Family desires Brockhouse collection to stay local

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Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 9:25 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2023 at 9:51 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - West Sioux Hardware in Sioux Falls was ahead of its time as a one-stop shop. The owner was Henry Brockhouse. His grandson, Dave Philips, is proud of the family’s legacy.

“If you needed a fuse or if you needed a carburetor, you can go there and get it, or at the same time, you could get a pair of blue jeans, or you can go get some groceries,” said Philips.

Bev Bosch is Brockhouse’s daughter. She waited on customers in the store and guided students on field trips to see the amazing taxidermy collection acquired by her father from trips across the globe.

“Kids were just absolutely enchanted. I mean, that’s world-renowned,” said Bosch.

The stories of the collections are equally as intriguing, like when the giraffe was too tall for their store.

“He cut the neck off seven inches,” Bosch said.

“In the parking lot,” Philips added.

Brockhouse loved being in nature.

“He was a hunter, but he respected the land. He respected the animals at the same time,” said Philips.

When he learned of orphaned polar bear cubs, he paid for their rescue.

“Flew them down to the zoo so they wouldn’t just die in the wilderness because that’s what would have happened,” Philips said.

In Brockhouse’s final days, he chose to live vicariously through his grandson Dave.

“My grandson is going to take my last trip for me before I die. So that time, the doctor says you’ll never make it,” Bosch said.

But he hung on until Dave returned home.

“And they talked and talked. Three days later, I think, he died,” said Bosch.

Some were surprised by the name Delbridge Museum when Brockhouse acquired the collection.

“Maybe he hunted them? He didn’t. He was just my dad’s lawyer,” said Bosch.

But the Brockhouse family embraced the move from the store to the Great Plains Zoo.

“All the way through is just really nice,” said Bosch.

“Put them in their natural-looking habitat,” said Philips.

Recently, a phone call brought another surprise. Bev was told by zoo management that the display was closed, possibly forever.

“Shocked off my cane. I mean, angry, very angry. Very, very angry,” Bosch said.

The consideration to discard the collection as rubbish is heartbreaking. The family wants to see the displays intact for future generations.

“Absolutely too fabulous to throw in the garbage. I don’t want them broken up. This is their home,” said Bosch.