The Chamber of Commerce was organized In 1888 by the City of Marceline. On September 6,1888, the Mayor appointed Drs. Perrin, Cater, Smith, N. Long, and J.E. Waller as a Board of Health for Marceline. J. Y. Turner was marshal at a salary of $30. W.M. Hindman received $17.75 for seventy-five paupers’ meals.
In 1900 the first Fourth of July celebration was held and the first Free Fair was held in 1902.
In 1910 the city-owned municipal light plant was built.
In 1924 a movement had been launched by the business men and women, to organize a Community Club. Various civic problems would be discussed and membership would include all business men and women to meet once a week at the Allen Hotel for luncheon. The dues would be $1.00 a week and this would include the cost of the luncheon. The principal purpose of the club would be to discuss any or all problems in which the city was interested, such as, road work, civic improvement, activities, the extension of trade territory, and other matters of common interest. The Chamber of Commerce would do much to bring about many improvements in Marceline and vicinity and promote greater co-operation among the citizens of this city. This was the first meeting of the Chamber and Albert Zurcher was president and O. E. Downing was secretary. They both held their offices for fourteen years.
In 1925 they organized the ”Tri-County-Fair” association with Albert Zurcher as head of the committee. This was to be called the Fall Pumpkin Show with a carnival and festival to be held in conjunction. This was to become an annual event and the men of Marceline were solidly behind the project, and the object was to serve the farmers of Linn, Chariton, and Macon Counties.
In 1938 the Golden Jubilee was held in Marceline with the Chamber of Commerce a strong and efficient factor in the business life of the city, every business man in town being a member. John Rusk was the chairman.
The Chamber of Commerce was inactive from 1939 until 1947 when it was reorganized with Claud Dail as president. The Walt Disney park idea was born that year.
The Chamber of Commerce has continued to be active from that date and some of the highlights are as follows:
- 1951 – Roads in Marceline were graveled and adult classes taught by George Coulson proved popular.
- 1953 – Farmers Banquet was held at the Legion Hall.
- 1955 – Sent out brochures entitled “Opportunity Calling” from Marceline to 2000 manufacturers that could use the Sinclair pumping station.
- 1956 – First Golden Harvest fund was set at $500, and a jackpot each Saturday. Sponsored Invitation to Walt Disney for dedication of the Walt Disney Park and the $78,500 Swimming Pool located just south of the Country Club. 150 members of C. of C. with their wives attended a reception held at the Country Club for Walt and Roy Disney.
- 1959 – Entertained Walt and Roy Disney and their wives at the dedication of the Walt Disney Elementary School.
- 1962 – Annual dinner held at the Methodist Church.
- 1963 – Annual dinner held at the Methodist Church with fifty-five members attending. Father Fred Barnett was guest speaker. Within the year, six companies have investigated Marceline as a prospective business site.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Charles D. Payden, President; Ellwood L. Koch, Secretary; Marsh Dorrell, Glynn Maxwell, Vernon Briggs, Paul Coram, Bobby Cupp, Keith Tillotson, Bob Downing.