Mandan News

Diane Boit: ‘Dance Party’ coming to MHS, 1988

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

Ecstatic hugs and deafening shouts filled the cafeteria of Mandan High School this week when students gathered there to hear the announcement that “Dance Party USA” was coming to Mandan. The contest, spearheaded by the MHS cheerleaders, along with their advisor Deb Rath, encouraged the participation of students, their parents and grandparents to mail in cards voting for MHS as this year’s “dance” site. As a result, a whopping total of 1.6 million postcards were mailed to “Another Chance to Dance with Dance Party USA” to take the first place honors. Last year’s winner from Covington, Va., won with just 300,000 entries.

According to the teen dance show host Andy Gury, Dance Party, with guest star Debbie Gibson, will arrive in Mandan on June 3 for a special taping of the show. Gibson has been at the top of the music charts with her recent album “Out of the Blue.”

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Thomas D. Kasper has been installed as Commander of the American Legion Gilbert S. Furness Post 40 of Mandan. Other officers installed are David McFerran, First vice Commander; Bill Hoger, Second vice Commander; Adjutant, Ron Otto; Finance Officer, Bill Krueger; Sergeant-at-Arms, Chris Friedt; Historian, George Marback; and Chaplain, John Hebert.


50 Years Ago – 1963

Mrs. Eleanor Ricker, former Morton County Treasurer and deputy for 16 years, retired from her duties May 1 after compiling a record of 31 years in the courthouse office. Her first 11 years were as clerk and bookkeeper, beginning in 1932. A lifelong resident of the city, Mrs. Ricker is the daughter of the late Attorney B.W. and Georgia Shaw, pioneer residents.

Herbert McCann has been appointed Mandan’s new assistant postmaster, replacing William C. “Buck” Rowe, who has retired after 33 years of service with the post office. Twenty-seven employees gathered at the Elks Club to honor Rowe with a testimonial dinner, hosted by Jack Murray, postmaster.

JoAnn Syvrud, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M.G. Syvrud, Mandan, has won the title of Miss Dickinson at a beauty pageant in the western city. Fourteen contestants competed for the honor. A second year student at Dickinson State College, Miss Syvrud sang “Danny Boy” to her own guitar accompaniment as her talent offering. This is the second time in three years that a Mandan girl has won the title; Marilyn Tietz won the crown in 1961.

Mrs. William Guy will be wearing a dress made in Mandan when she and Governor Guy have dinner this week with President and Mrs. John Kennedy at the White House. The Mandan seamstress is Mrs. Clarence Thompson, 208 Collins Ave., who has been sewing for area residents for more than 20 years.

The Mandan Pioneer began a morning publication on May 20, replacing the evening edition.

New Salem High School has announced the valedictorian of its 1963 graduating class as Janelle Lieb, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hilary Lieb, New Salem; salutatorian is Sharon Bethke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Art Bethke, Judson.

The valedictorian of the 1963 graduating class of Flasher High School is Ellen Jorgensen, daughter of Mrs. George Wenger. The class also has co-salutatorians, Lorraine Erhardt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Erhardt, and Jacqulyn Hatzenbuhler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hatzenbuhler, all of Flasher.


JoAnn Syvrud

JoAnn Syvrud

75 Years Ago – 1938

The Mandan Memorial Building was transformed into a huge fairyland as 160 high school students danced at the traditional Junior Prom given by the junior class in honor of the graduating seniors. Music for the dance, provided by the Boldt orchestra, wafted from the stage decorated with life-size characters of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, while silhouettes of other fairyland characters were displayed upon the walls of the ballroom.

Miss Eileen Clarke, president of the junior class, and her escort, John Ravnos, led the Grand March, followed by the senior class president Ray Toman and his partner, Miss Marie Madson.

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Sixty eighth-grade students will be graduating from St. Joseph Parochial School this week. Fr. Hildebrand Eickhoff will address the class and will present the diplomas. Loretta Sinkula has the highest average of the class, followed by Leo Roe. Other honors students are Pauline Berger, Leo Damskey, Margaret Kary, Helen Koch, Faith Lehman, John Messmer, Josephine Messmer, Donald Roe, Julia Schmidt, Gerald Tavis and William Wehner.

Tulips, roses, snapdragons and spring blossoms decorated four long tables which were lighted with pink, blue, yellow and green candles as the MHS Alumni Association entertained at its annual banquet in the dining room of the Lewis and Clark Hotel. In attendance were the student of the 1938 graduating class and members of the alumni association, numbering 110 and representing graduating classes from 1908 to the present. The evening’s toastmaster was the president Edward Knudson, who welcomed the class of 1938; Ray Toman, president of the senior class, gave the response.


A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1938 for Mushik's Shoe Store, on Main Street in Mandan.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1938 for Mushik’s Shoe Store, on Main Street in Mandan.

100 Years Ago – 1913

“William, two-year old son of manager and Mrs. F. P. McQuillan of the InterOcean Hotel, died at 11 o’clock Friday night after 11 days’ illness of pneumonia. He was a bright little tad who had never known a sick day in his short life. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at St. Joseph Catholic church, Father Clemens officiating. Members of the Catholic cadets acted as pallbearers and the many beautiful floral tributes showed the sympathy of the many friends to the bereaved parents. Internment took place in the Catholic cemetery.”


A Mandan Pioneer ad for Kennelly Furniture & Undertakers in 1913, located in the same building as Mushik's Shoe Store, at 108 Second Ave. N.W.

A Mandan Pioneer ad for Kennelly Furniture & Undertakers in 1913, located in the same building as Mushik’s Shoe Store, at 108 Second Ave. N.W.

125 Years Ago – 1888

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

May 24, 1888: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 75 degrees above zero.

“The grocers of Mandan seem to be cutting prices a little. 12 pounds of granulated sugar can be had for a dollar now at the firm of McGillic and Simpson. Last week it was 10 pounds for a $1.

“This rain is just the thing needed and the more we get, the better. Of course, the men who a few days ago were kicking because it did not rain, are kicking now because it is wet.

“Dr. S. D. King has just received a very fine badge of the 10th New York Cavalry- his old regiment.

“The Mandan Sporting Association opened the season on Saturday evening with a race between Mr. Aughney’s black horse and a bay horse belonging to Mr. Sanders of the Little Heart country. The course was a quarter mile straight, with stakes at $10 a side. The black horse was the favorite, and the betting before the race was five and three to one on him. Aughney’s horse won easily.

“The businessmen of the city are requested to close their places of business during Memorial Day services from 10 o’clock a.m. until 2 o’clock p.m. Wednesday, May 30. By request of the members of the Grand Army of the Republic committee.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email