Mandan News

Diane Boit: Mandan celebrates Miss New Year Baby, 1938


25 Years Ago – 1988

According to Wallace Joersz, chairman of the Mandan Public School Board, the board dealt with three major areas during 1987 that resulted in a disappointing year. The areas were the inability of the board to come to grips with balancing the budget in five years, not implementing a tax increase with cuts in the budget, and not organizing a kindergarten program. However, a bit of good news –  he also noted that in September, 3,300 students were enrolled in Mandan Public Schools, a drop of just five students from the previous year.

When asked how Morton County is faring after 1987, Commission Chairman Henry Gustin replied, “Well, we’re in the black! And taxes were not raised this year.” According to Gustin, Morton County’s budget for 1988 is set at $8.4 million, which is a lot easier to manage now with the use of computers.

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Mandan High School’s Snowball dance was held Saturday, Jan. 2, at the MHS gym, beginning with the Grand March and followed by the crowning of the Snowball King and Queen, who were selected by votes of the student body. Leading the Grand March was Junior Class President Jason Arenz and his date, followed by the Senior Class President Greg Fitterer and his date.

Snoball Queen Laura Gerding and King Jason Arenz enjoy the royal treatment at the annual 1988 Mandan High School SnoBall.

50 Years Ago – 1963

Mr. and Mrs. Gary Weiand, Glen Ullin, won the New Year’s baby race in the city of Mandan by becoming the proud parents of an 8 pound, 5 1/2 ounce baby boy born at 1:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at the Mandan Community Hospital. B.A. Girard was the attending physician.

Mrs. Don Hudson has been installed Worthy Matron of Queen Esther Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, at ceremonies held in Mandan’s Masonic Temple. She succeeds Mrs. Otto DeLaBarre. The new Worthy Matron was given gifts from her daughter, Mrs. Ray Jahola, of Linton, and from her son and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Serr who presented the handmade gavel, the traditional ceremonial gift given by the Serrs each year.

Black top hats, champagne glasses and pink elephants silhouetted the walls of the Municipal Country Club on New Year’s Eve for the annual Revelers’ Club dinner-dance. Multiple colored balloons and chains of crepe paper formed a false ceiling, while two large black pocket watches with gold hands revealing the midnight hour were suspended on opposite walls. Dinner was served to 87 persons at tables centered with top hats, colored balloons and candles. The evening’s dancing music was provided by the Jim Collins orchestra. Party chairmen were Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hendrickson, assisted by the Lee Mohrs, Richard Gallaghers, Berlin Boyds, J.R. Madsens, Harold Robinsons, E.C. Tomans and Mrs. Ann Walter.

Four Hollywood giant stars have died within the past 18 days: actors Charles Laughton on Dec. 15 and Thomas Mitchell, Dec. 17; and both Dick Powell and comic Jack Carson, on Jan. 2.


75 Years Ago – 1938

It’s Miss 1938 in Mandan!

A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold S. Christianson at 3:40 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 3. Oreen Ann Elle is the name selected by the parents for the 8 pound, 8 ounce girl born at their home, 306 1/2 Second St. N.W. She joins a 2-year-old brother, Gene Arnold.

As is the custom in the city, merchants will award prizes to the New Year’s baby and her family. Among the gifts are: 18 quarts of fresh pasteurized milk from the Purity Dairy Company, white baby shoes at Mushik Shoe Store, a dress at the Cummins Store, a baby carriage set at Buttrey’s, a birthday cake from the Mandan Bakery, a rocking chair from Kennelly Furniture Company, baby powder, shampoo and cream from Taylor Drug store, a wool sweater from the Hat and Novelty Shoppe, a savings account of $1 at First National Bank, a silver spoon and baby cup from jewelers, C.G. Conyne and L.T. Larson; butter, ice cream, cottage cheese and eggs from the Mandan Creamery; and a six-month subscription to the Mandan Daily Pioneer newspaper. And, insisting the proud father should be entitled to a share of the credit, the Connolly Chevrolet Company is presenting a cigar lighter for the car.

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Frost-covered trees and building, along with a drop of 30 degrees in temperature, provided a new wintery touch in the Mandan area this week. The mercury plummeted from a high of 34 degrees Tuesday to a low of 4 during the night. The lowest temperature in the state was 11 below, recorded at Grand Forks.

J.R. Fitzsimmons, Mandan, has been reelected chairman of the Morton County Commissioners when the group reorganized for the new year at its January session. Dr. F.E. Bunting was reappointed superintendent of the county board of health, while Dr. C.C. Smith and Atty. R.F. Gallagher were renamed members of the county board of insanity.


100 Years Ago – 1913

“A good crowd attended the New Year’s party held at the Opera House last Tuesday evening with fine music provided by the Tympanum orchestra. Dancing was indulged in from 1912 to 1913, and the entire crowd remained to welcome the New Year.

“Although everyone is glad for the beginning of a new year, readers may as well be reminded that the coming year will have a most ‘unlucky’ day for those who believe in forebodings of evil. Mark June 13, 1913 on your calendars; it occurs on a Friday.

“The call for volunteers to donate skin for grafting onto the cruelly burned body of Miss Barbara Schlinger was answered by many people of Mandan, but it was her 15-year old sister, Theresa, and 21-year old brother, Anton, who were donors of the needed epidermis, and the skin grafting operations performed at the Mandan hospital were successful.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

January 4, 1888: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 10 degrees below zero.

“Quite a number of young people have been spending the fine moonlight evenings of the past week in skating on the sluice at the east end of town, but we fear that the snow which fell today will interfere, more or less, with this amusement.

“Peter Shelins, an old settler on the Custer Flats, was made happy this past week with the arrival of his family from Sweden.

“We desire to state that now the Indian has begun to smoke the cigarette of the Pale Face; his last claim to the sympathy and respect of mankind had now gone.

“If your cup is full- your lignite having been put in last summer -and you don’t know what to pray for, pray for the engineers and firemen and conductors and brakemen of the trains that have to run during the toughest days of the winter season.


(To contact Diane Boit, email