Mandan News

MJHS Principal Engelhardt retires, 1989

Diane Boit
25 Years Ago – 1989
Mandan Junior High Principal Tony Engelhardt has retired after completing a career as an educator that began in the classroom at Streeter, ND, in 1952. Education for Engelhardt began in Dickinson where he attended public school and Dickinson State College, earning degrees in social studies, physical education and shop. After one year at Streeter, where he was teacher and coached basketball, track and baseball, he moved to New Salem, becoming principal there after five years in the classroom and also coaching basketball and football. He became superintendent at New Salem in 1960, a job he held for 10 years, transferring to Mandan Public Schools in 1970.

During the past 19 years in Mandan, Engelhardt has been active in the Mandan Elks, now a past Exalted Ruler, and is currently a member of the Mandan City Commission. He’s also managed to squeeze in being the American Legion baseball coach for three years, 1971-73.

50 Years Ago – 1964
Mandan High School’s 62nd annual Commencement was held Monday evening, May 25, for 181 graduates in the school gymnasium with a large crowd of parents and friends in attendance. The Rev. Joseph Rogers of Christ the King Church gave the invocation, and Monty Johnson, senior class president, introduced the student speakers, Margaret Walter, salutatorian, and co-valedictorians, Carol Schmidt and Larry Wurdeman. Following the speeches, the senior high choir sang a medley of selections from “The Sound of Music” and the junior high band played “Castle Gap.” High School principal, A. R. Shaw, presented the senior class who received their diplomas from C. W. Albers, president of the Board of Education.

Prior to the last day of school, junior and seniors of MHS held elections, under the supervision of Hans Grunseth, advisor. Officers for the class of 1965 are: Maurice LaGrave, senior class president; Kathy Hanson, vice president; and Dallas Burkhardt, secretary- treasurer. Student council reps are: Hildie Ressler, Sharon Trusty, Clem Richau and Wayne Scharf.

The Mandan Park Board held its annual reorganization meeting and elected George F. Heidt as president of the board, succeeding Art Dettman who had served a two-year term. Howard Hendrickson was elected vice-president. Reappointed were Lewis Shaw as clerk and Mrs. Marion Hertz as treasurer.

The awards banquet for the Mandan Junior Jaycees Bowling League was held at the Mandan Country Club with Dick Schmidt, league coach, giving the opening welcome to more than 80 junior bowlers and their parents and guests. Main speaker at the banquet was Leonard Schmidt, Mandan, Ten Spot Bowling Lanes proprietor, who spoke on the national growth of bowling. Trophies and awards were presented by Dick Schmidt, Mrs. Leonard Schmidt, league secretary, and Bill Bentley, league coach. MHS senior Bill Block was recipient of the “700” trophy for his 724 series. Awards for highest league averages were presented to Butch Schmidt (193), Frank Walter (187), Bill Block (184), Ron Zeiszler (165), Scott Howe (160), Terry Bragg (160), and Dick Heidt (160).

75 Years Ago – 1939
Fifty-nine students at the St. Joseph parochial school received their eight-grade diplomas at its annual commencement exercises held in St. Joseph Catholic Church. Four of the 59 graduates leave with a perfect attendance record. They are: Gertrude Leingang, Albertine Matz, Edwin Renner and Leo Stumpf.

The Mandan Credit Union has been organized and granted a charter by the North Dakota State Banking Board. Membership is limited to residents within the city limits. Elected officers are: T. H. Christenson, president; Frank Hammond, vice president; and Harold Kuebker, secretary- treasurer. This is the second credit union organized in Mandan, the first being the St. Joseph’s Parish Credit Union.

John Bohn, St. Joseph parochial school student, won the Mandan city marble championship, defeating Central grade school student, Bill Kramer, in the city tournament held on the Central School grounds. The final six entries represented the three grade schools of the city. The other four participating in the final rounds were: Carl Lummele, Central grade school; Adam Himmelspach, parochial school; and Leo Lang and Raymond Wagner, Syndicate grade school.

International News: Germany and Italy signed a military pact this past week, agreeing to pool all military and economic resources in event of war in which either might be involved.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“The 1914 Junior Prom opened with a banquet at the InterOcean Hotel for 37 members of the junior and senior classes and their high school teachers. The menu consisted of tomato bouillon, olives, pickles, creamed veal, creamed salmon, potato soufflé, rolls, fruit salad, sherbet, assorted cakes, coffee and dinner mints. Dancing followed at the Opera House with about 50 couples attending. Decorations consisted of hundreds of pennants hung about the room.

“Nine pupils received their certificates last evening when the first annual commencement exercises of the St. Joseph Parochial School were held at the Opera House. After the salutatory was given by Joseph Broshard, Father Clemens presented the diplomas and delivered the commencement address. Other graduates are: Rose Rambur, Bridella Cantwell, Beatrice McQuillan, Peter Renner, Charles Tobin, Joseph O’Neil, Henry Handtmann and Aloysius Weinhandle.

“The Mandan Opera House presented a brilliant scene this week for the commencement exercises of the Class of 1914 of Mandan High School. The interior of the building had been artistically decorated with vines and flowers, while the stage had been arranged with vines to represent a rustic porch. The class had solved problem of the graduation dress by appearing in gray caps and gowns. After an address given by Judge A. A. Bruce of the North Dakota Supreme Court, diplomas were given to 11 graduates, and the exercises closed with the singing of the high school song, “Our Old High.”

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, June 6, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 78 degrees above zero.

“The willows that grow on the Missouri River bottoms are available for basket-making, it is claimed. What an immense basket factory might be established there! Enough baskets to supply Dakota for years. They grow dense, tall and straight. Through them, the prairie fires never burn.

“Three hundred tons of buffalo bones are now being hauled to Bismarck from McLean County. Whatever may be said of the scarcity of buffaloes today, it is evident that they once existed in considerable numbers in McLean County.

“Mr. Frank J. Mead, one of Mandan’s time-ago mayors, is in Washington, DC, looking for a $2,500 a year job in the treasury department. But he has about come to the conclusion that he can’t get it, and shortly he will be at work again on some Minneapolis newspaper.

“Last evening a meeting of parties interested in the co-operative movement was held at the Odd Fellows hall. A charter was adopted, and a preliminary Board of Directors was chosen. The company will be incorporated under the laws of the territory and will be known as the West Dakota Co-operative Mercantile Company.”

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