Mandan News

Land condemnation hearings end, 1964

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1989
The nearly 100-year old Cary House, sitting across the street from the First Presbyterian Church on Third Avenue N. W. and Third Street, is scheduled for demolition and replacement with condominiums. The house was built on the lot in 1894 by Lyman Cary who plotted out Union Cemetery and the main part of Mandan. A Cary had continuously lived in the home until being sold in 1988 to Doug Lanz, owner of Sun-Up Homes.

A large crowd of area residents gathered at the State Capitol last week to greet President George H. W. Bush who made an afternoon visit to plant two trees on the capitol grounds in honor of North Dakota’s centennial year. Before leaving, the President acknowledged the Centennial Project of planting 100 million trees, a million for each year of statehood, between Arbor Day 1989 and the year 2000. “North Dakota is on the cutting edge of a world-wide, tree planting movement,” he said.

50 Years Ago – 1964
After eight hours of jury deliberations, five land condemnation verdicts, totaling $54,295, were returned, heralding the end to the special session of Morton County District Court. The Highway Department had set aside $45,100 for these cases and was required to pay out a total of $14,196 above its deposits. The landowners, Frank Wetzstein, Donald Stumpf, Lloyd and Kenneth Lohstreter, Joe Wetzstein and Flora Weinhandl, were seeking a total of $169,280 for slightly more than 101 acres of land which the Highway Department is taking for the completion of Interstate 94 around the north and east side of Mandan.

Marion Means played her traditional role as hostess to the graduating high school seniors from the First Presbyterian Church when she entertained 15 of her former Sunday School students at a graduation dinner, served by Circle 3 at the church. Miss Means has been entertaining graduates at the traditional dinner for more than 25 years.

Eleven-year old John Syvrud, sixth grade Custer School No. 1 student and son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Syvrud, has been elected president of the Morton County Young Citizens League, succeeding Douglas Mork, rural Mandan. Elected vice president was Diane Markel, Sweet Briar No. 3 student and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Markel. Named secretary was Darlene Eckroth, Custer No. 2 student and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Eckroth. More than 500 elementary school children, parents and teachers attended the annual YCL convention at Mandan’s Memorial Building, following the League’s jubilant parade down Main Street.


Mandan Senior High School juniors and seniors walked under an archway, draped in pale blue and green netting, to dance in a “Changing of the Tides” setting at the annual Junior-Senior Prom held at the Mandan Elks Club. Two large seascapes, done in chalks, carried out the theme as wall murals at the stair landing and as a backdrop for the Echomen Orchestra of Jamestown. Fishnets of olive green crepe paper were draped along the walls, extending to a corner of the ballroom where a large gray island castle, covered in angel hair and glitter, cast an eerie shadow across the dance floor. Serving punch from a palm-thatched hut were ninth graders: Sonya Junker, Kathy Assel, Shirley Klein, Becky Engebretson and Terry Juelke.

The “Tide” was considerably changed after the Prom when more than 125 juniors and seniors spent the wee hours having a marvelous time at an “After the Prom” party at Midway Bowling Lanes where the partygoers enjoyed bowling, billiards and dancing, concluding with a lavish breakfast before closing at 5 a.m. Cost for the entire “After Prom” party was a flat rate of four dollars per student.

75 Years Ago – 1939
A new one-story brick building to house the Lockbeam & Knoll Grocery store is being erected at 104 East Main St., between the Taylor Drug and Mushik Shoe store.

Mandan’s string of shining aluminum street light poles can be seen from the east end of East Main St. through the business section of the city. The base of each pole is being painted black, while the rest of the spar is covered with aluminum paint. The current three-man crew has been painting 18 to 20 poles each day. After Main Street is completed, painting will begin on the Second Street line. According to city officials, the paint job is expected to reduce the number of street accidents resulting from drivers not seeing the poles.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“Fifty-seven varieties of foreign-born men were given their citizenship papers last Friday in district court. Among those who swore allegiance to Uncle Sam were Englishmen, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Germans and Russians, with the latter in the majority.

“Tony Brazda has purchased the tailor shop of R. S. Perry and will open it in about a week. Mr. Brazda was employed for many years with Charles Toman, but resigned last spring to take charge of the men’s department of the Cummins, Thorberg & Theis Company on Main Street.

“William Giese, Flasher farmer, escaped grave injuries after his team of horses pulling a seed drill decided to bolt when being frightened by a passing automobile. Giese was standing in front of the team in an attempt to calm them when the horses knocked him down, pulling the drill over him. According to Dr. G. H. Spielman who attended to him at the farmstead, Giese was fortunate to be alive with just four broken ribs, numerous cuts and bruises. In the doctor’s opinion, Giese should be able to continue with spring planting after a few days of rest.”

125 Years Ago – 1889
The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; just eight years later, statehood was the talk of the Dakota Territory.

“On Thursday, May 9, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 52 degrees above zero.

“Republican and Democratic candidates are looming for the Constitutional Convention.

“Last week, in observance of Arbor Day, more tree planting than usual was done. It looks as though the south side of Main Street will get filled up with trees. It is hoped that the owners of property in every block along the street will have the good work continued.

“Messrs. Martin and Gibson have secured the contract for hauling the government freight from Mandan to Fort Yates. They get 59 cents per hundred pounds for the summer months, and 25 percent in advance on that during the winter months.

“Frank P. Roby is a mechanical genius who allows nothing to stagger him. The other day the owner of a piano got Frank to go and see what was the matter with the instrument. It was the first time Mr. Roby ever looked inside a piano, but he set to work and after manipulating spiral springs, hammers and other parts without names, he declared the piano repaired and in tune. And sure enough, it was fixed! There is now the strongest talk of sending Frank to the upcoming Constitutional Convention. A new constitution needs just the sort of a man that Frank has proven himself to be- one who can tackle almost anything and not leave it till he has made a good job of it.”

Please email comments to or write to Diane Boit, 402 17th St. NW, Mandan, ND 58554.