John Monson came to Fargo in March 1882, and opened a men’s furnishings store on Broadway. In 1900 he established the Monson Trunk Factory at 618 Front Street. The company changed its name to the Monson’s Luggage Company when his son J. Lloyd Monson took over operations around 1937. At that time the business moved to 606 Front Street. It remained at that location until 1977 when J. Lloyd Monson retired. The business continued operation at West Acres Shopping Mall until 1985. At that time the store was owned by Bill Prentice, son-in-law of J. Lloyd Monson.
The company achieved international fame around 1910 by constructing the “largest trunk in the world,” a trunk eighteen feet in length, ten and a half feet in height, and ten feet long. The trunk was displayed at the Fair Grounds in Fargo. Afterwards the Monson’s used the trunk as a garage.
Fargo and Moorhead City Directory. Fargo, 1881-1927.
Polk’s Fargo and Moorhead City Directories. St. Paul, MN: R.L. Polk and Company