Mandan News

Schaaf leads Rainbow Girls, 1964

Diane Boit
25 Years Ago – 1989
An 11 a.m. parade down Main Street, followed by a picnic hosted by Dakota Farms in Burlington Northern Park, kicked off the 1989 Winter Daze events in Mandan. Other events during the coming week included: an outdoor hot tub, co-ed snow softball, flag football, volleyball, golf and dart tournaments, a cross-country ski race, 5K fun run, whist and pinochle tournaments, Zonta Club’s Chili Cook-Off and the Mello-Yellow Bladder Buster contest.

People were also invited to guess the weight of the gigantic ice cube that was placed in front of the Mandan Depot. Shari Tuttle was closest in guessing the weight of the 702-lb. cube filled with 100 half-dollars. She guessed 798 pounds and won the ice cube… and an ice pick.

One of the most popular events of the Winter Daze weekend was the Beach Party held at the Mandan Community Center, where tons of sand strewn across the center’s floor enabled hundreds of people to dance in summer gear to rock and roll music from the 1950s thru the 80s.

The Winter Days festivities concluded with a gigantic fireworks display seen from Davenport Hill, north of the Mandan Community Center.

50 Years Ago – 1964
Miss Gretchen Schaaf, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe P. Schaaf, has been installed Worthy Advisor of the Order of Rainbow for Girls at ceremonies, with a blue and white theme, held at Mandan’s Masonic Temple. She succeeds Lynda Laub. Installing officers were Mrs. E. L. Olsen and Betty Marcovitz, assisted by Penny Toman, Lynda Laub, Sally Vogel and Paulette McFerran.

DeMolay boys participating in the crowning were: Charles LaGrave, Master Councillor; Bill Malmgren, Monty Johnson, John Standall, Wayne Wirtz and Paul Holton.
The Rainbow Board presented the Worthy Advisor’s pin to Miss Schaaf, and a Past Worthy Advisor’s pin to Lynda Laub. A handmade gavel was also given to Miss Schaaf by Ted Serr. His gavel has been a traditional gift for many years to all new worthy advisors.

Twenty-one officers were also installed to serve with Miss Schaaf, including Mrs. George Toman as the Mother Worthy Advisor, succeeding Mrs. E. G. Laub, and. E. L. Olsen as the Rainbow Dad, succeeding E. G. Laub.

Entertainment included vocal solos, “My Task” sung by Lynda Laub and “He Shall Feed His Flock” sung by Arnold Larson, MHS music director. Choir members were Sally Block, Marilyn Conrath, Connie Langen, Janice Ohlsen, LuElla Wedge, Penny Mack, Vickie Erickson, Pam Dougherty, Kathy Olslund, Terri Johnson and Lana Schafer.

75 Years Ago – 1939
Despite zero-degree weather, the first robin to be reported to the Pioneer this year arrived last night at the Charles Kidd resident in the Syndicate side of Mandan where it was taken in and treated for frozen feet. The Kidds indicate that the robin would be kept at their home until weather conditions improve.

Forty-five couples of the Mandan Dinner Club were guests at the Valentine dinner-dance held at the Dome night club, located on the Mandan side of the Memorial Bridge. Red candles lighted the tables which were decorated with miniature trees covered with red heart-shaped gum drops. In charge of party arrangements were the P. W. Blanks, F. E. Wetzsteins and the A. R. Weinhandls.

Mandan’s third street light post to lose an encounter with an automobile since the first of the year fell Tuesday afternoon at the junction of First Street and Fourth Avenue northeast. The post went down when the Baron delivery truck, driven by George Baron, met a car driven by Les Farrell at the intersection, resulting in both cars bounding over the curb into the post.

Val Brown, Mandan nurseryman, has a white Minorea hen which lays eggs weighing up to four ounces each. To prove his claim, Brown came to the Pioneer office with his hen weighing in at six pounds and a dozen eggs which tipped the scale at exactly two pounds. Brown says the hen isn’t quite as regular as it might be as whenever it produces one of the giant eggs, she usually takes a day off. Val has a flock of about 75 of these birds, bringing him an average of four dozen eggs a day.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“Fifty Mandan people went to Bismarck Wednesday night to see the farce comedy “Officer 666.” They appreciated the show and its jokes, but failed to see the humor in the joke pulled on them by the Northern Pacific railroad company, for train No. 5 failed to get in until 4 o’clock in the morning.

“Ed Massey and Ben Finnegan, two of the best automobile repairmen in this section of the state, have moved into their new garage shop in the Ronco Building at the corner of West Main Street and Fourth Avenue. The garage will be known as the Star Auto Company.

“One of the largest lodge meetings ever held in the city occurred Tuesday night when 300 members of the Brotherhood of German-American Yeomen assembled at the Maccabee Hall. The Mandan homestead lodge was organized nine months ago and now has a membership of 195.

Installation of officers for the coming year was held; assuming their duties are: August Usselman, foreman; Ralph Friesz, secretary – treasurer; J. H. Messmer, master of accounts; and Matt Zahnder, master of ceremonies. The evening concluded with a smoker, banquet and dance with Homestead members at Bismarck, Solen, Elgin, St. Anthony, Judson, New Salem and Dickinson in attendance.”

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. 14, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 35 degrees above zero.

“A few days ago, Mr. O. V. Davis started to drive to Bismarck and got lost in the brush on the river bottoms. When he got out, he was near Fort Lincoln, and his buggy had left all its paint behind. The vehicle is now getting another coat of paint.

“This morning the Dakota legislature in a body went through Mandan in a special train on their way to the Sims coal mines and returned this afternoon. Expressions of delight with the mines were to be heard on every hand, but the members from “south” Dakota seemed full of remorse to think they had nothing of the kind out their way.

“Yesterday afternoon, as a freight train was coming into Mandan from the east, it was stopped below the water tank by an obstinate steer that would not get off the track. The fireman got out to drive him off, but the steer managed to dodge him and still stay on the track. Then two more men got off to help, and the result was a lively race straight up the track until the steer reached the crossing where he got off on his own will.”

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