Mandan News

Diane Boit: First New Year’s baby arrives, 1988


25 Years Ago – 1988

Mandan’s first baby for 1988 finally arrived at the Mandan Hospital on Jan. 24 with the birth of Nicholas Allan Kemp to Jerry and Lynell Kemp, Mandan. The baby’s father is chief financial operator at the hospital, while “mom” is a junior kindergarten teacher at First Steps, Mandan.

The 52nd annual Dinner of the Mandan Area Chamber of Commerce was held at the Seven Seas Inn with Vince Lindstrom of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau as the evening’s speaker. Dan Ulmer was the Master of Ceremonies; entertainment was provided by the Mandan High School Swing Choir under the direction of William Franke. Chamber members also met their new Chairman of the Board, Wally Joersz, who succeeds Al Leingang.


50 Years Ago – 1963

An increase in the price of postage stamps went into effect Jan. 7 when the rate rose from 4 to 5 cents on regular letters. According to Mandan postmaster, J.J. Murray, other increases include regular postal cards from 3 to 4 cents, and air mail cards, from 5 to 6 cents. The cost of airmail letters also increased, from 7 to 8 cents each.

The Mandan Daily Pioneer newspaper also raised its price, effective Jan. 7. Its daily issue has increased by a nickel; a single copy now costs 10 cents.

Jim Noonan, agricultural representative of the First National Bank, has been promoted to assistant vice president of the bank. Re-elected at the annual stockholders meeting were: R.M. Leslie, president; W.T. Cummins, vice president; Norman Christiansen, vice president and cashier; Emil Kautzmann, assistant vice president; A.I. Theisen, assistant cashier and auditor; and John Demianew and George Selinger, assistant cashiers.

The 1963 North Dakota Legislature began its joint session with a formal inaugural program. After a variety of music performed by the El Zagel Plainsmen of Bismarck, Chief Justice James Morris of the Supreme Court administered the oath of office to all new officials and then to Governor William L. Guy. Morton County legislators attending the opening of the 38th Session included GOP Senator Emil Kautzmann, and for the House – Democrats Don Hertz, Mandan, Bill Gietzen, Glen Ullin, and Carl Meyer, Flasher.

In the Dec. 14 issue of the Mandan News, a picture of the 1962-63 cheerleaders was featured, which included Louie Zachmeier as perhaps, Mandan High's first male cheerleader. Since then, several responses have been received stating that there were male cheerleaders prior to 1962. Among them were MHS Senior Ken Osborne, who was part of the cheerleaders' group in 1958-59, and sophomore Dean Kautzman, who was a Braves cheerleader during 1953-54. Kautzman is pictured here, along with fellow cheerleaders Mary Russell, Janice Swenson, Janet Gludt and Shirley John.

75 Years Ago – 1938

The Mandan Braves came out of their shooting slump and played their best basketball of the season to defeat St. Mary’s, 25-17, in the Bismarck Memorial building.

The outstanding feature of the game was the play of Mandan guards, Ray Toman and Adam Geiger, who held the Saints’ scoring ace, tricky little Nicky Schneider, to eight points. Toman was also Mandan’s high point man, scoring 10 points in the contest. Especially gratifying to the Mandan fans was the return of Gordon House to his playing form of last year; he made six points. With the score at 17-6 at the beginning of the final period, Coach Grunenfelder benched part of his regulars and then finished with an entire team of substitutes.

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Increased population trends are indicated in the new Bismarck-Mandan city directory published by the R.L. Polk Company, the first issued since 1932. The directory lists 11,456 names for the two cities, an increase of 3,624 over the past six years.

The Bismarck weather bureau records show precipitation in the Mandan area for 1937 totaled 16.60 inches, more than double that of 1936.

Mandan residents are among the estimated million citizens who will wish President Roosevelt a “happy birthday” on Jan. 29 and at the same time contribute to the campaign against infantile paralysis by donating 25 cents each and adding their signatures to mammoth telegram blanks which the Western Union Company is circulating in the city; proceeds to be turned over to the new National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis.


100 Years Ago – 1913

“Although the ice was somewhat rough due to the thaws and slight fall of snow, about 200 of the young people of the city hiked out to “second crossing” on Sunday afternoon for the skating. The weather was warm enough to make the out-of-door exercise a keen pleasure, and many stayed until dark. The Northern Pacific kindly loaned handcars to several parties of skaters, who used them in making the two-mile trip to this natural rink.”

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“What is alleged to be the record for transportation from Yokohama, Japan, to New York City, was finished this week when a consignment of silk from the former to the latter was delivered in 17 days. The special silk train passed through Mandan on Monday. The value of this shipment is $2,000,000.

“Fifteen carloads of raw silk from Japan were loaded into Northern Pacific cars and left Tacoma Saturday forenoon with right of way over all trains for a special run to St. Paul on express schedule. After turning over to the Burlington for Chicago and there transferred to the New York Central, the silk landed in New York City within a total of 17 days from Yokohama.

“The silk is for the use of the American Silk manufacturers, the principal center of which is at Patterson, New Jersey. This shipment is the largest Asiatic consignment handled across the American continent, and the NP regulated its movements hourly by wire.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

January 25, 1888: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 19 degrees below zero.

“This has been an exceptional storm. There is no question about that. The old timers are puzzled to find on the tablets of their memories anything like it. They can trot out their stories to a three-day blow in ’79 but they have all committed to themselves to the fact that they never saw anything just like this.

“The combination was perfect. The ground was covered with a foot or two of soft, fleecy snow that was just hungering and thirsting for a good wind to come. The snow was there, and the wind came. It blew with all its might from four o’clock Thursday morning, and after having done its work in about 30 hours, it began to subside. Although the snow is cleared off the nice level places, drifts as hard as cement linger on roads and tracks.

“After nearly three days being stranded at the depot, the passengers of the west bound train are hoping an attempt will be made today to continue its journey. Superintendent Greene is praying today for a rotary plow to bore a way through the hard-packed snow that stand as obstructions to travel.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email