Mandan News

Merit Citations awarded to Wheeler, Nickerson, 1964

Diane Boit25 Years Ago – 1989
Despite all those who said it wouldn’t happen two years in a row, it looks like Morton County farmers are facing another drought to rival the one in 1988. While the state held its Party of the Century, the crops burned up in the scorching heat with temperatures reaching 100 degrees. “The small grain crop is 25 to 40 percent gone,” according to Jack Stewart, Morton County Extension agent, “and hay fields are about 50 to 80 percent of normal, if even that good.”

With all the excitement in Mandan during the Centennial Celebration, it was easy to miss the passing of a long-time Mandan business. Owner George Paul turned the lights off and shut down the coolers for the last time in Nick’s Lounge on West Main Street on June 30 as he and his wife, Jean, have retired after more than 50 years in the business. George’s father, Nick Paul, teamed up with Jake Lockbeam and Peter Knoll to buy Mandan Recreation, pool hall and bowling alley, in 1919.

50 Years Ago – 1964
The Carson Little Leaguers, coached by Ray Lenner, received the championship trophy in the annual Mandan Kiwanis Little League baseball tourney with an 11-1 win over the Center team.

The Mandan City Commissioners approved the appointment of Mrs. Earl (Olga) Vogelpohl as city treasurer. She succeeds Mrs. Don Hertz.

Mrs. Alvin (Viola) Moltzen of New Salem has been elected the Department President of the American Legion Auxiliary at the state convention held in Grand Forks. Mrs. Moltzen has been in Auxiliary work for 13 years, all served with the New Salem unit.

Dressed in slacks, sweater and tennis shoes, Mrs. A. R. Zimmerman, local winner in the Pepsi-Cola contest which entitled her to a five-minute shopping spree in the grocery store of her choice, sprinted up and down the aisles of Moos Jack & Jill Market this past week and collected four shopping carts of groceries, totaling $261.11. Mrs. Zimmerman was interviewed before and after her shopping spree by KBOM Radio which broadcast a “shelf-by-shelf” description of the event.

The ND Library Commission has recognized two Mandan women long associated with the Mandan Library by presenting them Citations of Merit during the formal opening of the library at its new quarters in the former Post Office building, 108 1st St. N.W. Honored were Mrs. Evelyn Nickerson, board member for 45 years until her recent retirement, and current board member Mrs. H. A. Wheeler, who has served 29 years. State Senator Emil Kautzmann, Mandan, presented the citations on behalf of the Library Commission.

75 Years Ago – 1939
Results of the special July election indicate that all four measures were voted down by a margin of 4 to one. It was an uphill fight for former Governor Bill Langer, who sponsored three of the measures and had forced Governor John Moses to call the special election after filing petitions bearing more than 30,000 signatures on the referendum proposals.

Three of the measures were designed to help pay the cost of increased old age pension from $30 to $40 per month, which had passed overwhelmingly by the public in the November 1938 elections. But the 1939 Legislature, backed by Governor Moses, refused to appropriate money for larger pensions which resulted in another referral put to a statewide vote to include three fundraising measures- a gross income tax, a system of municipal liquor stores whose profits would go to pensions and a two-year moratorium on new highway construction.

A new one-story brick business building to house the Lockbeam Grocery store is being erected at 104 East Main between the Taylor Drug and Mushik Shoe Store.

Sioux Indians from Cannon Ball who return to Mandan on June 15 of each year, are busy once again entertaining the tourists who pass through Mandan on the Northern Pacific trains. Hired by the Northern Pacific Railroad company each year, the Indians, in full costume, meet each train and stage traditional dances. Heading the list of Indians this year is Eagle Staff, who is here for his 15th consecutive year.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“After July 15, Mandan Post Office carriers will not be making Sunday mail collections. Also, there will be only one delivery on holidays, and post office windows will not be open to service customers.

“One of the features shown at the Family Theater this evening will be 100 feet of motion picture film showing the Decoration Day parade at Bismarck. This film was made by the Holmboe Studio at Bismarck and is well worth seeing since it’s of local interest.

“Attorney L. H. Connolly and Ed Wuerst went to Flasher this morning by automobile with Attorney Bob Nash who was here on business. Mr. Connolly will get his automobile which he was compelled to leave at Flasher last week because of the heavy rain which made the roads hazardous.

“A highly exciting baseball game was played yesterday afternoon at the diamond at Second Street and Fifth Avenue N.W. The West End won over the East End team by a score of 16 to 8. Practically every boy in town was on the sidelines.

“George Zinn, aged 42 years, was struck by lightning Saturday and died later from the shock. He had been working in the fields at his farm 10 miles north of New Salem and was hitching up the horses to go back to the farm house when the storm came up. Lightning struck him on the top of the head and burned a hole through and came out his throat. He was still alive when family members discovered him at 3 o’clock the next morning, but he never regained consciousness and died on Sunday afternoon. He is survived by his wife and three children. Funeral services were held from the German Lutheran Church at New Salem.”

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 Friday, July 18, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 86 degrees above zero.

“On Saturday morning when the wind was blowing from the east, a man was heard to remark that it would rain inside of 24 hours. He said that he never knew this sign to fail. In accordance with his prophecy, there was a shower Saturday night and another Sunday morning.

“A temperance meeting will be held at the Sims school house on Sunday next in the Scandinavian and English languages. Members of the constitutional convention will also be present to deliver addresses.

“One of the most important committees organized by the Constitutional Convention is for the division of the debts and property of the Territory. A committee of seven from South Dakota is expected to be at the Capitol on Monday to confer with the seven-member committee representing North Dakota.

“Last Friday night at 7 o’clock, not a board had been put up on the fence surrounding the ball ground in back of the InterOcean Hotel. Saturday at noon, the entire fence was completed and ready for the afternoon’s ballgame. A party of 15 ball players and others, who are interested in the club, turned out in the evening and worked until dark. They were on the grounds again at 4 a.m. Saturday. At one time, the workers made as much noise as a machine shop. Some lively hustling must have been done, as 350 feet of fence was put up in an hour and twenty minutes.”

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