Oral Interview of Arthur Lawrence Hamilton

Name of Person Interviewed

Arthur Lawrence Hamilton


Rick Dietz



Download Audio Interview (38.6 MB)

Download S2616 2620 - Hamilton, Arthur.pdf (276 KB)


Arthur Lawrence Hamilton discusses his early years growing up on his parents’ farm, and various jobs he held, both while he was in school and after he graduated. He also talks about the impact of World War I in Langdon, North Dakota; speakeasies in the 1920s; and business during the Great Depression and World War II.


Arthur Lawrence Hamilton was born on August 12, 1905, in Langdon, North Dakota, and grew up on his parents’ farm north of town. He graduated from high school in Langdon and worked for a time in a hardware store, before becoming a Maytag washing machine salesman. During the Depression, he bought a newsstand, selling popcorn and branching into sales of typewriters and adding machines. After the onset of World War II, he opened a restaurant called the Fountain, and in 1944 opened a clothing store, which he ran until his retirement. He married Mildred Engen in 1929 and settled in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Date of Interview



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Length (Time)


Original Format

Audio tape

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Named Persons

Marshall, Mildred Engen Hamilton, Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Stoves—Cleaning, Selling, Sales management, Retail trade—Ownership, Restaurateurs, Clothing trade


Maytag Company, Remington Typewriter Company, L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Co., Royal Typewriter Company, Woodstock Typewriter Company, United States. Navy, Stern and Field, Standard Oil Company, Minneapolis Tribune, United States. National Recovery Administration


Minnesota—Thief River Falls, North Dakota—Langdon, Minnesota—Minneapolis, Illinois—Woodstock, North Dakota--Grand Forks, Minnesota--Granite Falls, Minnesota—Duluth, Minnesota—Bemidji, North Dakota—Fargo, Hawaii—Pearl Harbor


Great Depression, Small business, Alcohol trafficking

ID Number

S2616 2620

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce these oral interviews must be obtained in writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead Archives.


Oral History | Sales and Merchandising | Social History

Oral Interview of Arthur Lawrence Hamilton