About the Chamber

The Commercial Club of Paris, Illinois was incorporated January 31,1903. The officers were H. L. Hodge, President, R. M. Link, Vice President, C. F. Propst, Secretary and C. IL Lamb, Treasurer. Directors were R. Pd. Link, E. E. Whitehead, J. Win. Snyder, L Hodge, Paul P. Shutt, W. Hodge and F. T. O’Hair.

The purpose was to promote the growth, prosperity and general business interest of Paris, IL

The Chamber of Commerce needs memberships to fund our organization so we can continue to promote our retailers, industries, services, professionals, organizations and individuals of Paris.  On October 3, 1912 the name changed to “Chamber of Commerce” and was registered with the State of Illinois. In 1996 the name changed to Paris Area Chamber of Commerce and in May of 1999 the name was changed to Paris Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.

In 1919 the Chamber was responsible for bringing the “manufacturing facilities” for the Cummings Car Factory to Paris, also known as McGuire-Cummings Car Company.

In 1921 the Chamber worked to finance a hotel, we assume, The Hotel France. The name of Horace Link was listed as Chairman of the project

In 1935 the Chamber brought the “Goding Shoe Company” to Paris.

During 1947-1954 Paris produced a growth of industries through expansions at Colsons, ICM, Midwest, Stewarts, the new Meco plant and Merkle Broom Factory.

In 1959 the Department of Transportation opened their doors on their new 12 acres of ground donated to them by the Chamber of Commerce.

During the years of Paris growth, the Chamber of Commerce has been a central agent to promote the future of the Paris area.

The Chamber has been located in many buildings in Paris. Our records show on North Main Street (Beacon News building), Chittick Building, West Wood Street, eleven years in the Ken More Building and since February 1991 at our present location at 105 N. Central Ave. This building was donated to the Chamber by the late Bob Sanders’ niece Susan Godfrey of Dallas, Texas. The Chamber was granted a $40,000 loan to remodel the building.

Progress is a never-ending proposition. It takes people who are aware of our needs to work together and develop a plan of action. The Chamber of Commerce needs memberships to fund our organization so we can continue to promote our retailers, industries, services, professionals, organizations and individuals of Paris.

Through the years our mission statements have been changed to fit our goals. Today our mission statement reads: The mission of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is to provide information and promote business and tourism in the Paris area.