Mandan News

Bowler Nick Paul takes fourth place at World’s Fair, 1939

Diane Boit

25 Years Ago – 1989
N.D. Highway Patrolman Herb Elter has retired after 30 years of service, 23 within Morton County. Elter was one of 17 successful applicants out of 600 who applied for the job in 1959. After training at Camp Grafton, Elter was assigned to Mohall and Minot, before finally arriving in Mandan in February 1966, when the mercury plunged to 30 below. According to Elter, “Horrible Herbie” will now dedicate himself to fishing and traveling.

According to figures released by Mike Diesz, executive director of Job Service North Dakota, Morton County’s unemployment rate for June was 5.6 percent, slightly higher than the state’s rate, estimated at 4.5 percent. The national unemployment rate for June is 5.2 percent.

Gerard Friesz and Bob Thompson, scoutmaster and assistant for Mandan Troop 54, received good words from U. S President George Bush and a special award in a White House ceremony for the public service efforts of their scouts. The 1988 Take Pride in America Award was presented to Troop 54 of Mandan, along with Troops 2 and 89 from Bismarck, for volunteer efforts in the construction of hiking trails, an archery range and informational boards at the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Beaver Creek Recreational Area, located on the north side of Beaver Bay at Lake Oahe, west of Linton, N.D.

50 Years Ago – 1964
St. Thomas More Council 2760, Knights of Columbus, Mandan, has installed officers for the coming year. They are: John G. Wetsch, Grand Knight; Joe Lech, Deputy Grand knight; Myles Knudson, financial secretary; Matt Baron, chancellor; Melvin Beckler, warden, Ray Yantzer, recorder; Joe Paul, inside guard; and Tony Hopfauf, outside guard.

The Mandan Public School Board has re-elected Clem W. Albers as its president and appointed Berlin Boyd, vice president. A new member to the board is Dr. Richard Wirtz, who has replaced the retiring Charles Ellis.

James L. Green, 47 years with the Northern Pacific Railway and a native of Mandan, wore his conductor’s cap and uniform for the last time when he made his final run on train number 26 before retiring on July 9. Green was born in Mandan in 1895 and began his railroad career as a brakeman in 1917, moving up through the ranks to become a regular passenger conductor in 1947. He and his wife, Pauline, have two children, Clifford R. in Mandan; and Mrs. Joseph G. Mauer, Edmonds, Wash.

Thirty-seven Boys Scouts from the Bismarck-Mandan area have returned from participating in the week-long Boy Scout National Jamboree held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Mandan boys who attended were: Billy Femrite, Mark Goldman, Tom Neill, John Warren, Irve Wickham and Gary Wood.

Mandan Legion pitcher Scot Froehlich hurled his team to their first West Tourney victory by allowing only two hits as the local nine downed Dickinson, 11-1. The game ended in the sixth inning due to the 10-run rule. Fifth place Minot scored a minor upset in defeating the second place Velva team, 5-2. In the third game of the day, Bismarck’s Tex “the giant killer” Beck came through with another clutch-hurling victory by downing Williston, 8-4.

75 Years Ago – 1939
Members of the Mandan Recreation bowling team which participated in the San Francisco World’s Fair bowling tournament have returned home with $90 in cash prizes. Seventy-five of the $90 represented the fourth place award taken by Nick Paul in the open singles event. He rolled a 661, which stood up in first place until the last two days of the tournament. The three other Mandan bowlers, Fred Schultze, Joe Wirtz and Cliff Overgaard, shared the $15 cash prize.

Oscar Guenther, an employee of the Purity Dairy Company of Mandan, escaped with only bruises and a deep gash in his right arm after a 14-ft. fall down an elevator shaft at the Mandan plant. The accident occurred when Guenther backed into the elevator shaft with a loaded cart, not realizing that another employee had taken the elevator to an upper level. Although Guenther managed to hang onto the door ledge for a few moments after the loaded cart fell, he eventually fell onto the heap of broken milk bottles and gashed his arm.

Miss Ann Miller, daughter of Mrs. F. A Miller of St. Anthony, became the bride of Joseph Rebenitsch, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Rebenitsch, Sr., Fort Rice, at a nuptial mass read in the St. Anthony Catholic Church with Rev. Father Andrew Kolbeck officiating. The bride wore a floor length white chiffon gown and bolero jacket along with a long net veil. Lucy Miller, as her sister’s lone bridesmaid, wore a floor length aqua blue silk gown with white accessories. Leonard Rebenitsch attended his brother. A wedding breakfast for 10 guests was served in the home of the bride’s mother.

Jobless insurance checks were paid to 5,711 North Dakotans during the first six months of this year, according to W. Ray Reichert, director of the state unemployment compensation division. The average weekly benefit checks were $9.35 in January; $9.06 in February; March, $8.73; April, $9.04; May, $9.37; and June, $ 9.36.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“First work towards the installation of a “White Way” lighting system in the city has begun by the State Bank of Morton County. W. A. Lanterman, bank president, is having the space between the old curb and the newly paved street dug out and pipes laid which will carry the electrical conduits for street lights.

“Never before in past years have the mosquitoes been as bad as at the present time, declare many of the pioneers of the city. City Commissioner Charles Edquist has ordered many gallons of crude oil and kerosene to be poured on the sloughs which are full from the recent cloudbursts. In the Dogtown flats, there are acres of land under water which cannot be drained and these will be first “floated” with oil.

“T. G. C. Kennelly has nearly recovered from the injuries received last Saturday night when he tumbled over the side of the viaduct approach in west Mandan. Mr. Kennelly was riding his side-car motorcycle when an automobile, driven by someone who utterly ignored the road rules, came around the turn. The motorcycle was forced over the embankment and, with its rider, rolled over and over for a 20-ft. fall. The machine landed on top of Mr. Kennelly, causing several bruises and injuring his ankle. Although it’s assured that the driver saw the spill, the hooligan did not even stop to see if any damage was done.”

125 Years Ago – 1889
The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; just eight years later, statehood was the talk of the Dakota Territory.

“On Friday, Aug. 1, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 96 degrees above zero.

“Dakota has 86 organized counties and 46 unorganized.

“Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kidd are rejoicing over the advent of a son.

“On Saturday, Jas. McGillic sold a team of horses to R. H. Patton of Custer Flats for $300.

“A match game of baseball was played yesterday afternoon between the engineers and firemen against the conductors and brakemen. The game was a remarkable one. The conductors’ team scored 18 runs in just one inning. Numerous errors by the engineers resulted in their defeat and sad faces.

“This is the kind of weather that makes a man pine for a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, or at the North Pole, or for the cold shoulder of the world, or for anything that will have a breath of coolness in it. Some of today’s heat, wind and dust clouds might easily have been spared today without inconveniencing any of the Mandanites.”

Please email comments to or write to Diane Boit, 402 17th St. NW, Mandan, ND 58554.