Chamber History

On January 15, 1888, a meeting of the business men of Leon was held at the Courthouse at which steps were taken towards organizing a business men’s association. At this meeting a committee was appointed for the purpose of drawing up a plan of organization. At a second meeting, the committee recommended that an association be formed at once under the name of the Leon Board of Trade. The shares of stock were fixed at $5 each, and each member of the board was required to take not less than one share of the stock. The constitution and by-laws were at once circulated for signatures, and within 15 minutes thirty of the business men of the town had signified their intention of becoming members of the board. The Board of Trade existed successfully and helpfully for a number of years.

The Leon Commercial Club was established on April 26, 1907. The object of the club was to promote the civic and industrial interests of the City and to place Leon on equal footing with similarly sized cities in the State.

The officers were:

James F. Harvey – President

A.L. Ackerly – Vice President

William J Springer – Secretary

CW Robinson – Treasurer

(Adapted from History of Decatur County Iowa and Its People, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915)

Today this organization is known as the Leon Chamber of Commerce. Current membership consists of multiple business members and a number of private, individual members. The purpose of this organization is to unite into one central organization all of the civic, industrial and commercial activities of this community, To aid, encourage and promote the best interests of the City of Leon and the County of Decatur, To acquire real and personal property, to mortgage, lease and dispose of same, To do any and all things permitted by law for a non-profit corporation, and to exercise any and all powers and privileges permitted by law concerning the same.

In 2013, the Leon Chamber of Commerce and the Leon Community Development Corporation (LCDC) were merged into one organizations. Leon Chamber of Commerce remained and LCDC become a subcommittee of the Leon Chamber of Commerce.

All members are invited to attend monthly board meetings held at 7 a.m. in the Decatur County Hospital Board Room, the first Thursday of the month. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leon Chamber of Commerce, contact Shannon Erb at or 641-442-6511.