Mandan News

Diane Boit: MHS Homecoming celebrated, 1987


25 Years Ago – 1987

Kathy Breuer and Bret Keeney were crowned King and Queen of the 1987 Mandan High School Homecoming festivities. Attending the Queen were: Kim Heck, Jennifer Mellen, Tricia Cook and Cheryl Voge. The MHS Royal Court was completed by Ken Clouston, Mike Bennett, Urby Friesz and Dan Hellman. Kris Boehm, the 1986 Homecoming Queen, had the honors of crowning this year’s King and Queen.

The MHS Homecoming game against St. Mary’s should have been a nice time and place for the Braves’ football team to break their losing streak, but it just didn’t happen. The Braves lost, 29-0. Although Bill Coghlan’s coaching staff was pleased with their defensive effort which forced five Bismarck St. Mary’s turnovers with outstanding defensive plays from Bret Keeney and Troy Walker, the offensive line led by quarterback George Walker was unable to cross the goal line for points.

The 1987 Mandan High School Homecoming Queen and King, Kathy Breuer and Bret Keeney.

50 Years Ago – 1962

Despite warnings from the U.S. Health Service against the Sabin oral polio vaccine, more than 25,000 Morton and Burleigh County adults and children turned out for their first doses of the type one vaccine administered on lumps of sugar and by drops for infants. Donations of 25 cents per person were requested, but the vaccine was given free, if needed. Three hundred fifty volunteers helped administer the sugar lumps and drops. Drs. W. Gene Garrett and H. Peter Smeenk were co-chairmen of the project.

Mandan’s Main Street was a scene of frenzied activity during Mad Market Days after more than 3,000 ping-pong balls were dropped from a low-flying airplane of Midway Flying Service. Inside the balls were little slips of paper listing prizes to be given away by Mandan merchants. One of the prize winners was Mrs. Bill Walz, 400 First St. N.E.; she won a 17-jewel Bulova wrist watch offered by Hendrickson Jewelers.

George A. Rogler, Mandan, research agronomist at the Northern Great Plains Field Station, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy at its 54th meeting held in Ithaca, N.Y. He was one of 22 society members from 18 states to receive the honor. The Kansas native has been engaged in scientific crops research since 1936 when he came to the Mandan station.

C.H. Walker, manager of the John Iverson Company, has been named general chairman of Mandan’s United Fund campaign. He succeeds William Hodny. This year’s fund goal is $16,400.

Mr. and Mrs. Art Nickel are the new owners of Nickel’s Firestone Store at 204 West Main Street. The couple purchased the former Fix Farm and Auto Supplies store from Mrs. Rose Fix. The staff at the Firestone Store also includes a former employee, Terrance Helbling.

The price of haircuts has risen in Mandan. Adult haircuts are up 25 cents and are now $1.75 in all Mandan and Bismarck barbershops. Children’s haircuts have also risen, from $1.25 to $1.50, while shaves are being priced at $1.25. The local barbers said that the last price increase took place in 1958.

A surprise visit by a former World War I buddy brightened the day for Clifford Norby, of Mandan, who has been hospitalized in St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck for several weeks. Mason A. Crook of Los Angeles, Calif., who served with Norby in the 21st Aerial Squadron in France, has been on the road for more than four months and has covered well over 26,000 miles, calling on former members of his squadron. Mr. Norby was the 53rd buddy he has visited.


75 Years Ago – 1937

Fifty-nine years in the newspaper business were closed for Smith Abraham Young, 68, this past week when death came instantly as a result of an accidental fall down the stairs from his living quarters above the print shop at 107 Fourth Ave. N.W. Funeral services were held in the auditorium of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with burial in the Union Cemetery.

Born in Cairo, Alexander County, Ill., Mr. Young arrived in Mandan in 1904 from Flandreau, S.D., where he was apprenticed in a newspaper and printing office while still in school. He purchased the Mandan Times and later the Mandan Republican, and became the State Printer for three sessions of the N.D. Legislature. In the 1920s he opened Young’s Printery and then launched the Morton County News, a weekly newspaper, as a continuation of the Flasher Tribune. His son, Roy, has been associated with him in the business since 1933.

Surviving are three sons, Russell of Bismarck; Fred of Seattle, Wash.; and Roy O. of Mandan, all of whom have followed their father’s footsteps in the printing trade. He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrtle, who died in 1932.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Working two crews day and night, the local mill of the Russell Miller Milling company is turning out on an average of 550 barrels of the best flour made every day of the week, including Sunday. An extra force has been put to work owing to the rush of business and the two crews, which work 12-hour shifts each, number more than 50 men. The highest output of flour reached thus far was on Monday when 563 barrels were turned out.

“The Elks will hold a big session on Monday evening in honor of the first anniversary of their institution. There will also be an initiation of new members on that evening.

“C. J. Beba, who resides near Huff, was brought to this city in a very serious condition the fore part of the week, having suffered greatly from a broken limb and exposure. Mr. Beba was returning to his farm when his team took fright and ran away. When the terrified horses galloped down a ditch, he was thrown from the wagon and sustained a terrible fracture of the left leg. Unable to walk and follow his team, he was compelled to spend the night on the prairie and was discovered early in the morning by passing farmers and taken to Huff. The local physician brought the injured man by automobile to Mandan and placed him in the hospital where the fracture was set.”


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 7, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 65 degrees above zero.

“The city council met last night and approved an Ordinance making appropriations for the coming year. It provides for the total city tax levy of four and one-half mills. It also provides for a salary of $100 a year for the Mayor, beginning next April, and a payment of two dollars to each alderman for every time he attends a meeting of the board. Special meetings and adjourned regular meetings will not be paid for.

“Thomas McGowan showed us today three potatoes weighing 9 3/4 lbs., one weighing 4 1/2 lbs., all from one stalk, besides four smaller ones. These were grown on Hannah’s Addition.

“The Territory of Dakota is 50,932 square miles, there being only two states larger- California and Texas. The population is estimated at 600,000, making it larger than the states of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire or Nebraska. It is also estimated that the Territory’s population is increasing at the rate of 7,000 per month.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email