The exact ending of the first iteration of a chamber of commerce in Salt Lake City had not been uncovered before Common Ground: 100 Years of the Salt Lake Chamber went to press in 2002. In the intervening years, how that early Chamber came to an end has become more clear. It came to its demise in May 1898, when its board of directors decided to close up shop. The Salt Lake Tribune headline of May 15 read, “Needed support withheld. Statement of benefits of the Chamber has conferred upon the city and state, and the lack of sympathy and support of the business community drawn up and adopted.”
In the same edition of the paper, an editorial read: “Elsewhere in today’s Tribune is published a communication from the discouraged Chamber of Commerce of Salt Lake City. Perhaps it is not good policy to spread such a paper before the world, but the Chamber declares that its publication is simply justice to the earnest men who have struggled for the welfare of
the city and state, and justice to those abroad who may be contemplating a removal to this city. They assert that there is no concert of action here for the general good; that the spirit of businessmen is entirely selfish, that the public sentiment which exists in other places to make of the home town a little glory in itself…”
Follow-up solicitations for members, new and old, to support the organization failed. By May 19, 1898, the Tribune had declared the organization in a “dying state.” It was never revived.