The Fargo Mercantile Company was a wholesale grocer, established on April 1, 1895. The company was organized by J. C. Hunter as Secretary and Treasurer, Thomas A. Quirk as President, and C.H. Reineke as Vice-president.
The company started out in the Dacotah Block, and used the two storefronts and basement for its stock. It quickly expanded into the Hagaman Block on 2nd Avenue North. The need was quickly felt for a new building dedicated specifically for the business. It was constructed at 611 N.P. Avenue, in a building called the Martin Block. It was designed by the Hancock Brothers, and constructed by J. H. Bowers construction.
By 1909, the need was felt again for a larger building, and so the N.P. building was sold (it would become the Orphium Theater). A new four story brick building located at 401-403 Broadway was constructed for the exclusive use of the business. It was designed by the Hancock Brothers, and constructed by C. H. Johnson & Co. The company offices were located on the first floor, and the second floor was dedicated to packaging and cigars, and the rest of the building used as storage. A railroad spur behind the building, gave direct access to the nearby Great Northern Railroad tracks.
At some point in the early 1950s the company became a branch of the Griggs, Cooper & Co. based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1953, the company name changed to the M. J. Sullivan Food Distributers, and it remained under that name until the late 1950s. In 1960, the Fargo city directory lists Philco Distributers in the building, and by the next year it was vacant. The building sat vacant for the next six years, before it was torn down in 1966.
Fargo and Moorhead City Directory. Fargo, 1881-1927.
Polk’s Fargo and Moorhead City Directories. St. Paul, MN: R.L. Polk and Company
"A magnificent building" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (18 July 1896): 1.
"Fargo Mercantile Co.'s Wholesale House" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (4 Feb.1909): 5