Mandan News

Diane Boit: Braves take fourth at state tournament, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

The Mandan chapter of Women of Today earned recognition at the N.D. Women of Today’s Winter Board meeting in Bismarck. Sandi Barnes, Mandan president, was named Outstanding President for October, and Mandan earned ninth place honors out of 41 state chapters.

The Mandan Braves went into the WDA basketball tournament with a 3-16 season record and left with a 4-18. Minot defeated Mandan, 56-47, in the opening game. In the following match, Mandan beat Bismarck St. Mary’s, 72-63. In that game, Mike Eckroth racked up 20 points, followed by Gary Haider and Dean Johnson with 11 each. The Braves played their final game of the season against the Dickinson Midgets, losing 73-56.

“The Taste,” a “Culinary Binge… a Gastronomical Extravaganza,” made its seventh appearance at the Mandan Community Center. The popular event, divided into two evening sessions, was attended by nearly 1,500 people and featured booths from 34 food services and businesses from the Bismarck-Mandan area, with live entertainment furnished by the MHS Jazz Ensembles I and II, Jazz Combo and the MJHS Jazz Ensemble. Tickets were $7.50 for adults; $4 for children under 12. Proceeds went to the Mandan High School Instrumental Music department.


50 Years Ago – 1962

The Mandan Braves basketball team was given a rousing sendoff at a pep rally at the senior high school before their departure for the State Class A Basketball Tournament held in Grand Forks, where their first game was against the Devils Lake Satans. Although playing one of their worst games of the season, the Braves still managed to come up with a first round victory, whipping the Satans, 77-65. Big Dan Hilligoss scorched the nets for a near-record total of 34 points. But the Braves luck ran out in the semi-finals when Mandan lost to Williston and then Fargo. The Rugby Panthers went on to take the Class A crown with a 78-63 victory over the Williston Coyotes. It was the Panthers first appearance in the state classic since entering the Class A ranks in 1954.

The 1962 MHS Basketball team (front, l-r) Student manager Dennis Kautzman, Coach Bill Zwarych, Student manager Jim Beer, (back, l-r) Rusty Kruger, Frank Walter, Terry Zander, Chuck Mann, Butch Schmidt, Marv Loper, Dan Hilligoss, John Hoenig, John Ressler, Bill Block, Bill Engelter and John Gehring.

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Seventy-two adults and Cub Scouts attended Pack 153’s Blue and Gold banquet at the First Lutheran Church. Following the meal, four cubs received awards: David Kuehn, Bear badge; Kirby Hertz, Lion badge; Dennis Erickson, Lion badge, gold arrow and silver arrow; and David Just, Bear badge.

Funeral services were held this week for Arthur C. Sakariassen, 69. He was born and raised in Mandan and served in World War I from 1913 until 1919 with Company A, 313th Engineers. He began work with the Northern Pacific as a brakeman before the war and resumed employment there upon his return to civilian life, being eventually promoted to conductor. He and his wife, Clara, were co-owners of the Hat and Novelty Shop, 400 West Main St., for more than 28 years.


75 Years Ago – 1937

A 26-bed convalescent home has opened in Mandan at 226 East Main Street in the building formerly known as the Dacotah Hotel. The operators are Mrs. Myrtle Haas and Mrs. Eva Knief; they also employ six assistants.

Attorney William H. Stutsman, veteran Mandan lawyer, was surprised on his 71st birthday as several old time friends gathered in his law office at the First National Bank building, corner of Main Street and Collins Ave. The Iowa native is the son of a Civil War surgeon; his mother served as a nurse in the war. In 1902 Stutsman and his wife, Ada, moved from St. Paul to Mandan where he served as state railroad commissioner for two terms.

The state highway patrol will be increased to 12 officers, which is still three less than authorized by law. The state is unable to afford the three extra officers due to the loss of revenue after driver’s license fees were reduced to 50 cents for head of a family and 25 cents for each of the other family members.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“The Topic Theatre will inaugurate an innovation that will please their many patrons. The management has decided to make a complete change of pictures and vaudeville three times a week, Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Last evening Josephine Jacoby and Co. opened to a large audience with a variety of musical entertainment, followed by the best three motion pictures available in the Midwest, accompanied by Miss Maureen Englin on the piano. The finest entertainment in Mandan and Bismarck is a bargain at a cost of just 50 Cents a ticket.”

(The Topic Theatre was located on the site of the old Mandan Creamery building, 500 West Main St.)

The wedding of Miss Mamie Welsh to Paul R. Foster was recently solemnized at St. Joseph’s church in Mandan. Ed Wuerst acted as best man; Miss Lillian Tobin was bridesmaid. The young couple will be making their home at Fort Rice. (The Fosters returned to Mandan within six months and became half-owners of the Topic Theater; their living quarters were above the “show house.”)


125 Years Ago – 1887

The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1887 the population was already nearing the 2,500 mark.

March 9, 1887: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 45 degrees above zero.

“Get out your high-top rubber boots.

“Clean off your sidewalks. Your friends object to clambering over snow drifts.

“These glorious days cause the average Dakotan to feel satisfied with his lot.

“The top of the ice on the Missouri River is already beginning to honeycomb rapidly.

“The flood gate in the dyke at the lower end of town is pouring out a perfect torrent of water caused by the melting snow in Mandan.

“The Yellowstone has broken, and the water is rapidly accumulating within its banks. The high water will likely reach us in a few days. It is coming down at no very slow rate.

“City politics are beginning to loom up.

“The taxpayers want Mr. Rice re-elected as mayor.

“Tomorrow, March 12, will be last day of the Dakota legislature, and few people are sorry.


(To contact Diane, email