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Diane Boit: Funeral held for Mandan Police Chief, 1971

Diane Boit: Funeral held for Mandan Police Chief, 1971

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25 Years Ago – 1996

After a nine-day run of daily high temperatures, mostly in the mid- and upper 40s with a record of 55 degrees on Feb. 19, area residents were stunned this week to see another 11 inches of wind-whipped snow fall in less than 24 hours. Travel conditions in central and western North Dakota were difficult, but eastern North Dakota received the brunt of the storm, resulting in the closure of I-94 from Jamestown to Fargo. This winter’s snowfall now stands at 54.8 inches. The record snowfall received was 91.8 inches during the winter of 1993-94.

Jeremy Trnka, son of David and Maureen Trnka, a sixth-grader at St. Joseph Grade School, has won the school level competition of the National Geography Bee, answering oral questions on geography. School winners are eligible to participate in the State Bee at the end of March.

North Dakota’s population gained more than 2,200 people last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. North Dakota had 641,376 people last July 1, compared to 639,145 the previous year, 1994. However, a different indicator has cast a shadow on the state’s future. In its recent annual migration report, Allied Van Lines helped 1,045 families move in North Dakota last year, with 65% heading for new homes out of state.

Temps recorded Monday, Feb. 26: a high of 9 degrees above zero; 2 above for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1971

Fire of an unknown origin gutted the PK Electronic Service, owned by Pete Kopp, at 114 West Main St. this past week. Fire Chief Frank Lockbeam said the fire began in the rear of the building and spread to the front over the top of a false ceiling. Several adjoining businesses also reported smoke damage, including Mushik Shoe Store and the H & R Block Insurance agency.

After 17 years, Mrs. Rose Schmidt, age 71, has retired as a dishwasher at the Main Street Tony’s Cafe.

Annie Boehm, who has kept Mandan’s First Presbyterian Church spic-and-span for nearly 15 years, recently enjoyed the largest birthday party of her life when the congregation attended a party in her honor after morning services. The 67-year-old Annie received numerous gifts, including a new scrub pail filled with cards and cash contributions presented by Mrs. Leland (Mary Jane) Ulmer, president of the Women’s Association, along with a corsage made by Mrs. Jean Stark and a birthday cake made by Mrs. George (Virginia) Reichman.

The Mandan Park Board has named Roger Erickson, Mandan High School wrestling coach, as the golf pro at the Mandan Municipal Golf Course. The New England native and graduate of Dickinson State College placed fourth in the State Amateur Golf Tournament in 1967.

Funeral services were held this week at Mandan’s First United Methodist Church for 70-year-old police chief, Earl Vredenburg, who headed the Mandan police force for 27 years. He was the oldest chief of police in service of those in the state’s eight major cities. Before joining the Mandan force in 1941, the Wisconsin native was employed for six years by the U. S. Forest Service. Mrs. Vredenburg died in September 1970. Survivors include a son and two daughters and their families.

75 Years Ago – 1946

The new 1946 Studebaker models will go on display this week at the new Big Van garage and display room at 418 W. Main St., according to an announcement by Joseph Stecher, manager. The Big Van Motor Co. has leased the building, formerly occupied by the Mandan Transfer Company.

Pat Brunelle, Mandan, suffered a fractured jaw and the loss of six teeth on Saturday evening when the tire he was changing blew up, with the rim striking his jaw. He was working on the Mandan Creamery truck in the Big Van garage when the accident occurred.

Pfc. Regina Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe P. Miller of St. Anthony, who served four years in the WACs, has been discharged and has returned to her St. Anthony home.

The current soap shortage is responsible for a return to making homemade soap in Mandan and Morton County. A satisfactory brand of laundry soap can be prepared with the necessary ingredients of meat fats and lye, which can be purchased at any grocery store.

Mother Goose characters stepped out of the storybook pages when members of the Fortnightly Club gathered this past week at the home of Mrs. Colin Cary for their annual Play Day party. Each member came dressed as a character in nursery rhymes, and the same theme was carried out in the program and menu of refreshments.

Adam Hoffman, former manager of the Standard Oil Service station at the corner of First Street and Third Avenue Northwest, who left Mandan in August of 1942 to join the armed services, has announced that he has resumed his work at the station. Hoffman was recently discharged as a corporal after spending 15 months overseas. He also saw action in northern France where he was wounded in November 1944. Assisting Hoffman in the station will be Hank Dillman, also an ex-serviceman and former employee. Sgt. Dillman entered the service in July 1942 and spent 17 months overseas with the 15th Air Force in Italy.

100 Years Ago – 1921

“Born on Saturday, Feb. 26, to Mr. and Mrs. Nick Stumpf, a daughter.

“A five-dollar bill will purchase a fine pair of lady’s high top shoes, either black or brown. Only 20 pairs left. Come early for the best choice at the John Mushik & Sons store on Main Street.

“Funeral services for the late Clara Knoll, the 17-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Knoll, were held from St. Joseph Church, with Fr. Clement officiating. The remains were laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery where they were followed to the grave by a large number of relatives and friends. Six of the former classmates of the deceased acted as pallbearers. They were: Rosella Ferderer, Anna Helbling, Mary Milner, Pauline Hoffman, Anna Grainer and Flora Stebner.

“Legislature news, Bismarck: The sale of cigarettes will continue to be illegal in North Dakota, after the State Senate voted 29 to 15, making it unlawful for any person to smoke or ‘chew’ or use tobacco, etc. However, before passage, one of the senators suggested a change in the bill’s language as in its current form, the bill could prevent a person from legally ‘chewing’ food. The bill was then reconsidered, and the word ‘chew’ was stricken.

“During the extended debate, several senators expressed themselves as radically opposed to the measure as an infringement upon personal rights. In the House, several representatives proposed amendments that would only prohibit smoking in dining rooms and public places where ladies are present. Another, from the Dickinson area, wanted to prohibit smoking only east of the Missouri River. While the anti-smoking bill was being voted for passage in the House, it was noted that more than 75 percent of its members were smoking there at the time.”

125 Years Ago – 1896

“On Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 13 degrees above zero.

“March is coming; signs of spring will soon be here.

“Glen Ullin, like a charming girl, is nice to look upon. There are no signs of untidiness or neglect, her citizens evidently having the one desire of making the town attractive. The citizens can also point with pride to their new post office building which was recently opened for business by Mr. Louis Burkhart.

“A young man, who spent some days last week calling on Mandan housewives for orders of some household articles, entered a house a few days ago where the folks there were getting ready for a party. A number of cakes had been baked and were placed on an ironing board which was put on the kitchen table. The cakes were then covered with a white tablecloth. Considering that the ironing board was wider at one end than the other, a fertile imagination just might imagine that a corpse lay beneath the cloth.

“Just a moment or two later, after the young man entered the house and set his eyes upon the sinister looking object in the kitchen, a young lady came in with two bunches of flowers. That satisfied him. With apologies for interrupting preparations for a death in the family, the young salesman said that he wouldn’t linger to show his samples to the grieving ladies, and quickly withdrew from the house. Nobody smiled, but everyone looked as much bereaved as was possible under the circumstances. However, the sad visages disappeared as the young man quickly crossed the street.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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