Mandan News

Diane Boit: Gamble-Skogmo opens new store, 1962


25 Years Ago – 1987

Tim’s Conoco, 305 West Main St., is now under new ownership. To celebrate, owner Kyle Boehm has offered an oil change special of $14.95, which includes five quarts of oil, an oil filter and a grease job. The service staff includes Cleon Cermak, Dan Ressler, Todd Fetzer and Daryl Unser.

Dwaine Shillman and Sharon Teeples, owners of Phyne Photography, have moved their business from 635 Sixth Ave. S.E. to more spacious facilities at 120 West Main St. Shillman and Teeples opened their portrait studio in April 1982.

Mandan’s Christ the King School has a new principal for the coming school year with the arrival of Jim Silver from Williston. Silver had taught fifth and sixth grade at St. Joseph’s School, Williston, and was the principal there during the past few years.


50 Years Ago – 1962

Hundreds of curious area residents gathered around Secretary of State Ben Meier who cut the ribbon, formally opening the Gamble-Skogmo store located in the former Cummins Company building at 200 West Main St. Following the ribbon cutting, John Ellis, organist at the Custer Drama, provided background music with a Lowery organ provided by Dahner’s Music Store.

J.E. Collins is the manager of the Skogmo store; department heads are Larry Haugen, 19, who will be in charge of the first floor, and Ray Mosbrucker, who will be in charge of the basement area which features men’s wear and the shoes department. The Mandan Skogmo store is independently owned and operated as are some of the other 2,300 company stores located in 22 states and five Canadian provinces.

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Foremost Dairies Inc. honored Clifford Norby upon his retirement with a party at the Gourmet House. In honor of his 45 years of service, Norby was presented a gold watch by the company; a gift of money was also presented by John F. Danz on behalf of the Foremost employees.

Norby began with the company in 1917 while in Duluth, Minn. During the following 45 years he took time off to serve in both World Wars – with the Army in World War I and with the Seabees during World War II. He and Mrs. Norby, who live at 904 1/2 West Main St., Mandan, are the parents of eight children.

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The Board of Directors of the Custer Drama has advised the cast of its dire financial situation due to the lack of local support. According to John Mushik, chairman of the board, this summer’s weekly attendance has seen more tourists but less local people attending the outdoor drama near old Fort Lincoln, south of Mandan. In a desperate effort to save the Drama, cast members picketed the State Capitol and downtown Mandan-Bismarck, by carrying signs telling of their plight and urging local residents to attend the outdoor show’s remaining performances of its fourth season.

An ad from a 1962 issue of the Mandan Pioneer for George's Bakery, which was located at 216 W. Main St., featuring his trademark Trail West Buns.

75 Years Ago – 1937

More than 300 members and their families attended the Elks picnic at the picnic grounds of the State Training School, Mandan. Sixty dozen ears of corn and 175 spring chickens were prepared during the Sunday noon hour for the families.

The East End Pickups defeated Hoffman’s Service Station, 7-4, and were crowned the City League Softball Champions, along with the Morton County Class A title. Jim Sinkula, hurling for the Pickups, allowed nine hits and two passes; Hoffman’s pitcher Harold House yielded seven hits and six walks.

Mandan of 1937 will be preserved for posterity in the cornerstone to be laid at the new city water filtration plant in September. The cornerstone measures 4 feet high; 2 feet, 7 inches wide; and 10 inches deep; it’s being hewed of native Morton County granite by Mandan’s Hynek Rybnicek. According to Mayor C.G. Byerly, pictures of the city and public officials, public records and copies of current newspapers will be placed in the cornerstone for safekeeping to future generations. Inscribed on the face of the cornerstone is the wording: “Mandan Municipal Water Filtration Plant, Built by City of Mandan and W.P.A. 1937.”


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Information has been received this week regarding the closing of the post office on Sunday. The new orders are for postal employees to deliver newspapers and then all papers to news dealers, and to deliver all mail to hotel patrons. The order also states that special delivery letters must also be delivered, but no mail shall be put into the lock boxes.

“Radical changes have been made in the Mandan High School system for the coming year. Where heretofore, teachers were hired without special inquiry as to which subjects they were best fitted to teach, Supt. C. L. Love has this year arranged a new system where each teacher is hired to teach one subject for which he or she is best fitted. Last year, any one of several teachers were required to teach two or three different subjects.”


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.

August 31, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 87degrees above zero.

(Regarding the District Court session: One afternoon Judge Francis, apparently in a cheerful disposition, stopped to chat with the editor of the Pioneer and, over a cup of coffee, proceeded to share some of scandalous details from various letters received during his years as Judge. And he assumed none of his remarks would appear in the newspaper. However, the following day, the entire conversation between the editor and Judge Francis appeared in the Pioneer! Needless to say, the Judge was furious and, as a result, he issued a “Gag Order” to the Pioneer for the duration of the District Court session or face jail time for contempt. And so… the Editor of the Pioneer was allowed to only print the facts of each case, with no extra commentary.)

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“The Editor of the Pioneer desires to express his thanks, publicly, for the many evidences of support received since Monday morning. He is gratified to know that he has friends who realized that there are other days after today and tomorrow and the next day. Be patient.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email