Mandan News

Those Were The Days

Happy 124th Birthday to North Dakota, on November 2! ND became the 39th state on November 2, 1889.

25 Years Ago- 1988
The MHS girls’ cross country team successfully defended their 1987 State Class A title by defeating Minot, 80 to 90, to keep the crown. Mandan’s top runners were Amy Stockert, Jody Fox, Nora Beehler, Kristi Fleck and Tracy Boehm.

As a cross country team, the Mandan boys took sixth place, but MHS junior Fred Stoskopf out-sprinted Jamestown’s Bryan Guthmiller to take the individual title to become the first Mandan runner to win an individual cross country title. Other Mandan boys at the top of the competition included: Mitch Unterseher, Rob Schafer, Geno Berger and Jeff Lovdahl.

Leon House is the coach of the MHS cross country teams.


Lori Pletan, Mandan, has bowled a perfect game using her sister’s ball. Although her average is at 144, Lori bowled a 300 game in the Women’s Western League at the Mandan’s Ten Spot Lanes. Her 300 is the first by a woman in the Bismarck-Mandan league. Not having her own ball, she had hinted for a bowling ball as a Christmas present and, in the meantime, was using her sister’s ball and shoes.

50 Years Ago – 1963
The Mandan Toastmasters Club has elected Clarence West as president. Other officers elected are: Herb Simon and Lewis Shaw, vice presidents; Bob Morrison, secretary; George Selinger, treasurer; and Art Olson, sergeant-at-arms.

Robert Paris, president of the Mandan Development Corporation, laid the cornerstone of the $100,000-plus Medical Arts Building which is to be built directly south of the Mandan Hospital. The event marked the beginning of wall construction on the new five-doctor clinic. Attending the groundbreaking were members of the board of directors of the new corporation: William Russell, Robert Chase, Richard Baron, William Hodny, Joseph Leier, Art Lang, Henry Dahners, Lewis Shaw, Leo Schwehr and John Rovig.

1938 ad for The Cave liquor store.

1938 ad for The Cave liquor store.

Mrs. Edwin D. Tostevin, Regent of the Mandan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, presented a child’s set of silver dishes to Mrs. Robert Duncan, Washington, DC, president general of the national society, during the annual meeting of the North Dakota DAR in Bismarck. The dishes were originally given to Mrs. John L. Bowers on her third birthday in 1874 and were later presented to the Mandan Chapter. The dishes will be on display in the Children’s Attic, one of the rooms in Memorial Continental Hall, maintained by the New Hampshire Society. Mrs. Bowers was the organizing regent of the Mandan Chapter of the DAR.

75 Years Ago – 1938
Walter C. Tostevin, advertising manager of the Mandan Daily Pioneer, has been named Commander of the Gilbert S. Furness Post No. 40 of the American Legion during a meeting in the Legion room of the Mandan World War Memorial building. Vice commander is Jesse Olson; Roy Dow is the post adjutant. Following the election, Past National Vice Commander John K. Kennelly, Mandan, installed the officers for the coming year.

Seventy-five Morton County 4-H club members were present at the annual Morton County 4-H Achievement Day program held in the Mandan World War Memorial building. Clubs having a complete membership represented at the meeting included: the Busy Bee Club of New Salem, the Little Heart Girls 4-H club and the Little Heart 4-H Poultry club, both of Mandan; the Hebron 4-H Club; and the Willing Workers club of Judson. Corn, wheat and home furnishings were on display, representing the work of the various clubs.

Thousands of Americans on the East Coast panicked and “ran for the hills” after listening to a realistic radio dramatization of H. G. Well’s “War of the Worlds” by a cast headed by 23-year old Orson Welles. The first two-thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Even in Mandan, at least a dozen phone calls were received at the Pioneer newspaper office, looking for more information on a possible “invasion” in the Midwest.

100 Years Ago – 1913
“The paving of Mandan’s Main Street was finally completed on Wed., Oct. 29. As a result, the city commission unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the city auditor to draw up warrants to the total of $22,186.89, the balance due on the paving contract to James Kennedy of Fargo. The total cost of the paving was $62,343.19; previous payments were made weekly at each commission meeting. Mr. Kennedy is under a $5,000 bond to keep the street in perfect repair for five years.

“The Elks met on Tuesday evening of this past week to celebrate the second anniversary of the institution of the lodge. More than 70 members were present. Chas. P. O’Rourke was elected Exalted Ruler to fill out the unexpired term of L. H Connolly, resigned. A big spread and smoker was held after the meeting.

“A new waltz song, “Our Aeroplane Honeymoon”, composed by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur H. Peterson of this city was on Saturday placed on sale at the Thompson store. The new piece promises to be one of the best of the popular songs of the day.

Pedestrians on Main Street thought a free concert was being held at the Thompson Drug Store,and the place was crowded for nearly an hour. With J. T. Francisco at the piano, two others playing violin and a dozen or more singing, the new song was repeated over and over many times.”

125 Years Ago – 1888
The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1888 its population was at 2,600.

Nov. 1,1888:”On Thursday, Nov. 1, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at39 degrees above zero.

“The usual hijinks occurred on the street of Mandan on All Hallow’s Eve- with barrels and wheels rolled into the streets and numerous windows decorated with soap etchings. No harm done this year.
“We’ve been told that Ole Carlson, who lives south of town, has set out 27,000 box elder trees in addition to an apple orchard and a vineyard. It appears that a forest will soon appear on the prairie.

Friday, Nov. 22, will be the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Where were you when you heard the news?

Please email your memories to, along with your name and address (town, state only) or write to me at 402 17th St. NW, Mandan, ND 58554. Look for the results in this column on the Friday, Nov. 22nd edition of the Mandan News.

By Diane Boit