© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fairmont Creamery


E. T. Rector, president of the Fairmont Creamery Company of Omaha, Nebraska, visited Fargo on this date in 1923 to announce the city’s selection as the headquarters of the creamery’s North Dakota operations. One of the largest butter manufacturers and distributors in the United States, the Fairmont Company planned to build a state of the art creamery and cold-storage plant in Fargo within the year.

Established in 1884, the Fairmont Creamery became well-known and respected for dealing directly with farmers and retailers, eliminating wholesaler costs. In addition to producing and distributing dairy products, the company also packaged and sold poultry and eggs. By 1923, the company owned and operated 18 factories across the U.S., including creameries in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Boston, and was one of the largest dairy exporters to England. Company President Rector, along with Vice-President E. F. Howe, made preliminary arrangements in Fargo before returning to Omaha. The pair visited several potential building sites and talked with farmers and members of the Fargo Commercial Club. Rector credited the Commercial Club and representatives of the First National Bank with the company’s decision, saying, “We are coming to Fargo because we believe this state will rapidly develop into one of the great dairy states, because we know there is a great demand in the entire country…there is a very distinct and very acute butter shortage in the United States at the present time, despite the tremendous development of the dairy industry in recent years.”

Rector believed North Dakota farmers would help meet the country’s needs, but that they simply required a larger market, and the company would provide that market. The company announced that their North Dakota slogan would be, “Fairmont your best friend, Fargo your best market.”

Fargo was in fact one of the first public school systems to begin milk distribution to its students – in 1921. In a five-month period in 1922, 67,500 bottles of milk were distributed. Residents and dairy farmers believed and advertised the many health benefits of milk consumption, and looked forward to the new creamery. On January 19th 1923, an entire city block of downtown Fargo was purchased for $25,000 to be the site of the new plant.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job


The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Friday, January 12, 1923 (Evening ed.): pp.1, 6, 9.

The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Friday, January 19, 1923 (Evening ed.): p.1.