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Diane Boit: Mandan Elks celebrate the new year, 1921

Diane Boit: Mandan Elks celebrate the new year, 1921


25 Years Ago – 1996

After finishing second a year ago, Elgin-New Leipzig reclaimed the title in the Mandan Holiday Basketball Tournament, where the Panthers held off determined Hebron, 56-51, to capture their second title in three years. Hebron’s Jesse Zuroff was the game’s lead scorer with 17 points, followed by Steven Gierke, 14. Tournament MVP Bobby Walters led the champs with 13 points, followed by Stan Hintz with 11, and Lee Roth and Preston Stelter, 10 points each. The Panthers moved their season record to 7-1.

Across the river, at the 22nd annual St. Mary’s Holiday Basketball Tournament, Bismarck St. Mary’s rallied past Mandan, 52-50, in Friday’s championship game. The win ended Mandan’s three-year reign as tourney champion and came one night after the Braves defeated the heavily-favored Aberdeen Central, 60-56, in the semifinals.

Hundreds of area residents took advantage of the recent heavy snowfalls to go skiing at Huff Hills, 15 miles south of Mandan, over the holiday weekends. Huff Hills, with a vertical drop of 350 feet and 20 runs, is North Dakota’s youngest skiing hotspot, having opened for its fourth season in December.

Many area residents celebrated the new year by going to the movies. Among the movies offered at Bismarck were: "Father of the Bride II," "Goldeneye" and "American President" at the Plaza Theatre in Kirkwood Mall; "Jumanji," "Toy Story" and "Grumpier Old Men" at the Grand Theatre; and "Ace Ventura," "Money Train" and "Sudden Death" at Midco 8 Theatre at Gateway Mall.

Temperatures recorded Monday, Jan. 1: a high of 20 degrees above zero; 10 above zero for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1971

Mandan’s first baby to arrive in 1971 was a seven-pound girl, born Jan. 1, to Mr. and Mrs. Jack Kroh. Mrs. Ralph Miller of St. Anthony gave birth to Bismarck’s first baby, also on Jan. 1. The baby girl, named Bonita, will join 17 other Miller children, the oldest being 22.

Eighth grader Mike Zachmeier, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Zachmeier of Mandan, is the winner of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation’s statewide Wildlife Week poster contest. The first annual contest was open to all seventh and eighth grade students in the state.

Forty-eight friends and relatives attended the 25th wedding anniversary celebration for Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Shaw at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Shaw, north of Mandan. Hostesses were Mrs. Donald Shaw, assisted by Mrs. Clifford Green, Mrs. Andy Mork, Mrs. Bennie Ehreth and Mrs. Shirley Shaw, all of Mandan, and Mrs. Bevan Shaw, Williston. Lewis Shaw and Elsie Wollenberg were married Dec. 16, 1945.

Ben Sitter has purchased the Mandan Save Way grocery store, where he had been the manager for the past 15 months. Sitter is a native of Bismarck and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he was employed by Super Valu before taking over as manager of the Mandan store, which currently employs 17 people.

In Civic Center action during the Bismarck Holiday Basketball Tournament, the Mandan Braves proved tougher than the Bismarck Demons, defeating them, 66-56, in their bid for third place honors. The game’s top scorer was Bismarck’s Steve Engel with 16 points. He was closely followed by Mandan’s Chris Assel with 15. The Braves are now rated second in the state polls, behind Fort Yates who seem to be unbeatable, thus far.

In a brilliant display of pressing and running basketball, the Fort Yates Warriors upended the state champion Grand Forks Central Redskins, 94-67, to claim the champions’ title in Bismarck’s first annual Holiday Tourney. The Warriors were led by their star, Bob Eaglestaff, with 36 points, in their eighth straight win of the season.

