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Diane Boit: Mandan High School Homecoming Celebrated, 1971 and 1996

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25 Years Ago – 1996

Sam Pulles and Kelli Emmel have been crowned the 1996 Homecoming King and Queen for Mandan High School. Other candidates presiding on the royal court were: Kristy Adams, Tanya Berreth, Amanda Leingang, Kim Poppe, Jesse Beckler, Kurt Fitterer, Ryan Friesz and Mike Perrizo.

In the Homecoming game against Bismarck St. Mary’s, the unbeaten Braves easily rolled over the Saints, 55-7. Quarterback Sam Pulles threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns, and the Mandan defense recovered six fumbles as the Braves blitzed the Saints in a WDA game at Faris Field. “Our defense was outstanding,” said coach Tom Stebner, “and much of the credit goes to our seven-man front line: Kirby Fleck, Kurt Fitterer, Mike Crouse, Eric Leingang and Jaden Bitz, along with linebackers, Eric Schmidt and Jeremy Eckroth. The lopsided victory upped Mandan’s record to 5-0.

Temps recorded Tuesday, Oct. 8: a high of 74 degrees; 36 above for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1971

Pam Grove, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Grove, rural Mandan, has been selected by students at Mandan High School to reign over the 1971 Homecoming activities. She was crowned by principal Leonard Stock during the halftime of the football game between the Braves and the Williston Coyotes. Queen Pam’s attendants were: Debbie Tausend, Jane Stumpf, Lindy Steckler and Leona Boehm. Escorts were Russ Rolshoven, Bruce Gallagher and Cal Kopp. Crown bearer was Laurie Lundstrom, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Lundstrom.

On Friday afternoon, the traditional homecoming parade, featuring the Mandan High School marching band and floats built by each class, was viewed by hundreds of Mandan shoppers and spectators along Main Street. The parade, headed by the marching band, proceeded down Sixth Avenue to Main Street, then turned east until reaching Collins Avenue where the procession headed north to First Street and finally west on its way back to the high school.

The Mandan Braves, coached by Dennis Johnson, polished off homecoming festivities on Friday night with a surprise 20-14 victory over the Williston Coyotes at Mandan’s Faris Field. With solid blocking from Mandan’s defensive line, quarterback Tom Tooley’s completed passes to Jack Miller and Alex Nuss who scored a total of 18 points; two extra points were added by kickers, Jim Sagmiller and Doug Schuch. The Braves season record is 1-3.

Thousands of area residents stood in long lines early Friday morning, Oct. 8, for the grand opening of the new Kmart Store in Bismarck. The discount store, the largest of the four in North Dakota, has 84,000 square feet of floor space, along with another 20,000 feet in the adjoining Food Market. Kmart has employed 150 workers in its 45 departments and will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Homer Royse of Watermelon Kingdom, located on old Highway 10 between Mandan and Bismarck, estimates receiving more than 28,000 pounds of pumpkins from South Dakota this past week. He expects all to be sold quickly for this year’s crop of jack-o’-lanterns.

Births announced this week: boys to Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Hoff, Flasher, and to Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Hoff, Mandan; girls to Mr. and Mrs. Duane Heck, Mandan, and to Mr. and Mrs. George Ormiston, New Salem.

75 Years Ago – 1946

As of noon, Oct. 7, more than four inches of heavy, wet snow had fallen in Mandan with the mercury staying just under the freezing mark. Mandan’s streets, already muddy from rain mixed with the piles of dirt from work on the city sewer system, were in terrible condition, and country roads were reported impassable without chains.

Fast balls and curve balls were the top attraction at the Mandan depot today when passengers on train No. 3 took a breather while waiting for the train to leave the station. A group of Legionnaires and their wives en route to Brooklyn, New York, after attending the national convention in San Francisco, pitched snowballs at each other from the station platform, drawing laughs from a crowd of Mandan spectators.

