The O’Neil Block (69-73 Broadway) was built in 1894. It was among one of the first buildings constructed after the Fargo fire of 1893. It was named for the buildings first owner, Harry O’Neil, who was a prominent Fargo business man, and who is credited for funding the reconstruction of many commercial buildings after the fire. Some of the businesses that called the O’Neil Block home included: Weil & Gleason Boots and Shoes, Flenner & Hennessy tailors, H. L. Blout cigars and tobacco, in the 1890s. In the 1900s and 1910s, the businesses of W. J. Evans boots and shoes, F. C. McClane fine art and stationary dealer, Grand Union Tea Company, C. E. Reed photographer, Smedley Floral Co, and the Scandinavian American Bank, called the building home. In the 1920s and 1930s, the businesses of Security National Bank, Smedley Floral Co., Jessie Marquisee clothing, Fargo Toggery, Hagen’s shoe store, and Royal Jewelers, were located in the building.
The building underwent a significant facelift in 1940. The building was refaced in sandstone in the Art Moderne style. The interior was also completely remodeled. The architecture firm of Braseth & Houkom was in charge of the redesign. At the time of the remodel, the building was occupied by Royal Jewelers and Gate City Building & Loan Association. Gate City moved out about 1956, and it was about that time the building was renamed the Royal Building, which it remains today. The building has been home to Royal Jewelers since the business moved into the building in 1927.
Fargo and Moorhead City Directory. Fargo, 1881-1927.
Polk’s Fargo and Moorhead City Directories. St. Paul, MN: R.L. Polk and Company
"Harry O'Neil one of Fargo's first settlers, called by death" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (17 March 1923): 1.
"O'Neil Block work begins" Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (30 April 1940): 7.
"Royal Jewelers, fine jewelers for four generations, has been fixture in downtown Fargo since 1920" Howard Binford’s Guide. Moorhead: Howard Binford, Vol. 7, No. 6 (December 1974), p. 18.