MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The Morris County Chamber of Commerce, celebrating its 100th Annual Meeting Thursday, was presented with a special resolution from the Morris County Board of County Commissioners by Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, who expressed thanks to the Chamber for its work as he reflected on the last 100 years in Morris County with members and guests who gathered at the virtual event.
“We, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners, will continue to partner with the Chamber moving forward as we work to further boost our economy. We are committed to keeping this the best place to live and do business anywhere,” Shaw said.
The Chamber was known by different names after emerging in 1921 from an organization known as the “Morristown Business Men’s Association,” which for many years before and after the turn of the 20th Century had exercised “a general supervision over affairs affecting the community interests,” according to the 1918 Industrial Directory of New Jersey.
Commissioner Shaw said the Chamber history, and that the directory showed the Chamber faced the same issues then as it does today, specifically “in the matter of extending inducements to attract industries” to “one of the most desirable and highly favored parts of the state.” He also noted some factual points about the era in which the Chamber was born.
“One hundred years ago, life expectancy was about 53 years, so if this event was taking place 100 years ago, many of us wouldn’t be here. Including me,” Shaw joked.
“The world was recovering from a pandemic known then as the Spanish Flu. History does have a habit of repeating itself. The automobile industry was born, leading to prosperity due to manufacturing jobs in the industry, steel production and highway building. Prohibition was the law of the land, imagine that if you can. Radios were the main source of entertainment; no TV and better yet no social media,” Shaw said.
The “Morristown Business Men’s Association” became the “Morristown Chamber of Commerce” in 1921, and incorporation documents show the Chamber changed its name to the “Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce” on Jan. 22, 1960. It formally became the “Morris Area Chamber of Commerce” on Jan. 26, 1963, before finally re-establishing itself on April 22, 1966 under its current title, the “Morris County Chamber of Commerce.”
But as the name changed, the mission remained the same, according to the Board of Commissioner’s “Resolution Honoring the Morris County Chamber of Commerce,” which reads in part:
“The Chamber’s name has changed occasionally over time, but its dedication to the betterment of life in the Morris County region has remained consistent, and its work continues to parallel the goals of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners, which also had undergone a name change. Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, the Board of County Commissioners, Morris County, New Jersey, congratulates the Morris County Chamber of Commerce for its more than 100 years of dedicated service to the people and economy of Morris County, and the board extends its best wishes as the Chamber continues working to keep Morris County the best place in New Jersey to live and do business.”