Mandan News

Diane Boit: JoAnn Syvrud crowned Miss North Dakota, 1963

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

William Franke, Mandan High School chorale director, has been selected as Commander of the 188th Army Band of Fargo. The 188th Army Band is a highly recognized National Guard Band, having performed and trained in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, St. Louis, Valley Forge, Mount Rushmore and at Opryland USA, Nashville, Tenn.

Terry R. Weaver has been appointed manager of Amoco Oil Company’s refinery in Mandan. Weaver replaces William Rogers, who is retiring after five years as manager of the Mandan refinery and 37 years with Amoco.

The Mandan High School FFA chapter competed at the Garrison FFA area land judging contest on June 27 and came away with high team honors in both the FFA division and 4-H competition. The first place winning Mandan FFA team consisted of Debby Schatz, Mark Kalvoda and Darcy Jangula, coached by Al Liebersbach. Members of the first place winning Morton County 4-H land judging team are Jeff Renner, Ron Kalvoda and Ken Kalvoda, coached by Brian Held.


50 Years Ago – 1963

JoAnn Syvrud, of rural Mandan, has been declared the winner of the Miss North Dakota Beauty Pageant held at the World War Memorial Building in Bismarck. She was crowned by Claudia Revland, Miss North Dakota 1963. JoAnn was entered as Miss Dickinson, where she had just completed her sophomore year at Dickinson State College. A total of 21 candidates from across the state competed for the crown.

A 1961 honor graduate of Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, she was an audience favorite all the way. Her talent in the pageant was singing Robin Hood folk songs. She accompanied herself on the guitar, wearing a forest green woodman’s costume she had designed and made, and as a result, she also won the Miss North Dakota Talent Scholarship of $1,000.

JoAnn is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M.G. Syvrud, who ranch south of Mandan. She is the eldest of six children, having three brothers and two sisters. Her sister, Sandy, was a runner-up in this year’s Morton County Dairy Princess Contest held in June.

JoAnn Syvrud

JoAnn Syvrud

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Duncan Warren has been installed as the new president of the Mandan Lions Club during a picnic held at Fort Lincoln’s triple shelter. Installed as first, second and third vice presidents were Joe Schaff, Tom Crouse and Dave Stewart. The treasurer is Herman Ciavarella; Pete Albrecht will serve as the club’s secretary. Norman Christiansen is the new tail twister, with Milt Berreth as lion tamer.

More than 1,800 people attended the 16th annual meeting of the Mor-Gran Sou Electric Cooperative Inc. at Flasher. Annual reports were given by president Hegle E. Nygren and Wallace Tempe, manager of Mor-Gran-Sou. Both reported that 1962 was the greatest production farm year since the REA was created. Mor-Gran Sou also paid its first dividend since its organization. Directors reelected include Helge Nygren, and Alex Malm, both of Flasher, and Emil Reihl, Raleigh. Prior to the meeting, Del Skjod, secretary of the Mandan Chamber of Commerce, and state representative Don Hertz, Mandan, roasted and served 1,200 half chickens for the annual dinner.

National News: The U.S. Supreme Court has barred Bible-reading and the recital of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools as part of required classroom exercises. In an 8-1 ruling, the court said the practice was unconstitutional. Justice Potter Stewart was the lone dissenter.


A cartoon printed in a 1963 issue of the Mandan Pioneer. President Kennedy had just given a speech about the U.S. reaching the moon before the end of the decade. At the bottom of the rocket is former President Dwight Eisenhower.

A cartoon printed in a 1963 issue of the Mandan Pioneer. President Kennedy had just given a speech about the U.S. reaching the moon before the end of the decade. At the bottom of the rocket is former President Dwight Eisenhower.

75 Years Ago – 1938

An even dozen cars and about three dozen Mandan boys were on hand at 5 a.m. to see the unloading of the Al G. Barnes and Sells Floto combined circus on the lots east of the Mandan tennis courts where the big top was being set up. The troupe arrived in their special all-steel railroad equipment via the North Pacific tracks from Dickinson.

Sliding into a ditch off a winding, hilly section of highway 10 about 4 miles west of Mandan, a car owned and driven by Hugh Mulloy, of Dickinson, became the 10th automobile to collide into a ditch there within the past two days. Yesterday, three cars, two new hearses in transit and a pickup truck slid off the road, made slippery by the recent rains. A short time later, three more cars were soon sliding down the hill into opposite ditches. No one was hurt, but there was considerable damage to the vehicles. Morton County and Mandan officials said, with the sun coming out today, the road conditions at that site would be much improved by tomorrow.

HITS & MRS column by Chas. F. Pierce. Forrest Edwards and Art Kredler of the Pioneer staff, made a quick call on the crew digging into the Indian mounds near old Fort Lincoln the other day. Kredler’s reaction on the way home was, “We gave just escaped a very grave situation!”


100 Years Ago – 1913

“The report on the school census taken this spring by Rod McVey has been turned over to the school board. It shows a school population of 1029, an increase of 51 over last year. The Mandan schools are already fairly well-crowded so it will not be long before the city will have to make further plans to accommodate the increase of students.

“Clerk of Court Morck is looking for a recent new American Citizen with a club- the one that took leave of his new hat last week. He declares that Judge Nuchols made a mistake in granting such a guy his citizen papers. The fellow apparently thought that since he was an American citizen, he could now exchange his old hat for a newer one. Seventy-four applicants received their second papers at the courthouse last week, and it kept the court pretty busy for several days.

“A team of horses belonging to George Stack Meir, who resides about four miles north of this city, took fright of an automobile this week and decided to run away. They galloped up Main Street toward the viaduct and then turned and went east down First Street, finally slowing down to be caught by a bystander near Collins Ave. Several wandering tots were fortunate to have been quickly snatched up from the street by their mothers before the team and a cloud of dust rushed by.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

July 19, 1888: “On Friday, July 19, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 89 degrees above zero.

“Under Postmaster Flynn’s regime, the Mandan post office has taken a rise. The salary has been raised $100 this year, making it $1300 now. This is owing to the increase in the business.

“Another sign of the advancing civilization of the Indians is that their women have been seen chewing gum in regular American style. If one were merely to see and hear the jaw working, and saw no evidence of Indians, he would surely think he was in the presence of some white girl.

“A Citizen: Evidently when the county commissioners located the Poor Farm, they wanted a ‘poor’ farm in every sense of the word. It would seem that they selected the poorest land northwest of Mandan that they could find- land on which nothing can be raised.

“If one will take the trouble to notice, he will be surprised to see how many people he will find in Mandan who have met with some accident. This morning in walking the length of Main Street, three men were seen who had lost a finger each, one who had lost two fingers and another who had lost an arm.”

(To contact Diane Boit, email