Denhoff was founded in 1901 as a Northern Pacific Railroad station in Denhoff Township, in Sheridan County. It achieved a peak population of 323 people in 1920, never organized, and today exists as a census-designated area.
However, around the formation of the town, Denhoff did have its own newspapers. The Dakota (later, Nord-Dakota) Staats-Zeitung was published weekly in the German language by F. J. Kehrer in the early 1900s. Also, the Denhoff Voice, published by Ed Moore, appeared weekly from about 1902 until 1933. It was in English, but included columns in German. Despite its size, Denhoff was a community, and the presence of a newspaper certainly helped draw the citizens together and keep them interested.
On this date in 1909, the Denhoff Voice reported on an upcoming potato contest, hosted by the newspaper. This contest had become a yearly event. For the best peck of potatoes, the Voice offered $2.50; second prize was $1.50, and third prize was a free year’s subscription. Three “disinterested businessmen” would judge the potatoes, which were entered into the contest by number, so no one would know who they belonged to. The potatoes were to be clean and smooth, and would be weighed, and were examined “as much on the quality of the potatoes as on the size.”
Unfortunately, by the time the contest took place in early November, “owing to the fact that an unusual cold snap earlier in the fall frosted many of the potatoes” there were few entries.” Some of the potatoes were frosted, and didn’t make the cut. The winners were very gray—in name, that is—as first place went to H. Gray, second place to Harry Gray and third place to Frank Gray.
Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker
The Denhoff Voice, Thursday, Sept. 23, 1909
The Denhoff Voice, Thursday, November 11, 1909