(Delores Anderson, Delmer “Andy” Anderson, Kim Anderson)

One of our favorite places to visit in history is the Fenn’s Bros. company which was located in Sioux Falls, SD. My relationship to this place is that my Dad – Delmer “Andy” Anderson worked there from 1948 to when they closed the doors in 1971. We have many stories/memorabilia and we share this by doing large presentations as well as smaller ones – we also have a Fenns Remembered page on Facebook which is updated weekly.

We are working on a book exploring the history of the company but I was asked to write a chapter for a history book which will be coming out in 2022. The beginning of this is as follows:

The Fenn’s Bros. story begins in the late 1800’s when two unrelated businesses came together – an existing candy company called Sioux Falls Candy (located at 315-317 N Main Ave) and Fenn’s Bros Shoes (8th and Phillips).  Although the Sioux Falls Candy Company was thriving at one-point, financial troubles caused the business to close in 1889.  C.H. Ransom and James W. Fenn purchased the defunct candy company – renaming it Ransom and Fenn.  The newly formed partnership sold candy, cigars, crackers, cider, pickles, and vinegar.  The Fenn’s Bros. shoe store/stock was later sold to Fantle’s Department store in downtown Sioux Falls.  After Mr. Ransom died in 1901, Henry C. Fenn, James’s younger brother, who was an assistant cashier at First National Bank, joined the company and the name was changed to Fenn’s Bros.

In the early years, Fenn’s stayed with their staple products, but later added old style lager beer and more candy choices.  During this time, the company moved into a 3000 square foot building at 114-128th East 10th Street in downtown Sioux Falls.  In 1936, Henry C. Fenn passed away after battling tuberculosis.  His son, Henry G. Fenn (also called Bill) left college to help run the business.  Henry G. Fenn’s younger brother, Jim joined him to keep the “brothers” in the name.   In 1939, a major decision was made to move away from their general line of goods/candy to one specializing exclusively in candy bars.  Henry G. (Bill) was thought to be the major contributor for this idea.  The 1940’s were a very transitional time with the introduction and trademarking of many candy bars, as well as ice cream flavors and a variety of flavorings.

For more on this, check out the upcoming book as well as liking us on Fenns Remembered on Facebook.

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