Mandan News

Those Were The Days – Armistice Day celebrated, 1938

The Horse Restaurant ad from 1913

The Horse Restaurant ad from 1913

25 Years Ago- 1988
A high of 38 degrees on Nov. 10, along with a brisk breeze, managed to put a damper on the size of the crowd that attended the Grand Opening ceremonies for the opening of the underpass going from Main to 6th Ave. S.E., but motorists came out in force and appreciated the completed roadway. Four days later, Mandan was blanketed with three inches of snow on its first snowfall of the season.

Berger Insurance, owned by Ralph Berger, Mandan, has been sold to the Riedman Corporation, a family-owned insurance marketing firm based out of Rochester, NY. Berger has been appointed Branch Manager of the newly-merged company. Berger Insurance has served Mandan, Bismarck and central North Dakota since 1974.

After losing to Bismarck Century twice during the regular basketball season, by a total of three points, the third encounter was a charm as the Mandan Braves defeated the Century girls, 67-44, to win the WDA tournament and enter state finals as the top seed from the west. Top point-getters for Mandan were Jeanette Fox with 22 points and Stephanie Dietrich, 16. Adding to the points were Melissa Ulmer and LeAnn Moldenhauer, with 9 each; Jessie Mees, 6; Kelly Heck, 3; and Kristie Olmsted, 2. Greg Amundson is the coach for the Mandan girls.

50 Years Ago – 1963
The Mandan Country Club was transformed into the “Delight Ski Resort” for the Revelers Club’s second party of the season last Saturday evening. Entering “Revelers Hills”, the guests were greeted by a miniature ski lift before being given refreshments from a First Aid station.

The tables in the dining area were centered with miniature snow hills on which tiny skiing figures slalomed down the slopes. Party guests also visited in a chalet complete with artificial ceiling beams and a fireplace. Big bear rugs and winter landscapes on the walls and skiing equipment around the rooms added to the atmosphere.

Mike Dosch and his orchestra provided music for the party which was attended by 33 couples who danced under a canopy of snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.

The party committee was composed of the W. H. Heislers, Robert Leslies, Julius Pfeiffers, Warren Buehlers, Harold Robinsons, Berlin Boyds, Ray Madsens and Clarence Schauss.

75 Years Ago – 1938
The shrill notes of bugles from various points in Mandan, at 10:59 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, signaled the official opening of the Mandan Armistice Day celebration sponsored by the service organizations of the city. As the notes of the martial music died away, the blast of the whistle at the North Dakota Power and Light Co. gave the 11 a.m. signal for the ringing of church and school bells and the blowing of other whistles, reminding the older residents of the noise and din that filled the air 20 years ago when news of the signing of the armistice was received.

As the noise faded away, a signal was given for the parade to begin down Main Street, headed by the Mandan High School band, followed by the colors of the United States and the flags of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, along with a variety of floats and then Mandan’s Boy and Girl Scouts troops.

Afternoon festivities included the traditional Armistice Day football game between the MHS Braves and the Bismarck Demons who battled to a scoreless tie on a snow-covered field before more than 400 spectators. During the early morning hours, it was discovered that the goal posts on the Braves field had been pulled down (by parties unknown). Bismarck also had their troubles, as materials for their pre-game bonfire mysteriously disappeared overnight but were traced by trails of debris on the highway to the underpass east of Mandan. However, in honor of the day, a truce was called between the teams, and the goal posts were re-erected for the game.
Reprinted in the Nov. 11 Pioneer was part of the front page Extra, published at 4 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 12, 1918, carrying the news of the Armistice.


The 20th anniversary of the Armistice, ending World War I, also signaled another wave of violence in Germany as Nazi Party troops stepped up their attacks on Jewish businesses, breaking windows and throwing merchandise into the streets as city residents gathered and cheered them on. The name of Jehovah has also been ordered erased from all Protestant churches, along with the names of the Old Testament Jewish prophets. According to Nazi officials, churches and synagogues not complying will be burned.

100 Years Ago – 1913
“School attendance has increased in Mandan following the appointment of John Melzner as truant officer. More than 100 families have been visited by Melzner who read the school laws to them. As a result, more than 150 pupils have begun attending school these past few weeks.

“Ever since the Fort Rice dedication, local pioneers have been working on a movement to secure the property five miles south of the city of Mandan on the west bank of the Missouri River. It is at present held by Henry Rix, and he has agreed to sell it at a fair price. Next year is the 38th anniversary of the Battle on the little Big Horn, and it would be most fitting to dedicate the site of old Fort Lincoln to the state.

“General Manager G. A. Goodell of the Northern Pacific railroad company, while here Monday, suggested a project that has several times been considered by local citizens. He would have a statue of General Custer made and erected in the depot park. According to Goodell, the Northern Pacific will gladly donate and prepare a fitting site for the statue in the depot park and will keep it in condition after it is unveiled.”

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

Nov. 15, 1888: “On Thurs., Nov. 15, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 25 degrees above zero.

“The beautiful snow made the acquaintance of our citizens this morning.

“The young folks are getting some excellent skating on the slough east of the city. Last night, in the moonlight, there was quite a party out there.
“The dealers in overcoats and other winter wear are getting their work in now. The cold snap is also doing some little to stir up the stove and coal trade.

“Col. Alexander Hughes was over from Bismarck this morning. He says that he expects to see an extra session of congress called immediately after the inauguration of President Harrison, and the Dakota question will then be taken up. He expects to see both North and South Dakota admitted immediately as two states. Yes, it is true- Dakota finally has a friend in the President’s chair.”

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