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Diane Boit: Mandan teams tally 49 fouls in 4th quarter, 1947

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25 Years Ago – 1997

The first 1997 baby from Morton County was born Friday, Jan. 3, at Medcenter One in Bismarck. The son of Kathy Reiter greeted the new year, weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces.

North Collins Shop-n-Go, formerly the Gibbs store, has new Mandan owners, Doug and Susie Kocourek. In addition to their current jobs and raising three children, the couple spends their remaining “free time” at the store. Doug is vice president at Mandan’s First Southwest Bank, while Susie is a program coordinator for the Bis-Man Chamber of Commerce. Store manager is Del Wetsch who has grocery experience from working with his father, Frank, at the Circle Foods store on Main Street. Wetsch is also involved with the Mandan Progress Organization.

Bill’s Super Valu, a Mandan-owned business for more than 47 years, has been sold to Steve Barlow, a veteran grocer from Minnesota. The store had its beginning at Almont in the 1940s before Bill Joersz and family moved to Mandan and opened Bill’s Super Valu in 1949. When Joersz decided to retire, the store was purchased by his three sons, Wally, Marvin and Bob, in 1968. Barlow will officially take over ownership on Jan. 12.

Main Street Mandan has become the site of a new business, Furniture Plaza, at the corner of Main and Second Avenue Northwest. The business features four types of furniture under one roof- classic oak, a leather collection, a sleep center and “Rooms to Go.” Owners are Pat and Angela Schleicher of Mandan.

Temps recorded Friday, Jan. 7: a high of 16 degrees above zero; 4 below for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1972

Mandan can claim double winners for the births of the first baby of 1972. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Markel Jr., of rural Mandan became the winners of the annual First Baby of 1972 contest in Bismarck when their baby boy was born Jan. 1 at 12:58 a.m. at St. Alexius Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Joe Markel Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Kary, all of Mandan. Across the river, Mandan’s first baby of ’72 was born Jan. 3 at the Mandan Hospital where a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Burch of rural Mandan.

Golden Agers, Mrs. Julia Wetsch of Liberty Heights and Andrew Kraft, 406 Third St. NE, were married Dec. 27 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, with Rev. Charles Backes officiating. Attending the couple were Mrs. Leonard Leingang, daughter of the bride, and Norman Beyl, son-in-law of the bridegroom. More than 50 guests attended a wedding supper held at the Lewis & Clark Hotel dining room.

Four highway deaths in North Dakota on New Year’s Eve have boosted the final 1971 highway death toll to a record 227. The previous record was set in 1966 with 209 fatalities.

75 Years Ago – 1947

Mandan’s first 1947 baby reported to the Daily Pioneer is a girl, born to Mr. and Mrs. Anton A. Wetsch, St. Anthony, on Thursday, Jan. 1, at the Deaconess Hospital. Dr. Harry Wheeler was the attending physician. In addition to being the first baby born in Mandan this year, she is also the first child for Mr. and Mrs. Wetsch.

“Capping” exercises for the new class of nurses at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck were held Jan. 4, according to Sister Mary Catherine, director of nurses. The girls entered training in September and “capping” indicates completion of their pre-clinical training. Two local girls received nurse’s caps at the exercises: Dolores Frank and Loretta Rothschiller, both of Mandan. Marie Buckman of New Salem is also a member of the “capped” class.

An increase of 6 cents in the price of adult movie tickets at the Mandan Theater was announced this week. The new price of 45 cents per ticket becomes effective this weekend.

Births announced this week: boys born to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rahn, Hebron, and to Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Freise, New Salem. Girls were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bennie Renner, to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bryce, and to Mr. and Mrs. Magne Syvrud, all of Mandan; to Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Thomas, Fort Rice; and to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Wetzel and to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gietzen, both of Glen Ullin.

