In the fall of 1881, just one year after Minneapolis surpassed St. Louis as the nation's leading producer of flour, twenty-one prominent businessmen met in the basement of a fledging bank to create one of the Mill City's most enduring commercial enterprises. Know originally as the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange provided a market for most of the grains grown in the rich, dark soil of the Upper Midwest, particularly the much-prized spring wheat. Throughout the decades, buyers and sellers on the trading floor engaged in elaborate rituals that helped move farmer's grain to the consumer's table. As its members traded thousands, then millions, than billions of dollars in cash grains and futures, the exchange grew into one of the premier grain markets in the world. It's been 125 years since the city's first generation of business leaders-millers and manufacturers, bankers and railroad men-founded the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. What began as an essential element in the making of modern Minneapolis, as well as personal and philanthropic fortune, continues to play a vital role in the city's and the region's economic success.