Mandan News

Diane Boit: MaNDan sign on Crying Hill re-dedicated, 1987


25 Years Ago – 1987

This past week, a group of 50 people gathered on the vacant lot, east of Mandan Avenue, to dedicate the huge, newly-completed MaNDan sign on Crying Hill. Dan Ulmer served as master of ceremonies, while Elmer Worthington, city forester, outlined a history of the sign and its construction.

The sign, originally constructed on the south side of Crying Hill in the mid-1930s by local Boy Scout troops, consisted of more than 100 white painted rocks, which had a tendency to roll down the hill each spring, resulting in an annual trek back up the hill to “fix” the sign. According to Worthington, the “new” sign will end those annual trips, as it’s been redone in wide concrete strips set deeply into the ground, high on the east side of Crying Hill where MaNDan can now be easily seen by motorists on Interstate 94.

The local landmark Mandan Crying Hill, located just west of Mandan Avenue, which was completed in the mid-1930s and refinished in 1987.

50 Years Ago – 1962

Four new members have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Mandan Hospital Association at its annual meeting. Elected were Robert Chase, William Kelsch, J.C. Pfeifer and Fred Port. Jack Danz is president of the board.

“Old McDonald Had a Farm” was the theme of the Saturday night party of the Revelers Club held in the Mandan Country Club, with 96 members in attendance. Table decorations consisted of miniature barns, silos and farm animals to harmonize with the room atmosphere created by plows, cream cans and other farm items. Herb Simons acted as toastmaster and introduced guests and new members, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Leslie and Mr. and Mrs. Warren Buehler. Dancing followed the dinner hour. The Verne Harms were the committee chairmen in charge of arrangements.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A 50-pound, 30-inch Baby Ruth candy bar has been presented to the State Industrial School by Wally Joersz, on behalf of Bill’s Super Valu of Mandan. The bar had been on display at the local store where patrons were invited to guess the number of peanuts in the bar. After winners were declared, it took two hours to cut the candy bar with an electric meat saw, and its 287 pieces were distributed to all of the students at SIS.

There were 7,850 peanuts in the bar. Winners of the peanut guessing contest, who received a box of 24 Baby Ruth bars, were Harris Lang, Mrs. Fred Sands, Alfred Larsen, A.S. Brazda, Mrs. Al Otto, Mrs. Carl F. Miller, Susan Helferich and Stephanie Lill, all of Mandan, and Daisy Hayes, Hensler.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In a nationwide study of income groupings prepared by Sales Management, Mandan is shown to have more families with incomes over $4,000 than most other communities in the United States. According to the report, 61.9 percent of the local households had cash incomes, after taxes, of $4,000 or more in 1961; 9.1 percent were in the $7,000 to $10,000 bracket. Those with cash earnings of $2,500 to $4,000, after taxes, comprised 19.2 percent of Mandan households.


75 Years Ago – 1937

Postmaster General James A. Farley visited Mandan last week in his “hand-shaking” trip across the United States. In addition to the high school band, which played martial airs and the local National Guard unit which had vainly attempted to hold the crowd in check, more than a thousand people were on hand for Farley’s reception during a 10-minute stopover on the evening train No. 1. For eight of the 10 minutes of the train stop in Mandan, Farley’s arm pumped continuously as he shook hands at the rate of 65 per minute. Almost 500 of the crowd of 1,000 which had packed the depot platform filed through the reception line to shake hands with the Postmaster General. Farley is also the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and is regarded as President Roosevelt’s right-hand assistant.

The granddaddy of all locomotives, the “9000” passed through Mandan en route to Spokane, Wash., where it will see duty on the Columbia River scenic route. The engine measures 132 feet in length.

Another son was born this month to Mr. and Mrs. George Zachmeier, who resides 5 miles north of the city. This makes the sixth boy in the family, which also includes three girls.

Funeral rites were held this past week at Mandan’s First Presbyterian Church for Mrs. Florence Tostevin, 67, wife of E.A. Tostevin, publisher of the Mandan Daily Pioneer. A Wisconsin native, Florence Clemons married Edwin Tostevin in 1888 and came to Mandan in 1909 when the family purchased the Mandan Pioneer. Survivors include two sons, Walter and Edwin, and their families. A third and oldest son, Earle, died in 1933.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Monday night was an important one in the annals of the Mandan hospital for at that time Miss Elizabeth Hause, the first to finish her course of trained nursing in the local institution, was given her diploma and pin. After receiving the diploma, the graduate was presented with a handsome silver desk set by the other nurses at the hospital. During her three years here, Miss Hause has made many friends who will regret to see her leave. She will go today for a brief visit to her home in St. Paul before entering upon her work.

“‘The Boston Red Sox are World Champions. Did you pick the winner?’ That is the question that was going the rounds last week from the farthest precincts of the county to Olaf Killand’s office in the courthouse. The interest taken in the big series was also evidenced by the crowds that hung about the City Candy Store where the Pioneer bulletins were posted on the windows. The phone in the Pioneer office was also kept jingling all of the time by fans eager for the latest news. With three games won apiece, the final game of the series was played at Boston and went ten innings before the Red Sox chased over the two needed runs to win the game over the New York Giants, 3-2.”


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.

October 26, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 43 degrees above zero.

“The Indians hugged their blankets today.

“Running Antelope and a number of his braves passed through town this morning en route from Fort Berthold to Fort Yates.

“Hjalmer Swanberg, the Syndicate farmer, who lost a team valued at $500 when the animals stepped through the coverings of an old well, resulting in their being shot, has not gotten rid of his ill luck. On Monday he was stacking his flax when a high wind came up and blew a large amount of it over the hills and far away. Mr. Swanberg estimates that 300 bushels were lost through the work of the wind.

“It being the occasion of his birthday, a number of Mandan friends drove out to George Harmon’s last night, and before he was aware of it, they pounced down upon him and showered their most hearty congratulations and presented him with a handsome silver cup and saucer as a memento of the occasion. The evening was spent in social games and dancing, which was kept up fast and furious until the early hours of this morning.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email