Mandan News

Diane Boit: Mushik Shoe Store closes, 1988

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1988

After 79 years of providing shoes for the people of Mandan, Mushik Shoe Store is about to close. According to Jerry Hoff, the store’s owner since 1962, “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the Bismarck malls.” Hoff, a Mandan native, began working in the store in 1962, when it was owned by John Mushik III, the third Mushik to own the business.

Mushik’s great-grandfather, John Mushik I, began the store in 1909 in the 100 block of East Main St. The cobbler then moved into larger quarters and also began selling only men’s shoes at 110 West Main St., sharing the building with A.S. Brazda and Mike Gish, tailors. John Mushik Jr. joined his father at the store in 1917, and they worked together until John Sr. died on Good Friday, 1938. John Jr. died unexpectedly six years later in 1944, leaving his widow to manage the store until their three sons returned from World War II when John III then took over until retiring in 1962.

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The Mandan Athletic and Recreation Club has honored two MHS athletes for February. Neil Anderson in wrestling and Val Kautzmann in volleyball. He is the first three-time heavy weight state champion in the history of Mandan High School, with a 33-0-2 record. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Anderson. Val ended her volleyball career as the high point getter with 114 points, high in aces with 35, and tops in last touches with 116. Her parents are George and Phyllis Kautzmann, Mandan.


50 Years Ago – 1963

Harold Schafer, former Mandan resident and current president of the Gold Seal Company, spoke to Mandan Rotary Club members this past week as the club honored him for his success. The program, arranged by Colin Cary, included distribution of brochures giving highlights of Schafer’s life and his multi-million dollar business, which was created within a span of just 20 years. Schafer’s latest project, in a plan to advertise North Dakota, is the restoration of Medora as a national historical center and a major tourist.

More than 600 cartons of rations, sanitary and medical supplies have been received at the Morton County Courthouse from Offutt Air Force Base, near Lincoln, Neb. According to Morton County Civil Defense Director Newell W. Clarke, the supplies will be distributed to the six fallout shelters situated in Morton County; the shelters can accommodate up to 1,100 people. The shelters include: the courthouse, St. Joseph School, the Lewis and Clark Hotel and the Mandan Creamery, all in Mandan; and Black’s Motor Sales, New Salem; and Hebron Motors, Inc. of Hebron.


75 Years Ago – 1938

Thirty-two Mandan Masonic experts took their second consecutive victory over the Bismarck Masonic players at the third in a series of meets between the two lodges held at the Bismarck temple and gained possession of the tournament trophy, which they will hold until Bismarck has two consecutive wins. Dr. Bernard Nickerson and W.F. McClelland, of Mandan, placed high in the match with a combined score of 6670 while high honors for the Bismarck entries were taken by the Bowman-Graven team with 5940.

Members of the Mandan Elks lodge have elected a full set of officers at the annual lodge election. A.C. Rausch will preside as Exalted Ruler, with Charles Toman as Esteemed Leading Knight; reelected were Jack Murray, secretary; J.J. Noakes, treasurer; and P.C. Lockbeam, as tiler (the guard at the door). Other activities included initiation of new candidates. A Dutch lunch, ping pong, pool and cards occupied the “brothers” at the conclusion of the lodge meeting.


Ad from a 1938 issue of the Mandan Pioneer, featuring roller skating at the Dome, which was located on the east end of The Strip near the Memorial Bridge.

Ad from a 1938 issue of the Mandan Pioneer, featuring roller skating at the Dome, which was located on the east end of The Strip near the Memorial Bridge.

100 Years Ago – 1913

“Julius Tifft was arrested Thursday morning by Sheriff Charles McDonald and is at present confined to the county jail awaiting a hearing on the charge of maintaining a common nuisance. Tifft is alleged to have conducted, for some time, a blind pig in a small building near the Heart River bridge in the Syndicate on the road leading to the reform school. Three bottles of Golden Grain Belt beer were confiscated from the premises.

“The annual election of officers occurred at the meeting of Mandan Lodge No. 1256 B. P. O. Elks on Wednesday evening of this week. Due to the efficient work done by Mr. L. H. Connolly during the past two years, he was re-elected for another term as Exalted Ruler.

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“It took a woman to play the part of Marshall at St. Anthony last Sunday night, and there is some talk of running her for the office of constable at the next election, says the Pioneer correspondent from that community.

“It appears there were about 10 men mixed up in the fight which was a free-for-all and started about 7 o’clock in the evening. After about an hour of this racket, which resulted in the breaking of numerous windows, fences and furnishings, the woman in the case decided it should be stopped and taking a whip she uses for driving hogs, she went after the scrappers. She drove one party of four under the porch of the St. Anthony Hall, and it was 11 o’clock before they summoned enough nerve to come out and go to their homes to thaw out, for they were nearly frozen from the night air and cold ground.”


In 1988, the Mushik Shoe Store announced it was closing its store at 100 W. Main St. This photo of the inside of the shoe store was taken in 1917.

In 1988, the Mushik Shoe Store announced it was closing its store at 100 W. Main St. This photo of the inside of the shoe store was taken in 1917.

125 Years Ago – 1888

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

April 5, 1888: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 42 degrees above zero.

“The city election passed off quietly this week, and Mandan has a new mayor in Dr. Henry W. Coe. He defeated C. E. Meech, 162 votes to 90. (Voters were all adult males; women were not allowed to vote.) The full Knight ticket, including members of the school board, was carried by a vote of two to one. Not a single democratic nominee was elected.

“The Knights of Labor, jubilant over the brilliant success of their ticket, gave Dr. Coe a fine reception on Tuesday night. After Coe’s victory was assured, the Knights, headed by the Mandan band, processed to the doctor’s house, their way lighted by torches, and called for a speech from Mandan’s new mayor. He stepped out on his porch, and when the cheering ceased, he thanked his supporters and bade ‘good-night’ after saying, ‘We’ve captured the town, now we must capture the County, then the Territory and then the Presidency of the United States!’

“Chief Telegrapher Wood has a new bicycle that is so high that only he can ride it. It is one of the kicking sort. The other day it helped Mr. Wood to a closer look at Mandan’s muddy Main Street.

“The Pioneer engine arrived today from the East, and in the course of a few days, the machinery of this newspaper office will be run by steam power.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email