Mandan News

Diane Boit: Pedersen retires after 50 years with NP, 1963


25 Years Ago – 1988

Neil Anderson in wrestling and Lisa Kalvoda in volleyball have been selected as Athletes of the Month for December by the Mandan Athletic and Recreation Club.

Neil was undefeated in December with a 10-0 record. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Anderson. Lisa leads the Mandan volleyball team in hard work and dedication. During December she had 34 points, 7 aces, 22 kills and 6 blocks. Lisa is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Kalvoda.


50 Years Ago – 1963

William (Bill) H. Pedersen has retired after 50 1/2 years of employment as a machinist with the Northern Pacific Railroad. The Mandan native began working as an apprentice in the roundhouse in 1912 at the age of 15. Four years later he became roundhouse foreman, supervising more than 160 men, becoming the youngest foreman with the company at that time. In his more than half century on the job, he was absent from work only once for any length of time – 8 1/2 months due to a serious injury suffered in the roundhouse.

Dr. A.J. Stenslie, local optometrist, spoke to members of the Mandan Lions Club on latest fashion in eyewear – Contact Lenses. According to Stenslie, these small plastic lenses are placed directly upon the eyeball and have proven to be helpful to those with severe vision problems which even very thick eyeglasses cannot correct. However, at a cost of nearly $900 a pair, very few people are able to afford contacts, which can only be worn in four-hour intervals.

After three months, all of the 40-odd Soviet missiles secretly installed in Cuba last year are reported to be back in Russia. Even though the Cuban Missile Crisis has passed, President Kennedy plans to prolong the naval blockade and aerial surveillance of Cuba to safeguard against any new sneak Soviet operations.


75 Years Ago – 1938

All officers of the First National of Mandan were reelected for the coming year at the annual meeting held in the bank building. The official staff includes: J.R. Madsen, president; W.J. Watson, vice president; and A.R. Weinhandl, vice president and cashier.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Fortnightly Club, which was founded in 1908, members observed the day at the club’s annual play day program in the home of Mrs. Fred W. McKendry. Costumes, fashionable 30 years ago, were worn by the guests, and a prize for the best costume was awarded to Mrs. Frank L. Gruye.

T.P. Heisler, who recently purchased the stock and fixtures of the Associated Store on West Main Street, has completed remodeling and is now placing on display a large stock of new goods for its grand opening sale. Heisler is sole owner and proprietor of the store and is also a member of the Mandan City Commission.

The organization of Mandan’s fifth Boy Scout troop was accomplished this week at a meeting held in the First Lutheran Church. The troop, with 15 prospective members, will be sponsored by the Men’s Brotherhood of the Lutheran church. Harold Kuebker has been selected as Scoutmaster. Others at the meeting were Rev. O.O. Andvik, pastor of the Lutheran church, and Gunder Kjol, president of the Men’s Brotherhood.

T.G.C. Kennelly and Edward Knutson, Jr. have been elected directors for a three-year term at the third annual meeting of stockholders of St. Joseph’s Credit Union held in the Catholic rectory. They succeed A.C. Rausch and T.P. Heisler. Holdover directors are L.M. Tavis, J.M. Gauer, H.C. Schulte, Mike Kraft and Chris Baron. Following the election, a dividend of 3 percent to all shareholders was declared. Purchase of office equipment during the past year cut the dividend from six percent.

Nine North Dakota counties have more than 50 percent of farm families on relief – Burke, Divide, Emmons, Grant, McIntosh, Morton, Mountrail, Slope and Williams. The highest percentage was in Slope County where 77 percent of farm families received grants during December. Drought conditions are blamed for the situation.

The grand opening of the T.P. Heisler Hardware Store, which opened in Mandan in 1938.

100 Years Ago – 1913

“Under a law passed at the last session of the Legislature, the new sheriff of Morton County will be paid a straight salary and extra money for mileage. Prior to the law, the county sheriff was paid on the fee basis, collected each time a pubic duty was performed. But now, the state statute has made provisions for paying the sheriff by basing his salary on population. According to state records, Morton County is the largest in the state in point of acres and third largest in population, after Cass and Grand Forks counties. So, judging by the salaries paid to the sheriffs of those two counties, our new Sheriff Charles McDonald will draw down the most handsome sum of $3,060 a year for his work.

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“Last Friday evening, the Bismarck Company A basketball team defeated the Mandan High School five by the score of 47 to 7. A large squad of local rooters went over to the Capital City to see the fray, and they claimed that the boys put up a good fight despite the one-sidedness of the score. A number of fouls were called, the majority of them being made by the Bismarck soldiers.

“The local boys failed to score a field goal in the first half and made only one free throw, the half ending at 26-1. In the second half, Eddie Tobin shot two goals and these, along with two free throws, totaled the seven points secured.

“The return game, which was to be played in this city, has been postponed.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

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

January 18, 1888: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 10 degrees below zero.

“There is a great deal of fun in sleigh riding at this time of the year under the most favorable of circumstances. But when the weather is very cold, one may wrap up in the warmest of furs, and it is still a contest with a thermometer to see which can get down the lowest.

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“The Mandan Bachelor’s Club, renowned for its periodical feasts, the good looks of its members and its generosity, had on Saturday night its annual supper held this year in the office of Mr. E. J. Steele, a charter member of the institution.

“President F. H. Bingenheimer called the meeting to order, after which Secretary J. O. Sullivan read the annual report which indicated a total of 75 active members. Member E. W. Read then asked the secretary if the records showed whether any member had deserted the club since the last meeting, by matrimony or otherwise. The Secretary reported that one such desertion had been made- P. W. McGillic- deserted by marriage. Moved by Harry Center, seconded by John Theis, that the secretary be authorized to strike the name of P. W. McGillic from the roll.

“The usual business have been disposed of, the company sat down to a sumptuous spread.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email

A Mandan Pioneer ad for the Mandan Theatre, at 210 West Main St. This particular show, featuring Jack Benny and a host of other popular entertainers, was offered in the middle of the week, with two shows each night - 7 and 9 p.m. Admission was 10 cents for kids 12 years old and under and 26 cents for adults.