests of his big milling company, has found time to win fame for public spirit and generosity in the affairs of the park board and is too well known to need extended comment. Q. P. Carter and Charles Wheeler are of the class of men handicapped by age or infirmity who yet superintend large affairs, and, tho less active, are no less of influence than the younger mem bers. Of the original members now as act ive as ever on the floor there are three Samuel Morse, T. A. Sammis and E. D. Bowen. Mr. Bowen leads in this respect. His 73 years sit lightly upon him, his eyes are as bright and his hearing as good as ever and he keeps in closest touch with the market, trad ing with the promptness and accuracy of men a half century younger. Manv names afterward to become powerful in the northwest do not ap pear in the original list. Frank H. Peavey, theTillsburys, the Van Dusens, the Woodsworths, Harringtons, Osborne, McMillen, Gregory, Commons, Bagley, McHugh, Dodge, Wyman. McCaull, Dal rymple, Hankinson, Harper, Lamb, Loomis, Douglas, Mann, and other names that how stand for large invest ment and influence extending far be vond Minneapolis, are not found in the original list. T. McCord has a record extending back, Anton Huhn came here in early days from Milwaukee, and the Poehlers, are the pioneers of all with respect to business organization, the present firm dating back nearly fifty-five years. The Minneapolis Chamber was built up largely by the addition from time to time of outside interests of importance. Thus Frank H. Peavey, afterward to became the largest wheat merchant in the world, did not become a member until 1885, but had already built up a large business outside. The process has gone on to this day and the list of prominent firms oiiginally located at Des Moines, Jamestown, Aberdeen, Winona, or other towns, that have re moved headquarters to Minneapolis and hold membership in the chamber is too long to permit of publication. Wil liam H. Dunwoody joined 1882. C. A. Pillsbury came in from the Millers' association. The names Washburn, Crosby, Crocker and Barber then ap peared. The Father of Futures. A. J. Sawyer was the father of the futures market of Minneapolis, Mr. Sawyer was a wholesale grocer in Buf falo, N. Y. He came west over the lakes to Duluth, put money into eleva tors at Duluth and found the invest merit profitable. The rise of the Min neapolis milling industry drew him this way. He was a man of great capacity, original and aggressive. It was his idea that there could be no great mar ket here for cash grain without a mar ket for futures. He foresaw in a meas ure the development, then undreamed of by manv, and now accepted as a matter of course. His idea was that a A. C. R-n John Dunham A. H. Bode E. V. White P. Russell T. J. Buxton W. F. Meader C. M. Lorlng A. D. Mulford Samuel P. Snider A. B. Taylor 159,964,160 Barrels. 15,480,000 Long before there was a Chamber of Commerce there was business here in grain. James Marshall, a recent president of the Chamber, and active every day on the floor, was in the busi ness in 1862. and tho Van Dusens, Cargills, Poehlers and others date back forty years or more. Mr. Marshall had his headquarters at Red Wing, then an important shipping point. G-. W. Van Dusen, tho oldest living mem ber of the trade, now retired, had fol lowed the building of the Chicago & North-Western road into the northwest and his business was centered at Rochester, Minn. The Cargills had headquarters at La Crosse, and later when gram began to be produced in the Dakotas James Cargill, the Brooks Brothers and others had stations at Wahpeton, N. D. The Red River -Valley Elevator company stood for Other interests and the Christians .were in the trade, also Horace Pratt, John Crosby and the Petitts, Mr. Marshall was among the first to see that this business would one'day find concentration and Minneapolis geemed the logical place for it. He organized the pioneer Minneapolis grain firm of Griffiths, Marshall & Co.. ^ifcnd brought here the business formerly centered at Red Wing. Mr. Marshall vtf l*ter beeame an tt&e&.vnatesr-toT-^ea**- ^mtm fee five Page E. D. BOWEN. wheat pit or center for trade in wheat for future delivery would develop an immense cash business. Working along these lines Mr. Saw yer succeeded in having established the rules that have made Minneapolis the greatest market for futures. Mr. Saw yer went to Washington when the fam ous anti-option bill was up before both houses and fought and helped defeat it. Returning home much fatigued he caught cold and fell ill and in his death Minneapolis lost one of the ablest busi es? men that to that time had ap parpd. Old-timers say that Mr. Saw yer, in