In a rematch of the Dec. 29 basketball game in which the Mandan Elks edged the Mandan High School Alumni, 41-40, the word “rough” could be used to describe the fracas in which the alumni, made up of college men home during vacation, downed the Elks team at the Memorial Building on Saturday, Jan. 6. It had been a “clean” battle without infractions during the first three quarters, but that scene quickly changed during the final minutes of the game when the match became exciting for spectators and frustrating for the refs. Between the two teams, a total of 49 fouls were all called during the fourth quarter as the players appeared to switch to football tactics of clipping, piling, holding, false starts, etc. Sportsmanship became a past memory until the buzzer sounded, the final score: MHS Alumni, 40; Mandan Elks, 28. The exhausted officials were: Ferderer and Helbling.

The top point men for the alumni were: Buck Eckroth with 16 points; followed by Gene Eckroth, 9, and Bob Jensen and Art Brazda, 6 points apiece. Eight members of the Elks team contributed points, with the top scorers being: Wally Uhlman, 9; followed by Paul Valder, Bill Heisler and Adam Geiger, with 4 points each.

100 Years Ago – 1922

“The first baby born in Mandan in the New Year of 1922 arrived just as the whistles got fairly well started on their raucous greeting, shortly after midnight. It was learned today that a daughter was born Sunday morning, Jan. 1, at 12:02 a.m. to Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Stoltz of Second Street N.E. The father of the New Year’s baby is a shop employee of the Northern Pacific.

“The mercury in Mandan thermometers dropped to 25 degrees below zero early in the morning of January 5. On only one occasion has the temperature been colder this winter. It was 26 degrees below zero on December 24.

“H.C. Kinzel, proprietor of Kinzel’s taxi line and vulcanizing business, has purchased a seven-passenger Hudson touring car which he will put into the inter-city Bismarck-Mandan service.

“City and county officials are looking for clues leading to the arrest of thieves who pried the gasoline tanks of the Northwestern Oil Company plant on East Main Street. According to W.E. Dopking, manager of the oil agency, thieves pried open the front door to the gasoline shed and drew off 180 gallons of gasoline, taking it away in several cans, drums and other containers stolen from the company’s lot. The total loss is estimated at $75.

“Records at the office of County Judge B.W. Shaw show a drop of 89 marriage licenses issued during 1921, when compared with 1920 records. There were 133 issued in 1921; 222 were issued in 1920. In 1919, following the close of the war, the county’s record was broken when 299 marriage licenses were issued.”

125 Years Ago – 1897

“At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, the thermometer recorded 31 degrees above zero.

“The first new moon for 1897 made itself manifest on Sunday night, Jan. 3.

“Last Sunday’s snowstorm was the cause of making church congregations miserably small that evening.

“Rev. J. Byers, the recently called pastor of the Presbyterian church, was, on arrival, on one of the belated passenger trains from the east on Wednesday night. He will assume his clerical duties this Sunday and will preach in the morning at 11 o’clock and in the evening at 7:30 o’clock.

“Tuesday, Jan. 5, was the opening day of the fifth legislative session of this state. In the House, there were only 44 members present out of a total of 62, due to a blizzard in the eastern half of the state. However, the remaining members took the opportunity to meet and organized to vote E.A. Williams as Speaker and then elected a full corps of officers. Members of the Senate also met, but, upon learning of the death of Miss Stella Briggs, an adjournment was taken out of respect to Governor-elect Frank Briggs, who was to take the oath of office tomorrow, Friday.

“Funeral services were held yesterday for Olio James Morck, 29, who died from pulmonary troubles, at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.A. Morck. “Jim” Morck was born in Chicago, Ill, and came to Mandan with his parents in 1881. The funeral was conducted in both Norwegian and English at the Scandinavian Lutheran Church. Internment took place at Greenwood cemetery.

“The monthly summary issued from the weather bureau at Bismarck, shows that the mean temperature for the month of December was 19 degrees, one degree warmer than in 1895. The highest temperature during the month was 46 degrees on the 11th, and the lowest was 23 below zero on the 2nd. Only .03 inches of precipitation was recorded for December. In comparison, more than 3 inches was recorded in November.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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