One hundred sixty-seven 4-H club members, representing 13 clubs from the West Slope area attended the annual Achievement Day program held at the Memorial building in Mandan. Twenty-seven calves, four pigs and two sheep were shown at the livestock exhibit with Joe Schaff taking first prize in the baby beef contest with his Angus calf. Schaff’s grand champion 1080-lb. steer brought 35 cents a pound, bringing the owner $378. Second and third prizes were awarded to Monica Schmidt, Flasher, who also exhibited an Angus calf, and to Ralph Jochim who exhibited a Hereford calf.

Miss Helen Charvat, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Charvat of Mandan, became the bride this past week to Michael Knoll, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Knoll, St. Anthony, at a 9:30 nuptial mass performed by Fr. Justin at St. Joseph Catholic Church. The bride’s only attendant was her sister, Elsie Charvat. The bridegroom was attended by his cousin, Tony Knoll of Mandan.

Captain Ralph C. Riedinger has returned home after 19 months of service as a dentist with the Army Service Forces in Manilla and will soon begin a dental practice in Mandan. Riedinger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Riedinger of this city, is a graduate of Mandan High School and of the University of Minnesota Dentistry.

Births announced this week: sons to Mr. and Mrs. William Block and to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Guenther, Judson; girls to Mr. and Mrs. George Kuhn, Flasher, to Mr. and Mrs. Emil Kautzman, Judson, to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hartinger, Glen Ullin, and to Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Melarvie and Mr. and Mrs. Nick Steckler, both of Mandan.

100 Years Ago – 1921

“Miss Althea Ray, of Mandan’s Deaconess Hospital, returned Thursday from Minneapolis where she completed a three months’ post graduate course in anesthesia at St. Mary’s Hospital. The Deaconess Hospital has installed new equipment making possible the use of nitrous oxide or chloroform during surgery which Miss Ray will now be able to administer to surgical patients.

“Mandan today is, individually and collectively, cussing the red bugs, the box-elder beetles that are swarming over the sunny south sides of houses. Dr. H.O. Altnow, president of the city park commission, has declared the bugs as harmless, merely a pest that does no damage. Nothing seems to exterminate them, so the best remedy is to replace the city’s box elder trees with elm trees.

“The Roderick-Schwartz barbershop finished moving into new quarters Saturday, from below the Mandan Drug store into the Lewis & Clark hotel. They now have one of the busiest four-chair shops in the state.

“Jack Hughes, known as the 'Human Fly' fell 30 feet to his death while scaling a wall of a building at Sandpoint, Idaho. Hughes was in Mandan three weeks ago and successfully scaled the Nigey Hotel in a benefit performance for the American Legion Post. At Bismarck, he had climbed the outside wall of the Van Horne Hotel and at Jamestown, the Opera House.”

125 Years Ago – 1896

“On Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 58 degrees above zero.

“Grapes, 20 cents a basket at McGillic’s.

“Three weeks from next Tuesday and the battle for ballots begins once again.

“Fargo is now a city of 10,000 inhabitants. Mandan’s population is nearly 2,500.

“Bismarck hotel keepers are said to have reaped a good harvest from the Mandan fair by housing the overflow which the Mandan bonifaces were unable to accommodate.

“The ladies of the Presbyterian church will serve their annual New England supper on Thursday evening, Oct. 22, in the Morgan & Strattan building, from six to nine o’clock. The supper is 25 cents.

“A number of fellows who are howling for William Bryan, are quietly collecting gold pieces and certificates and are putting them in a safe place. Our genial friend, J.A. McDougal, is one of these, and when he gets into the voting booth, alone with God and his lead pencil, he will vote for honesty, protection and William McKinley.

“The office rooms, formerly occupied by Dr. King, have been taken possession of by the editor of the Pioneer who wonders how it is that he has been content to remain so many years in his, somewhat dingy, rooms. So far, he has spent much of his time looking out the windows, watching the activity that is constantly going on down on Main Street and at the nearby Depot.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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