Mandan News

Diane Boit: ‘Beyond the Horizon’ is theme of MHS prom, 1963

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

George A. Leingang, of Mandan, has been named North Dakota’s 1988 Outstanding Handicapped Citizen during the annual awards banquet held in Dickinson. Severely injured as a teenager in a 1956 auto accident, Leingang rebuilt his life and is currently an engineer technician with the N.D. State Highway Department. Chosen as the Employer of the year was Housing, Industry & Training, Inc. of Mandan.

North Dakota Governor George Sinner was on hand to help Cloverdale President Don Russell cut the ribbon to officially open the Mandan firm’s new $6 million meat processing facility, located northwest of the Seven Seas Inn. The old plant on West Main Street closed its doors on March 11.

Dakota Four Seasons Department store is closing its doors after two years of operation. “We don’t have enough merchants in town to stop the traffic; there just wasn’t enough support to break even,” said owner Francis Monzelowsky. The clothing outlet’s closing comes on the heels of the going-out-of-business sale at Mushik’s Shoe Store.

Twenty-seven flyers participated in the fifth annual kite-flying festival, hosted by the Mandan Community Center and the Mandan Library. The event took place in chilly 45-degree weather at the Lions-Sunset Park, north of the Community Center. Receiving awards were: Oldest Flyer – Randy Gartner; Youngest Flyer – Brent Liebersbach; Best Charlie Brown Tangle – Jeff Moos; Quickest Ascent – Rick Becker; Largest Kite – Jerry Grimstad; Wimpy Kite – Heather Binstock; Highest Flyers – Kyle Reemts and Alman Wong; and Longest in the Air – Paul Zimmerman.


50 Years Ago – 1963

The Mandan Elks Lodge, decorated to the theme of “Beyond the Horizon,” provided a memorable evening for Mandan High School juniors and seniors at the annual prom. Upperclassmen climbed the staircase to the “Beyond” between balustrades wreathed in blue netting, festooned with tiny glowing starlights, to enter the ballroom, which had been transformed into a “blue heaven” with varied shades of blue streamers in the celling. After passing under a rose-covered archway, the couples were greeted by the sound of cascading blue water from a three-tier fountain, built by the juniors.

The Grand March was led by junior class president Larry Wurdeman and partner Rita Dailey, followed by the senior class president Rusty Kruger and his partner, Sandra Syvrud. Sixty-eight couples attended the prom and danced to the music of the “Chevrons.”

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Leading the Grand March at the 1963 Mandan High School prom were: (l-r) Senior class president Rusty Kruger and his partner Sandy Syvrud, and Junior class president Larry Wurdeman and his partner Rita Dailey.

Leading the Grand March at the 1963 Mandan High School prom were: (l-r) Senior class president Rusty Kruger and his partner Sandy Syvrud, and Junior class president Larry Wurdeman and his partner Rita Dailey.

Veteran newsman and former radio announcer Pat Phillips has joined the KBOM radio station, as news director and on-the-spot news reporter, according to Cal Culver, station manager. Phillips was formerly advertising manager for the Mandan Creamery and Produce, and did play-by-play sports announcing for KGCU Radio. He resigned his position at the creamery to become the full-time sports and city editor for the Daily Pioneer and was named managing editor following the death of Charles Pierce in 1957. After four years as editor, Phillips was selected president of the North Dakota Associated Press Editors.

Plans for a five-doctor clinic on the south side of the new Mandan Hospital have been approved by directors of the Mandan Development Corporation. Estimated cost of the project is $60,000. Following unanimous approval by the board, corporation president Robert Paris appointed a building committee, which includes William Hodny, Harry Kautzman, Art Lang, Joseph Leier and Leo Schwehr.

Mrs. Caroline Lutkat, owner of Parktown Trailer Court, Mandan, and her daughter, Linda, sold dozens of pots of African violets in a stand set up in front of the JC Penney Store, with the approval of store manager Kent Wood. The sale of the plants brought in $42.50 which Mrs. Lutkat donated to the Mandan Hospital building fund.


At the Punch Bowl were five freshmen girls, wearing blue satin dresses (l-r) Joyce Yetter, Jane Swenson, Charlotte Manolovitz, Linda Landgrebe and Sandi Gronowski.

At the Punch Bowl were five freshmen girls, wearing blue satin dresses (l-r) Joyce Yetter, Jane Swenson, Charlotte Manolovitz, Linda Landgrebe and Sandi Gronowski.

75 Years Ago – 1938

Two St. Joseph parochial school students, fifth-grader Joseph Schmidt and first-grader Melvin Ereth, will represent Mandan at the second annual North Dakota State Marble Tournament to be held in Grand Forks. More than 100 spectators watched the final matches played on the plot of ground directly in front of the Mandan World War Memorial Building where the finalists from Central School, Wayne Adams and Lyle Reinan, and from Syndicate School, Fred Emil and Martin Fix, faced off against the St. Joseph duo in the Saturday afternoon game.

Last year’s State Champion, 12-year-old William Stroh, of Mandan, will accompany Schmidt and Ereth to Grand Forks, along with sponsors from the Chamber of Commerce and the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Mandan. The state marble tournament is sponsored by the Grand Forks Y.M.C.A.


100 Years Ago – 1913

“J. P. Nissen, rural mail carrier on the Mandan-St. Anthony route, Mrs. Patzack and two daughters of this city, and G. J. Jones of Bismarck all received injuries on Monday morning when the stage team of horses became frightened of the automobile driven by William Ordway, tipped the rig over, throwing all the passengers out, and then ran away. Jones was the least injured due to the fact that he fell on top of Nissen who was badly bruised in the spill.

“Ordway and his passenger, Clark, helped secure the team and brought them back to Mr. Nissen, but while they were holding the reins, the horses made another break, getting away from Clark and trampling over Nissen. A heavy fur coat worn by Mr. Nissen probably saved him from serious injury. He was brought into the city where his injuries were attended to by a local physician. He is somewhat stiff from the mishap, but is rapidly recovering.

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“Thursday afternoon, the residents of the east end of the city saw a phenomenon. A flock of 200 geese flew south and passed directly over a flock of several hundred cranes which were flying north. The geese say colder weather, the cranes’ northern flight indicates summer time, and the weather man says… well, who would believe him anyway!”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

May 10, 1888: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 60 degrees above zero.

“Dakota must be the banana belt after all, for all through the country, both east and west, the winter still hangs on. On the first day May, it was snowing hard in Ohio, and there have been lingering snowstorms in the west.

“Mr. Lang, the grocer, has just received some rather wonderful lamps with which to light his store. Each lamp has the capacity of 300 candles. They are the next thing to electric lights.

“As an illustration of the increase of freight business on the Northern Pacific, it may be stated that in 1884 at this time of year, there were four freight crews running west from Mandan, and they handled all the freight business. Today, there are 18 crews to do the same work.

“The Rev. R. W. Teichmann of the German Evangelical church will preach his farewell sermon on Sunday next in the M.E. church at 4 p.m. to which all those that understand the German language are cordially invited to attend.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email