The Kopelman Building at 512 1st Avenue North was built around 1906 by Mr. Jacob Kopelman, a wig maker who had come to Fargo with his wife Lena in 1902. He had first operated a wig shop at 810 Front Street. Mr. Kopelman died in November of 1908, leaving his wife in charge of the business. She was the mother of six children and pregnant at the time of his death. Fortunately, she had a business to support her family. She was a skilled wig maker, and maker of hair switches and other hair goods. Kopelman’s Beauty Shop was one of the very first beauty shops in Fargo.
She also had a business agreement with the Fargo Hebrew Congregation to run the mikvah, which was located in the basement of her store. The mikvah is a religious obligation for women to purify themselves. For $1, Jewish women in Fargo could use the plunge bath. Kopelman furnished towels, water and soap. When Lena died in 1947, her daughter Rose Weingarten took over the business. Rose kept the beauty shop running, but eventually changed the business to Kopelman’s Men’s Formal Wear. In about 1972, the business was sold to Knights Formal Wear, and Rose died the next year. The building housed Knight’s until 1984, when the building was renovated into a restaurant. It was first home to Eats Cetera Restaurant from 1984 to 1993, then The Times Restaurant from 1993 to 1996. The building sat vacant for several years, until 2000 when it became home to the Red River Women’s Clinic, the only abortion clinic in North Dakota.
Of historic note, Jacob and Lena Kopelman were the parents of Dave Elman, a nationally known radio personality on a show known as Hobby Lobby, which ran on NBC from 1937 to 1948. He was also an expert on Hypnosis.
Fargo and Moorhead City Directory. Fargo, 1881-1927.
Polk’s Fargo and Moorhead City Directories. St. Paul, MN: R.L. Polk and Company
“Mrs. Kopelman of Fargo dies”, Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (4 Dec. 1947): 10.
"Dave Elman: Radio star from North Dakota helped FBI nab Nazi spy ring" Did You Know That...?, Vol. 2., by Curt Eriksmoen, p. 111.