Mandan News

Diane Boit: Superintendent of Schools Heisler retires, 1987


25 Years Ago – 1987

After 14 years of service, the Morton County Superintendent of Schools, William Heisler, has decided not to seek the position in the 1988 election. Heisler is directly responsible for two one-room school houses and the St. Anthony School; he also oversees nine school districts in the county, a sharp reduction from 48 school districts of the early 1950s. The current compensation for Heisler’s position is set at $24,127, including all benefits. With the resignation, the Morton County Commissioners are contemplating changes, from reducing the staff of two full-time people to a part-time office, to organizing a joint office with neighboring counties.

The Donut Hole Store in Mandan will have new owners as of Jan. 1. Joe and Virginia Lupo, originally from Dickinson, will take over the operation on East Main.

Mandan High School’s new auditorium has opened for performances. The public can still purchase individual seats at a cost of $68, which includes an engraved nameplate.

According to school officials, Mandan remains the only Class A school in the state without a kindergarten program. Lack of state funding is blamed for the delay in startup.


50 Years Ago – 1962

Marvin Miller has been appointed superintendent of the city park system by the Mandan Park Board. He succeeds Carl Schauss who retired after 25 years of service. Miller served as assistant to Mr. Schauss since 1961, the same year he moved to Mandan from Oliver County. The new supervisor will find his carpentry experience helpful in the ongoing maintenance of park equipment, benches and tables. Mrs. Miller is the former Lois Schrink; she is teaching in the Highland School, southwest of Mandan. The couple has four children.

Chase Chevrolet Inc. hosted 67 employees and their spouses at a Christmas dinner party held in the Lewis and Clark dining room. The seven o’clock dinner was followed by dancing to the music of the Emil Dockter orchestra.

Rotary Anns were guests of the Rotarians at their annual Christmas dinner party held in the American Legion Hall, with 113 in attendance. Tables were decorated with poinsettia plants and large candles. Favors for the Rotary Anns consisted of leather-covered memo books. The MHS choir, directed by Arnold Larson, presented a program of holiday music following the 6:30 dinner.

St. Martin’s Church at Huff celebrated Christmas with a midnight High Mass sung by the pastor, Father Eugene R. Bova. Traditional carols, as well as Singenberger’s “Mass in Honor of Saint Francis of Assisi,” were also performed by the 18-member mixed adult choir, under the direction of Steve Brigl. The organist was Miss Agnes Bendish.

Mr. and Mrs. Ira Butler observed their 63rd wedding anniversary with an open house in their home at 712 Fifth St. S.W. The former Margaret McCormick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip McCormick, married Ira Butler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Butler of New York, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in 1899. The couple farmed southwest of Mandan for 40 years before moving into the city in 1943. Mr. Butler was then employed by the Park Board until retiring in1955. The Butlers have nine children.


75 Years Ago – 1937

In a Saturday evening game at the Memorial Building, the Mandan Braves, coached by Frances Grunenfelder, came from behind in the final moments of their basketball tourney with Valley City to capture a close victory, 15-14. The Braves-Hi Liners battle turned into an individual shooting battle between Mandan’s Al Spielman and Dale Scott, the red-headed ace of the visitors. The two registered all but nine points of the entire game, Spielman with 11, and Scott, 9. Adding two points each for Mandan were Ray Toman and Gordon House.

The Kennelly Funeral Parlor of Mandan has purchased a new Superior-LaSalle hearse. It is the first all steel funeral coach ever delivered here. The combination of the Superior all-steel body and the LaSalle V-8 chassis is the “last word” in distinctive funeral car equipment. Modernity is also typified in the chapel-type interior which is accentuated in the burgundy trim, mohair drapes and chrome finish. The Kennelly Funeral Parlor was organized in 1906.

The new Superior-LaSalle hearse funeral car for Kennelly Funeral Parlor of Mandan, which was purchased in 1937.

Processions of heavily-laden hayracks have been traveling on Mandan’s streets at regular intervals this past week, transporting 225 tons of alfalfa hay from the Henke flats on the Missouri River bottoms to the State Training School. The hay will provide winter feed for the 35 dairy cattle and 25 horses maintained in the STS herds. The workers make one trip daily, a 3-mile trip to cross the Heart River. STS is leasing the 160-acre plat, located a fourth-mile south of the Girard Addition bridge.

An ad from the Mandan Pioneer in 1937 for a New Year's celebration at the Dome, which was located on the east end of The Strip between Mandan and Bismarck.

100 Years Ago – 1912

“Physicians at the Mandan hospital want several people to volunteer to give small pieces of skin to be grafted onto the arms and body of 17-year old Barbara Schlinger, who was so terribly burned at her home near Parkin a few weeks ago. An operation was performed this morning at the hospital, and a considerable amount of skin was grafted from the bodies of the young lady’s brother and sister, but more epidermis is needed to insure the recovery of the young lady.

“Although Miss Schlinger’s left arm has been amputated, the physicians feel that the other arm can be saved by skin grafting although it will never be of any normal use to her. Neither she nor her father are in a position to reward the man, woman or child. Volunteers must be content to take their payment in Miss Schlinger’s blessing and the heartfelt thanks of her family.

“Two of the railroad boys have volunteered to submit to the very minor operation needed in the skin grafting, but they would of necessity be kept from their work for several days. Miss Schlinger does not want them to lose their time, and the doctors have now extended the call to the public of the city and the county.”


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.

December 28, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 5 degrees below zero.

“The Pioneer wishes its growing circle of readers a Happy New Year!

“The Pioneer will be a better paper during 1888 than ever, if it can. There is plenty of room for improvement- of this fact, we are well aware.

“Take down the old calendars, put into the stove the old almanac and stop writing 1887 at the head of the letters you pen. Turn over a new leaf. The most saintly man alive can be better in the year 1888 than he was in 1887, if he tries real hard.

“Monday will be a legal holiday, and the Pioneer, desiring to get one day of vacation at this joyous season, will not be published on that day. The banks will be closed, but the post office will be open as on Sundays.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email