Mandan News

Those Were The Days – Mandan Hospital is dedicated, 1963

Compiled by Diane Boit

25 Years Ago – 1988

Ground was broken for a new clinic on Friday, Sept. 9, the 25th anniversary of the opening of the new Mandan Hospital. The clinic will be attached to the east wing of the hospital and will house six physicians. Doing the honors of turning over the first shovelful of soil was the Mandan Hospital Board President Ed Gerhardt.

According to hospital administrator, Jim Hubbard, the cost of the 7700-sq. ft. clinic is estimated at $1.1 million, nearly the same amount spent in the construction of the original two-story hospital building completed in 1963. The clinic will be operated by Q & R Clinic, Bismarck. The Mandan Hospital has been under a management contract with Medcenter One for the past nine months due to decreasing patient numbers.

50 Years Ago – 1963

The dedication ceremony for the new $1.1 Mandan Hospital building was held on Sunday, Sept. 8, with Master of Ceremonies William C. Kelsch, Morton County States Attorney, introducing the day’s guest speaker, Gov. William L. Guy who had opened the local fund drive in 1961.

Kelsch also introduced John Danz, president of the Mandan Hospital Ass’n, “as the man who had more to do with the erection of this hospital than anyone else.” Danz told the audience that the funding for the hospital came from three sources: $454,000 from federal funds; $400,000 from Mandan City bonds; and the remaining $200,000 from local donations, for which he and the hospital association were extremely grateful. The ceremony closed with remarks given by Mandan Mayor John Handtmann.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, more than 4,000 people, guided by members of the Mandan Lions Club and Explorer Scouts, toured the new Mandan Hospital building situated on a high hill overlooking the town of 12,000.

The 60-bed hospital officially opened for business on Monday, the 9th, following the transfer of equipment and patients from the “old” Community Hospital, making Frank Rennich of Mandan, the hospital’s first patient. Two days later, on Wed., Sept. 11, Brent Dion Heim, weighing in at 7 pounds, 5.5 ounces, earned the distinction of being the first baby born in the new hospital. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Lester A. Heim of Leith. The baby was delivered by Dr. H. A. Wheeler who had also delivered the Heims’ last two children at the “old” hospital in west Mandan.


The Mandan Braves high school football team went down to defeat in the season’s opening game against Minot Ryan, 31-13. Though unable to overcome the tough Minot Ryan team and the bullet-like running of their halfback George Hennessy, Mandan touchdowns were made by junior halfback George Gress and by veteran Clem Riechow who received a 27-yard pass from speedy tailback Jim Koch; Gary Johnson ran for the extra point. Coach for the Braves is Loren “Lefty” Faris who is still hopeful that extra practice will prevent the repeat of last year’s dismal 1-7-0 season record.

At home at 407 1/2 2nd St. NW in Mandan are newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zachmeier who were married Aug. 24 at St. Joseph Catholic Church. The former Janis Berger, daughter of Mrs. Ralph Berger, and the late Mr. Berger, is a first grade teacher at St. Joseph Grade School; the groom, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Zachmeier, Center Rt., Mandan, is employed at the R. M. Heskett station.

75 Years Ago – 1938

Mrs. William J. Mackin, who was elected president of the Mandan chapter, North Dakota Pioneer Daughters last spring, has assumed her duties at the first meeting of the early fall and winter season, with 35 members in attendance at the home of Mrs. Harvey H. Williams. Mrs. Mackin succeeds Mrs. Fred W. McHenry as president. Following the business session, six tables of bridge were in play with top honors going to Mrs. Leo C. Broderick.

This week marks the end of the season for two of the Northern Pacific Railway Company’s tourist attractions. The Comet, crack passenger train running over the main line and through the Yellowstone Park, has made its last run of the season, and the 10 Sioux Indians, who have been meeting all regularly scheduled trains that go through Mandan, danced their last dance of the season and are preparing to move back to their homes on the Standing Rock Reservation. According to the opinions expressed by this year’s tourists, little six-year old Miss Thunderhawk was deemed to be the No. 1 performer with the dancing group.

As a result of the election held at this week’s Mandan High School’s pep meeting, Gaylord Williams, assisted by Miss Marian Stebner and Miss Vivienne Gaab, will lead the Mandan cheering at all high school athletic events this year. Presiding over the pep meeting was last year’s cheer leader, Delbert Skjod.

100 Years Ago – 1913

A dedication program for the new St. Joseph parochial school was carried out on a Sunday afternoon, following a noon dinner served by the ladies of the parish in the basement of the church. Rev. Father Martin of Bismarck, standing on the side porch of the school building, spoke briefly in both English and German to the large crowd, congratulating St. Joseph parish on its enterprise. He was followed by Bishop Wehrle who spoke briefly and then blessed the school and the convent.

“The school building has been splendidly furnished by members of the Lady Foresters and the Men’s societies. Several individuals also donated items, including Mrs. O’Neil who furnished a generous supply of dishes, and August Ussleman who loaned a piano for the school’s parlor.

“The parochial school opened Tuesday morning, Sept. 2, with an enrollment of approximately 200 pupils. Original plans were for 120 pupils and, owing to the unexpected greater number, it was necessary to wire for more help. As a result, there are now seven Sisters teaching at the school, including Sister Edmund who will be teaching music. She will also organize classes on piano and violin. Although the Sisters arrived here from St. Benedict’s Academy, St. Joseph, Minn. just a few days before the opening, everything was rapidly organized for a successful first school year.”


“First concrete on Main Street was laid on Monday, Sept. 8…one block completed before two days of rain.”
125 Years Ago – 1888
The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; by 1888 its population was at 2,600.

Sept.13, 1888:”On Thursday, Sept. 13, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 80 degrees above zero.

“The case of Miss Sadie Lanterman against the Mandan Board of Education was before district court last week. The parties came before Judge Roderick Rose, presiding Judge, 6th Judicial District, with Mr. Voss for the plaintiff and Mr. Hollemback for the defense. Miss Lanterman brought suit to recover the sum of $450 alleged to be due on a nine-month teaching contract for the previous school year. She claimed that she had been tested and hired, but was never called to teach. After hearing witnesses, Judge Rose decided upon an order of non-suit, without prejudice, due to lack of a signed paper document.

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Those Were the Days in 1963

Those Were the Days in 1963