THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Emporia Chamber of Commerce, successor to other organizations of like aims and purposes, was organized in
1917. It has a membership of three hundred, and its object is to assist in the development of the life of the town
and county - civic, social, economic, agricultural, industrial and commercial. It cooperates with all farm organizations
and all town organizations with like purposes. It meets each Monday noon except during July and August.
The Chamber of Commerce has been particularly active in the development of all weather roads, and many miles of
paved, graveled and sanded highways have been sponsored, with more to come. The million dollar concrete pavement
from the east line to the west, through Lyon County and Emporia, was the first of these projects. Now, Emporia
is "hooked up" by through all weather highways to the Atlantic on the east, a great part of the way to
the Pacific on the west. North and south projects are under way, and a considerable portion of Lyon County, in
these directions, is covered. The Chamber of Commerce gets behind every worth while activity the Broadview Hotel,
St. Mary's Hospital, the Teachers College Students' Union and Stadium, the musical festivals of the two big colleges,
Red Cross and Y. M. C. A. - Y. W. C. A. drives, and dozens of other equally Amportant community needs. H. A. McClure
is its president and J. C. Gladfelter, secretary. Other presidents have been H. E. Ganse, A. H. Gufler, John E.
Martin, O. A. Kirkendall - two terms - W. N. Gunsolly, Ralph Smalley and M. L. Kretsinger.
The Emporia Business Men's Association was organized February 15, 1897, was incorporated and stock issued at $100.00
a share. J. E. Evans was its first president, and Robert L. Jones its first secretary. The Orient Railway project
absorbed much of the interest of this organization for several years. It brought natural gas to Emporia, started
the street paving program, and brought to the town some short lived factories, among them the Rex Fluid Company
and a shirt factory.
The reorganization of the Business Men's Association as the Lyon County Commercial Club followed, and records of
the Young Men's Commerce Club show that in 1917 these organizations were merged. In October of that year the Commercial
Club issued invitations to a "Greater Emporia" dinner, to be given November 6 in the Masonic Temple,
as a part of a membership campaign for the newly organized Chamber of Commerce. L. C. Boyle, a former attorney
general of Kansas, was the principal speaker. I. E. Lambert, jr., was president of the Young Men's Commerce Club,
and A. L. Oliger and Fred Bowers, jr., its secretaries.
THE RETAILERS' ASSOCIATION
The Lyon County Retailers' Association with propriety may be called the watchdog of the business interests of
Emporia and Lyon County. It is an incorporated institution, with a membership of one hundred, and E. H. Wade is
its competent secretary. It looks carefully after the interests of its members, secures information as to the credit
of newcomers or other customers who have not established credit, and saves its members thousands of dollars annually,
as well as endless trouble. Calls for information come to the Emporia office from every State in the Union, and
advices are received from the same area. The Emporia Association is a member of the State and National Associations,
which have large memberships. In 1912 there were but fifteen or twenty retailers' associations in the United States,
now there are more than two thousand.