Mandan News

Diane Boit: Mandan Girl Scout awarded Golden Eaglet, 1938

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

Sixty-four golfers turned out for the annual Otto Evenrud Golf Tournament. It took a 61 to win the four-man scramble event. The winning team included: Harlan Bullinger, Bismarck; LeRoy McArthur, Jan Christianson, and Ollie Arenz, all of Mandan. A stroke behind was the Mandan four-some of Jack Johnson, Ivan Williams, Bob Hillard and Leonie Smith.

The proposal by Terry Callies, Bottineau, and Craig Larson, Mandan, to revitalize the Twilight Hills ski area, south of Ft. Lincoln State Park, is nearly complete. Twilight Hills first opened in January of 1964 and closed in November 1967 due to record-setting warm winter weather that defeated the efforts to keep the snow from melting away. The project, currently dubbed “White Mountain,” has 418 feet of vertical drop with the longest run over one-half mile. Plans call for four chair lifts, one surface tow and a day lodge. Projections are for 100,000 skiers to use the facility each season when completed. The opening target date is set for the 1989-90 season, pending financing approval.


50 Years Ago – 1963

George Cram, Jr., of Bismarck, has won the Mandan Golf Tournament Championship, but did not have it clinched until the final hole of the Championship Flight when he birdied on the ninth hole to defeat Dick Nierling, of Jamestown, one-up. Fifty-three golfers from Bismarck, Mandan, Jamestown, Beulah, Underwood and Moffitt competed in the two-day event. Chuck Fischer, of Mandan, took the First Flight with a sudden death three-hole playoff with Gary Jacobson, Mandan.

Close to 600 persons were served chicken dinners at the shady picnic grove southwest of Mandan, near the Heart River, for the 50th anniversary of the annual event staged by the Heart River Lutheran ladies. The four-tiered cake, with the fourth layer in the shape of a church, was made by Mrs. Carl Olsen. People from 12 states and Sweden were recorded in the guest book. Mrs. Carl Hendrickson, the former Nancy Christenson, is the only charter member of the ladies group who was still active behind the serving table. Another charter member, Mrs. Axel Larson, was also present.


75 Years Ago – 1938

Miss Dorothy Louise Dow, 16-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy F. Dow, who has been active in Girl Scouting for the past five years and is a member of the Wahca Tinta troop, has received official word from the national Girl Scout headquarters that she has been selected to receive the Golden Eaglet, the highest award in the Girl Scout organization. Miss Dow is a charter member of the Wahca Tinta troop, registering on Aug. 1, 1933; she is the first Mandan girl to receive the Girl Scout’s highest honor.

According to Charles Pierce in the “Hits and Mrs.” column of the Pioneer newspaper, tourists disembarking at the Mandan Depot have been asking local residents to take their picture while being seated in the old stagecoach that is still situated near the freight depot. The stagecoach and the dancing Indians are popular well-known attractions for the depot crowd.

Laborers employed by the city of Mandan are busily engaged in draining the stagnant waters from the lowlands in the southeast and southwest sections of Mandan which were flooded last month when the Heart River backed up into that area after a heavy rain fall. More than 200 citizens from the flooded sections appeared before the city commission seeking city aid in the draining of the swamp-like area. The laborers were also ordered to pour oil over the swamplands to prevent a mosquito infestation and, according to Mayor C.G. Byerly, at least a thousand gallons of oil will be used to destroy the pests.

Land-locked fish, which entered the larger sloughs and the old Heart River channel from the Missouri River during July’s high water stage, have been providing food for the families residing in the Girard addition. Bullheads and catfish, weighing as much as eight to 12 pounds, are being caught by a large group of men and boys who line the riverbanks. Surplus fish can also be purchased in the local grocery stores.


A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1938 for Red Owl Store. According to the 1930 City Directory, the Red Owl grocery was located at 118 W. Main St.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1938 for Red Owl Store. According to the 1930 City Directory, the Red Owl grocery was located at 118 W. Main St.

100 Years Ago – 1913

“With practically all of the rye cut, farmers have this week begun the cutting of wheat. Mike Breiner reports having cut his wheat last Monday; Matt Weigel cut his on Saturday. In an around St. Anthony, nearly all are cutting wheat; the binders are getting busy.

“On last Friday afternoon during the high wind, the barn of Thomas McCormick, who lives in the Syndicate, caught on fire and was completely destroyed. The fire company made a quick run but was unable to reach the scene in time to do anything but prevent the fire from spreading. The loss is estimated at $750 and is covered by insurance. It is thought the fire began from sparks flying from a passing train to the roof of the barn.

“T. G. C. ‘Cleve’ Kennelly has secured the agency for the Harley-Davidson motorcycles for Morton and adjacent counties and has ordered a twin-cylinder, eight-horsepower demonstrator, which will be here within a couple of weeks. The motorcycle fever has struck Mandan, and Mr. Kennelly declares that he will be able to show the prospective purchasers a machine that has anything on two wheels outclassed.

“Honus Wetzstein, clerk at the M. Lang Grocery Co. in Mandan, met with serious injuries while riding a motorcycle last Sunday to the Fort Rice celebration. While passing an automobile, he was compelled to run into a ditch. Upon returning to the road, the motorcycle swerved and Wetzstein lost his balance and was thrown in front of the vehicle. The heavy automobile, owned by a Bismarck businessman, passed over Wetzstein’s legs and inflicted injuries about the hips and stomach. However, the motorcycle was not damaged, and Wetzstein rode it home, despite the injuries received.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

August 9, 1888: “On Friday, August 9, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 61 degrees above zero.

“The total lunar eclipse of last night lasted nearly an hour. Those who watched it in Mandan describe the scene as being a beautiful one. Light and dark clouds passed over the earth, giving the moon an appearance of continually changing color.

“Everyone is welcome to come to the ‘Pink Tea’ at the Emerson Institute tomorrow evening. Regular supper for 25 cents will be served from 6 to 8. Ice cream and cake for 15 cents, Lemonade, 5 cents. The supper is given by the ladies for the benefit of the Methodist Church of Mandan.

“Mr. Andrew Morck brought a bundle of oats and one of wheat to town this morning which were each 4 feet 11 inches tall. This grain was raised about two miles from Mandan.

“Yesterday afternoon and evening, block six was the scene of considerable commotion. In the afternoon, a lively dog fight took place which came near resulting in a combat between the two owners. In the evening, a sort of free-for-all fight came off in one of the saloons. One of the participants received a cut on his forehead, and another man, who arrived at an inopportune moment, was mistaken for a fighter and got a rap with a chair. Although the disturbance lasted a number of minutes, no one was seriously hurt.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email