has relations to the times amd the requirements of that day, had a touch of the mentality of J. P. Morgan, something of the constructive genius of James J. Hill, combined with a daring in the market suggestive of John W. Gates. He was easily the leader of his day aa*l great things were expected of him. His death was a blow to the city. He left a fortune large for its day and his associates believed that in its building up he had gathered the nuclens of what was to become a great conservation of wealth, but the Sawyer heirs failed to hold the property to- gether, and in a short time the fortune was dissipated. The chamber began business in the old building now occupied by the Western Union Telegraph company at Hennepin avenue and Third street. Here the first purchases and sales of wheat were made. In the first year 538 certificates of membership were sold, all at $25. The year following one more was sold, and after that no more were offered from the treasury. The chamber finally fixed a member ship limit at 550, which has not been changed. Except for private transac tions no more certificates were sold un til 1900, when the remaining eleven in the treasury were sold at $1,000 or more. Since then their value has ad vanced rapidly. The 550 authorized memberships in 1882 stood at par for $13,750. Today, figuring the value of each at $5,000, the last sale, they stand for $2,750,000. The chamber found its next home in the old -Harrison & Smith block on Third street and First avenue S. This building has been so remodeled that its original appearance is lost in part. The chamber had the large second floor room and on the wall of one of the 'MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, SUNDAY -.MORNING, OCTOBER TH E MINNEAPOLI S CHAMBE OF COMMERC E ROUND S OUT 1 A QUARTE OF A CENTURAO USEFULNES S AND PROGRESS CHARTER CHAMBER MEMBERS V^HO ARE STILL ACTIVE ON FLOOR T. A.- SAMMIS. PRESENT HOME OF THE MINNEAPOLIS CHAMBER, a P. ^CARTER. Photos by Brush. smaller rooms made from the former large one, a decorator, in stripping off old paper, recently found painted on the wall in big black letters, "Minne apolis Chamber of Commerce." The merging of the Millers' associa tion with the chamber marked the be ginning of trouble. The grain men felt it their province to rule and the millers took umbrage at what they termed ar bitrary methods. It was not until 1883 that the Minnesota state law, giv ing directors power to act upon mat ters binding upon such a body, was passed, and their nctivity consisted principally in engineering such moves as they might want, altho a quorum of fifteen members was always necessary before the final decision could be made. One day, in order to retain a quorum, the doors were locked and six bolting members on the millers' side found themselves unable to -get out. Much fierce language was used, but the mill ers finally came up to scratch and voted. At another meeting a ruling of the presiding officer was objected to. Vice President A. B. Taylor being in the chair. Mr. Hinkle rose on behalf of the millers. I wish to ask," h'e said, 1 ,tfi4 4th CFOUR N 7, 1906. S. H. MORSE. *|when and by what procedure objec tion should be made to a ruling of the presiding officer that is unjust and un- fair.'" The tall form of Mr. Taylor rose, a chair was pushed back, his arm moved to the lapels of his coat as tho he was ready to strip off, and nervously grasp ing the edge of the desk, he leaned over and said: "The time for the interposition of such an objection is the time and place when and wherein such unjust and un fair ruling is alleged to have been made." His eyes blazed. Mr. Hinkle sat down and what looked perilously like a "rough house" settled into peace. All this is on the records of that day. The animosity between the millers and traders did not spend itself for over a year. James Marshall appeared one day and bought "ten wheat" ([10,000 bushels) then a big quantity, tor future delivery. Not every firm would SBII SO large a lot, but the old firm of Mills & Linton, afterward Mills & Yates, mide this sale. Later Mr. Linton appeared with a call for 10 per cent margin. "This is a trade in fu tures, Mr. Marshall," said Mr. Linton, AV S AND 4th ST. "and we must have protection. The market might go down." "Very good," said Mr. Marshall, "but if you demand protection, so must I have it. The market might go up. I bought the wheat to grind and will take it when delivered. Since it is a trade for future delivery, how do I know I am going to get the wheat?" This was a poser for Linton, but he was game. Each put up a margin of 10 per cent. May wheat was then $1.10 a bushel. Marshall's $1,100 in cash and Mills & Linton's $1,100 went into a big bag together and was car ried over to the First National bank and deposited subject to distribution as directed May 1. Money was then loan ing at 12 per cent in Minneapolis, so the bank just naturally took it and smiled, and $2,200 that could have been bringing in big interest (and did bring it in for the bank) was tied up for six months. Such were the crudi ties of business in grain futures in these early days. The First Grain Corner. &**?