Mandan News

19th annual Morton County Fair is successful, 1913

25 Years Ago – 1988

Ground breaking ceremonies were held this past week for the new Super Valu Store, being built just east of the current grocery store at 511 1st St. N.W. The first spade put into the soil was in the hands of Bill Joersz, father of the three Joersz brothers- Marv, Wallace and Bob, who are building the store which is expected to be completed by May 1, 1989. The old Mandan Chrysler Plymouth building, as well as the Cloverdale and Fifth Avenue Laundry buildings, was demolished during the summer months to make room for construction.

H. A. Kautzmann in 1988

H. A. Kautzmann in 1988

Terry Bernhardt has been chosen to organize the North Dakota Centennial activities in Mandan during the next year. He was chosen after five finalists were interviewed for the post which will be funded by the Mandan City Commission, Mandan Chamber of Commerce and the Morton County Commission. Bernhardt will be responsible to the Mandan Centennial Commission chaired by Mayor Robert Dykshoorn.

Funeral services were held Sept. 29 for Harry A. Kautzmann, 72, at Christ the King Catholic Church. Kautzmann served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and worked for the NP Railroad before starting Kautzmann Construction in 1947, retiring in 1981. He served as a city commissioner from 1960 to 1972, was a Fourth Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, was a past Commander of the American Legion Post 40, Mandan; and served as State American Legion Commander. Survivors include his wife Avis, two sons, two daughters and their families, two brothers and three sisters.

50 Years Ago – 1963

The crowning of Homecoming Queen Rodine Marshall at half-time of the game between the Lemmon, S.D., Cowboys and the Mandan Braves climaxed the 1963 Homecoming festivities at Mandan High School. The high school band formed an honor guard on the football field through which Queen Rodine, escorted by senior class president Monte Johnson, was led to the sidelines where senior high school president Archie Shaw officially crowned the queen. Five year old Ben Stumpf, son of faculty member Leo Stumpf, was the crown bearer. The queen’s crown was made by members of the Student Council, headed by president Terry Bragg.

The Mandan Braves football team capped the homecoming evening with a victory over the heralded Lemmon Cowboys, 25-7. It was the Braves first win of the season, and the first loss for the Cowboys after 12 consecutive wins. Mandan quarterback Frank Walters drove his team across the goal line four times, with touchdowns being scored by Gary Johnson and Butch Ressler.

75 Years Ago – 1938

Two hundred and fifty Mandan students were guests at the annual all-high school party sponsored by the Courier, high school publication, in the high school gymnasium which was transformed into a harvest festival theme with shocks of corn and large pumpkins. Suspended from the ceiling was a large golden, harvest moon; dance music was provided by the high school orchestra.

Thirteen decks of cards, a half-pint of whiskey in a bottle with a broken seal and $18.65 in cash were found when police raided the New Deal Bar on First Street, operated by John Sann. The police also discovered a gambling game in progress in the basement of the building. Arrests were made, but outside of John Sann, the names of the gamblers have not been the released.

A birthday celebration was held this past week for Dennis Tobin, who observed his 81st anniversary surrounded by family members. Tobin was born near Quebec in 1857, arriving in Mandan in 1884 shortly after his marriage to Jane White. He began his employment with the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1885 retiring in 1926 after 41 years of service. Tobin then served on the Mandan City Commission for eight years, declining a third term in 1934.

1963 homecoming button

1963 homecoming button

100 Years Ago – 1913

“From start to finish, the Third Annual Missouri Slope and 19th Annual Morton County Fair was a total success. Blessed with four of the finest Indian summer days ever enjoyed, the big crowds enjoyed four days of horse and motorcycle races, bucking broncs, Indian sports such as the moccasin, travois and teepee races, plus livestock, garden and needlework exhibits.

“The relay race with four riders was a feature of each afternoon’s program. Six men competed in saddling and riding four horses, each for one-half mile, a total of two miles a day. George Kreutz of Sweet Briar finished in first place on Tuesday, making the two miles and saddling three horses in five minutes and 16 seconds. Louis Halstead of Fort Yates took second; taking third was Ben Chase of Almont; Max Thiel of Judson finished fourth.

“Although the country was scoured for real bronco buckers, the officials found but one real live one, and it was the best riding seen in years. Bill Thomas of Laramie, Wyo., was the boy who risked his neck by mounting a genuine bucker and managed to tame him bareback with but a rope halter.

“An added surprise for the fairgoers was the five-mile motorcycle race. Honus Wetzstein riding a Harley-Davidson single-cylinder machine took first place beating five other entries. Wetzstein averaged 45 miles an hour on the soft dirt half-mile track, finishing in seven minutes, 30 seconds.

“At the completion of each day’s program, the crowd ventured downtown Mandan to attend a dance held at the opera house each night. The Topic and Family theaters also played to capacity houses for vaudeville performances and moving pictures. Hundreds of other people gathered around a large group of Indians conducting a pow-wow on Main Street where the old warriors talked and sang as the young men danced to the beat of numerous drums.

“Besides the usual buckboards and teams of horses seen on the grounds during the fair, a large number of automobiles were also observed. On Wednesday afternoon alone, 219 automobiles were counted parked along automobile row and at various parts of the grounds.”

125 Years Ago – 1888

The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1888 its population was at 2,600.

Oct. 4, 1888: “On Thursday, Oct. 4, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 61 degrees above zero.

“Wheat is at $1.03 today in Mandan. The roller mill will pay $1.08 in trade. The farmer who has on hand several hundred bushels is a happy man.
“Mr. Jas. McGillic has just sold the wool from 800 sheep which netted $321.06.

“A large crowd attended the Temperance services held at the Presbyterian Church this past week. Judging by the pained expression on some of the gentlemen’s faces, it appeared that a few of them had not come voluntarily.
“Gradually, the dyke is looming upwards, and the residents of the city north of the railroad tracks are feeling happy.

“Would it not be a good plan for the city to assume the care of the three pumps that have been dedicated to the public use in front of blocks 4, 6 and 9? The owners of the three pumps would be willing to give the city a bill of sale for the pumps and wells if they would take charge of them. An ordinance could then be passed making it an offense, punished by fines, for people who abuse the kindness of the city in keeping the pumps in repair for the use of visitors to town. This is a public matter, and the expense should not be borne by private contribution.”

To contact Diane Boit, email

1963 homecoming queen and the homecoming court.

1963 homecoming queen and the homecoming court.