Mandan News

Diane Boit: Second annual Catholic Day celebrated, 1937


25 Years Ago – 1987

High tech has found its way into the Morton County Sheriff’s office and the county jail after the Morton County Commission authorized the acceptance of a $15,000 Justice Grant from the N.D. Attorney General’s office for the purchase of computers. Morton County will match $7,500 dollars with local monies.

The Bismarck Civic Center was filled to capacity as Mandan and Bismarck residents flocked to a show featuring television and movie star, Red Skelton. Reserved ticket prices were $12 and $15, with a dollar discount for senior citizens.

Rebounding from a 50-49 loss at Dickinson, the Mandan Braves girls’ basketball team defeated the St. Mary’s Saints, 64-52, in their first home game. Stephanie Dietrich led the scoring with 20 points, followed by Jeanette Fox with 16; Cheryl Voge, 9; Leann Moldenhauer, 8; Kelly Heck, 7; and Janelle Schmidt and Barb Coghlan, 2 points each. Coach Greg Amundson’s Braves are now 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the WDA.


50 Years Ago – 1962

Edward L. Flakker, plant manager at Mandan Creamery and Produce Company, has retired after 35 years of employment at the only work that he has ever known. Flakker came to Mandan in 1927 from Casselton, where he had been a creamery manager for 12 years. The new manager at the Mandan Creamery is Ray Martin who has been with the company since 1952, coming from Fargo.

Sister Mary Ronald has been received into the novitiate of Felician Sisters at the Mother house in Chicago, Ill. She is the former Leona Leingang of St. Anthony’s Parish, St. Anthony, and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George G. Leingang, Mandan. Sister Mary Ronald is the first member of the Bismarck Diocese to be received into the Order of Felician Sisters.

A 22-lb. cabbage was king of the cabbage patch at the Mike Wetsch home at 805 First Ave. N.E. until it was picked and brought into the Pioneer office. The giant cabbage measured 37 inches in circumference. According to Mrs. Wetsch, the closest cabbage in size was a puny 13-lb. head still sitting in the patch.

Jay Feil, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Feil, Mandan, marked his seventh birthday with a party which included seven playmates. A baseball theme was carried out in the tan and brown birthday cake made by Mrs. Carl Peterman. Designed in a shape of a baseball catcher’s glove, the brown and tan cake had a round “baseball” in the center, surrounded by seven candles.

The appearance of uniforms has been inaugurated for the first time by pupils of Christ the King and St. Joseph parochial schools. Red and gray plaid jumpers with white blouses are worn by girls in grades one through six at Christ the King, while girls in the seventh and eighth grades wear a similar plaid in the form of skirts and jackets with white blouses. There are also beanies of the same plaid. Gray trousers of any type material combined with shirts of any color are worn by the boys. Similar apparel can also be seen at St. Joseph School, except the girls’ plaid jumpers have blue and gray colors.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1961 for Whoopee John Wilfahrt appearing at the Casa Loma, east of New Salem, on Highway 10. Although "Whoopee" John died at age 68 in 1961, his orchestra continued to tour throughout Midwest. His polka and waltz music was at the height of popularity during the 1940s and '50s. He, along with the Six Fat Dutchmen orchestra, recorded nearly 1,000 songs - some of the most popular were the "Mariechen Waltz" and the "Clarinet Polka."

75 Years Ago – 1937

More than 2,500 Catholic parishioners and priests, representing 25 parishes within a radius of 60 miles, came to Mandan for the second annual Catholic Day which began with an open air mass at the fairgrounds field. Rev. Father Hildebrand Eickhoff preached the sermon; afternoon speakers were Chancellor C.F. Kelsch, Deputy Grand Knight W.L. Neff, Rev. Andrew Kolbeck of St. Anthony and Rev. Bernard Strassmaier, Ft. Yates. A picnic lunch and a program of races and sports followed the mass. The day was sponsored by the St. Thomas More Council of the Knights of Columbus of which J.M. Gauer is Grand Knight.

Ole Syvrud, proprietor of the City Shoe Hospital in Mandan, has been awarded a government contract for the repair of shoes from all Civilian Conservation Corps camps in North Dakota and eastern Montana for the months of October thru December. Thirteen camps are covered by the contract. More than 1,000 shoes a month are expected to be repaired at a cost from 5 to 10 cents each.

Frances Grunenfelder, last year’s assistant football coach, has accepted the position of chief coach of the Braves as well as instructor of physical education. He succeeds Leonard C. McMahan, who will be coaching in the Belle Fourche, S.D., high school.

A group of Indians from the Standing Rock reservation have completed their summer program at the Mandan Depot and have once again returned to their homes near Cannon Ball. For the past 13 years, the Indians, led by Eagle Staff, have been employed by the railway company to perform traditional singing and dancing for tourists arriving at the Mandan Depot during the summer park season.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“Fifteen young ladies gathered at the home of Miss Mary Anderson, 305 1st Ave. N.E., for the purpose of giving a miscellaneous shower to Miss Stella Kennelly who is to be united in marriage on Sept. 25th to Harvey H. Williams. The Anderson home was decorated in pink and white, and with asters, sweet peas and geraniums.

“The evening was spent in music and in hemming towels for the bride. A special feature of the party was the way the guests were dressed- each young lady having robbed the garrets of their mothers’ garments of 25 and 30 years ago, and powdering their hair to pose as old maids sewing for the young bride-to-be.

“Following a dainty luncheon that included pink and white ice cream, the guests departed wishing Miss Kennelly much happiness.”


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.

September 21, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 78 degrees above zero.

“In a short time, we may look for a change in color of the postage stamp in general use. The one-cent stamp will remain a light blue, the two-cent stamp will be green, the four-cent stamp will be carmine, the five-cent- dark blue, and the ten-cent stamp will be chocolate as at present.

“The school board met last night and passed a resolution to the effect that the number of teachers be not increased. Miss Nellie Flynn, who has charge of the Third Ward School, will be paid $50 per month and the other four teachers, $45 a month- cash.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email