Mandan News

Diane Boit: YCL convention held at Memorial Building, 1962

25 Years Ago – 1987

The Mandan Athletic and Recreation Club has named Dawn Guenther in girls’ track and John Mindt in boys’ swimming as their Athletes of the Month for March. Dawn placed second in the 400 meters, first in the mile relay and fifth in the 60-meter dash in at the WDA Indoor Meet at Minot. Dawn is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Guenther. After failing a dive in the preliminary event at the state tourney, John was determined to do better and then dove flawlessly to become the State Diving Champion. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Mindt.

The Mandan Golden Age Club has a new slate of officers for the coming year. Reelected were: Clarence West, vice president; Veronica Engelter, secretary; and members-at-large, Peter Froelich, Bill Auch, Viola Tokach and John Demianew. A new member elected to the board is Ida Gendle. Other board members are: Leo Schwehr, president; Marguerite Maddock, treasurer; and members at large, Fred Morman and Herb Simons.


50 Years Ago – 1962

More than 500 Young Citizens Leaguers attended the Morton County convention held at the Memorial Building in Mandan, making it one of the largest YCL conventions ever held, according to Mrs. Thelma Klingensmith, county superintendent of schools and general chairman of the event. Almont had the largest number of delegates with 42.

The Leaguers elected Richard Duncan of New Salem School No. 5 as their new president; Jerry Fried of Square Butte No. 8, vice president; and Caren Rask of Chimney Butte, secretary.

Following the YCL’s morning parade on Mandan’s Main Street, a noon banquet, featuring patriotic speeches and entertainment, was held at the Elks Club for 200 students, fifth grade and up, while the younger students were served lunch at the Memorial building. Treats for both sites were provided by Jumbo’s Drive-In.

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MHS senior Irene Olson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.R. Olson, Mandan, has been named North Dakota’s Good Citizen of 1962 by the State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The announcement was made by Mrs. E.R. Tuskind, Bismarck, State Regent of the DAR. Irene was selected from 16 contestants who had been chosen as local winners in various communities. As winner of the state contest, she receives a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and the State DAR Good Citizen pin. Irene is the third Mandan girl to receive the DAR distinction. The others were Lois Heinle and Marion Unkenholz.

Irene Olson in 1962.

Gary Norton and Phyllis Breimeier have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the 1962 graduating class of New Salem High School, according to Reuben Guenthner, principal. Gary is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Norton; Phyllis is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Breimeier, all of New Salem. Other honor students of the class are Phyllis Duncan and Tom Gussner.

Funeral services were held in Medora this past week for Ben Bird, 97, former Mandan area cowboy and horse dealer who rode with Theodore Roosevelt at Medora in the early 1880s. Bird also served as Morton County deputy sheriff during the days of cattle rustling. At the age of 77, Bird was not only active as a cowboy but also won the steer roping championship at Miles City, Mont. Burial was in the Almont cemetery, next to his wife, the former Ida Connolly, who died in 1917. Survivors include two sons and two daughters.


75 Years Ago – 1937

The largest crowd ever to assemble in Mandan’s new Memorial Building thronged the community center this week for the free barn dance, which brought to a close the first in a series of bargain and goodwill days sponsored by business and professional men of the city. More than 3,000 people jammed the building to capacity; dancing space was at a premium. Heading the list of guests were Governor and Mrs. William Langer.

The entire staff of radio station KGCU entertainers furnished music during the evening, all attired in western clothing. Arnold Christianson, known to radio fans as “Turkey Trot Bill;” Nick Lahren the “hoe-down king,” and Louis Stuldreher, the German singer were on stage, along with other favorites such as Sonny Ciavarella, William Karls, Rose, Elsie and Alice Stuldreher, Bart and Dot Carter, and Agnes Steiner and Clara Karls. The evening’s masters of ceremonies were Francis Ford and Morton Wiebers.

When there was absolutely no space left for more merry-makers, hundreds of visitors were directed to a second free dance in Hudson Hall, sponsored by Henry Schafer, proprietor of Henry’s Place. The happy crowd kept both dance floors crowded until a late hour.

An ad from a 1937 issue of the Mandan Pioneer for a Barn Dance Dollar Bargains sale at Mushik Shoes, which was located at 110 West Main Street.

100 Years Ago – 1912

“The bill for the agricultural experiment station at Mandan passed the United States Senate on Monday. A telegraph to this effect was received by Mr. A. E. Thorberg from Senator Gronna. The bill carried with it an appropriation for $100,000 which is to be used to procure land and erect suitable buildings. The bill will now go to the House where it is hoped that Congressmen Helgesen and Hanna will be successful in putting it through.

“Preacher Billy Sunday is certainly ripping Fargo ‘from Hell to breakfast and back’ to use his own words. After his denunciation of the dance and the bridge and whist parties, the participants in these post Lenten gaieties must find it more convenient to take the back streets.

Headline: “Worst Ocean Disaster in History of Navigation” – The worst ocean disaster in the history of modern Trans-Atlantic navigation occurred during the darkness of night last Sunday off the banks of New Foundland, when the White Star Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with a human cargo estimated at from 1,300 to 2,000 souls. More than seven hundred were saved. Among those supposed to have perished is 47-year old bonanza farmer H. F. Chaffee of Amenia, North Dakota. His wife, Carrie, survived on a lifeboat. Chaffee is also survived by five children.”


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.

April 20, 1887: “On Friday, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 49 degrees above zero.

“We devote considerable space today to a very carefully prepared abstract of the new charter, passed by the late Territory Legislature which can be adopted by any city by a majority vote. The charter would allow two-thirds of the liquor licenses collected in the city to be retained by the city, and one-third to be paid over to the county. Currently, five-sixths is held by the county and one-sixth by the city. The minimum liquor license now is $500 per year, under the general laws of the Territory, although in Mandan, $600 is required, of which $100 goes to the city. The proposed new charter which keeps the liquor license money in the city treasury is an excellent feature and should be considered.”


(To contact Diane Boit, email