The Pantorium was established in 1898, when F. O. Rockwell, of Michigan arrived in Fargo and opened a tailoring and dry cleaning business. It appears from the Fargo city directories that the business was first located at 518 N.P. Avenue. In 1901, it was listed in the city directory at 103 Broadway.
The following is a description of the business from the Northwestern Journal of Progress, 1902 issue:
“The firm is one of the best in the city, and handles only the choicest fabrics from the foreign and domestic looms, and every garment is cut, fitted and made under the proprietor’s personal supervision. A specialty is made particular of cleaning, dying, pressing and repairing, which is done with neatness and dispatch.”
On January 21, 1905 the business was involved in a devastating explosion and fire. It occurred during business hours and two men were severely burned in the explosion. After the fire the business moved numerous times between 1905 and 1934. The city directories list it at 510 1st Avenue North, 621 N. P. Avenue, 614 1st Avenue North, 212 Broadway, 119 Roberts Street, 217 Broadway, and 521 2nd Avenue North.
Sometime between 1917 and 1919, the business was taken over by Roy R. Hall, and he owned the business until the 1940s. Florence Klingensmith, an early Clay County pilot, worked as a delivery person for the firm in the 1920s.
In about 1935 the firm moved to 675 2nd Avenue North into a building called the Haggart Block. It remained at this site until about 1966, when the building was torn down.
Fargo and Moorhead City Directory. Fargo, 1881-1927.
Polk’s Fargo and Moorhead City Directories. St. Paul, MN: R.L. Polk and Company
Special Extra Number Descriptive of and Illustrating Fargo, N.D., of the Northwestern Journal of Progress. [S. l.: Northwestern Journal of Progress, 1902?]
Souvenir of Fargo, North Dakota, 1906. Fargo, N.D. : Porte Printing Co., c1905.