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Diane Boit: Aid Inc. receives gift of $155,000, 1996

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25 Years Ago – 1996

Ruby Huber of Mandan has been named the Retired Senior Volunteer Program’s “volunteer of the week” as a 10-year member of Medcenter One Mandan’s Hospital Auxiliary. She is also the pianist for the popular Kitchen Band based out of the Mandan Golden Age Service. Born at Arena, Ruby and her husband, Elmer, moved to Mandan shortly after their marriage in 1963. She was employed at the Mandan Hospital for 12 years and at the Mandan Care Center for eight years, retiring in 1995.

Margaret DeLaBarre, Mandan, was recently honored at an open house celebration at the Medcenter One Mandan Hospital dining room. She is a charter member of the auxiliary, having served more than 31 years and is planning a move to Fargo.

Aid Inc., the Mandan-Bismarck agency that provides help to the working poor, has received a gift of $155,000 from the late Joseph Derger of Glen Ullin, who died at age 91 in May 1995. A bachelor, Derger had farmed near Glen Ullin all his life until retiring in the early 1980s. A trust has been set up for $100,000 of which the interest will be used to support Aid Inc.’s work. The additional $55,000 is to be used toward the purchase of Aid’s Bismarck location which is currently the site of a food pantry and help center.

Temps recorded Tuesday, Oct. 1: a high of 47 degrees; 35 above for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1971

Jerome Dietrich has been named Mandan’s Jaycee of the Month for August, according to Norm Eggers, Jaycee president. Dietrich, an employee of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., was cited for his work on the recent Jaycees Demolition Derby held at the Mandan Rodeo grounds.

A Mandan woman received a birthday card from President Richard M. Nixon this week. She is Mrs. Jacob Wirtz, who recently celebrated her 93rd birthday. Her son, Dr. George Wirtz, and her grandsons, Dr. James Wirtz and Dr. Richard Wirtz, operate the Wirtz Dental Clinic in Mandan.

New officers of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 4974 were installed this week by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Niebler. Heading the ceremony was Ed Axtmann, district deputy, assisted by Connie Erhardt. The new officers include: Stally Miller, grand knight; Mike Knoll, deputy grand knight; and Mike Ternes, chancellor.

Included in this week’s Pioneer is a picture of Pete Dahl, Mandan, holding four walleyes caught near Huff, using minnows as bait. The largest walleye weighed seven pounds.

According to the “Mandan Sideglances” column in the Bismarck Tribune, written by Gloria Feickert, Theodore Serr and H.E. Fowler, both of Mandan, have remained Masonic Lodge friends for more than 50 years and both have recently celebrated their birthdays. Fowler turned 97, while his younger friend celebrated his 92nd year.

Airman Herbert A. Nelson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Archie H. Nelson of Mandan, has completed basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas. He has been assigned to Keesler AFB, Mississippi, for training in the field of electronics. Nelson is a 1970 graduate of Mandan High School.

Births announced this week: girls to Mr. and Mrs. Clark Schwarting, New Salem; and to Mr. and Mrs. Donald Lundstrom, Mandan. Boys to Mr. and Mrs. Gary Brunelle; and to Mr. and Mrs. Jay Enockson, all of Mandan.

75 Years Ago – 1946

Class elections have been completed at Mandan High School this past week with the following students being chosen as officers of their class. Seniors: Jerry Kopp, president; Roger Lockbeam, vice president. Juniors: Ray Rolshoven, president; August Katzke, vice president. Sophomores: Walter Siegel, president; Robert Baertsch, vice president. Freshmen: John Hunter, president; Bill Kelsch, vice president.

Mandan residents were among the 7:30 a.m. crowds storming the doors for the grand opening of the new Sears-Roebuck store in Bismarck. By noon, it was estimated that thousands of people had packed the store so tightly that policemen were compelled to stand by the doors and admit people in intervals.

