Mandan News

Diane Boit: St. Joe’s Blue Jays are MAR Club champs, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

North Dakotans voted on two Measures in a special election held March 18. Measure 1 passed and set the effective date for changes in tax laws to begin July 1. However, Measure 2 became an “east-versus-the-west” battleground in North Dakota as Morton County, along with the rest of the counties in the western part of the state, voted 2 to 1 against the measure that proposed to raise the income tax rate from 10 to 14 percent of the federal tax paid (the proposal had been approved by the state legislature in the December 1986 special session.) Statewide, the income tax increase passed, 52 to 48 percent, but regionally, only 38 percent of voters in western North Dakota voted “Yes” on Measure 2, compared to 64 percent in the eastern part of the state.

Legislators said that the eastern part of the state is obviously doing better economically than the west.

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Mandan’s AA Bantam hockey team fought their way to a third place trophy at the North Dakota State Hockey Tournament, defeating Dickinson in overtime, 4-3. Scoring for Mandan were Shawn Adams with 3 and L.G. Smith, 1. Assists came from Steve Russell, Shawn Adams and L.G. Smith, while goalie Mark Gray came up with 34 saves during this game.

The tournament’s outstanding players included Gray, who was awarded the only “Shut Out” patch, and Shawn Adams, who earned the only “Hat Trick” patch for the Mandan team.

A comic which was originally printed in a 1986 issue of the Mandan News.

50 Years Ago – 1962

The St. Joseph Blue Jays, coached by Al Tamayo, increased its undefeated string to 14-0 when the Blue Jays defeated St. Mary’s of Bismarck, 39-33, to take home the championship of the MAR Club grade school basketball tournament held at St. Joe’s gym in Mandan. Scott Froelich was the high point man for St. Joe’s with 11, followed by Wally Kroh with 10. Paul Schmidt and Dale Lantz each dropped in seven points. For St. Mary’s, Bill Delmore copped scoring honors with 11 points; Richard Pfau netted 8, followed by Bob Johnson with 6.

Others on the champion Blue Jays team are Greg Zander, Gary Steckler, Bill Boehm, Wayne Baron, Rick Olson, Rich Carrier, Jim Carter, Alan Kopp, Ralph Jones and Dale Hoffman.

Taking third place honors in the two-day elimination tournament was last year’s champs, Mandan Junior High, who downed the hapless Christ the King Cardinals, 43-17. Top scorer for the Junior High team was center Mike Norton with 12 points, followed by Billy Cook, 9, and DeWald Magstadt, 6. For the Cardinals, Bob Green made 4 points, followed by Charlie Weiand, 3.

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Jack Norby of Remund Ford-Mercury, Inc. of Mandan has presented a new Ford Fairlane 500 as the courtesy car for this year’s Driver Training program at Mandan High School. On hand to receive the car was Bill Zwarych, the Driver Training teacher, and August L. Spiss, MHS principal.

More than 100 people attended the annual Mandan and Morton County Spelling Bee held at the Mandan Junior High building. Thirty-five students registered for the contest. After written and oral exams, seventh grader Tommy Neill, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas G. Neill was declared the winner for the city of Mandan, while eighth grader Linda Zarndt of New Salem, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Zarndt, earned the championship honors for Morton County. Each winner received a $25 cash award.

This ad from 1937 is a spring ad for the Hat and Novelty Shop, which was located in the corner of the Lewis & Clark Hotel.

75 Years Ago – 1937

The 80 members of the sophomore class at Mandan High School frolicked at an old-time barn dance and costume party staged in the school’s gymnasium, which was decorated with fence posts, bales of hay, saddles, ropes and harnesses. The theme of this year’s annual performance was “Uncle Ezra’s Barn Dance,” which is a weekly program broadcast over a national radio hookup.

The pretend broadcast featured a group of students who depicted the famous characters of the radio show and also offered a variety of entertainment including: Bennie Renner with a violin solo, “Turkey in the Straw;” a pantomime entitled “Too Popular” presented by Vivian Gaab, Michael Boehm, George Millner, William Mushik and Richard Baron; a tumbling act by Marion Dahl; and a reading entitled “A Telephone Conversation,” given by JoAnn Smith. William Wilkinson acted as master of ceremonies and announced the program, interspersed with local commercials, through an improvised microphone.

Proceeds from the show went toward the expenses for the high school prom.


100 Years Ago – 1912

“The Mandan basketball team traveled to Bismarck on last Friday evening to meet the basketball team of that city and were defeated by a score of 29 to 9. Over 100 rooters went over to the Capital City in a special train to witness the game, and if rooters would have done any good, the home team would have certainly won. However, both teams played snappy ball.

“A big crowd of Bismarckers came over last evening to see the return game. The score was 45 to 4 in Bismarck’s favor. Later in the evening, the stage hands at the Opera House put on a game with the high school team, and the high school carried off the honors, 20 to 13.

“Spring was ushered in this past week with weather that makes one forget the troubles of January. The Heart River broke up yesterday, but the Missouri ice is still solid.”


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.

March 30, 1887: “On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 43 degrees above zero.

“Gradually, the water is disappearing. Its fall every day now is so great that people have stopped measuring it.

“Though the streets are as fields of mud, homeless people are coming down from the hills and are attempting to pump the hundreds of gallons of river water from their basements.

“Some difference of opinion exists as to whether or not the water reached a higher point this year than in 1881. Old timers seem to agree that the 1881 flood was not only higher, but lasted longer.

“Everyone is impressed with the hard working railroad men, who stood in the icy water and mud to repair the tracks and trestle east of Mandan. They could be seen and heard working all through the night. Crews are also replacing the damaged poles for the telegraph wires. Pity the poor Mandan man who was confined in Bismarck during the flood, when his family and possessions were but five miles away with no communication available to inquire of their welfare.

“There were 48 sacks of mail that came in last night’s train from the east for Mandan, and Postmaster Hager and Asst. Postmaster Buford at once proceeded to put in their best licks in the work of distributing it.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email