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Oldest Herbst Customer


It was reported in the Fargo Forum on this day in 1936 that the oldest customer of the Herbst Department Store in Fargo had been located. The store had been searching for the oldest customer in order to include them in their 44th anniversary ceremonies that included the installation of the largest neon sign in the northwest. The customer, Mrs. J. A. Hill, was given the honor of lighting the thirty-eight foot high sign.

Mrs. Hill remembered the watch and red cashmere fabric that she had purchased in her first visit to the store. The red and black sign, weighing 3,500 pounds, became a landmark in Fargo until the store closed in 1982. It was featured in several Fargo postcards and publications. The Herbst store, located on Broadway, was opened by Isaac Herbst in 1892, and run by his wife, sons, and grandsons until its close. It had opened branches in Jamestown, Devils Lake, and Bismarck, also, and had been destroyed by fire three times in its ninety years of business.

Written by Jayme Job


Fargo Forum, Morning Ed. May 13, 1936: p. 5.