The Fort Dodge Messenger: Oct. 29, 1912
“Women Can Do More Than Commercial Clubs,” H.J. Finn
Packing House Man Tells How to Boost Trade
Proposes “Ft. D. Stamp”
“Patronize Home Industries,” He Declares
Packing Plant Helps City
Brings Stock Shippers Here and Increases Trading — Employs Fifty Men and Will Double Number Soon – Increases Clearing House Receipts.
H.J. Finn, provision manager for the Suizburger & Sons company at Kansas City who has been assisting in opening the local plant, declares that large donations to the Commercial club of Fort Dodge will not assist in advertising the city and its products as much as would the co-operation of the women in a league of some kind. In an interview today, Mr. Finn advocated patronizing home industries.
“It is the general impression,” said Mr. Finn as he sat in the Wahkonsa hotel, that Commercial clubs must be inactive owing to an indisposition on the part of certain parties to put in money, but in this I do not agree. Let me offer some suggestions.
“Let the Commercial club get up a ‘Made in Fort Dodge’ stamp. I am sure all manufacturers here would use it, every dealer might attach it to his correspondence and the revenue from this would go far toward advertising the city.
“Form a Women’s league and let them get out small advertising cards calling attention to goods effecting the home and every woman writing to a friend with(in) 100 miles from here enclose a copy to her friend inviting a visit here to shop. A little such enthusiasm by your people for six months or a year systematically followed up would mean more than Mr. Merchant, Tom Jones or William Smith would hand over $1,000 each. The idea is to get ‘everybody doing it’ and keep at it — newspapers, merchants and people.”
Patronize Home Industries
In commenting upon the patronizing of home industries as a means of aiding their growth, Mr. Finn spoke of the business the packing company are now engaged in.
“The advantage of such a business as ours is manifold,” he said. “At present we employ about fifty men and in the very near future this would nearly double. We are bringing many hogs to Fort Dodge that would go to Chicago and other places. Shippers accompanying them will do considerable shopping here instead of Chicago.
We are shipping large quantities of finished meat to country points, the pay for which is collected by your banks. Altogether in normal times we should increase the bank clearings from $50,000 to $75,000 weekly. Is such business not worth the moral support of your people. Notice as you visit the shopping if our meats for example are as much in evidence as they should be.
“But we are not the only ones. Do your citizens ask for Fort Dodge made shoes and other products? If people want Fort Dodge made shoes they can get them by demanding them.
“You certainly have a beautiful city and I should imagine it would be delightful to live here. Your hotel cannot be excelled outside of Chicago. Your churches are beautiful and your amusements are cheap. You have a nice scenic river, but have little water so that it has but little boating value.
“Suppose you put in a low dam across the river at about the tile factory or better still at Shady Oaks – a dam high enough to raise the water say four or five feet. This would not cost much and the county might (undecipherable word) it to reduce the cost of bridge foundations. With three or five feet of water in your river who would not (undecipherable word) a canoe, skiff or motorboat? The opportunities for pleasure in your city would be increased one hundred per cent.”
Mr. Finn has traveled all over the country and is familiar with conditions in may cities. He believes that Fort Dodge has a great future. As his work of putting the local plant is about completed after more than six weeks’ stay here, he will go back to Kansas City.