Mandan News

Diane Boit: Geck wins Sweepstakes Award again, 1987

25 Years Ago – 1987

For the second consecutive year, Mary Geck, a Mandan High School junior, has won the prestigious Sweepstakes Award at the N.D. Science and Engineering Fair. According to MHS science advisor, Leon Nesja, Mary’s project this year was titled “Disease Analysis of Sunflowers with Nutritive Interactions.” Her project was both the district and sweepstakes winner, resulting in the Trax-Traer traveling trophy coming to Mandan High School. She also received a trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Puerto Rico. Mary is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Geck.

Mary Geck in 1987, holding her Sweepstakes Award trophy.

The fourth annual Public Library Kite Festival was held this week at the Mandan Community Center in the Lions-Sunset Park, just north of the center.

Funeral services were held this past week for longtime Mandan chiropractor, Dr. Leonard Newgard Jr., 59. The Tacoma, Wash., native was a veteran of World War II before moving to Mandan in 1954 to begin his chiropractic service.


50 Years Ago – 1962

The top honor students of Almont High School’s 1962 graduating class have been announced by John M. Page, principal. Lorna Monson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Monson, is valedictorian; salutatorian is Charleen Hoerner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hoerner. The Baccalaureate service is scheduled for Sunday, May 20, in the auditorium; graduation will be Friday, May 25.

Joletta Rebenitsch of Huff played “The Blue Skirt Waltz” on the piano, flute and accordion to win first place in the talent show, sponsored by the Go-Getters 4-H Club in St. Anthony. Other winners were: second place – Debby Frohlich of Mandan, acrobatic act; third place – Charles Suchy, Mandan, playing a march medley on the accordion; and fourth place – Mark Barth, Cindy Schmidt, Joyce Mildenberger, Cheryl Wetzstein and Darryl Thomas, students at Sts. Peter and Paul Parochial School at Fallon, singing two Spanish songs. Refreshments were provided by the Willing Workers Homemakers Club. Four door prizes, courtesy of St. Anthony businessmen, were awarded throughout the evening.

Mrs. Lorraine Darling, formerly associated with the Style Salon, has opened her own beauty service at 107 Ninth Ave. N.W.; the salon will be known as Lorraine’s Beauty Shoppe.

Among the winners of the 34th annual Academy Awards ceremony held in Hollywood, Calif., included Sophia Loren, best actress, for her role in “Two Women,” and Maximillian Schell, best actor, for his role in “Judgment at Nuremberg.” The Best Picture movie award went to the popular musical, “West Side Story.” Stealing this year’s show was New York’s Stan Berman, a 35-year-old cabbie, who retained his title as “world champion gate crasher” when he sauntered across the stage to present the astonished emcee Bob Hope with an Oscar statue replica.


75 Years Ago – 1937

H.C. Schulte has been elected president of St. Joseph’s Credit Union, a credit organization for members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church parish. Schulte, the former secretary-treasurer, succeeds Rev. Father Hildebrand Eickhoff as the head of the organization. Elected as assistant officers were: J.M. Gauer, vice president, and R.J. Ridley, secretary-treasurer. Others serving on the board of directors are Lawrence M. Tavis, Michael Kraft, Christ Barron, A.C. Rausch and T.P. Heisler.

More than 250 guests were received at the home of longtime Mandan residents Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Dow in celebration of their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Dow arrived in Mandan with the NP Railroad in late 1880. He then quit his job as a railroader and opened the first furniture store west of the Missouri with his father. He was also the city’s first undertaker and the only furniture dealer at that time to handle coffins. However, he did not last long as an undertaker. According to Dow, after handling just one case, he quit, saying “that was enough for me.” Mrs. Dow (Elizabeth Baker) arrived in Mandan in 1884 to visit her parents, and the first person she met to direct her to her parent’s home was her future husband. The couple married in 1887 in the little Methodist Church in Mandan. Rev. Cook read the ceremony; her sister, Hattie, was bridesmaid.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Mandan’s fine new $80,000 waterworks plant, which has been under construction for the past eight months, will be supplying the city with water within a day or two. When the pumps are set in motion filling the large reservoirs, Mandan will have as pure a supply of water as will be found in any city in this country. The huge settling tanks have a capacity big enough for a city five times the size of Mandan, and its elevation above the city will also assure the best kind of fire protection.

“On Tuesday evening, representatives of the City League asked the commissioners and president Foran to set aside a ‘Clean-Up Day’ for Mandan. The commission granted their request and set aside, Saturday, April 27, as a clean-up day for the entire city. Residents are encouraged to clean their yards and alleys of trash, ashes, boards and discarded furniture and equipment, and the city’s street department will assist in the removal of the refuse to the nearest dumping grounds.

“The first thunderstorm of the season with the first real rain came early yesterday morning at about six o’clock, and showers fell at intervals throughout the day. To be sure, it interfered some with the farmers getting in their seed, but following the dry springs of 1910 and 1911, the rain has brought joy and encouragement to every man in the county.”

A Mandan Daily Pioneer ad from 1912 for the new show at the Opera House, which was located on the corner of 500 W. Main St.

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 27, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 56 degrees above zero.

“There are good harbingers of the spring as bluebirds in this town. They are our young men and women who are to be seen out with new suits and new gowns, new hats and new bonnets-the young men looking spruce and the young ladies beaming and beautiful.

“The reason for the feminine tendency to large bustles is not clear. No attention should be paid to the mean man who says that it is because the lady with the largest bustle can always carry the most news.

“Mr. P. M. Granberry’s heavy team of horses took it into its head to run away on Stark Avenue on Monday and came pretty near doing considerable damage. But it was arrested in its mad career before it did any damage.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email