Marshfield, April 1918: An interesting agenda
What the initiatives of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce looked like nearly 100 years ago
By Kris Leonhardt
The current Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry has worked diligently to support and provide for the greater Marshfield community since its first meeting in February of 1946. Its current work lies in the area of workforce development; economic, industrial, and community development; infrastructure development; community collaboration; governmental relations; and organizational enhancement.
A very different chamber of commerce, however, gathered the final week of April in the year of 1918 to establish a specific program of work for the Board of Directors. All 207 members of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce were given distinct areas of concentration upon which to suggest action that should be taken regarding improvement.
—As a result, 30 guidelines were presented regarding the future welfare of the city, including:
—Create an association that can assist settlers financially in building a home.
—Form a baseball team that will make a good advertisement for the city.
—Assist the city council to enforce ordinances, traffic laws, curfews, electrical regulation, and the city milk supply.
—Help city agencies to clean up vacant lots, alleys, rear yards, and city streets.
—Operate clean and wholesome clubrooms for boys.
—Establish a market square for the city with barns and a public scale.
—Construct and maintain free public restrooms for farmer’s wives and visitors.
—Study and solve the smoke nuisance situation in the city.
—Support the war situation by encouraging thriftiness, conserving food and expanding supply, and assisting with the national effort.
—Support the erection of a library addition and introduce businessmen’s shelves to the facility.
—Remove items that endanger the public, including the Northwestern round house, coals sheds, and switch tracks. Introduce overhead or underground crossing for Soo Line tracks at Adler, Vine, Maple, and Cherry Streets.
—Strive for better and cheaper electric power.
—Create a board within the Chamber to assist with city employment issues.
—Establish a municipal gas plant.
—Establish a thorough park system, including one in each ward.
—Advertise what Marshfield has to offer to city residents and the whole nation. Depress all negative talk and publicity about the city. Erect electric signs advertising the city at Marshfield railroad stops.