Longtime Fargo business owner remembered as fan of horse powerFARGO – Wesley Bettenhausen, a longtime Fargo businessman who died Monday of cancer at the age of 74, was remembered by his son Wednesday as someone who valued customers and always worked to treat them right.
By: Dave Olson, INFORUM
FARGO – Wesley Bettenhausen, a longtime Fargo businessman who died Monday of cancer at the age of 74, was remembered by his son Wednesday as someone who valued customers and always worked to treat them right.
“Being fair, I think, was a big part of it. Treat people kindly,” Steven Bettenhausen said, summing up his father’s business philosophy.
The younger Bettenhausen said he is doing his best to maintain that philosophy now that he is running the Gateway Service Center Cenex, a business his father started in the late 1960s and which has been at its current location at 330 Main Ave. in Fargo since the early 1970s.
For much of that time, the business was a Mobile station. It switched to the Cenex brand several years ago.
Steven Bettenhausen, who started working for his dad as a teenager around 1980, said his father’s business success may be measured by the strong customer following that continues to this day.
“Word of mouth is basically our advertising,” he said, adding that although his father was semi-retired, he was still putting in a couple of days a week at the station until he became sick last year with esophageal cancer.
Bettenhausen said in addition to his father’s devotion to the family business, he was very fond of draft horses, which he kept on the family farm near Kindred.
“He farmed with them, planted oats with them. He had a threshing machine, a binder, all that stuff,” said Bettenhausen, who added that his father’s interest in horses led to his involvement with the North Dakota Draft Horse Association, as well as wagon trains and activities tied to the Fort Ransom (N.D.) Sodbusters Association.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555