Mandan News

Diane Boit: Truck stop has grand opening, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

A colorful depiction of the Far West riverboat, put together by Bullinger Tree Service of Mandan, was voted the best float in the Mandan Jaycees’ Fourth of July parade. The two-deck, fringed float, complete with paddle wheel and smoke stacks, is the first recipient of the Grand Marshall traveling trophy sponsored by Domino’s Pizza and the Mandan Jaycees.

After a tie-breaker round with two other golfers, Mark Ohlhauser captured first place in the annual Fourth of July Golf Tournament at the Mandan Municipal Golf Course. Placing second was Guy Pomahar, of Leftbridge, Alberta, Canada. Third place honors went to Ric Tentis, Mandan.

Don Long has been elected president of the Mandan Lions Club. Other officers are: Pius Lacher, Joe Lech, Jim Willoughby – First, Second and Third Vice President, respectively; Keith Winks, Treasurer; Ward Sandstrom, Secretary;  Chuck Neibel, Tail Twister; and Bryan Giese, Lion Tamer.


50 Years Ago – 1962

More than 3,100 people registered for prizes during the weekend Grand Opening of the Johnson Standard Truck Stop, 3 miles west of Mandan on U.S. Highway 10. Owner-manager Francis A. Johnson, former manager of a successful truck stop at Sterling Corners, has leased the seven and one-half acre location from the Standard Oil Division. Besides offering 24-hour service from 16 gas and diesel pumps to local and long-haul truckers, another important feature is the spacious and modern café, capable of seating more than 90 people, under the management of Mrs. Harold Bales. Seven sleeping rooms, ranging in price from $2 to $2.50 per night, will be an additional service to drivers. According to comments received from several truckers, all of these features will make Johnson Standard Truck Stop a “really plush, stop-over station.”

Mrs. George Lawler, Bismarck, took the Sweepstakes Honors with 50 points at the annual Mandan Garden and Flower Club’s show held at the Mandan Elks building. Runners-up were Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Weinhandl with 45 points. Eighty-four participants entered 299 exhibits.

Work has begun on the construction of the new Mandan Hospital at 1000 18th St. N.W., after the first spadeful of dirt was turned over at the site on Sunday afternoon, June 24. The honors were done by Mrs. Walter Tooley, widow of the hospital’s first building chairman, together with current building chairman, Jack Danz. Contracts totaling $811,589 for its construction were awarded to: Lunn Construction, Bismarck; Skeel’s Electric, Mandan; and Natkin & Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. The hospital is expected to be completed in 1963.

Open for business every day, including from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays, Main Market, located at 608 East Main Street, offered free delivery of groceries. Their advertised phone number was 3212.

75 Years Ago – 1937

Warrants were issued this week against the proprietors of the Hi-Hat, Coman Court and The Tavern by States Attorney James M. Hanley Jr., charging the defendants with illegally selling liquor on Sunday. The taverns are located on the Mandan-Bismarck highway. Named in the action are Lee Coman, Erwin Young and Charles Hawley. According to the defendants, they were operating Sunday afternoon under the terms of a resolution passed by the Morton County Board of Commissioners, permitting the sale of liquor on Sundays. The taverns are located outside of the Mandan City limits but are within commissioner district D that is represented on the county board by John Ellison. The city of Mandan is the only district in Morton County that prohibits liquor sales on Sunday. A hearing is scheduled for August over Mandan’s desire for their jurisdiction to include land within a 5-mile radius of its city limits.

Installation of new officers, headed by J.M. Gauer as Grand Knight, marked the special meeting of St. Thomas More Council No. 2760, Knights of Columbus, held in the basement of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan. Retiring Grand Knight R.J. Ridley was the installing officer.

John Sinkula, Mandan, miraculously escaped with a crushed thumb and minor burns on his arm and above the eye after an explosion of a gas barrel upon which he was welding at the Mandan Machine Shop. Mistaking the gas barrel for an oil barrel, Sinkula had applied the blow torch in an attempt to cut the barrel in two. The torch ignited the gas within the barrel, resulting in an explosion that was heard for several blocks. The top of the barrel was blown to the roof of the building, where it wrapped around a pipe and made a large indentation in the ceiling. After treatment for minor injuries, Sinkula returned to work the following day.

News from London – The British government is speeding fulfillment of its pledge to provide every man, woman and child in the country with a gas mask in case of war. Gas masks have already been made for nine million of the 45 million people in the British Isles, not including the Irish Free State.


100 Years Ago – 1912

” ‘Dreamland,’ the dancing hall located next to Mandan’s Topic Theatre, was closed last Saturday evening by Chief of Police Charles Reynolds. The place has been operated for the past two seasons under the management of E. B. Ward. Mr. Reynolds claims that the place is frequented by loose and immoral women and has become a menace and a nuisance.

Edwin Motsiff, aged 22 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Motsiff who reside a short distance south of Mandan, was killed in a terrible manner Monday morning while attending to his duties as brakeman of the North Pacific. Motsiff had been watching a hot box on the wheel of the sixth car from the engine and was about the pour a bucket of water upon the troublesome bearing when he was struck by the side guard on the side of bridge 14, causing him to fall beneath the wheels. He died instantly. Motsiff’s funeral was held at the Methodist Church; burial was in the Union Cemetery.”


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.

July 27, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 90 degrees above zero.

“Mr. Perry paid a visit to the Indian cemetery on Saturday with Mr. J. D. Allen, but the mosquitoes were so thick that he could do no exploring. However, he is impressed with the importance of the cemetery and expects to find some valuable things there. He is especially pleased with the quantity of pottery that exists among the mounds.

“The Marquis de Mores was on Wednesday’s train from the East. He intends to spend the entire summer in Dakota.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email