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RG4472.AM:  Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (Lincoln, Neb.)

Records:  1874-1969

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  

Size:  4.5 cu.ft. (1 box; 18 volumes)


The earliest of the organizations antecedent to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce was the Lincoln Board of Trade. This group was organized in July 1870, under the presidency of Charles Henry Gere, for the purpose of “judiciously advertising said town and presenting its many advantages before the public.” Early in the order of business was the matter of issuing County Bonds to encourage the extension of railroad lines to the city. In 1874 the body was reorganized under the title of the Board of Trade at Lincoln and, in the meeting of March 16, acted to help obtain relief for the citizens of Furnas County who were badly stricken by grasshoppers. The fate of the Board of Trade is not known after 1892.

The Union Club, which was a men’s social organization, appears to have been founded sometime before 1878. In 1897, the stockholders voted to consolidate with a businessmen’s association known as the Lincoln Commercial Club. The Commercial Club was incorporated in July 1894, to work for the commercial development and general betterment of the city. The consolidation of these two associations was accomplished in October 1897, the resulting organization being named the Union Commercial Club of Lincoln, Nebraska. Article III of the Articles of Incorporation declares the “general nature of the business of this incorporation to be the organization, continuance and maintenance at Lincoln, of a commercial and social club whose objects shall be to promote the sociability, instruction, entertainment and amusement of the members thereof, and to promoting of the commercial, manufacturing, financial and professional interests of the citizens of Lincoln, and to secure the location of manufacturing and other business enterprises, and to promote the commercial progress and increase the trade and industries of the citizens of Lincoln, and to acquire and disseminate valuable and economic information.”

In May of 1903, the name of the organization was changed to the Lincoln Commercial Club, and it was resolved to de-emphasize the social activities and to concentrate more on promoting commercial development. Since that time, this organization has been a major element in the commercial development of the city of Lincoln. Late in 1920 the club changed its name to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, in conformity with the designation of the United States Chamber of Commerce. (For a more complete sketch, see “82 Years With the Chamber of Commerce,” by Dobbins and Baley, 1950).


This collection consists of 18 volumes and one box including minute books, ledgers and miscellaneous records, arranged in four series: (1) minute books, 1874-1920; (2) ledgers, 1907-1925; (3) miscellaneous minute books; and (4) miscellaneous records.

These records relate to the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1920, and to its antecedents, which included the Lincoln Board of Trade (1870), Board of Trade at Lincoln (1874), Union Club (c. 1878), Lincoln Commercial Club (1894), Union Commercial Club (1897), and the Lincoln Commercial Club (1903). The Chamber is primarily concerned with promoting the commercial development of Lincoln, and this material includes the minutes of meetings and ledger books.


Series 1 – Minute Books, 1874-1920


  1. Board of Trade, 1874-1892

    p. 12 – Articles of Incorporation

    p. 16 – Preamble

    p. 17 – General Rules

    p. 28 – By-Laws

    p. 45 – Minutes of Meetings of the Board of Directors

  2. Union Club of Lincoln, 1879-1897

    p. 1 – By-Laws

    p. 6 – Names of Members

    p. 7 – Signatures of Members

    p. 9 – Minutes

  3. Commercial Club, 1894-1897

    p. 3 – Minutes of Pre-Organization Meetings

    p. 4 – Articles of Incorporation

    p. 9 – By-Laws

    p. 13 – Minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee

  4. Union Commercial Club, 1894-1904

    p. 1 – Articles of Incorporation

    p. 7 – Minutes of Meetings of Board of Directors

    p. 11 – By-Laws

    p. 290 – Minutes of the Lincoln Commercial Club

  5. Lincoln Commercial Club, 1904-1917 (Pages not numbered, but consists entirely of minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and of stockholders.)

  6. Lincoln Commercial Club, 1917-1920 (Pages not numbered, but consists entirely of minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors.)

Series 2 – Ledgers, 1907-1925


  1. Cash book of the Lincoln Commercial Club, 1907-1908

  2. Journal, presumably of the Lincoln Commercial Club, 1910-1916

  3. Cash book, origin not indicated, 1910-1911

  4. Invoice register, Chamber of Commerce, 1922

  5. Invoice register, Chamber of Commerce, 1922-1925

  6. Disbursements, Chamber of Commerce, 1907

  7. Disbursements, Chamber of Commerce, 1910-1911

  8. Disbursements, Chamber of Commerce, 1915-1920

  9. Disbursements, Chamber of Commerce, 1920-1921

Series 3 – Miscellaneous Minute Books


  1. Minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Auditorium Association, 1897-1910

  2. Minutes of meetings of the Freight and Transportation Bureau of the Union Commercial Club, 1899-1904

  3. Minutes of meetings of the Building Association of the Lincoln Commercial Club, 1909-1921

Series 4 – Miscellaneous Records

Box 1


  1. General Correspondence, 1936-1965

  2. Membership Drives, 1938, 1960

  3. Club Rosters and Misc. Committee Minutes, 1909-1914; 1958-1963

  4. Promotional Materials for City of Lincoln

  5. Miscellany, 1914-1969; History of Chamber, events, committee goals and objectives



Board of Trade (Lincoln, Neb.)

Businesses — Nebraska — Lincoln

Chamber of Commerce (Lincoln, Neb.)

Commercial Club (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Auditorium Association (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Board of Trade (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Chamber of Commerce (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln Commercial Club (Lincoln, Neb.)

Union Commercial Club (Lincoln, Neb.)

Union Club (Lincoln, Neb.)


Revised 04-04-2008   TMM