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Bob Lind, Published October 09 2012

Neighbors: Former Fargo hotel Waldorf was highly acclaimed

Laura (Huffman) Huber was 5 and living in Minnewaukan, N.D., in 1925 when her father, R.B. Huffman, sent her this postcard from Fargo showing the Waldorf hotel, which it labeled the “leading hotel of the Northwest.”

Laura now lives in Fargo, as does her daughter Marlene Christenson, who, by the way, is the wife of the late broadcaster Boyd Christenson.

One day Marlene was going through her mother’s papers, found this postcard and sent it to Neighbors, hoping to gain information about the Waldorf.

Forum columnist Andrea Halgrimson wrote about the Waldorf years ago, as did former Forum writer and current Agweek reporter Jonathan Knutson.

Here is some of what Andrea and Jon wrote about the Waldorf:

It was located at 700 Front St., which now is Main Avenue, and was built in 1898-99 on the site of the Sherman Hotel, which had burned down.

It was owned by R.R. Wise and was built with funds provided by O.J. deLendrecie, owner of deLendrecie’s department store, Fargo.

The Waldorf had 108 rooms, with an additional 15 for employees. One account reported it had 40 suites with baths and 65 rooms with hot and cold running water.

Some of the rooms had mahogany and bird’s-eye maple furniture. It was North Dakota’s first hotel to have an electric elevator. It was considered the finest hotel between the Twin Cities and the Pacific Coast.

Theodore Roosevelt spoke from its balcony in 1910 when he was in Fargo to dedicate the Carnegie Library at the old Fargo College.

In 1925, Joseph G. Powers, who operated the Powers Hotel in Fargo, sold that hotel and bought the Waldorf.

Powers sold the Waldorf in 1942. Its new owners renamed it the Milner Hotel. Later it was renamed the Earle.

In 1951, the Earle was destroyed by a fire that took three lives.

And there is a bit of Fargo’s hotel history.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com

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