Mandan News

Diane Boit: Mandan Elks install new officers, 1937

25 Years Ago – 1987

This year’s play produced by the Mandan High School’s drama department is “The Crucible,” written by Arthur Miller. Based on the famous Salem, Mass., witch trials of 1692, the play is directed by Wes Hellman and will be performed at the Christ the King gymnasium. Principal cast members are: Dana Farner as Elizabeth Proctor, Scott Slater as Deputy Governor Danforth, Mark Engelter as Rev. John Hale; Christi Maruska as Abigail Williams; Sarah Zittlow as Mary Warren; and John Bender as the Rev. Samuel Parris.

James Coats has been named Mandan’s American Legionnaire of the Year for 1987. The award is based upon the individual’s contributions to the Legion on a local, state and national level. Coats has more than 40 years of continuous membership in the American Legion and has held various offices, including Post Commander for Mandan. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Asiatic Pacific Theater during World War II and currently teaches math and science at Mandan High School.

North Dakota’s unemployment rate for February is down to 6.3 percent; almost two points lower than in the 8 percent in 1986. Divide, Williams and McKenzie counties had the highest rate at 11.1 percent.


50 Years Ago – 1962

An agreement has been reached on terms for a new contract at the American Oil Co. Refinery with only a few minutes to spare before a midnight strike deadline. Officials of Local 10 of the Independent Oil Workers Union will now ask their members to approve a new 18-month contract, calling for a 3 percent wage increase. The union claims 193 members at the refinery. Company officials reported the average hourly wage, before the agreement, at $3.19.

The Mandan League of Women Voters have elected new officers during their annual meeting held at the Municipal Country Club in Mandan. Elected are: Mrs. William Hodny, president; Mrs. R.J. Kasper, first vice president and Mrs. Herbert Simons, secretary- treasurer.

After a five-year run, 43-year-old Jack Paar has quit hosting NBC’s popular “The Tonight Show.” His replacement will be 36-year-old Johnny Carson, who is currently hosting the ABC daytime show, “Who Do You Trust?” Carson has also been a regular panelist on the CBS game show “To Tell The Truth.”

Two ads from a 1962 issue of the Mandan Daily Pioneer. (top) An ad from the Transfer Company, which was located on the south side of East Main Street at approximately 501 E. Main, opposite the location of the current Hardee's restaurant. (bottom) An ad for the Colonial Restaurant-Motel, which was on the east end of The Strip, 4631 Memorial Highway, where the motel is still in operation.

75 Years Ago – 1937

Fried fresh smelt, straight from the Columbia River, followed by a half hour’s entertainment by the State Training School boys’ and girls’ chorus, were featured at the annual installation of officers meeting of the local Elks Lodge. The choruses sang and whistled a variety of lively songs. The groups were led by Supt. McClelland and accompanied by Walter C. Tostevin on the piano.

Following an encore for several more musical numbers, Elks officers for the coming year were installed including: John Rothlisberger, Exalted Ruler; A.C. Rausch, Leading Knight; Charles Toman, Loyal Knight; John Brekken, Lecturing Knight; P.C. Lockbeam, Tyler; J.J. Murray, Secretary; and J.H. Noakes, Treasurer.

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The Mandan firemen will again sponsor the traditional firemen’s benefit ball on Easter Monday evening at the Hudson Hall, Main Street. According to Chief Mike Heidt, guests will dance to the music of Harold Yesley and his seven-piece orchestra of Bismarck, formerly of Mandan and former radio artists over KGCU. Arrangements for the annual event are being made by a committee, including Chief Heidt, John Fleck, Clarence Bergman, George Jorde, Joseph V. Boehm, Ernest Leppart, Michael Kraft and Earl Vogelpohl.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Feminine Mandan is now in the midst of the ‘Hat’ season. Selecting an Easter bonnet is always a problem, and every daughter of Eve is wondering and worrying whether it is going to be a Kabby, a Helen Taft, a Parisian model, a Two-Tone or a Raffia, etcetera. On display are dozens of hats with flowers, feathers and plumes, in colors of linen, putty, ecru or opal, ranging in price from two dollars up to twenty-five dollars. Surely, there is a hat to suit every woman in Mandan.

“The Cummins, Thorberg and Theis Co. store (200 West Main St.) must have ordered the weather especially for their Tuesday and Wednesday opening, as it was ideal for the purpose. The ladies were at the store before the doors opened, and the swarm of females to the millinery department continued throughout both days. In just a few days, the ladies will gaze upon even more hats during the opening of the Boston Cash Store (120 West Main St.) where the Sullivans are working hard to get everything in shape for opening day.

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“E. K. Hanson, the contractor, is putting up a new church building for the Scandinavian Lutheran society, nine miles west of Mandan on the Heart River. It will cost in the neighborhood of $1500.

“The Mott train on Saturday evening was the scene of a fistic exhibition that attracted some attention. Two threshing machine men got into an argument which culminated in a free-for-all. At the switch east of the city, both men left the train and went at the fight in earnest. Another man on board the train could not stand to see it going on without taking a hand in the battle, so he pitched in and licked the best man of the two. According to rumors, the winner was of Irish descent.”


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 13, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 55 degrees above zero.

“The amount of freight that is moving on the Northern Pacific is something wonderful. Tens of thousands of tons are going west, and everything is moving along smoothly.

“The town was full of farmers today who had come in for seed wheat. The local railroad officials were up to their eyes in work, getting the wheat placed where it will do the most good.

“Ex-Mayor Rice, having been relieved of the duties attending the office of Mayor, has been giving some of his time to the fine arts. The other day he made a pencil sketch of his dog ‘Don,’ which is very life-like and exceedingly artistic.

“Of course, Mandan isn’t a big city yet. We know it, but we don’t want such overwhelming greatness all at once. Great cities are sore spots on the body politic and are hives of inordinate wealth and abject poverty, and are like a smoldering volcano. It is not surprising then that leveling socialism breeds in them.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email