Mandan News

Diane Boit: Ellis and Wheeler win table tennis honors, 1938

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

Bill’s Liquor Store has opened under new management at 105 Collins Ave. Tony Kautzman will manage the store. Owners of the store are Wally Joersz, Tony Engelhardt and Jerry Engel.

Many Mandan residents traveled to the Bismarck Civic Center this past week to see one of the hottest comics on television today, Jay Leno. He is rumored to be among the candidates considered as a future host of NBC’s Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, who will soon observe his 25th anniversary on the late night talk show.

The annual Junior Senior Banquet and Prom were held April 16, with the banquet served at Roosevelt Elementary School, followed by the dance at the high school auditorium. This year’s theme, “For Just A Moment,” was sung by juniors Karen Engelter and Dustin Hertz. The dance began with junior class president, Jason Arenz, and his date leading the Grand March, followed by senior class president, Mike Bennett, and his date.


Tony Kautzman

Tony Kautzman

50 Years Ago – 1963

Mrs. Ray Rolshoven, mother of four and retiring president of the Mandan Mrs. Jaycees, has been named Mandan’s Outstanding Mrs. Jaycee for 1963. Mrs. Rolshoven has been a member of the Mandan chapter for the past five years, serving on various committees, including as board member and secretary- treasurer prior to being elected president. Her husband is an engineer with Toman Engineering.

The Mandan American Legion Gilbert S. Furness Post No. 40 has elected Henry Backsen as its new Commander. Other officers are: Ronald Harsh, first vice-commander; Thomas Geiger, second vice-commander; Al Lennick, adjutant; Raymond Parker, sergeant at arms; John Demianew, finance officer, Art Olson, historian; and H.B Uden, Chaplain.

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Funeral services were held at the First Presbyterian Church for 66-year-old Mrs. Gena Jensen, executive secretary of the North Dakota Teachers Insurance and Retirement Fund since 1950, with offices in Mandan. She was the wife of H.K. Jensen, retired educator and former Morton County Superintendent of Schools.

Born in Northwood, N.D., Mrs. Jensen came to Mandan in 1918 for a teaching position in the Mandan Public School System; she married Mr. Jensen in 1920. She assisted her husband, in the Morton County Superintendent’s office for several years before being also elected to that position after her husband resignation due to illness in 1934. Mrs. Jensen served as superintendent of schools for 16 years until being named executive secretary. She also organized the Young Citizens League in Morton County; was past president of the American Legion Auxiliary and a member of the Chapter H, PEO Sisterhood. Survivors include her husband, two sons and their families.


Mrs. Gena Jensen

Mrs. Gena Jensen

75 Years Ago – 1938

Two city champions were crowned this past weekend at the Elks hall as a result of the first citywide table tennis tournament, resulting in Mrs. Harry A. Wheeler taking top honors in the women’s division, with Miss Jane Watson, runner-up; and Charles F. Ellis Jr., earning the cup in the men’s division with a win over Al Spielman, runner-up.

Twelve women and 16 men competed, the youngest player being 12-year-old Bobby Scothorn, who managed to defeat eight competitors before going down to L.C. Hulett. Ten tables were in use throughout the evening with special lights strung over each table. Play began at 7:15 p.m. and concluded at 11 o’clock with the final championship matches.

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Stanley Hoffmann won first prize in the whist division, and Joe Helbling placed first in the bridge play in the tournament held recently in the Hudson Hall by the St. Thomas More’s Council of the Knights of Columbus.


100 Years Ago – 1913

“The question of paving Main Street was very thoroughly discussed in all its phases at a meeting of the directors of the Commercial club with members of the City Commission. President Lanterman of the Commercial Club and former mayor Foran of the City Commission have been busy for some time in gathering information as to paving costs.

“According to figures obtained from Fargo officials, it is estimated that a bitulithic paving could be put down for about $2.20 a yard. It was generally conceded that it would be unwise to attempt to narrow up Main Street, but to pave it at a width of 55 feet. This would then make a total of 2322 yards to each block for a cost of $5,108.40 per block.

“As to the proper and legal methods for covering the payments of the work, Attorney Connelly stated that, according to law, an improvement district should be created and then it would be possible to assess each side of Main Street 40 percent, raising the remaining 20 percent by a general taxation of the city. If paving is done this year, it will likely extend six or seven blocks, beginning at the freight depot and extending east to the F. P. Roby corner. The project would also need to include the side streets to First Street, from the InterOcean Hotel to Collins Avenue.

“It is also suggested that while this is being done, the city should lay wires for street lights and install them at the same time. These two improvements would certainly put Mandan on the map and forever lift it out of the class of country towns into a real live city.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

April 26, 1888: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 52 degrees above zero.

“Yesterday a hardware man sold three saws, which were to be used for dehorning cattle.

“The high sidewalks leading to the Syndicate has had its annual upheaval for this year and is now ready to be fixed again. The damage is slight this time, as only a few planks were displaced.

“In the Missouri River, there has not been a cake of ice seen for two weeks. The last snow drift disappeared this morning at 10 o’clock, except for a patch the size of a washtub in front of the courthouse.

“Mrs. Hunter will open her writing school at the school house on Friday night. Those who desire to develop a first class style of handwriting should be in attendance.

“If the businessmen on Main Street would each donate a small sum of money, a man could be had to make a couple of trips a day along the street with a sprinkler during the summer. The cost would be very slight, and the clouds of dust rolling down Main Street would be temporarily abated.

“The industry of making sugar out of beets is being discussed a good deal, and the farmers will do well to raise a few so that a practical test can be made this fall. It is claimed that one bushel will make a gallon of syrup or four pounds of sugar.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email

A Mandan News directory from 1988 for Drs. D.A. Carlsen, Dale Klein and Darwin Lange.

A Mandan News directory from 1988 for Drs. D.A. Carlsen, Dale Klein and Darwin Lange.