Finals in the city golf championship matches, which have been in progress for several weeks, brought the men’s championship to Frank Braun, with Art Olson as runner-up in the championship flight. In the women’s division, Mrs. George Steinbrueck won the championship, with Mrs. L.C. Broderick as runner-up.

T.P. Heisler, president of the Mandan City Commission, has announced that he and his son, William, have purchased the Arcade Variety Store from Mr. and Mrs. Fred Brodl. The Brodls purchased the store from Sid Cohen in 1937. William Heisler, who will manage the Arcade, has been employed by the Firestone store since his return from more than three years of service as a pilot during the war.

The Mandan High School football team remains unbeaten after the recent defeat of the Jamestown Blue Jays, 22-6, this past weekend. Jamestown collected their lone score in the first period, while the Braves piled on points as Jim Wirtz and Bob Dietrich crossed the goal line, plus a safety in the third quarter credited to Carl Laemmle and Danny Boehm. The victory gave the Braves the lead in the western conference, having won two games with no losses.

100 Years Ago – 1921

“Sam Warford of Fort Rice was arraigned in justice court yesterday before Judge H. Center and pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery brought against him by Kasper Martin, also of Fort Rice. Warford is the boxer and wrestler who, about a year ago, broke the bone in his upper right arm by muscular tension when pitching a baseball. His arm apparently has recovered for Martin display a badly split lip when he faced Warford in court. Judge Center fined Warford $25 and other costs.

“County officials today are anxious to find what kind of 'home brew' Charles Miller Jr. had been drinking last Tuesday night and where he got the stuff. They consider it as dangerous as dynamite for it gave Miller the strength of Samson. Carpenters, contractors and plumbers called in to inspect the damage wrought to the jail by Miller, who ripped the washbowl and toilet from their moorings, bent double a steel cot, ripped out window frames, etc., declared the damage would amount to more than $1,000. 'The city of Mandan must pay for damages to the county,' said Sheriff Jack Brady. 'This is the agreement whereby the county cares for city prisoners.'"

125 Years Ago – 1896

“On Thursday, Oct. 1, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 73 degrees above zero.

“The Morton County fair opened under favorable skies for a three-day run, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 29. Large crowds gathered at the fairgrounds each day, with nearly 5,000 in attendance on the second day alone.

“The Northern Pacific management did not realize on Tuesday morning just how big a crowd was waiting at Bismarck’s depot to board the train to the fair. They sent over only one car, leaving more than 200 unhappy folks at the depot platform. The engine then had to rush back to Bismarck with three more cars which enabled everyone to cross the Missouri for Mandan’s festivities. Yes, the Bismarckers know a good thing when they see it.

“J.S. Green and Don Stevenson and their crews joined forces to make Wednesday’s barbecue a complete success. Tuesday evening, a fire was started in a pit, 30 feet long, three feet wide and three deep which was filled with a heavy bed of charcoal, topped with iron bars upon which the beef rested. Cooking began at midnight with the meat being turned from time to time, basted with a secret recipe known only to the chief cook, Wiley Burchfield. Serving began at noon on Wednesday, and the crowd dined luxuriously as an abundance of biscuits, made from Mandan flour, was also available. Fully a thousand people were served; no one went away hungry.

“The streets of Mandan were quite animated each evening. The old Deadwood stagecoach was also useful in conveying people to and from the fairgrounds each day, resulting in a short 'wait time' at the depot.

“Although people enjoyed going through exhibit buildings to admire the women’s handiwork, as well as the fine selection of livestock and poultry, the grandstand attracted the largest crowds each afternoon. It was standing-room only for nearly all performances, as the crowd cheered wildly for cowboys displaying their skills in steer wrestling and bronco busting. Remarkably, the cheering was even louder for the variety of horse races on the half-mile track. In one of those events, Louis Goeshel Jr. received a standing ovation when he and his horse struggled to cross the finish line, after his saddle became undone and turned sideways midway during the race. All agreed, Goeshel seems to be at home on horseback and doesn’t mind whether he sits upon a saddle or not.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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