Mandan News

Diane Boit: Roosevelt arrives at Mandan Depot, 1912


25 Years Ago – 1987

Mandan’s 10th annual Polkafest is set for Oct. 9-10 at the Mandan Community Center. Festivities are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5 per day in advance, $6 at the door, and are available at the Stein Haus and the Mandan Chamber of Commerce office. Featured bands include: The Sharps of Billings, Mont.; Rocky and his Happy Valley Gang, Glen Ullin; the Bill Merck band, Minot; Ray Kurtz and Cornie Weiler, Dickinson; and Joey Gross, Bismarck.

Hundreds of area residents attended the annual Lutefisk & Lefse and Swedish Meatball Supper held at the First Lutheran Church, 408 Ninth St. N.W., Mandan. Ticket prices for the all-you-can-eat event was $7 for adults; $3 for children, 12 and under.


50 Years Ago – 1962

Remund Ford-Mercury, Inc. is celebrating the grand opening of its new building at 906 East Main Street. Owner Harvey Remund, a Fargo resident since 1932, had operated a car agency there for 12 years before purchasing Mandan’s Western Auto Company in December 1956.

Assisting Remund in the Mandan business as sales manager is Jack Norby, who had been associated with Remund in Fargo. The sales staff includes Jerry Boehm, Simon Burkhardt, Mike George, George Gross, William Hoger and Percy Livdahl.

Remund Ford-Mercury not only sells new and used cards, but also handles auto, truck and farm machinery repairs. The parts department is managed by Myron Porsborg, assisted by Leslie Heck. The service manager is Elmer Steigman who has a crew of 13 men working in the shop.

Members of the office staff include Viola Pedersen and Marilyn Renner, along with Elmer Rath who has been the business manager since 1957.

A new innovation, with its own entrance at Remund’s building, is a restaurant for customers as well as the general public. The cafe is managed by Mrs. Bette Dorval.

“It’s Mandan’s ‘One-stop service!'” said Remund proudly.

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An ad from a 1962 issue of the Mandan Pioneer for a concert by Davey Bee & The Sonics at the Mandan Memorial Building.

The Noakes Agency has been sold to William K. Engelter, thereby closing an office door at 106 1/2 Third Ave. N.W. that was opened in 1916 as The Noakes Land and Loan Co. with J.H. Noakes and T.J. Kasper as partners. Noakes died in October 1961, after which Mrs. Noakes became the sole owner and operator. She will be working with Engelter at the newly-named Engelter’s Income Tax and Insurance, now located at 109 First Ave. N.W.

Funeral services were held this past week for Arthur J. Hendrickson, 70, proprietor of Hendrickson’s Jewelry, 210 West Main St. Owner of the store since 1939, Hendrickson had been associated with the firm for 53 years – since 1915, when it was known as the Conyne Jewelry. In recent years, he had been assisted by his son, Howard.

An ad from a 1962 issue of the Mandan Pioneer, announcing KXMB-TV's primetime lineup.

75 Years Ago – 1937

Through a radio broadcast over KGCU and a pep rally, Mandan High School students were primed for the weekend football game with Dickinson High School on the fairground fields in south Mandan. The senior high school mixed chorus, directed by Miss Helmi Taipale, opened the broadcast with the “Onward Mandan” school song; the chorus also sang “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes” and “Go Down, Moses.” Following the musical numbers, the school’s four pep leaders were at the microphone – Marion Lyman and Carlene Larson, talking about “Sportsmanship”, and Delbert Skjod and Robert Swanson, who read the roster of players and coaches.

The Braves, coached by Frances Grunenfelder, defeated the tough Dickinson Midgets, 19-6. Touchdowns were scored by Doug Campos and quarterback Jack Broderick, with the extra point made by Leo Schweigert. The game was played on Mandan’s temporary gridiron, located on the old Indian camping grounds at the north end of the fairgrounds.

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Baskets of autumn flowers adorned the altar of the Heart River Lutheran Church for the wedding of Hilma Marie Hendrickson, rural Mandan, daughter of Kornelius Hendrickson, and the late Mrs. Hendrickson, and Ernest H. Blaich, Bismarck, son of Frank Blaich and the late Mrs. Blaich. The wedding was the first to be solemnized in the little church since its erection in 1914.

Rinio, the movie dog and vaudeville favorite made a special appearance in a program at the high school gymnasium. The 4-year-old Russian shepherd dog is popularly rated as the greatest dog actor on the stage and was shown by his master, Vernon C. Browning. Among Rinio’s tricks are: shaking hands, nodding, counting his age in barks, limping with any foot and balancing acts. The dog concluded his routine with “a riotous whirlwind in which he chased his tail around the room.”


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Theodore Roosevelt, former president of the United States, and the current candidate of the new Progressive Party for the presidency, passed through Mandan last Friday evening on the No. 5 and addressed a large crowd that had assembled at the depot. During the past few days, The ‘Bull Moose’ leader had also made speaking stops at Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown and Bismarck.

“After the train had stopped near the depot, Roosevelt appeared on the rear platform and began speaking of the new movement represented in the Progressive Party, when he spotted one of his old ranch employees from the 1880s, Charlie Rowe, who was summoned onto the platform. Roosevelt slapped him on the back with a ‘Hello, Charlie’ and then proceeded to tell the crowd of some of the incidents of his ranching days in western North Dakota.

“Within 20 minutes’ time, the locomotive began to build steam for the next leg of the journey west, and ‘Teddy’ called out ‘goodbyes’ saying that he was truly glad to be back in this section where a man was accepted for what he is worth, and that he would always have a warm place in his heart for the sturdy manhood of the West. Roosevelt continued waving his hat to the crowd as the train slowly gathered speed for its journey to Dickinson.”


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 12, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 56 degrees above zero.

“A respected and wealthy citizen was seen this morning hauling stove wood in a baby carriage.

“Mr. E. E. Watson has just completed a big job of lettering the roof of the Mandan Roller Mill Company’s warehouse near the mill. The words ‘Mandan Roller Mill Company’ are painted in white letters twelve feet high and stretch a distance of 210 feet. They are well proportioned and look bold and prominent from the railroad tracks.

“The Marquis De Mores passed through town on yesterday’s No. 2 train. He told a Pioneer reporter that he had been hunting in the Big Horn Mountains for the last three months, during which time he had not slept in a bed. Besides a quantity of large and small game, wild and otherwise, he killed three bears and a mountain lion.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email