*% There was little good corn in Minne apolis, in fact very little corn of any kind. One day Barden appeared at the chamber and bought 1,000 bushels of corn for future delivery. Another day he bought 1,000 more and eo on until he had accumulated his line, which con sisted of "five corn." He was long 5,000 bushels of No. 2 corn for May delivery. Five different firms had sold him the stuff. Meanwhile, if any one had looked around, be might have found "that there was a heavy demand upon the feed stores of Washington avenue and the small towns around Minneapolis for corn. Good corn was shipped in here in lots of a hundred bushels, and wherever a 'farmer ap- fooked eared on the streets with corn, it was over and if it was good some mysterious person bought it and it found its way to a certain elevator, where presently all the good corn in Minneapolis, or probably 6,000 bushels, was stored. Delivery day drew near. The sellers were disappointed over the light re ceipts of corn here. They went around town, but could buy none. They sent into the country and bought corn at a loss and had it rushed in, but it failed to grade up to contract and they were left. Delivery day at last arrived. The shorts had no corn. They could get no corn. They were in a bad way. Then in upon the floor walked Barden and began to bid for corn. "Buy corn!" he cried. "I'll buy corn." Up went the price, for no one had any to sell and he kept raising his bids. One cent, 2 cents, 3 cents, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11 cents went onto the price. Panic reigned on the floor. Rumor of a riot at the chamber of commerce spread around town. The Journal sent a man down to find out what was wrong. All was con fusion The day closed with five Min neapolis gyain firms branded as de faulters on contracts for 1,000 bushels of corn each Next day the board of arbitration sat in solemn session. It was decided that the prices as bid up by Barden were fictitious, since it was well within his knowledge that there was only one supply of corn, and that could not be tapped. A price was fixed at which settlement was effected, mucutteo the hort and the dis gust of Barden, who declared there was no law or justice in Minnesota and offered his membership for sale. Thus ended the first cornera corner that might have been profitable but that it way overplayed. The First New Building. The momentous decision respecting the site of the building the association proposed to erect for itself was reached July 25, 1882. There was a hot fight oyer it, into which the real estate men of those days entered vigorously. Hen nepin avenue was the choice of many, and it is interesting to speculate as to how this selection has fixed the center of tradee and how values and th iv importancrealtfy certain streete and localities in a business way might have been affected by the decision to locate elsewhere. Thp contract was let and that fall the foundation went in. The chamber moved in two years later, in 1884. Up to 1902, when the present fine ten-story building was completed, the chamber did business in this old build ing, at first considered a fine addition to the business structures of Minneap olis, but looking rather dingy now be side the handsome new Chamber, altho still in prime condition and occupied by grain firms from cellar to roof. The old buildinc witnessed the first trade in 100,000 bushels of grain for future delivery. That was an event of much importance, representing busi ness of sueh magnitude that it called for special comment in the newspa pers. John Washburn and C. A. Pills bury made dhe transaction. When the chamber had settled into this home business in futures increased greatly and speculators began to ap pear. Some of the big men of the trade worked deals on that floor. Partridge, Hutchinson, or "Old Hutch," and the world famous Joe Leiter all kept in touch with the Minneapolis trading floor, for this market had become of importance and could at times make and unmake prices. There were also big lo cal traders whose mills ground up so much wheat that if they bought enough for a two months' supply, it had great influence for strength. And so all the speculators watched Minneapolis. What Charles A. Pillsbury