Mandan News

Diane Boit: First woman elected to city commission, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

Darrell Anderson, Mandan assistant vice principal, will take over the duties of Mandan High School’s head basketball coach next fall; he replaces the resigning Don Hanson, who led the Braves to a state championship in 1981. The announcement was made by the school district’s athletic director, Floyd Boschee. Anderson has been assistant principal at the high school since 1975, coming from Hebron, where he was head basketball coach for eight years, head track coach for six years, assistant football coach for five years and principal for two years. Hebron placed second in the State Tourney under Anderson’s leadership.

Darrell Anderson, Mandan assistant vice principal and newly-named head basketball coach back in 1987.

50 Years Ago – 1962

Mandan voters, in one of the smallest election turn-outs in years, set a new precedent in city politics this week by electing the first woman to the city commission, Mrs. Dolores Pierce. She will be joining incumbent commissioner George Schantz who was reelected to another term. Others in the race were George Schuch, Norman Rolfe and George Yantzer.

The 1962 Republican state convention ended this week as the 512 delegates left the convention hall with Mark Andrews, 36-year-old GOP National Republican committeeman from Mapleton, as their endorsed candidate for governor. Andrews won the endorsement on the seventh ballot. He will be running against the current Democratic Governor William L. Guy, a farm neighbor, in the fall.

The library at the State Industrial School was revitalized this week when the latest edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, 20 volumes, was presented to Librarian Mrs. Paul Sadler and Superintendent Tom Crouse. Making the presentation on behalf of the Mandan Lions Club was their president, James Noonan.

The Morton County Homemakers elected new officers at their annual spring Council Meeting in Mandan. Elected president was Mrs. David McFerran, Rock Haven Club, Mandan; vice president is Mrs. Lyle Dawson, Jr., Big Bend Club of Flasher; secretary is Mrs. James Unkenholz, Highland Club, Mandan; and the new treasurer is Mrs. E.J. Gustafson, Almont Club.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1962 for The City Cab, which was owned by Henry T. Gustin and located at 108 Third Ave. NW.

75 Years Ago – 1937

In an effort to promote the future development of the Mandan High School band, the city park board has approved the purchase of 40 uniforms, consisting of capes and caps. The capes will be gold on the outside with black lining and black trimming and will display the school monogram, also in black. The caps will be black with gold trim. In exchange for the uniforms, the band has agreed to play weekly concerts during the summer months at the city park.

E.A. Tostevin, publisher of the Mandan Daily Pioneer, has observed the 50th anniversary of his connection with the publishing of newspapers. Tostevin joined the staff of the Racine Daily Journal, Racine, Wis., in 1887 at the age of 22 and came to Mandan in 1909 to take over the management of the Mandan Pioneer, becoming the Mandan Daily Pioneer in 1914.

The directors of the First National Bank of Mandan have elected J. R. Madsen, Mandan, to be the president of the Mandan firm, succeeding Fred B. Heath, who resigned and was then elected president of the Dakota National Bank of Bismarck. Madsen has been on the staff of the local bank since 1934. Prior to Mandan, the Nebraska native work with banks in Hettinger, New England, Bowman and Marmarth.

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Funeral services were held this week at the First Lutheran Church for 89-year-old John Bartram, one of North Dakota’s last surviving veterans of the Civil War. He served with the 134th Illinois Infantry during the War, and was then employed as a conductor on the Illinois Central Railroad before coming to Mandan in 1915.

Six past commanders of the Gilbert Furness Post of the American Legion served as pallbearers: J.K. Kennelly, E.R. Griffin, R.W. Barnard, Karl Keidel, A.C. Pfenning and J.J. Murray. A firing squad of army soldiers from Ft. Lincoln presided at the graveside service at Mandan Union Cemetery.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Last Friday afternoon was a big day in the city schools. On that day, with fitting ceremonies, the First Ward school was dedicated and named after General Custer, whose life work is so indelibly written in the history of this section. Hon. James M. Hanley gave a short address in which he pointed out the value of an education and then spoke briefly of Custer’s life. Attorney William Langer also made a short address in German that the parents of the children could better understand.

“The Heart River went out the latter part of last week. The ice gorged to such an extent that the water overflowed Girard’s addition, and the fire whistle was blown to let the people of this section know that was high time for them to move, and the residents all got out of their houses and came over to the main part of town. A little water came into Syndicate. However, the entire fairgrounds were under water.

“After the Heart receded, the Missouri broke this past Wednesday, and the ever watchful railroad shop men reported water beginning to back up into the Heart. Hundreds of people took advantage of the nice Sunday weather to go to the river to see the overflowing banks. A motor boat on the water also attracted a great deal of attention.”


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.

April 6, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 51 degrees above zero.

“The first train to cross the trestle work since the breakup was last Sunday’s No. 1, which arrived in Mandan at 6 p.m.

“It appears that the total cost for labor and materials for shoveling snow, replacing and repairing sidewalks, watching the water and watching property during the past month, was $545.90.

“The Mandan schools opened this week after two weeks of enforced idleness due to the flood.

“The town is full of farmers every day now, coming out after the numerous snow storms and the flooding that kept many of them prisoners for quite some time.

“Mr. A. G. Shafer, who was in Thursday from Square Butte, has finished sowing his wheat. He reports his ground as being in fine shape.

“Mandan has a new mayor. The Democrats of the city have succeeded in electing one of their own, C. E. Meech, who received the majority of the votes, 211, over E. C. Rice, 124. (Women could not vote until 1920.)

“No more city politics for a year. This fact is a source of gratification.”


(To contact Diane, email