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25 Years Ago-1993

Gov. Ed Schafer has signed a mandatory seat belt law, but the issue remains alive as opponents launched a drive to refer the measure. Although he understands the “personal choice” line of argument, the effect of motor vehicle crashes on medical costs, insurance and workers compensation makes it appropriate to mandate a seat belt law. Mandan attorney John Gosbee led a successful referral against the mandate in 1989 and is ready to hustle up the 12,776 signatures needed to get the referral on the ballot for the June 1994 primary.

Funerals this week:

John Mosbrucker, 73, Mandan; raised, educated in Oliver County. Married Josephine Hoffman, 1941. Farmed in Oliver County. Moved to Mandan, 1969. Played accordion with his band, the Johnny Mosbrucker Band, 56 years. After his wife’s death, he married Josie Froelich, 1988. A member of St. Anthony and St. Vincent vereins, Mandan Eagles, Mandan Moose and the Musicians Association. Survivors include his wife, one son, two stepsons, three daughters and their families, three sisters.

Lindeman Larson, 84, Bismarck; raised, educated in Mandan area. Married Edna Torkelson, 1931. Worked for Leichty Homes Inc., Bismarck. Farmed in Flasher, Mandan areas until 1956. Built homes for the military at Glasgow, Mont. A maintenance engineer at state Capitol, 10 years. Survivors include his wife, one daughter and son-in-law and their family,one brother, one sister.

Frances (Graner) Schmidt, 85, Bismarck; raised, educated in rural Mandan. Dickinson High School graduate. Obtained teaching certificate, 1928. A teacher in the Huff area two years. Married George Schmidt, 1930. Worked as a nursing aide at Mandan Hospital. Survivors include three sons, one daughter and their families, two brothers.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, April 6: a high of 45 degrees; 35 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago-1968

President Lyndon Johnson, in a surprise announcement seen by television viewers and heard by radio listeners, has stated that he will not seek the Democratic renomination for president of the United States. The announcement changed the entire complexion of the 1968 election campaign plans for both Republicans and Democrats.

Mrs. A.J. Belohlavek, 710 Fifth St. N.W., has won the Zenith color TV, given away during the grand opening of Thomas TV and Appliances in Mandan. Her name was drawn by Del Skjod, secretary of the Mandan Chamber of Commerce, and was presented by partner Phil Thomas.

A.R. “Archie” Shaw, principal of Mandan High School, became Mandan’s new mayor after soundly defeating candidate Herbert Simons in the city’s municipal elections. Shaw, who will succeed C.H. Walker, received 1,635 votes against only 661 for Simons. In the race for the two Mandan City Commission seats, incumbents H.A. Kautzmann and Paul Hoffman easily won re-election, defeating Harold Helferich and A.J. Schneider.

75 Years Ago-1943

During the last week’s flooding crisis, food rationing rules were lifted as many Mandan homes had two to 10 guests eating with them. Grocers were able to sell what was needed, including butter and all canned goods.

Public school grade and high school teachers were also busy helping out in the city restaurants waiting on tables and washing dishes, as many employees were with their families in flooded areas.

One woman was found by rescuers hanging to the top of the door jamb. She had hung there so long that she couldn’t let go, and her fingers had to be pried loose. She had to be hospitalized.

Another woman, rescued by the boatsmen, insisted on returning to get her money. The boys helped her back in the house, and she dug out an old music box in which she had secreted $85, her life savings.

Hundreds of people were brought to safety by the members of the local fire department who, with the high-wheeled fire truck and with boats, rescued people from house tops and flooded homes day and night.

More than 80 people took refuge in the World War Memorial building for the duration of the flood. The water rose so fast that it was impossible to leave. J.I. Rovig, acting secretary of the local Red Cross and secretary of the Mandan Chamber of Commerce, was in charge of providing food and sleeping arrangements.

There has been no food shortage but distribution was difficult. The storerooms of the Mandan Creamery and Produce Co. were drawn on heavily to feed the refugees.

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Wm. H. Brown, 82, pioneer real estate man and publisher in the early days of Mandan, has died in Chicago. Brown came to Mandan in 1901 and organized the Brown Land Co., which became active in opening up and settling the then-new country. He also founded the towns of Mott and Flasher on the south railroad line and built commodious hotels for travelers to the region. While in Mandan, he published the Brown Farmer magazine.

100 Years Ago-1918

“The blessing of the new bell at the Catholic church was favored by the most beautiful spring weather. The baptism of the bell was done by Right Rev. Bishop V. Wehrle who did the essential washing with water and the use of holy oils. After the ceremony, the bell was swung to ring or, in other words, was now entitled to speak, or call the faithful. And the bell rings well. It has the tone of A and will join the first bell, made in 1886.

“The bell, made by the Hy. Stuckstede Bell Foundry at St. Louis, Mo., is a gift of Mrs. William Boehm of this city in memory of her deceased husband and of the family. The inscription is: Clement William (name at baptism) in memory of William Boehm and Margaret ‘nee’ Haff family: George, Joseph, Wilhemina, Philip, Mathilda, Rose; Mandan, N.D., 1918; Rev. Clement Dimpfl, O.S.B., Pastor.

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“The old Merchants National Bank building has been leased by M. Rosen of the Rosen Clothing Store and will be entirely remodeled by the bank people into a modern store. A new front will be put in, along with new fixtures and equipment. Merchants National Bank is now located in the new Lewis & Clark Hotel building, West Main St.

“Born to Mr. and Mrs. Matt Weigel today, a baby boy.

“One hundred and nine freight cars, containing three motor trucks to the car, passed through Mandan today on the way to Seattle. The trucks are manufactured by the General Motors Company of Detroit. The trucks are said to be on their way to our war Allies at Vladivostok, Russia. One day last week, 48 freight cars passed by with four trucks to the car; those were made by the Buick people and had the same destination.

“Several Mandan boys, who have enlisted in the service, leave tonight for their stations. Leo McDonald and Rudolph Weinhandl enter the coast artillery at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., while Frank Weinhandl, Ira Place and Martin Mossbrucker go to Camp Greene to enter the infantry service. They all will leave on the No. 2 train tonight.

125 Years Ago-1893

“On Thurs., April 6, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 46 degrees above zero.

“The weather in Mandan and vicinity on Easter Sunday was just as beautiful as one could wish for.

“The waters of the Heart River did a good spring cleaning in Southside, Riverside and Mead’s addition.

“Last Friday morning, a big ice gorge formed in the bend of the Heart near the old brick yard, just west of the mill. The stream was running bank-full and when it reached the ice obstruction, it backed up, resulting in the main stream crossing the dike between the county bridge and the brickyard. The houses in that vicinity then caught it.

“Chas. Keidel, George Kemper and John Schurmeier are hustlers when there are people to rescue from the raging waters on the southside.

“The Mill Company had a good high dike to protect it and some good hustlers to hold down the fort. There was a time on Friday night when it looked dubious, but there were cheers on Saturday morning for outside watchers could see that the boilers were still alive and steam was escaping, indicating that all was serene. That dike paid.

“Little interest was taken in the city election this year. Everybody was too busy with other matters. Less than a fourth of the vote of the city was polled, there being only 69 votes cast. The vote was as follows: First Ward alderman - F. Roby; Second Ward alderman - T. Rafferty; Third Ward alderman - J. McDonald. Daniel Turnbull is the city justice for all Wards; J. Locke is the police justice for all Wards.”

Diane Boit was raised and educated in the Red River Valley before coming to Mandan with her family in 1970. She has been involved with the Bismarck-Mandan newspapers for more than 30 years. Boit can be reached at