“Grand Forks boasts of the finest and largest mercantile establishment west of St. Paul. The far famed Ontario Store was established in 1882 by Mr. R.B. Griffith, who from a small beginning has built up a business of vast proportions, not only enjoying a large home trade, but attracting visitors from many miles to Grand Forks. The Ontario comprises under one roof nine complete stores, each under a different superintendent, including dry goods, carpets and draperies, ladies’ cloaks and suits, men’s clothing and furnishings, boys’ clothing, boots and shoes, groceries, china and glassware, and hardware. Each different department is filled with complete stocks of the very latest goods in the various lines and always at the lowest prices. Mail orders receive prompt attention and every visitor in Grand Forks should make a point to visit and inspect the Ontario, the largest store in the Northwest.”
Source: Grand Forks Illustrated, 1897.