Diane Boit: Fifth Avenue to close for store expansion, 1988
25 Years Ago – 1988
The Mandan City Board of Commissioners has agreed to vacate Fifth Avenue N.W. between Main and First Streets to bring construction of the new Bill’s Super Value Store closer to groundbreaking. The new store will straddle the present avenue and take up the space now occupied by the former Cloverdale and Chrysler-Plymouth buildings. The city will also construct a public parking lot on the sites which will be leased to the store. The removal of the old Mandan Eagles building on Main Street will wait until the completion of their new building on north Collins Avenue.
No trip to State this year for the Mandan Braves basketball team. They lost their opening game at the WDA tourney to Williston, 50-45. Scoring for Mandan in double digits were Ross Mund with 14 points and Todd Feland, 10.
The Glen Ullin Rattlers represented Morton County at the State B Basketball Tournament. Despite 26 points and 14 rebounds made by Doug Gerving, the Rattlers lost to Divide County Maroon but went on to take third place overall.
50 Years Ago – 1963
The Mandan Freshman basketball team, undefeated in league action and owning a 13-1 season, has won the champion’s title at the second annual Bismarck-Mandan Freshman Basketball Tournament by running over St. Mary’s, 49-38. Mike Norton and Wally Koch captured scoring honors, each netting 19, followed by Dale Hoffman, 8, and Pat Peake, 3.
Senior Phil Jackson led the Williston Coyotes to a 64-50 victory over Grand Forks and the championship of the 50th North Dakota Class A Basketball Tournament. Jackson poured in a record-setting 35 points and left the title game with a minute and a half to play to a tremendous ovation from the crowd at the UND Fieldhouse at Grand Forks. (Jackson went on to coach the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers to a record total of 11 NBA championships and is a recipient of North Dakota’s highest honor, the Roughrider Award. His portrait is displayed in the gallery of the State Capital, Bismarck.)
This year’s Class B State Basketball title went to the Kenmare Honkers with a 54-48 victory over New Town. It was the first state title for the Honkers, who used the same five players throughout the entire game to earn the nickname “Iron Men.”
Mapleton, the only unbeaten high school basketball team in North Dakota, has won the Class C championship over Sharon, 57-45. The 16th annual Class C Tourney was also the final one, as North Dakota turns to a two-class system in high school sports next season. Class C was set up for schools with an enrollment of less than 75 students.
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A large crowd gathered at Mandan’s Charles Wesley Burns Methodist Church on a Sunday afternoon to celebrate the 90th birthday of long-time Morton County farmer and rancher, John Dawson. Hosts at the celebration were his children: Ralph of Almont; Lyle of Oak Coulee Ranch, St. Anthony; and Mrs. George (Mildred) Anderson, Williston. Unable to attend was daughter Mrs. H. W. (Cecile) Benson, Grants Pass, Ore.
Following a program featuring musical selections and readings from his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mr. Dawson gave several recitations that he had learned more than 70 years previous, one being “The Mule.” The party concluded with the singing of “Happy Birthday” and a lunch served by Circles 1 and 5 whose presidents are Mrs. E. J. McCone and Mrs. Ken Porsborg. The four-tiered birthday cake, decorated with the numerals “90,” American flag and roses, was baked by Mrs. Sam Thiel, of Almont.
75 Years Ago – 1938
After failing to register a single field goal in the first half of their game against the Valley City Hi-Liners, the Mandan Braves returned in the second half to out-play the Hi-Liners, but were unable to dig themselves out of that first quarter’s hole. Although Mandan attempted 30 field goals, the basket spit them all out. The score at the half was 17-3, with all of Mandan’s points courtesy of free-throws made by Clem “Dusty” Knoll.
The Braves managed to bounce back for the remainder of the game, but it was “too little, too late,” and the Hi-Liners eliminated the Warriors from this year’s state tournament, 32-23.
Some of the spectators seated on the Mandan side of the auditorium thought the Hi-Liners had jinxed the game in their favor because of a three-foot high, brightly-colored replica of the well-known comic strip character, Donald Duck, who occupied a place of honor in front of the Valley City bench as a good luck mascot. Perhaps the coach should sue Walt Disney, they said jokingly.
100 Years Ago – 1913
“All records for passenger traffic on the Mott line were broken on Tuesday of this week when about 200 farmers from southern sections of the county, applicants for citizenship papers and witnesses for them, arrived in Mandan to appear before Judge S. L. Nuchols of the district court. There were so many on the train that it was necessary to use an empty box car to carry part of the crowd.
“There were in all 97 who desired to become citizens of the United States. The greater share of them were Germans and German- Russians and about 30 percent were of Scandinavian descent. Only 78 of the applicants were successful in their quest, nine had no witnesses, and the others were continued over the term for various reasons.
“When the day-long session in court concluded, the farmers and their friends, whether new Citizens or not, visited stores for an armload of supplies before boarding the train back to their homes.”
125 Years Ago – 1888
The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1888 its population was at 2,600.
March 15, 1888: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 30 degrees above zero.
“The farmers are not devoting much time to hauling coal into town these days. The roads are bad.
“The Mandan shorthand class meets tonight. There are 17 members of the present, and a proposed class which will start up in a few days. The members of the class that started two weeks ago are doing well and are enjoying their work.
“Mr. Massingham was in town from his farm up north this morning. He says that he has a fine lot of hens that have laid 180 eggs during the past 11 days. He says that milk is the finest thing to give to hens to encourage them in their laying propensities.
“‘Things are not what they seem,’ so thought one of our businessmen, when he failed to get the usual invitation to a surprise party last evening. But the matter was soon made sufficiently plain, when some 27 persons took possession of Z. Gilbert’s premises and invited him to the party. Refreshments, songs and a general good time constituted the program.”
(To contact Diane Boit, email mandan-news.com)