The Fitzsimmons-Palmer Company, wholesale dealers in fruits and produce, occupy a conspicuous place in the trade annals of Duluth in their special line. It is not only one of the largest houses in the trade, but also among the oldest, the business dating back to 1887, when Charles T. Fitzsimmons, the head of the company, first came to Duluth and started operations, under the firm name of George W. Martin & Co. The venture proved successful from the start, and in 1892 a reorganization of the firm took place and the business was incorporated, the name being changed to the Fitzsimmons-Warfield Company. Two years later, in 1894, the company’s name was again changed, this time to the Fitzsimmons-Derrig Company, and January 1, 1906, the company’s name was changed to the Fitzsimmons-Palmer Company, Mr. Fitzsimmons being president and manager, which positions he holds at the present time. The company has been a pioneer in its special field. Mr. Fitzsimmons has the reputation in the trade of being the first man to bring a carload of bananas to the city, which he did in 1889. He also brought the first carload of California fruit to Duluth, in 1892, and started a trade with the Pacific coast state that has attained enormous proportions.

He also brought the first carload of strawberries to the city, in 1894, a transaction that was looked upon with astonishment at the time because of its magnitude, but which the widely extended connection of the house enabled it to handle with but little effort.

The company is interested in a number of other wholesale fruit and produce houses in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada. and its yearly transactions run into vast figures.

The De Witt-Seitz Furniture Company, manufacturers and jobbers of furniture, is one of the strongest business combinations at the head of the lakes. The company was incorporated in 1905. Charles E. De Witt, the president of the company, was formerly secretary and treasurer of the Leithhead Drug Company; Henry F. Seitz, the vice-president and treasurer, was for fifteen years with the Webster Manufacturing Company, of Superior. O. A. Seitz is secretary of the company. No better equipped set of men, backed by ample capital and a complete knowledge of the trade of the West, in which all of them had experience in a very large way, can be found in one house than 557  this. The company is doing a large business that is being constantly increased. The De Witt-Seitz Company covers the territory included in Minnesota, the Dakotas, eastern Montana, Wisconsin and Michigan, and keeps a number of salesmen on the road. With the great advantages it has for the handling and transport of goods at a minimum of freight charges, by reason of the rail and water connection, it is in a strong position to attract the trade of the territory. The officers of the company mentioned constitute the board of directors.


  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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