Fankhanel's Variety Store in Hillsboro, North Dakota, was a family-operated business for 66 years. Paul Fankhanel and his wife, Julia, opened the store in September 1929. They ran the store until 1949, at which time Paul contracted tuberculosis. Paul died in 1964 followed by Julia in 1976. Paul and Julia had five children: Dolores, Earl, Lois, Julian, and James.
Earl Fankhanel returned to Hillsboro in 1949 after serving in the Navy Air Force. Earl and his mother operated the store together from 1949 until 1964, at which time Earl and his wife, Joyce, purchased the store.
The store sold a variety of merchandise including crystal ware, kitchen items, crafts, and clothing. There was also a candy counter which was well-known for selling penny and bulk candy. Fankhanel's candy counter was the only one in the state which sold "Brach" candy in bulk.
Fankhanel's Variety Store closed in 1995 upon the retirement of Earl and Joyce Fankhanel.
The Fankhanel's Variety Store Records consist of materials related to the history of Fankhanel's Variety Store in Hillsboro, North Dakota.
Series I: Personal Material The first series contains personal scrapbooks pertaining to the store's anniversaries, 1979 to 1994. To better preserve contents of the scrapbooks, materials from the books were removed from their original three-ring binder, while still maintaining original order.
Series II: Inventory The second series consists of the store's annual inventory from 1940-1995.
Series III: Financial Material The third series includes the store's financial information including taxes, check stubs, and expenses, dating from 1930 to 1995.