The Fargo Waldorf Hotel

The Waldorf Hotel was built in 1899 on the corner of Front Street and 7th Street. Below: The Waldorf Hotel as it appeared in its original four-story configuration. 

Fargo Waldorf

Sometime prior to 1909 a fifth story was added to the Waldorf, as shown in the hand-colored postcard below, mailed in 1911 to Bess McCullough in Milton, North Dakota with the message, “This is a view of the hotel in which I work. My room is five blocks away. — Hal”

Fargo Waldorf Hotel

In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt gave a Labor Day speech from the balcony over the main entrance of the Waldorf.

The hotel would change hands several times and was alternately known as the Milnor and the Earle Hotel until it was destroyed by fire on December 13, 1951. The Associated Press reported:

Fargo, N. D. (AP) — One person has perished and reports indicate at least two others are missing in a fire which swept the Earle hotel here this morning. Some 200 guests were driven into 13-degrees below zero weather.

The victim was identified as Mrs. J.H (Hank) Sampson. Her body was identified by Henry Wangerud, a former policeman who knew her. Her husband is a well-known wrestling matchmaker in the Fargo area.

The missing include W. S. Hooper, 79, former Fargo postmaster and father of Sidney W. Hooper, managing editor of The Fargo Forum, and Mrs. Katherine Morton, a retired crippled school teacher.

Three people were later confirmed dead. The site remained vacant for seven years, but a bank was built on the site in 1958, and the building was later occupied by an architectural firm. Edit: Mark Johnson commented to let us know the building on the former site of the Waldorf (below) is not vacant, still occupied by LJA.

lja

5 Replies to “The Fargo Waldorf Hotel”

  1. I think LJA is still in that building, and has been for quite a long time. The realty sign may be that the building is for sale or they may have extra space for lease.

      1. I remember right after the fire how scary everything looked. The burned ruins encased in ice.I don’t think I ever knew people died in the fire.So sad.
        I was just a kid.

  2. My grandmother. worked at the Waldorf for a year prior to her marriage in 1910. She was 16 years old at the time. If any kind of employee records survived the fire, it would be fun to see if her name is on record. I have the same post card of the Waldorf with the 5th story.

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