might think about wheat the grain trade the world over wanted to know. It was into this build ing that Pillsbury marched at the head of a brass band when wheat went to $1 a bushel one year. There grew up also a crowd of lesser speculators. Probably the most noted of these, a man of different type, but as prominent on the floor in his peculiar way as Captain Verhoeff is today, O. De Absalom, commonly called Doe Dabsa- lom." Doc had no use for figures. Primary receipts, foreign sales, Russian or Ar gentine shipments, or seaboard clear ances of wheat, the influences that guide traders, all had no standing with Dec Dabsoiom. Doc had no notion of how much wheat there was in the visi ble supply, and what was more, he did not want to know. One day Al Cham- lat Part //I COLONEL GEORGE D. ROGERS, Charter Member and Veteran ex-Secr- 1 tary of the Chamber. bers had a message giving an important statistical change and was showing it around the floor. He approached Doc Dabsoiom. "What you got?", said Doc, 'statics?' Take him away. He make you wrong every time. Don't 1 show me no 'statics!' One year Doc was reported to have hought a Red river valley farm for $18,000, and one less succcessful trader went boldly to him and asked him how he succeeded in beating the market. Doc took him by the collar, led him into a far corner and said "Listen! Wheat is like man. Wheat gets seeck. He is very low. He* can't sit up. Doctor comes. Says wheat got bad sickness. Got smallpox. Maybe he will die. He's got no friend. Every body is let him die and run for the woods, because he don't want to catch no con-tig-u-ous disease. That's the time to buy. Buy all wheat you can buy. "Bimeby a month goes past or six week. What is now? Wheat is bet ter? Yes, he is a prizefighter. He is strong with big muscle. Everybody is friend. Everybody is come out from the woods, because wheat is strong man and everybody want to be he's friend. Look out! Wheat no good! You buy him, he is goin' break your back. Everybody buys. Can't buy enough. You sell. Sell the son-of-a-gun. Sell all vyou can. You make money.'' Business Done on Honor. These were the old days of the cham ber. Later come the days of big results. In the past five years the progress has been marvelous. The Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce stands today representative of the best in business. Integrity of character is necessary, and no man can become a member who caiz nqt stand the closest test. With so many members550a black sheep gets in once in^a while, but he never stays long. A place where men do business on honor, where one man will sell another 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000 bushels of grain and the equivalent of a fortune will change hands without a scrap of paper to show for it, when markets may make a difference of thou sands of dollars in values within an hour, is no place for a man that will not keep his word. A feature of great interest is the in creasing facilities for obtaining outside information and keeping in touch with the world. Besides the myriad wires of the Western Union, North American and Postal telegraph companies that run into the chamber, the sixty local and long distance telephones on the floor, and the numerous stock and news tickers, there are four private wire houses with headquarters in Minneapolis, and half a dozen Chicago houses maintain pri vate wire officer here that they may do business promptly and may at the same time be informed instantly of every development in the market. It is hard to beat the Chamber of Commerce in news. Let an earthquake overwhelm San Francisco, a tidal wave threaten New Orleans, a man fire at the czar or the king of England catch cold and the chamber knows it as fast as wire can carry it. Millionaires may be pointed out on the floor any day, men whose interests are now so large that thev embrace finance in general. Wall street firms do a big business at the chamber. The organization is not anywhere near its maximum influence. Minneap olis is growing, and, tho the chamber has grown vigorously in the past few years, it has no more than kept pace with the progress of tho northwest. With records already made to which Minneapolis points with great pride, the chamber will yet make greater rec ords. A larger volume of business will yet be done, and memberships, already higher than the Chicago board of trade or Chicago stock exchange, and higher in price than most of the Ibig ex changes of the east, are not likely to fall off much in value. Indeed, old timers predict that $5,000 for a mem bership will look cheap some years hence, and that a man who wants to get into the circle will have to pay $10,000 or more.