Mandan News

Mandan celebrates ND’s Diamond Jubilee, 1964

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1989
Morton County has 18 farms that have been in existence since statehood or before and are being run by descendants of the homesteaders. New Salem has six Centennial Farms, the most of any Morton County community. The farms are owned by Willard and Helen Kuller, Robert and Jacquelyn Slavick, Gary and Judith Kreidt, Clay Kaelberger, Marvin and Joyce Held, and Edwin and Sharie Egli.

Hebron has four Centennial Farms, owned by Wilbert Buchli, Jerry Chase, Walter Schroeder and Frederick and Laura Wehri.

Mandan’s three Centennial Farms are owned by Ernest Keidel, Clifford Nelson, and Theodore and Illa Hagerott.

Others with the Centennial Farm honors are at Glen Ullin and Almont, each with two, and Flasher with one: Alois and Clemens Feser and Leroy Kinnischtzke, both of Glen Ullin; and Joel and Donna Johnson plus Harvey Thorson, both of Almont. Flasher’s lone Centennial Farm is owned by Ruben and Ron Kovar.

50 Years Ago – 1964
Thousands of people lined Mandan’s Main Street this past week in celebration of North Dakota’s 75th anniversary to see a huge parade consisting of 42 units, three bands, plus 20 convertibles transporting 76 Morton County senior residents who were born in 1889, when North Dakota assumed statehood, or in prior years. Following the parade, the “Diamond Jims and Lils” were escorted to the Northern Pacific Railroad Park, where James Dawson, 91, Mandan, and Mrs. John Lockner, 81, Fort Rice, were crowned the Diamond Jubilee’s king and queen by Mayor Cliff Walker. Recognized as the oldest resident of North Dakota participating in the local festivities was Mrs. L. N. Cary, 92, of Mandan; Mrs. Ira Butler, 86, also of Mandan, was recognized as the longest established resident of Mandan, coming to the village in 1879.

Also honored was Thomas G. Conroy, 83, who is officially Mandan’s “birthday child” for having the distinction of being the first baby born after the Village of Mandan was incorporated on Feb. 24, 1881. Conroy was born five weeks later on April 1. Conroy’s father, Thomas, Sr., was a blacksmith at Ft. Lincoln at the time of General Custer’s ill-fated trip to Montana in 1876 and later moved into Mandan to establish a blacksmith shop in a log building just north of the former First National Bank building on West Main St.

It was also noted that four of Mandan’s business firms established in 1881- the year the Village of Mandan was incorporated- are still in operation in 1964. One of the four, Cary Real Estate, still remains in the family of the original owners. The other three businesses are: Mandan Pioneer, Taylor Drug Company and First National Bank of Mandan.

Fort Rice residents also celebrated its 100th anniversary this past weekend with a 15-unit parade, a special flag raising ceremony and a program of speakers including State Sen. Emil Kautzmann of Mandan (R-Morton). More than 400 persons were served a free barbecue meal before enjoying an afternoon baseball game, featuring the Main Bar against Fort Rice.

75 Years Ago – 1939
Pioneer settlers and residents from throughout the county were in Glen Ullin this past weekend to attend the Morton County Old Settler’s Annual Picnic. Following the parade to the park, Mayor Michael Tschida welcomed the visitors and introduced the principal speaker, former Gov. George F. Shafer. Other afternoon events included: races of all kinds, a pie-eating contest, a water fight by the Glen Ullin volunteer fire department, a moving picture show at the Roxie Theater and a baseball game- Glen Ullin against Almont, with Almont winning a close one, 8-6. Winding up the day’s program was an evening dance at the park.

W. F. McClelland has been re-appointed superintendent of the Mandan state training school, according to Mark Forkner, chairman of the board of administration, at N. D. Agricultural College, Fargo. McClelland is beginning his 19th year as head of the state training school, where, he asserts, 78 percent of the boys and girls have kept out of trouble after their release.

Phil Blank has been re-elected president of the Mandan city bowling league for the 1939-40 bowling season at a meeting held at the Recreation Bowling Alley on West Main Street. Other officers are: Bud Walters, vice president; Nick Paul, treasurer; and Rolland Latta, secretary. League member also agreed that a nickel be collected weekly from each league bowler to establish a fund for a season’s end party.

Deteriorating rapidly on North Dakota’s capitol grounds is “Teddy” Roosevelt’s log cabin, in which he spent three of his ranching years in the Dakota Badlands. “Only $500 is needed to take emergency steps to preserve the 55-year old cabin,” declared Ella Schroeder, chairman of the Roosevelt cabin committee of the ND chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The cabin came to the Capitol in 1904 after being part of the North Dakota exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“Jay Fairaizl, who lives about eight miles southwest of St. Anthony, was in the city today and told of the heavy hail storm which struck his farm this week. He said there was a lot of damage to his wheat field. However, his neighbor, Mike Schmidt, was caught by the storm out in the field and was terribly pounded by big hail stones, resulting in a mass of black and blue spots all over his body.

“The cloudburst also occurred north of Mandan, beginning at 4 a.m.. The down pour resulted in water gushing down the coulees at the northwest end of the town and following a natural swale leading into the Sixth Avenue ditch which was inadequate to carry off the deluge. The water then backed up at the crossing at the end of the pavement on West Main and at the railroad company bridge and tracks, and this caused widespread flooding of downtown Main Street. Store owners with basements full of ruined merchandise are hoping their insurance will cover the losses.

“Bismarck suffered a much greater loss than Mandan in the cloudburst of yesterday afternoon. The water poured down the Capitol hill and into the business section of the City where water was from one to three feet deep on the streets. Businessmen whose stores were flooded are threatening to bring suit against the city for not providing proper sewers to carry off the water. Damage in the Capitol City is estimated at $50,000.”

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, Aug. 8, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 78 degrees above zero.

“There has been a recent movement among the members of St. Joseph’s Church of this city to change the Catholic cemetery to some more desirable location, nearer town. Mr. Mackin, who has devoted a great deal of time to looking for a suitable site, has found 11 acres in Mitchell’s Addition. The ground is ornamented with several hundred trees, commands a fine view of the Missouri and can be purchased for $100 an acre. The plan is to remove the bodies from the old cemetery to the new ground which is to be platted, fenced and generally beautified. It is to be most earnestly hoped that the project will materialize.

“News from the Constitutional Convention in Bismarck: Daily decisions are being made for impending statehood. The salary of the state governor is to be fixed at $3,000 a year and the lieutenant governor at $1,000. The executive committee was also in favor of fixing the residency of a candidate for governor at five years in the territory preceding an election. The question as to who should exercise the pardoning power- the Governor or a Board of Pardons- was discussed. The delegates adopted the recommendation of granting such power to the Governor.”

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