February 10, 2012 –
Tribal member Francis Jensen (center) was inducted into the Holton/Jackson County Hall of Fame last night for his many years of professional and community service. With him are his sons Howard (left) and Jack.
Francis giving remarks and telling some good barber shop stories.
Left to right, Emery Hale, Roy Hale and Francis before the dinner. Roy gave a tribute to Francis and the three have been lifelong friends.
MAYETTA: A great contributor to the Prairie Band Potawatomi and Holton community, tribal member Francis Jensen was honored last night by being inducted into the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame at the EUM Family Life Center. He, along with the late George Gantz, Judy Olson, Janet Zwonitzer, Joannie Dannenberg and Betty Fleming, were recognized for their many years of work and contributions to the community.
Jensen was raised on the Prairie Band Potawatomi reservation and attended Miller school and Mayetta High School. His parents were Mary (Hale) and Viggio Jensen and his siblings were Marie (Jensen) Bailey and Edwin.
According to Roy Hale, 82, a lifelong PBPN reservation resident, Francis and he have been close most of their lives. They are also relatives as Roy’s father was Joseph “Shakey” Hale who was a brother to Francis’ mother, Mary. In addition, their home places were near to each other and they are about the same age.
Jensen said in an article that was in the Holton Recorder last December that he began a career in barbering when he was 12 years old by trading haircuts with his neighbors for things. He took the skill and made it into a job after joining the Civil Conservation Corps in the early 1940s.
Following the Civil Conservation Corps, Jensen joined the U.S. Army in 1946 and was involved in the Phillippines and occupied Japan. During that time he was a rifleman, cook and baker.
Following the service, he attended barber school in Kansas City and became a licensed practitioner. In 1949 he began professionally barbering in Manhattan, Kan. and then moved back to Holton in 1951. He set up a barber shop on the north side of the Square and stayed in business for over 50 years retiring in 2004.
In his spare time, Francis has continued his involvement in military activities. He is a life member and chaplain of We-Ta-Se American Legion Post #410 and has been a member of Holton’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #1367 for nearly 60 years.
His community service in Holton has also been outstanding. He was heavily involved in scouting during the 1950s-1960s and was an active business leader/parent for both men and women’s sports. Jensen has also been involved in the Circleville Masonic Lodge for 60 years and is a member of the Holton Lions Club and the Holton Chamber of Commerce.
Francis married Pauline (Johnson) (deceased) and they had three children, Jack, Howard, and Mike (deceased).
A hobby Francis also has is making wooden flutes that he says has helped him keep in touch with his traditional Prairie Band Potawatomi ways.