Warrenton Chamber celebrates 100 years

Adam Rollins, Staff Writer
Posted 1/20/23

The Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Jan. 13 also marked the Chamber’s 100th anniversary of connecting and promoting businesses in the community. The celebration was …

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Warrenton Chamber celebrates 100 years

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The Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Jan. 13 also marked the Chamber’s 100th anniversary of connecting and promoting businesses in the community. The celebration was hosted at the Country Lake Golf Club.

Originally formed in 1923 as “The Community Club of Warrenton,” the organization that would become the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce was founded on the idea of promoting the best interests of the community, according to historical records. The original list of 56 charter members included a mix of businesses and professionals, including a reverend and a professor serving on the original board of directors.

Throughout its early years, the Chamber helped secure land and funding for what eventually became the Binkley Company, campaigned and fundraised for major roadway improvements, purchased land for Warrenton’s National Guard armory, and sponsored numerous other community programs and improvements.

Over the decades since those early years, the Chamber has continued to connect area professionals and provided financial support for community needs. Today, the Chamber has nearly 200 members who are still working to enhance local business and improve the quality of life in the community, said 2023 Chamber President Katie Joyce.

Today’s Chamber represents a mix of private businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and individual people, bringing a variety of perspectives, Joyce said.

“Without that variety of our community members, we would not be having the success that we have today,” Joyce said. “I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who is involved in the Chamber, especially our board members. ... I’m very happy for what we can do for the community and business owners.”

Board member Dan Dieckmann, who was master of ceremony for the 100th anniversary event, joked that it’s fun to reflect on how far the community has come from the days of the like-minded individuals who founded the Chamber.

“I’m trying to picture back what this would look like 100 years ago. There certainly wouldn’t be a golf course here,” Dieckmann noted, gesturing out at the hills of the Country Lake Golf Course. “We certainly wouldn’t have electronics. We would probably all take our horse and buggies to get here.”

Despite that distance in time, the mentality of members remains the same, Dieckmann added.

“These are people and businesses who strive very hard to take care of their employees, take care of their customers, and take care of their families,” he commented.

One of the many Chamber members who were recognized during the anniversary was Alouise Marschel, the Warrenton Chamber’s longest active member, who twice served as president. She said she joined “sometime in the ’60s” as a representative of the law office of Alvin Juergensmeyer.

Marschel said it’s important to her as a community member to be part of an organization that’s involved in supporting her community. During her time with the Chamber, including her stints as president, the organization led several community beautification efforts, hosted various community activities and holiday programs, and launched fundraising efforts that both pay for Chamber programs and support area youth.

“It’s good for the businesses and for the community as a whole, having active members doing things in and for the community,” Marschel commented. 

The Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet on Jan. 13 also marked the Chamber’s 100th anniversary of connecting and promoting businesses in the community. The celebration was hosted at the Country Lake Golf Club.

Originally formed in 1923 as “The Community Club of Warrenton,” the organization that would become the Warrenton Chamber of Commerce was founded on the idea of promoting the best interests of the community, according to historical records. The original list of 56 charter members included a mix of businesses and professionals, including a reverend and a professor serving on the original board of directors.

Throughout its early years, the Chamber helped secure land and funding for what eventually became the Binkley Company, campaigned and fundraised for major roadway improvements, purchased land for Warrenton’s National Guard armory, and sponsored numerous other community programs and improvements.

Over the decades since those early years, the Chamber has continued to connect area professionals and provided financial support for community needs. Today, the Chamber has nearly 200 members who are still working to enhance local business and improve the quality of life in the community, said 2023 Chamber President Katie Joyce.

Today’s Chamber represents a mix of private businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and individual people, bringing a variety of perspectives, Joyce said.

“Without that variety of our community members, we would not be having the success that we have today,” Joyce said. “I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who is involved in the Chamber, especially our board members. ... I’m very happy for what we can do for the community and business owners.”

Board member Dan Dieckmann, who was master of ceremony for the 100th anniversary event, joked that it’s fun to reflect on how far the community has come from the days of the like-minded individuals who founded the Chamber.

“I’m trying to picture back what this would look like 100 years ago. There certainly wouldn’t be a golf course here,” Dieckmann noted, gesturing out at the hills of the Country Lake Golf Course. “We certainly wouldn’t have electronics. We would probably all take our horse and buggies to get here.”

Despite that distance in time, the mentality of members remains the same, Dieckmann added.

“These are people and businesses who strive very hard to take care of their employees, take care of their customers, and take care of their families,” he commented.

One of the many Chamber members who were recognized during the anniversary was Alouise Marschel, the Warrenton Chamber’s longest active member, who twice served as president. She said she joined “sometime in the ’60s” as a representative of the law office of Alvin Juergensmeyer.

Marschel said it’s important to her as a community member to be part of an organization that’s involved in supporting her community. During her time with the Chamber, including her stints as president, the organization led several community beautification efforts, hosted various community activities and holiday programs, and launched fundraising efforts that both pay for Chamber programs and support area youth.

“It’s good for the businesses and for the community as a whole, having active members doing things in and for the community,” Marschel commented. 

Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, 100th Anniversary

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