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Manuscripts by Subject - Business / Commerce - #10980

Title: Dahners Store (Mandan, ND) Records

Dates: ca. 1910-1972

Collection Number: MSS 10980

Quantity: 1.75 feet

Abstract: Consists of business material, ephemera, and inventories from Dahners music store, items from the music industry, as well as Henry and Alice Dahners personal investment material, organizational records, post cards, and photographs.

Provenance: The collection was donated by J. Cash Luck in 2002 and was accessioned in 2007. The collection was processed, and the inventory created, by Emily J. Ergen in January and February 2010.

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


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.


1 Dahners - 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 - inventory, taken February 24, 1951
3 Dahners - inventory for store closing sale, 1972
4 Dahners’ Domestic Sewing machine “count the dots” contest, 1952
5 Virginia City Gold Mine Company (Butte, MT) investment, 1932-1936
6 Elks - Mandan 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 Chapter of the Pioneer Daughters of ND - members list and meeting minutes, 1935-1944
11 Rotary Club (Mandan) - correspondence, mission statement, and 1923 Ninth District conference material (program, correspondence, planning, registration cards, newsletter), 1923

1 Rotary Club (Mandan) Pow Wow newsletter, 1926-1927
2 Mandan Chamber of Commerce - annual meeting program, correspondence, ballot, memoranda, financial reports, 1952-1954
3 Mandan Agricultural Fair Association financial statement, 1953-1954
4 American Woman’s Club of Calgary (AB) yearbook, 1964-1965
5 Newspaper clippings about Dahners music store, Dahners’ civic activities, and the music industry, 1919-1972
6 Post cards (seven) - Calgary, AB, baseball team, ca 1910
7 Photographs

(Loose) Financial ledger, 1918-1920
(Loose) Financial ledger, 1920
(Loose) Financial ledger, 1920
(Loose) Financial ledger, 1920-1921
(Loose) Rotary: Fifty Years of Service, 1905-1955, published by Rotary International (Evanston, IL), 1954. With several items from the Mandan celebration of the golden anniversary.

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