Mandan News

Diane Boit: William Stroh is state marble champ, 1937

25 Years Ago – 1987

More than 500 juniors and seniors attended the fourth annual Ultimate Party held on the evening of May 24 at Midway Lanes, following the afternoon’s graduation ceremony at Faris Field, where diplomas were given to 251 seniors. The evening’s entertainment included a live band until midnight, then a disc jockey, plus bowling and billiards, along with plenty of eats and prizes. Co-chairmen of this year’s party were Buck Eckroth, representing the senior class parents, and Bernadine Miller for the junior class parents.

Flasher graduation exercises for 28 seniors were held May 24 at the school gym, featuring Senator Kent Conrad as speaker. The class valedictorian was Denise Hartman, daughter of Victor and Lynette Hartman of Flasher; salutatorian was Shana Fleck, daughter of Clarence and Adeline Fleck, Solen.

Gary A. Flaa, president of Norwest Bank of Mandan since 1983, has announced his resignation from the bank, effective May 31. Flaa has served 25 years with Norwest, 11 in Mandan. He is also a past president of the Mandan Hospital Association and the Mandan Chamber of Commerce.

Gary Flaa

50 Years Ago – 1962

A lifetime in the grocery business has been brought to a close with the retirement of Emil Moos, who has operated the Moos Jack & Jill Grocery at 708 West Main St. since 1949. Moos was born and raised near New Salem and worked in several grocery stores in western North Dakota before becoming the manager of Mandan’s Piggly Wiggly Store in 1944. After six years, he purchased the Cantwell Grocery, which he enlarged and renamed. Moos has the satisfaction of seeing the family business pass into the hands of his son, Harold, who will become a business partner along with his mother, Mrs. Hildegarde (Joersz) Moos, who has taken over her husband’s interest in the store.

A set of six Golden Book Dictionaries and a set of Golden Book Picture Atlas of the World have been given to all five public grade schools and the two parochial schools in Mandan by William Joersz of Bill’s Super Valu, Mandan. In past years, Joersz donated sets of Golden Book Encyclopedias to all the schools.

Twenty-five awards, including six first place medals, were presented to students having exhibits in the second annual Mandan High School Industrial Arts Fair. Those receiving First Place awards in the six divisions were: Gilbert Kuller, coffee table in Woodworking I; John Ressler, desk, Advanced Woodworking; Justin Gartner, tool box, Metal Work; Frank Schmidt, Mechanical Drawing I; Don Fix, Advanced Mechanical Drawing; Jim Sturn, leather purse, Industrial Arts Club. Wallace Schmeling is the MHS industrial arts instructor.


75 Years Ago – 1937

The King of North Dakota’s marble shooters is William Stroh of Mandan, 11-year-old third grade student at St. Joseph’s School. The young marble artist won the first state championship in the final rounds of the tournament at Grand Forks in which 34 boys from 19 cities and towns competed.

The champion has played marbles for two years and is a crack shot, proved by the fact that he didn’t lose a single match during the six games for the title. Upon his return to Mandan, Stroh received the congratulations of his classmates at St. Joseph’s School, while displaying his 12-inch sungold trophy and silver crown. William’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. John Stroh, Mandan.

A smaller copy of the sungold trophy was awarded the runner-up; third and fourth place winners each received flashlights; and the sportsmanship champion received a jack knife.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Two boys lead the 1937 Mandan High School graduation class of 86 students in scholarship ratings, it was revealed this week by Principal W.L. Neff. Valedictorian is Emil Stoltz, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Stoltz, Sr. Salutatorian is Burgess Thysell, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Thysell.

Diplomas were presented to 63 eighth grade graduates of St. Joseph’s parochial school at a ceremony held on Sunday, May 30, at the church. According to Sister Lamberta, O.S.B., principal of the school, Dolores Haider leads the class with the highest scholastic average, while Robert Schafer ranks second. Other honor students are Bonnie Jeanne Blank, Eva Boespflug, Clara Ferderer, Nicholas Koch, Mary and Marian Lanz, John Leingang, John Norby and Marian Siegel.

A Mandan Pioneer ad from 1937 for the Cummins Store, which was located at 200 W. Main St.

100 Years Ago – 1912

“The timbers and materials for the Eighth Avenue viaduct, which have been on flatcars in the yards for some months, were unloaded this week, and it begins to look as though the job would be underway shortly.

“Honorable Louis B. Hanna has introduced a bill in Congress providing for the erection of a suitable memorial in memory of Major General George A. Custer and the officers and soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry. The bill requests ten thousand dollars for a monument to be located in the city of Mandan.

“Little Raymond Brown, the 12-year old son of Conductor R. E. Brown, passed away last Saturday morning following an operation for appendicitis. The case was a very acute one, and the boy passed away so quickly that it was a terrible shock to his father, sister and friends. The death is even sadder considering that the boy’s mother died only two months ago. The funeral was held at the Presbyterian Church, with internment in Union Cemetery. The pallbearers were taken from the lad’s playmates.”


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.

June 1, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 74 degrees above zero.

“The G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic) post of Mandan took no steps to celebrate Decoration Day at home, but several of them went over to Bismarck and heard Judge Francis’ oration. One of them said to a reporter on Monday: ‘It was a good speech, but it would have been different in tone if the Judge had not remembered that… in the past… he was holding office under a Confederate administration.’

“At last our storm sashes are taken down, and our windows are open for the summer. The festival has really begun: the cottonwood trees are already a huge bouquet of green; the insects are humming around in a happy symposium; the birds are piping: the neighbor’s canary is trilling; and the parrot (where there is one) is making shrewd remarks.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email To the lady who inquired about Mr. Dillon, a former chemistry teacher at MHS, please contact Boit at the Mandan News.)