Mandan News

Diane Boit: Daily Pioneer newspaper sold, 1963

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

A steady crowd passed through the doors of the John Iverson building at 101 East Main St., Mandan, during the two-day open house celebration, honoring long time employee, Jack Schaaf, who is retiring after 22 years of service. Coffee and cake were served to the well-wishers.

Chief Warrant Officer Four, James N. Schultz, Mandan, has retired from the North Dakota Army National Guard after more than 37 years of service. He enlisted in October 1950, as a private cannoneer in the 188th Field Artillery Battalion at Minot. Schultz served 13 months in Korea during the height of the Korean War, returning to Minot before being transferred to Bismarck in 1977. Schultz has been employed with the 264 Engineer Group and ND ARNG Headquarters staff as personnel manager.


Jack Schaaf

Jack Schaaf

50 Years Ago – 1963

The Mandan Daily Pioneer, the fourth oldest newspaper in the state, has been sold to Pioneer Inc., a new corporation formed by the Conrad brothers, Currie, John G., Charles O. and E.J., all of Bismarck, and William F. McClelland, Mandan.

The sale of the newspaper brings to a close the fifth, and longest, ownership of the Pioneer, which began in 1881, the same year that the city of Mandan was incorporated. The Pioneer recently marked its 82nd year having been founded by E.H. Ertle in 1881. Succeeding publishers were: R.M. Tuttle, W.C. Gilbreath, Harry L. Spears and E.A. Tostevin, who purchased the paper in 1909. During the following years, Tostevin’s three sons, Earle, Walter and Edwin all worked at the newspaper, with Walter and Edwin managing the Pioneer after their father’s death in 1943. Earle and Walter died in 1933 and 1960, respectively.

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Maurice LaGrave has been elected Commander of the Harry L. Kidd Post 707 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at a meeting held at the clubhouse, two miles west of the city. He succeeds Sam Trauger.

John J. Carter, 64, Glen Ullin, has been appointed to the Board of County Commissioners to fill the vacancy left by the death of the chairman of the board, Mike Gerving. Carter will serve the remaining two years of Gerving’s term as District E Commissioner. Gerving had been a commissioner for the past 26 years.

Darwin VanderVorst has been elected Exalted Ruler of the Mandan Elks Lodge No. 1256. He succeeds Duaine Bonharn.

Gene Becker has been elected president of the Mandan Jaycees. Other officers elected are: Joe Hauer, first vice-president; Richard Leingang, second vice-president; Melvin Beckler, secretary; and Pete Schlosser, treasurer.


Pictured are the current and former owners of the Mandan Daily Pioneer. Seated are E.D. Tostevin and his wife, Agnes, representing the "old" Pioneer Publishing Company. Standing are (l-r) Currie Conrad, John Conrad, W.F. McClelland and Charles O. Conrad, representing Pioneer Incorporated, the new owners.

Pictured are the current and former owners of the Mandan Daily Pioneer. Seated are Edwin Tostevin and his sister-in-law, Agnes, the widow of Walter Tostevin, representing the “old” Pioneer Publishing Company. Standing are (l-r) Currie Conrad, John Conrad, W.F. McClelland and Charles O. Conrad, representing Pioneer Incorporated, the new owners.

75 Years Ago – 1938

A new Beck all-metal “Air Stream” steel-liner bus will soon be put into operation on the Mandan-Bismarck bus run. The bus was driven into Mandan by Adam and Joe Wetzstein who transferred the vehicle from the C.D. Beck Company at Sidney, Ohio. The bus will seat at least 24 passengers in addition to carrying a large load of baggage in the rear compartment. The interior is decorated in a two-tone light gray with a Masonite ceiling; the exterior is in white and lavender with gold leaf lettering. The bus is heated with two large heavy duty hot water heaters and will be completely air conditioned for both winter and summer driving.

Mandan Rotarians paused this week to pay honor to Otto Bauer, veteran member of the club, who passed away at age 72. A brief eulogy was delivered by Rev. Gilbert W. Stewart, followed by the club members singing “The Bells of St. Mary.” Bauer, who arrived in Mandan from Burlington, Iowa, in 1910, holds the distinction of having a 100 percent Rotary attendance record. He was also instrumental in organizing the Mandan Elks Lodge and was active in the Masonic Lodge, serving as Worshipful Master in 1925. Bauer also served on the Mandan City Commission for eight years. Funeral services were held at the Masonic Temple, Mandan.


100 Years Ago – 1913

“John Lindor, well-known farmer residing seven miles southwest of the city, lies critically ill in the hospital, suffering from injuries received when attacked by a neighbor’s bull. The bull had come into Linder’s yard and, in an attempt to chase the animal out, it turned on him, goring a great gash into his side. Upon arising from the ground, Lindor ran into the house to get a shotgun to scare away the animal, but was again knocked down and gored before firing the gun. Neighbors finally arrived in the farmyard and chased the animal away. Lindor was brought into Mandan several days after the accident for medical treatment; his condition is very serious.

“Street Commissioner Alex Froelich has had a force of men busy all week making needed repairs to the various streets. Main Street has been leveled as much as possible and dragged and is now fairly passable. The side streets have been attended to in the same manner.

“Thirty-six students attended the annual Junior-Senior banquet of the Mandan High School held on Friday night at the Commercial Club rooms. Following the banquet, the Junior prom party was held in the Commercial Club hall with a three-piece orchestra furnishing the evening’s dance music.

“There is some mean, contemptible, lowdown skunk in the city who, if the owners of dogs discover his identity, will be prosecuted to the limit and given everything that the law will permit. During the past three weeks, at least seven valuable dogs have been poisoned, and the owners are posting rewards for the capture of the culprit.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

April 19, 1888: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 61 degrees above zero.

“This morning the new steam engine for the Pioneer office was fired up and put in motion. While it was going, a man came in and said, ‘Is that the thing that is going to revolutionize the world? I can stop that myself,’ and he clapped both hands on a wheel that was running at a rate of 16 miles an hour. After about two seconds, he decided that he couldn’t do it, and now he is waiting for the skin to grow back on his hands.

“Will Flanagan met with a serious injury to his head this afternoon. As the train came toward Mandan, he was walking along the top of a refrigerator car from the caboose to the engine, when he neglected to duck and was struck by a bridge, cutting his head badly. He was brought to Mandan, and his injuries are being attended to by Dr. Read.

“Farmers are now plowing and are getting into spring work general. Already, a good deal of seeding has been done by the farmers north of town. Henry Harmon has got in 18 acres of oats now, and is still at work.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1963 for an Easter Monday dance.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1963 for an Easter Monday dance.