SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Business/Commerce > 10980

OCLC WorldCat Logo

Digital Horizons

Federal Depository Library Program

Manuscripts by Subject - Business / Commerce - #10980

Title: Dahners Store (Mandan, N.D.)

Dates: 1912-1972

Collection Number: MSS 10980

Quantity: 1.75 feet 

Abstract: Consists of business material, inventories from Dahners music store, wax cylinder recordings of duets by Henry and Alice Dahners, organizational records (Mandan Commercial Club, Mandan Trade Extension Club, Mandan Rotary Club, Mandan Elks Lodge, Missouri Slope Agricultural and Fair Association, The Mandan Round-Up, and Mandan Chamber of Commerce), and photographs.

Provenance: The Dahners Store (Mandan, N.D.) paper were donated to the SHSND by Cash Luck in 2007. Additional material was donated by Becky Roesler in June and October 2017. The minute book of the Pioneer Daughters Association of Mandan was transferred to the Federation of Women's Clubs Records (MSS 10202) in October 2017.

In October 2017: the minute book for the Mandan Chapter of the Pioneer Daughters of North Dakota was added to MSS 10202, the Rotary Club newsletter and Fifty Years of Service book were  separated and offered to the State Archives publications, the Alberta post cards and American Woman's Club of Calgary booklet were transferred to the Alberta Archives, and the financial ledgers and Virginia City gold mine company investment records were transferred back to the donor.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references. 

Transfer: A variety of material not related to the Dahners music store or family was added to the general information vertical files. Three maps were transferred to the State Archives’ map collection, and one book and one periodical was transferred to the State Archives’ publications.


Henry Louis Dahners was born in Hastings, MN, April 23, 1888 to Hubert and Rosella (Ley) Dahners. He attended school in St. Paul, and on April 8, 1912, married Alice A. Kennedy in Calgary, AB. They lived in Calgary for six years, where he worked as a land man for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and as secretary of the Calgary baseball team. The Dahners came to Mandan in 1918 and opened The Edison Shop, a music store, in the Conye jewelry store. In 1919, he moved into the old McDonald Hotel building on the Nigey block at the corner of First Street and Third Avenue. In 1923, the business moved to Main Street, into the Lewis and Clark Hotel building. 

By 1929, H. L. Dahners partnered with A. R. Tavis to form the Dahners-Tavis Music Company; Tavis was secretary-treasurer, and Dahners was president. The pair operated three stores, the Music Shop in Mandan, which Dahners owned, the Melody Shop in Bismarck, owned by Tavis, and the Dahners-Tavis Music Co. in the Waverly Hotel building in Minot. By 1939, Dahners’ store was called Dahners Music and Gift Shop of Mandan. By the 1950s, it was called Dahners Music and Department Shop, or Dahners Music. 

Alice Dahners passed away in 1964, and Harry Dahners died December 19, 1971 at the St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck. He was survived by a son, Gregory H. Almont, and two daughters, Mrs. Robert (Lucile) Luck, and Mrs. John (Gwen) Musik, both of Mandan, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a sister, Mrs. Christina Keller, of St. Paul, MN. Following Henry’s death, the Dahners music store closed in 1972. During his lifetime, Henry L. Dahners was active in musical circles in the area, involved in the KGCU radio station, was a charter member of the Rotary Club and the only member to maintain a fifty-year attendance record, and was also a member of the Elks.

“Dahners Will Open Up Store in Nigey Hotel.” Publication unknown. Dahners Store (Mandan, ND). Records. MSS 10980. State Historical Society of North Dakota. State Archives. Box 2, folder 5. 
“Henry L. Dahners, Elder Merchant of Mandan, Dies.” Bismarck Tribune, 20 December 1971. 28.
The Music Shop [advertisement]. The Mandan News, April 1923. 
Opening of Dahners-Tavis Music Co. [advertisement]. The Minot Daily News, 20 February 1929.
“Store Carries Most Complete Stock in State.” Mandan Daily Pioneer, 13 September 1928. 1.


Box 1:
1 Certificates, business card, music industry material and publications, contract, letterhead, advertising, FTC subsidies to musicians policy, mailing list, new records issued, past due mailing card 1919-1942
2 Dahners Store inventory  2/24/1951
3 Dahners Store inventory for store closing sale 1972
4 Dahners’ Domestic Sewing machine “count the dots” contest 1952
5 Newspaper clippings about Dahners music store, Dahners’ civic activities, and the music industry, 1919-1972
6 Mandan Elks Lodge (No. 1256) correspondence 1923
7 Missouri Slope Agricultural and Fair Association correspondence 1923-1924
8 Mandan Commercial Club (and Mandan Trade Extension Club): correspondence, board of directors and committee meeting minutes, annual report, financial reports, organization of Ford Day, planning for teachers convention (Kathryn Browne was hired to sing at the convention) 1923-1924
9 The Mandan Round-Up correspondence 1923-1924
10 Mandan Chamber of Commerce: annual meeting program, correspondence, ballot, memoranda, financial reports 1952-1954
11 Rotary Club (Mandan): correspondence, mission statement, and 1923 Ninth District conference material (program, correspondence, planning, registration cards, newsletter) 1923

Box 2:                    Items: 00001-00002         1912

Box 3:                    Items: 00003-00018         ca. 1925-1971


00001                    "All that I Ask" duet by Alice and Henry Dahners, Empress Hotel, Calgary (AB) 4/1912
00002                    "For I Dream of You" duet by Alice and Henry Dahners, Calgary (AB) 7/1912
00003                    Composite portrait of Alice and either Gwen and Lucile Dahners ca. 1930
00004                    Portrait of Alice Dahners ca. 1971
00005                    Portrait of members of the Mandan Rotary club outside the Lewis and Clark Hotel, Mandan (N.D.)  ca. 1925
00006                    Portrait of the Douglas Boys' Band outside the Mandan Beverage Co., downtown Mandan (N.D.)  ca. 1925
00007                    Composite portrait of Alice, Gwen and Lucile Dahners ca. 1930
00008                    Portrait of Mandan Rotary Club members. Front: Ron Fox, Wayne Clarke, Bob Schwede, Gene Mastel, Joe Fleck, Henry Dahners, Geo. Dinyer, Julius Pfeifer, Wm. Cummins, Walton Russell, John MacMullen. Second row: Wm. Tait, Bill Mushik, Cliff Walker, Bernard Toman, Father Tom Sullivan, Cal Tanner, Dr. Ron Carlsen, Bill McClelland, Leland Ulmer, Bob Sylvester, Bob Feickert, J. R. Madsen, Lester Schirado, Bob Chase, Jake Geiss, Roy Giles, Dr. Clemens, Jim Collins, Otto DeLaBarre, George Rogler, Ken Sharp, Dick Schnell, Bruce Bair, Vern Wann, Frank Wetzstein and Dan Hanna 1971
00009                    View of tombstones in cemetery, Mandan (N.D.) ca. 1940
00010                    Portrait of Henry L. Dahners ca. 1950
00011                    Children in classroom     ca. 1930
00012                    Henry L. Dahners in Dahners' Department Store, Mandan (N.D.)               8/10/1971
00013                    Man singing or speaking in blackface ca. 1940
00014                    Staff of Dahners Music Store ca. 1960
00015                    Western Auto Co. float in parade, probably Mandan (N.D.) ca. 1940
00016                    Copy of a portrait of the Grand Forks Central High school state champion basketball team 3/18/1927
00017                    Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Rodeo ca. 1940
00018                    Either Lucile or Gwen Dahners ca. 1930

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666