Dauby’s Sports Center has been a fixture in Sioux Falls since 1934. From the beginning, school sporting equipment, team equipment, and uniforms for a variety of activities have been sold there. The first question is, who or what is Dauby?
Herbert C. “Dauby” Daubenberger was born September 20, 1898, in the northeast Iowa town of McGregor. There he attended public schools, graduating from high school in 1916. He attended Grinnell College, east of Des Moines, where he excelled in track and basketball before graduating in 1920. In 1921, he took a job coaching high school football at Colfax, Iowa, just east of Grinnell, an occupation he seemed suited for. He continued coaching there until 1927, at which point he took a job at Aberdeen Central high school, coaching the Golden Eagles. Under his leadership, the Eagles won the Eastern South Dakota conference football championship in 1931.
On May 27, 1932, Dauby announced that a new sporting event, The Aberdeen Relays, would be held the following year. The new track and field competition was created to attract competitors from South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota, who found the Drake Relays in Des Moines to be too far away. The next year, Dauby resigned his position at Aberdeen Central and moved to Sioux Falls to start a new career.
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In late 1934, Dauby’s Sport Shop opened at 209 W. 10th St. Dauby felt that there was an unfulfilled need in Sioux Falls for a sporting goods shop that could cater not only to individual needs, but those of teams. Up to that point, sporting equipment could be purchased at other local stores, but those stores were not specialists. Dauby knew what coaches and teams needed, because he’d been in their cleats.
Through the years, the store won contracts with the Sioux Falls School District and others in the area. This became the bread and butter of the business, but if a neighborhood kid wanted a glove for a pickup game, the perfect glove could be found at Dauby’s.
In 1940, Dauby became the chief timer of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. He’d been active in local sporting events as soon as he arrived in town, and also kept active in the Aberdeen Relays, acting as starter until 1959.
In 1952, Dauby married Magdalene Krueger, a woman he’d met in Aberdeen. She took an active role helping to run the shop.
In July of 1957, Dauby’s moved to 223 S. Main Ave. into a space that had been the Eat Shoppe restaurant since 1933. In 1960, at the 28th running of the Aberdeen Relays, Dauby was honored in a special ceremony for his years of service to the event.
Late in the afternoon on February 9, 1962, Herbert Daubenberger died in a Sioux Falls hospital. The loss was felt by all who he coached, and those who were grateful for his leadership. For years after his death, Magdalene continued to run Dauby’s. In 1976, Magdalene passed away.
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Though the Daubenbergers had no heirs, their store kept on under new ownership. By 1985, Dauby’s had moved to its present location at 2720 W. 41st St. The old store was torn down in September of the same year.
Dauby’s is the kind of place most of us don’t notice until we need a piece of sporting equipment. It’s a business that can be trusted to be there in a rare time of need. For sports teams and schools, the business is a resource, year after year. Uniforms need to be freshened up, and pads and other protective equipment are always needed. Herbert Daubenberger may be gone, but his nickname lives on.