Mandan News

Diane Boit: Mandan Chautauqua deemed a success, 1913

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

The second annual Heart River Folk Fest was held during the weekend of Aug. 13 on the banks of the Heart River at Fort Lincoln State Park triple shelter. The event featured 25 acts with 30 fine performers appearing simultaneously on three festival stages. Among the performers were singers Chuck and Linda Suchy, the Star Dust Twins – Debi Rogers and Ann Putz, Mandan’s singing mailman, Fred Braun, juggler Patrick Kuntz, magician Scott McFall, storyteller Mary Helen Pelton, and musicians Rick Watson, Dan Page, Doug Anderson, Kevin Rumery, Lauren Lesmeister, and the Hinkley-Larson duo from Minneapolis, Minn.


50 Years Ago – 1963

The John Iverson Company, an electric wholesale-distributor with warehouses in Mandan and Minot, has been sold to three company employees. Mrs. Ed Davison and Mrs. R.E. Schafer, both of Minot, and Mrs. Ellen Myers, Sherman Oaks, Calif., sold the company to Stanley Howard and Robert Brown, both of Minot; and to Clifford Walker, Mandan.

Walker, manager of the Mandan warehouse, joined the company directly from the N.D. School of Science in 1937 and, except for four years in the Navy, has been with the company since then. He is also a past president of the Mandan Chamber of Commerce.

Manager Cliff Walker stands in front of the John Iverson building at the Main Street and Collins Avenue, circa 1963. The John Iverson Company, an electric wholesale-distributor with warehouses in Mandan and Minot, was sold to three company employees that year.

Manager Cliff Walker stands in front of the John Iverson building at the Main Street and Collins Avenue, circa 1963. The John Iverson Company, an electric wholesale-distributor with warehouses in Mandan and Minot, was sold to three company employees that year.

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Another new church for Mandan was officially commenced when the congregation of the Mandan Episcopal Church gathered for a dedication service at the site of their future building, south of the new Mandan Hospital. After the worship service by Rector John Holton, the first shovel of earth was turned by Ernest J. George, the congregation’s oldest active member.

South Mandan was humming with activity this past week as six teams battled for three class championships in the Little League Baseball Tournament. In the Cubs division, Marmot clobbered the Mandan Elks, 10-0, in six innings, due to the 10-run rule, for the championship. Midget competition saw Mandan KCs squeak by Security Bank, 10-8, for the title in that division; and Ten Spot Lanes defeated Remund Ford, 8-1, for the PeeWee League championship. The Little League baseball summer program is sponsored by the Mandan Kiwanis Club and the City Park Board. Head coaches for all the teams are Bill Zwarych and Leo Stumpf; they are assisted by fathers, civic leaders and Legion ballplayers. More than 640 youngsters participated in this year’s program.


75 Years Ago – 1938

The Mandan training school team has won the North Dakota semi-professional baseball tournament, defeating the Northgate Internationals, 7-1, in Minot. Big Sidney Peterson, pitcher for the Mandan team who performed in all three tournament games, was the standout player in the contest, allowing four hits, with five strikeouts and no walks. The Trainers will be traveling to Lead, S.D., to participate in the regional semi-pro tournament.

Newly-elected officers of the St. Thomas More Council of the Knights of Columbus were installed at a meeting held in the basement of the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Included in the list of officers are: Chaplain, Rev. Father Hildebrand Eickhoff; grand knight, F.G. McCann; deputy grand knight, Edward Steinbruck, Jr.; chancellor, Francis Grunenfelder; recording secretary, A.J. Fix; financial secretary, T.P. Heisler; and treasurer, J.R. Madsen.

Miss Lila Clark is Mandan’s women’s tennis champion by virtue of her clean sweep over all opponents in the Mandan citywide tournament held on the municipal courts. William Russell is the men’s singles tennis champion.

Cars from 32 of the 48 states and four of the five Canadian provinces were checked on the streets of Mandan this past week during the annual traffic count sponsored by the Mandan Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Greater North Dakota Association. Stationed at the corner of Sixth Avenue N.W. and Main Street, Howard Griffin, acting for the Chamber of Commerce, kept track of all out-of-state cars passing that corner from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight and tabulated 365 out-of-state cars passing through Mandan, with Minnesota and Montana topping the list. This compares with 416 recorded in 1937. This year’s smaller amount is due to road construction on Highway 10.


A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1938 for JC Penney's. Penney's was a small clothing store located at 216 West Main St.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1938 for JC Penney’s. Penney’s was a small clothing store located at 216 West Main St.

100 Years Ago – 1913

“The receipts have been totaled for the 1913 Chautauqua event in Mandan. Total revenue came to $2,278.05, while the total expenses are estimated at about $2,500, which includes the purchase of new seats inside the big tent and permanent work on the camp grounds near the banks of the Heart River. Provisions will be made to raise the $200 shortage.

“Thousands attended the week-long event, resulting in downtown Mandan being nearly deserted every evening. Attendance averaged 1,200 per day, more than double of last year, and 336 campers were counted in the spacious picnic area. There were also numerous automobile parties from Flasher, Raleigh, New Salem, Fort Clark, Fort Rice and many other places which all contributed to the success of this year’s Chautauqua.

“Among the evening’s entertainment offered under the big tent were: Norton’s orchestra and band that played old and snappy, modern music. The crowd especially enjoyed and clapped to the music of the Alabama Minstrels who gave a first class performance. Also popular were the Chicago male quartette and the Hearon Sisters.

“Although mornings were generally devoted to talks on Domestic Science by Miss Grahame of the N. D. Agricultural College, the afternoon speakers included: remarks by Curator H. C. Fisk, secretary of the North Dakota Historical Society, who spoke of the early history of the Great Northwest and local Indian lore; an interesting lecture by Chancellor H. A. Buchtel of Colorado University and former governor of Colorado; humorous readings by Mandan’s own Miss Jessica Royer, and poems recited by James W. Foley, Poet Laureate of North Dakota.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

August 16, 1888: “On Friday, August 16, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 60 degrees above zero.

“The Pioneer’s steam press ran off 4,000 newspapers yesterday. How is that for circulation?

“The front of the Pioneer block (the 200 block on West Main) is being painted, the sidewalk is to be raised, and things are being brightened up generally at the west end of town.

“The Pioneer has learned the names of a couple of young ladies who were caught the other day on the hills north of town smoking cigarettes. They were making wry faces and did not seem to enjoy the smoke very much. It is foolish for anyone to smoke cigarettes, but the young lady that does it will soon find herself ostracized from good society.

“It is remarkable how cool the nights have been since the middle of July while the days have been so warm. This is another advantage that Dakota has over the East. No matter how hot the day may be, when night comes, the Dakotan can go to bed and sleep.

“Last night the mosquitoes dropped down on the west end of town in force and came near eating the inhabitants alive. A gentleman who resides at the east end was heard to boast that there were none of the pests down that way to speak of. The summer is not yet gone, and he should remember that he laughs best who laughs last.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email