Mandan News

Diane Boit: Teacher, student win money in national contest, 1938

Diane Boit


25 Years Ago – 1988

Forty-three teams played 75 games during the two-day Mandan Outlaw Girls Basketball tournament. Mary Stark School was the winner of the fifth grade and the NBA division of the sixth grade competition. A Fargo team was first in the seventh grade competition, with Mandan’s Speedy’s Tire Center taking second and Mandan All-Stars, third. Another Mandan All-Stars team beat McQuade’s of Bismarck for the eighth grade title. In ninth grade competition, Mandan defeated Bismarck. A Mandan team also beat Carpio, Washburn and Watford City for the high school title.

Stacy Trom is on a national tour with the NDSU Concert Choir and Dacotah Jazz Ensemble. The groups will conclude their tour in Anaheim, Calif. Stacy, a junior majoring in vocal education, is the daughter of David and Gladys Trom, Mandan.


50 Years Ago – 1963

The official basketball season is over and, for the Mandan Braves, the season concluded with a 66-43 loss to the non-conference Valley City Hi-Liners. John Grunseth, plagued by ankle injuries for half the season, was top scorer for Mandan, with 13 points. The final loss gave the Braves a shocking 0-20 regular season record and a 0-16 conference mark.

Mr. and Mrs. Myron Kremer, 308 Division St., were hosts to a group of young people honoring their son, Michael, on his 13th birthday. Entertainment included dancing, the Password game and the Match Game. Lunch was served by the Kremers, assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Dale Erickson.

The annual Scout Week dinner and Court of Honor of Boy Scout Troop 51 was highlighted this year by the presentation of Scouting’s highest rank, the Eagle Scout badge, to Frank E. Vogel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Vogel. Peter Balkan is scoutmaster of Troop 51. The impressive ceremony was held at the First Presbyterian Church, where the troop is sponsored by the Men’s Club.

William McClelland has been reelected chairman of the Mandan Salvation Army advisory board at its annual meeting held in the Salvation Army Hall, 112 1st Ave. N.W. Other officers are: John Hermanson, vice president; Mrs. Dolores Pierce, secretary; and Warren Buehler, treasurer.


75 Years Ago – 1938

Six tables of contract bridge and 13 tables of auction bridge were in play at the Mandan High School auditorium when the junior class held its annual Bridge Benefit party to raise funds for the Junior Prom. High score in the contract division went to W.L. Neff, principal of the Mandan High School. In the auction division, Mrs. Anton Olson won high score, and Mrs. E. Stoltz had low score. This year’s party cleared nearly $40 for the junior class.

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Thousands of people from across the nation are regular listeners of the popular weekly radio show, the Chase and Sanborn Hour, starring ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his puppet, Charlie McCarthy. In an attempt to find a suitable name for Charlie’s new dummy pal, a national magazine ran a contest and received thousands of entries. One of the entries came from the Mandan area.

A few months ago, Miss Esther Schmidt, a Mandan girl teaching in a rural consolidated school near Sweet Briar, had been asked by one of her students, Leonard Larson, for a name suggestion and jokingly responded with “Ole Olson.” Leonard then mailed an entry blank for “Ole Olson” to the contest headquarters. Weeks later, a prize check for $52.48 arrived in the Larsons’ mailbox; “Ole Olson” had been chosen as a finalist in the contest. Leonard brought the check to school and presented it to his astonished teacher. However, she refused to accept the full amount, keeping only $5 for herself and $5 for Leonard, with the remaining amount being donated to a school supplies fund for “poor” students. It is reported that Leonard is still convinced of Miss Schmidt’s wisdom in nearly everything… except financial affairs. (The name Mortimer Snerd was eventually chosen by Edgar Bergen for Charlie’s dummy companion.)


An ad from 1938 from the Mandan Pioneer for a dance at the Dome, a huge quonset-type building located on eastern edge of the Strip.

An ad from 1938 from the Mandan Pioneer for a dance at the Dome, a huge quonset-type building located on eastern edge of the Strip.

100 Years Ago – 1913

“The first wheat to be sown in Morton County this spring, as least that has been reported, was put in on Saturday, Feb. 15, by John Jochim of St. Anthony. The recent fine weather had permitted him to break the land and on the date named, he sowed 10 acres.

“Two young men of the city, Charles Heaten and Ralph Williams, are going around with their fingers bandaged, the end of one finger on the right hand of each having been neatly snipped off by the cigar-clipping apparatus in the City Candy store. Despite the sign displayed over the bright yellow clipper stating ‘Do Not stick fingers in the cutter,’ the curious young men still inserted their fingers in the hole to test its cutting ability, resulting in a quick trip to the doctor’s office with damaged ‘dukes.’

“Although a few inquiries have been made, there has been as yet no offer made to give a home to the infant son of Mrs. J. G. Symanski, who died following childbirth at the Mandan hospital. The baby is healthy and has won the hearts of the hospital employees. The father, who is a minister at Glen Ullin, feels that he is not capable of rearing the child, and desires to find a home for it. Anyone interested should contact Miss Lloyd, superintendent of the hospital.”


125 Years Ago – 1888

The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1888 its population was at 2,600.

March 1, 1888: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at Zero degrees.

“Reports are received that in the summertime, the water of the Little Heat River is pure and good, but in the wintertime, water that is procured there by cutting a hole in the ice, gives off the strongest smell of kerosene.

“Freight train No. 16 which left Mandan yesterday came to grief near Windsor on the Dakota division. Fourteen cars were ditched when trying to pass over a broken rail. As a result of this accident, the regular passenger trains Nos. 1 and 5 coming from the east are delayed.

“Attached to last weekend’s train from the East, was the President’s car of the Minneapolis & Pacific Railroad, with a party of the officers of that line. As they passed through Mandan, they could be seen deeply engaged in interesting games of poker.

“The skating on the slough at the east end of town is better now than it has been at any time during the winter. Last night a large number of the young people were out enjoying the ice and the beautiful moonlit evening. The boys and girls, who are too young to be out after dark, get their fun out of the ice by sliding on the ditches in the afternoon. It has been noted that some of the “older” children are not loath to take a slide when it comes handy in crossing a piece of ice.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email