75 Years Ago – 1946

A girl, born to Mr. and Mrs. Joe German of Lemmon, South Dakota, at 4:40 a.m. New Year’s morning, is the apparent winner of the annual Mandan “First Baby” contest, conducted by the Pioneer, along with merchants of the city providing a shower of gifts. Mrs. German is the former Marie Ressler, daughter of the Frank Resslers of Mandan. Runner-up in the local contest was a girl, born at 5:35 a.m. to Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Faulkner, Mandan.

Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Kautzmann of Mandan became parents of a son born Dec. 30. Mrs. Kautzmann is the former Avis Claflin who was a teacher in the Mandan schools last year.

The exodus of poultry from Mandan to national markets began last week when the first carload of meats ever shipped out of western North Dakota left Mandan for Seattle, Washington. The Mandan Creamery & Produce Co. are the consigners of the 20,000 pounds of dressed turkeys, geese, and chickens.

Members of the Masonic Lodge of Mandan held an election of officers recently and chose Arthur Wales as Worthy Master, to succeed M. K. Higgins. Other officers are: William Glass, senior warden; Henry Olson, junior warden; Charles Hughes, secretary, and George Psomas, treasurer.

The Northern Pacific railway has started its annual natural ice harvest in North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana, estimating 261,395 tons would be stored in scores of cities and town for use next summer.

100 Years Ago – 1921

“Mandan Elks Lodge No. 1256 lived up to its reputation as entertainers last Friday evening, when they staged their annual New Year’s Eve ball. As the clock struck 12, the new year was ushered in with every possible noisemaker that the committee, headed by John Kennelly, could find. The lights in the hall were then all extinguished, and spotlights were turned on from the corners of the hall, while four ceiling fans scattered confetti and streamers over the dancers. The fun and noise continued for more than a half hour, and it was with difficulty that the crowd noise was subdued so that a bountiful luncheon could be served.

“The Palace Theater was packed on Christmas morning when a special show was presented free for the kids of the city. The three pictures - an animal specialty, a comedy and “Cinderella” - proved to be Christmas presents supreme for the 500 youngsters who left their presents at home for the hour and a half of movies.

“A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. John V. Helbling of near the city on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

“The stork was busy in Mandan during 1920, as births outpaced deaths - 159 births vs. 79 deaths.

Editorial: “Welcome 1921! Nineteen twenty has passed into history. So far as we in North Dakota are concerned, it has been a pretty good old year, despite the general human tendency to cuss our luck because crops are never quite good enough. However, North Dakotans, in general, have a good life here. There is no want or dire distress. There are mighty few of our people in enforced idleness. We have enjoyed good health… and the weather has been delightful. In other words, as usual, we all have more to be thankful for, than not.”

125 Years Ago – 1896

“On Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 6 degrees above zero.

“Happy New Year!

“This is Leap Year, the year of Our Lord, 1896.

“A high wind and low temperature marred the pleasures of New Year’s Day.

“The weather, this week, has been splendid for ripening the ice crop. Ice men will begin the harvest next week.

“The new Northern Pacific button, the black and red commas, are being worn by railroad men. It is one of the neatest designs any road has adopted and is now used on most of their stationery.

“The city school census has been completed. The list shows 482 children of school age in Mandan, an increase over last year of 35, or nearly 7%.

“The Mandan ice skating rink was not half large enough for the crowds of skaters who attended the carnival here this past weekend. There were two contests: a half-mile dash, which was won by Will Conroy, and a hurdle race won by Ira Heater of Sims. Mr. Charles Russell of New Salem attracted a great deal of attention by his artistic evolutions and showed himself to be an expert on ice skates. Among the ladies also pronounced as very good skaters were: Miss Georgia McLean, Miss Hawkshaw, Miss Bronson and Mrs. Sheriff. Finally, the Mandan band, under the leadership of Prof. Peters, rendered some delightful selections which were loudly applauded.

“As superintendent of the board of health, Dr. Read reports the following births and deaths in the city of Mandan for 1895. He says that a great many of the births are not reported. The number of births registered during 1895 were 38 versus 35 registered for 1894. Of the 28 births, 18 were females and 20 were males. There were eight deaths registered in 1895 against 13 deaths for 1894.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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