Mandan News

Mrs. Wheeler, L. Spielman hold Ping-Pong titles, 1939

Diane Boit
25 Years Ago – 1989
In a low-scoring game at Dickinson Trinity, the Mandan Braves completed their regular basketball season with a 48-45 win over the Titans. Not bad for a team projected to finish in the WDA cellar. Mike Ressler was the only Brave in double figures with 14 points. Curt Miller added eight points and tossing in six each were Greg Fitterer, Todd Feland, Ed Olson and Ryan Leingang. The win made Mandan 13-6 overall and 9-5 in the WDA.

Flasher Public School’s math team finished in first place after the Morton County Math-Counts competition held in the courthouse in Mandan. Flasher’s team included Bryan Gerhardt, Elaina Mahrer, Wendy Lawson and Aaron Fleck. Individual awards went to Gerhardt for first place, Mahrer, second place, and to Fleck, sixth place. Albert Kraft, elementary principal and math teacher at Flasher, received a plaque for his role as the winning team’s coach.

Mandan Mayor Robert Dykshoorn has signed a proclamation declaring February as National American History month and acknowledging the Daughters of the American Revolution efforts in encouraging the teaching of American history in our schools. Joining Dykshoorn for the signing was area DAR Regent Mrs. Carolyn Larson of Mandan.

50 Years Ago – 1964
MHS senior Bill Block, son of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Block, has rolled individual games of 236, 245 and 243 for a 724 scratch total at the Ten Spot Lanes, Mandan. Bill is a member of the Junior Jaycees Bowling League. The high series raised his average from a mere 178 to a sizzling 183 scratch. His teammate Frank Walter also bowled a 195-246-197 series, totaling 638. Both young men are also members of the Senior High basketball team.

Mrs. J. M. (Alice) Crawford, along with fellow members of the League of Women Voters of Mandan, has spearheaded the organizing of a “Friends of the Library” group who would work to provide funds for equipment and books at the city library’s new location in the old post office building on 1st St. N.W. Temporary officers include Mrs. Crawford as chairman, Mrs. William Hodny, secretary- treasurer; and Mrs. C. F. Ellis, public relations. Volunteering to serve on the membership committee were: Mrs. Ralph Thomas, Mrs. Richard Gallagher and Mrs. William Mushik.

To commemorate February as American History Month, awards have been presented by the Mandan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to two outstanding history students in the eighth grade of the public schools. Selection of students is made by the history teacher on the basis of top test scores. Receiving medals are Richard Paris, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paris, and Michael Brien, son of Pastor and Mrs. C. F. Brien. Michael is the second student of the Brien family to receive the award; an older brother, Spencer, was a recipient in 1959.

75 Years Ago – 1939
Mrs. Harry (Avanelle) Wheeler and Lloyd Spielman, both of Mandan, are the proud owners of the Ping-Pong championship trophies from the two-day city-wide tournament which saw 90 Mandan contestants, 73 men and boys, plus 17 women and girls, compete in the World War Memorial Building. In the women’s final championship flight, Mrs. Wheeler defeated Mrs. Charles (Jane) Ellis, Jr., who had edged Mrs. Colin (Marion) Cary in the semi-finals. Spielman defeated his own brother, Al, before claiming victory over Charles Ellis, Jr. in the men’s finals.

Mandan’s Tony Brucker and Butch Luger of Fort Yates will be among the 64 amateur fighters who will go into the quarter finals of the 10th annual Northwest Golden Gloves tournament at Minneapolis. Twenty-year old Brucker, middleweight, scored his second consecutive knockout in two days when he stopped Wally Johnson, Minneapolis, in the second round. Luger, a welterweight, defeated Don Thurnburg, Fort Snelling.

Fathers and sons, numbering 112, of the Methodist Episcopal Church gathered in the church parlors this week for the third annual banquet to be given by the Men’s Club of the church. Program numbers included a clarinet solo by Victor Lindelow and a guitar solo by Norman Hille.

Charles Barthel has purchased the interests of D. C. Scothorn in the Connolly Chevrolet Co. and has assumed the position of manager. Scothorn severed his connection with the company after 14 years, coming from Bismarck in 1924 after purchasing the stock of S.W. Corwin. Barthel has been associated with the Connolly Chevrolet Co. since 1932, coming to Mandan from New Salem where he had been sales manager for the New Salem Motor Co.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“Alex Froelich, city commissioner, was saved from his burning home last weekend by Raphael Zent, 19, a member of the city street crew, who rushed into the inferno to carry the unconscious man to safety. After his family escaped from the rapidly spreading fire, Froelich returned to gather personal items and was overcome by smoke, falling unconscious to the floor. He is recovering at the Mandan Hospital but is suffering greatly from smoke inhalation.

“Conrad Butler, resident of Lyons, is under arrest awaiting a hearing tomorrow on the charge of killing beavers out of season. Deputy Game Warden James Maurek made the complaint for W. F. Reko, chief game warden, and alleges that Butler took beaver from the Heart River on December 30. Beaver are protected by a closed season until 1920.

“When a chair, on which he was standing while hanging a quarter of beef in his butcher shop Sunday morning, slipped, George Gussner, well-known local butcher, fell against a meat rack and a meat hook impaled his cheek, ripping a great gash in the flesh of his cheek. Friends found him a short time later unconscious on the floor and removed him to the Mandan hospital where the wound was stitched and dressed. He is now confined to his bed suffering from his injury and the loss of blood.”

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, Feb. 21, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 22 degrees above zero.

“Having purchased the interest of Mr. Hoke in the business firm of Heegard & Hoke, I shall continue the business under my own name. Signed: C. A. Heegard.

“The old, old fashion in the shape of weather swooped down on us this morning. The first really beautiful snow of the season covered the ground and pulled out the sleighs and sleds. Much laughter and happy shouts of greetings were heard by young and old alike all over the streets of Mandan.

“Those wanting to take in the excursion to Washington, D.C., to witness the inaugural ceremonies for President Benjamin Harrison on March 4th, should note that the Northern Pacific Railway will sell roundtrip tickets from Mandan to Washington for $44.60. Tickets will be on sale until March 2.

“There was an exciting few minutes at the Bismarck depot yesterday, shortly after the arrival of Train No. 1. A lady got off the train to see somebody off, and, of course, lingered till the last moment. The train started off slowly, she got off backwards, fell under the train, and everybody expected to see her speedily ground up. But Mr. Phelan, the Mandan master mechanic, grasped the woman and yanked her out of harm’s way in double quick time. She left the platform thankful to be in the land of the living.”

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