Mandan News

Diane Boit: Loper honored by MHS athletes, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the reconstruction of the Custer House were held at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park on May 17.

Darrel J. Luther, Morton County Extension agent since June 1985, has resigned due to the cutback in funding by the recent session of the North Dakota Legislature. According to Morton County agent Jack Stewart, the county hasn’t had a lone agent since 1954. A total of 33 positions statewide were cut by the County Extension Service in North Dakota.

The Mandan Art Association has installed Ermagaard Herbs as their new president; she succeeds Mrs. Lewis (Elsie) Shaw.

The Mandan Athletic and Recreation Club has announced its selections for Athletes of the Month for April. For the boys, it’s Clint Leingang in boys’ track; for the girls – Eva Jorgensen, girls’ tennis. During the month of April, Clint took first place, five times, in the 110 hurdles and in the long jump, plus a first place in the high jump four times. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Leingang, Mandan. Eva has a tennis record of 19-0 and took first place in the Minot tournament and in WDA. She is an exchange student from Denmark and is living with the Emil Kalvoda family, Mandan.

Funeral services were held this past week for longtime Mandan dentist, Dr. James G. Wirtz, 58. Wirtz, the son of Dr. and Mrs. George F. Wirtz, graduated from Mandan High School in 1947 and from Marquette University Dental School in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1954. After serving in the U.S. Air Force Dental Corp, he practiced dentistry at Mott and Bismarck before returning to Mandan in 1960 to join his father and brother in their dental practice. Survivors include his wife, Mary; two sons and one daughter; his parents and a brother.


50 Years Ago – 1962

MHS senior Marvin Loper has been awarded the trophy for “Outstanding Athlete of the Year” in Mandan sports by a vote of his fellow athletes. The presentation was made by the MAR Club president, Pat Schleicher, at the annual MAR Club Athletes Banquet, attended by more than 180 people. Loper played both football and basketball and was named to the All-West Football Team by Western Sportswriters. Loper and Terry Zander, were named co-captains of the 1961 football squad, while John Hoenig and Dan Hilligoss were named co-captains of the basketball team. A trophy was also awarded to Hoenig for the year’s best free-throw average – an outstanding 70 percent for the season.

Marv Loper

Darrell Kline, blind since 1934, has been named Mandan’s Outstanding Handicapped Citizen of 1961. Kline and his wife, who is also blind, own and operate a trailer court on Memorial Highway, east of Mandan. He does most of his own maintenance and repair work on their home and trailer court grounds. He also upholsters chairs and weaves and sells rugs, canes and brooms.

Back by popular demand, the Ink Spots, the black singing quartet from Indianapolis, will be performing at the Havana Club in Mandan. The cover charge is $1 per person.

After 37 years in the hardware business, Jake A. Lockbeam has retired and has sold the store at 110 West Main St. to the Bill Joersz family. A resident of Mandan since 1900, Lockbeam was first employed as a clerk in the Mike Lang Grocery on East Main Street and later with the O’Rouric Grocery. After serving in World War I, he returned to Mandan and opened Lockbeam and Knoll Grocery with his brother-in-law, Mike Knoll. The store will continue to be known as “Our Own Hardware” and will be managed by Marvin Joersz, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Joersz.

An ad from a 1962 issue of the Mandan Pioneer for the CBS TV lineup.

75 Years Ago – 1937

In observance of Mother’s Day, five masses were read at St. Joseph’s Church… at 6, 7, 8, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. The regular children’s mass was not held, as most families attended in a group for Mother’s day. Assisting Rev. Father Hildebrand Eickhoff was Rev. Father Reubert Bularizk, a former resident of Mandan who was employed as a printer on the Pioneer staff in 1907.

Raymond Toman has been named editor-in-chief and Gordon Peterson as business manager of The Courier, Mandan High School’s student newspaper for the school year 1937-38. As editor-in-chief, Toman automatically becomes president of the local high school Quill and Scroll Society.

Written examinations on safe driving, a new requirement for graduation in North Dakota high schools, were given to members of the senior and junior classes of Mandan High School this week. Students planning to graduate who do not pass the first test satisfactorily will be required to do additional work and take another exam before receiving diplomas.

School playoffs in the city marble tournament were completed this week when Chris Boehm, a sixth grader at St. Joseph’s parochial school, won the final match from William Stroh, third grader. The two, as champion and runner-up, will compete with winners from Central and Syndicate school in the final match to be played in front of the Memorial Building. Preceding the tourney, the six entrants and the high school band, with a police escort, will parade on Main Street, from the First National Bank corner to the Memorial Building. Mayor C. G. Byerly will “lag” the first marble in the city event. A total of 305 Mandan youngsters have competed in the three school playoffs.

Front page headlines in the Pioneer announced the tragic explosion of the silver-painted Zeppelin Hindenburg at Lakehurst, New Jersey, that killed at least 30 people. The fiery crash occurred on the Hindenburg’s 20th crossing of the Atlantic and exploded when it was 200 feet aloft and about to land.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Mrs. E. C. Johnson, widow of the late Edwin Johnson, who was drowned in the Heart River a few weeks ago, has in a last effort to recover the body, offered a reward of $500. After the public sale of the Johnson property at Sunny, three miles west of Mandan, Mrs. Johnson and family left on Wednesday for her former home at Mable, Minn. In the meantime, Capt. Hanley of Company F, National Guard, will be ordering out the company in another effort to find the body.”


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.

May 18, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 72 degrees above zero.

“Business is looking up. It is reported that two or three saloons are to be started up shortly.

“There is no end to the dogs in this community. Half of them- seven-eighths of them- are of no earthly use and pay no taxes, either themselves or their owners. It is to be hoped that the authorities will remedy this sad state of things once and for all.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email