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Published June 08, 2013, 11:30 PM

Ed Clapp, longtime Fargo developer and businessman, dies at age 95

FARGO – Ed Clapp, a well-known Fargo businessman and developer, died Friday at Villa Maria in Fargo.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

FARGO – Ed Clapp, a well-known Fargo businessman and developer, died Friday at Villa Maria in Fargo.

He was 95.

Clapp, a native of Fargo and a retired U.S. Army colonel, was deeply involved in the city’s civic and business life.

In the early 1960s, he was appointed a professor of military science and tactics at North Dakota State University, where he also served as head of the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Over the years, Clapp held many positions on various boards and organizations in the community, including president of the Fargo Chamber of Commerce and president of the Fargo Rotary.

The Forum archives make mention of the Clapp family and its multi-generation involvement in the banking industry, including a story from 1990 about the sale of Union State Bank of Fargo.

The story noted that the bank was chartered in 1972 and that Ed Clapp was chairman of the board of the bank when it opened in the West Acres Shopping Center in August 1972.

Stories also chronicle the drive and perseverance Clapp employed to bring to fruition in the 1980s his dream for what became Bluemont Lakes, a development built on more than 300 acres of farmland the Clapp family had owned for three generations.

Clapp said in a 1983 story that he borrowed the name Bluemont Lakes from a residential area in Manhattan, Kan., where he and his family had lived when he was serving in the Army.

“It was a very happy time in our life,” he said, “when the children were still small. So we took that name when we were choosing a name for this development.”

The Clapp family donated more than 23 acres of land to the Fargo Park District for what would become Ed Clapp Park, which is at 28th Street and 32nd Avenue South.

A senior center there also bears his name.

Clapp’s youngest son, Ben, remembered his father Saturday as someone who cared deeply for his hometown and his country.

“He loved Fargo and was always envisioning what Fargo could be and what it should be and always felt it was a wonderful place to live,” Clapp said.

Clapp said his father, a 1942 graduate of West Point, served in both World War II and Korea.

“He was very proud of his service and it was a large focus of his life,” Clapp said, adding: “As we are proud of him, he was also proud of his service to his country.”

Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

The funeral will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Gethsemane Cathedral in Fargo.

Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Fargo.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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