Created By: North Dakota State University
George Freeman, owner of Freeman’s China Hall Tea Store, came to Fargo from Maine, via Boston, Massachusetts. (1) Born in 1848, he married Susan and came across the Ohio River Valley and the upper Midwest to Fargo with three young children.(2) Russell, the eldest, would become a clerk at China Hall Tea Store.
Freeman’s, established in 1881, specialized in outfitting hotels and restaurants and had a large showroom after moving into the Keeney block when it was built in 1883. Two floors, 6,500 square feet of space, allowed them to carry “a metropolitan assortment of goods purchased mainly from manufacturers and importers, their collection of household furnishings and plain and hand-painted china being particularly choice.” (3)
While all was lost, both George and Russell lived through the fire and their business thrived at 72 Broadway for some time. After China Hall closed, George was a broker; Russell went on to become President of Fargo Food Company, a business that, like George’s, outlasted its founder. George Freeman and Sons Brokerage lasted well into the 20’s following his death in 1922 just as Fargo Food and Equipment Co supplied hotels and bakeries with supplies well into the 40’s following Russell’s passing in 1938.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Fargo In Flames