Mandan News

Diane Boit: Senior honor students named at MHS, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

MHS senior Dana Farner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Farner, has been selected for a $12,000 four-year scholarship from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. To be eligible, students must rank in the upper 5 percent of their class and must score in the top 10 percent on either the ACT, SAT or PSAT college entrance exams.

Thomas J. Porter and Jenifer M. Frank were married May 2 at the Church of St. Anne, Bismarck. Parents of the couple are Ken and Pat Porter, Mandan, and Tony and Mary Frank, Bismarck. Tom is a 1976 MHS graduate and a graduate of Mary College, DePaul University and the University of Notre Dame. He is employed with the Diocese of Bismarck. Jenifer is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School and currently attends Mary College.

Jack Stewart, Morton County agent, has been inducted into the NDSU Quarter Century Club. Stewart completed 25 years of NDSU Extension work on Dec. 1, 1986. His Extension career included four years at Hillsboro, four years at Mohall and 17 years in Morton County.

Funeral services were held recently for long-time educator, George Fors, 70. Fors came to Mandan in 1942 and taught chemistry and physics at the high school until 1965. He then became a science and math consultant at the ND Department of Public Instruction for the next 17 years, retiring in 1982.


50 Years Ago – 1962

The top honor students of Mandan High School’s 1962 graduating class have been announced by August L. Spiss, high school principal. Valedictorian is Jean Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Johnson. The salutatorian is Patricia Gronowski, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Gronowski.

The top MHS honor students in 1962 (l-r) Pat Gronowski and Jean Johnson.

More than 300 people attended the Mandan High School Junior-Senior Banquet held at the Mandan Elks building, where palm trees on islands, surrounded by leis, decorated the tables. The decorations carried the “Blue Hawaii” theme, which will also be featured at the prom later in the week. Before the banquet began, Don Engle, president of the junior class, welcomed the seniors, and a response was given by Rita Kaip, senior class president. The evening concluded with the traditional senior class will, given in the form of a skit by juniors Louis Zachmeier, Ken Clouston, Barbara Mulhauser, Kathy Hovland and Pat Haseltine.

John Ellis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Ellis, is this year’s recipient of the Arion National Music Award as the outstanding senior member of the Mandan Senior High Music Department. The presentation was made by Clarence West of Mandan Kiwanis Club during the Spring Concert. John has been an active member in both band and choir during the past four years and has played oboe, all percussion instruments and has been a piano accompanist and assistant director of the choir. John is also the organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Mandan and has been the organist at the outdoor drama, Trail West, for the past two seasons.

Three Mandan High School students received superior ratings at the District Speech Festival held in Jamestown. Receiving top honors were: Sandi McDowall, daughter of the Donald McDowalls, whose entry was “Suicide” by Edna St. Vincent Millay; Jim Schempp, son of the Walt Schempps, who presented “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning; and Pat Gronowski, daughter of the Ray Gronowskis, who entered the Grimm’s Fairy Tale Division by reading “Cinderella” and then repeating it in her own words and acting out the characters.

An ad from a 1962 issue of the Mandan Pioneer for Reidinger Motors, which was located at 110 Fifth Ave. N.W. The ad features a special price on a 1962 Plymouth, and says to dial 516 for more info.

75 Years Ago – 1937

The first of the new 1937 North Dakota drivers’ license have been received and are on sale at the office of Attorney R.F. Gallagher, city magistrate, who has been appointed local distributor by the state drivers’ license bureau.

Heads of families are required to pay 50 cents for the permit, which will be effective for the years 1937 and 1938. All other members of families, except adult children, may secure permits for 25 cents apiece.

In applying for permits, the driver is given three identical cards, numbered in order. All three cards must be carried by the driver at all times. Upon arrest for any violation of motor vehicle laws, license card No. 1 will be taken away from the driver… license card No. 2 will be taken away for a second violation. And if there is another violation, the third card will also be taken away, and that person will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway for two years.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“On last Friday noon it was learned that Edwin C. Johnson, one of the prosperous farmers of this county, who resided at Sunnyside (three miles west of Mandan), had been drowned in the high waters of the Heart River. He had taken a horse which had not been used in several weeks and attempted to the cross the river. It is thought that the horse being wild, and perhaps afraid of the water, threw his rider into the deep river. The horse escaped injury. As soon as word was received in Mandan, a large number of men made the trip to Sunnyside to try and find the body, but their search was in vain. Mr. Johnson came to Mandan 12 years ago. He was an industrious and hardworking farmer. He leaves a wife and two little children to mourn his loss.

“That nice, new four-room house near the high school may yet be bought for less than cost to build, on very easy terms-say $15 a month- price $900. See L. N. Cary.

“Senator Charles McDonald has sent in his resignation to Governor Burke this week as state senator from Morton. It is understood that the senator’s object in getting out of the position is that he will enter the race for the sheriff’s office of the county. Two other men have also placed notices in the Pioneer announcing their candidacy for county sheriff; they are: Gabe Eckroth and Ben C. Bird.”


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.

May 4, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 66 degrees above zero.

“A subscriber from New Jersey writes: “Enclosed find $1, for which please send the Pioneer for another year. I can’t get along without such a bright Dakota paper. It beats the $2 papers in Jersey.

“Poundmaster Gibson made a raid Saturday on the park. He arrested one animal that was grazing therein and marched it off to the comfortable quarters near the city hall. A straying heifer of lively running qualities was also impounded. Gibson is on the warpath and means business!

Mr. J. J. Luck has a 40-acre field of wheat which looks first class. The land has been cultivated and is as smooth as an onion bed. The wheat has already come up several inches, and Mr. Luck is figuring on getting a good crop.

“Elmer Mitchell has quite an extensive contract which calls for 2000 tons of rock to be supplied to the railroad company for use by the Missouri River. He has a large number of men at work for him between Mandan and Sims getting the rock.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email