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Diane Boit: MHS celebrates first homecoming, 1945

Diane Boit: MHS celebrates first homecoming, 1945


25 Years Ago – 1995

David J. Boehm, a senior in crop and weed science and mass communication at North Dakota State University, was crowned homecoming king last weekend in Fargo where college organizations nominate 32 male and 32 female candidates before the near 10,000-member student body selects the royalty. Boehm is a 1991 graduate of Mandan High School and the son of Jim and Pat Boehm. He is active in Farmhouse Fraternity, Order of Omega, Blue Key and Mortarboard National Honor Fraternities and will graduate from NDSU in December.

Mandan can claim a new author, with Kevin Kremer’s first published book “A Kremer Christmas Miracle,” which is a 96-page, soft cover story celebrating his family’s love for each other and for their sheltie collie dog, Jamie. Set in Mandan, the author gives the work a hometown flavor by including references to the Mandan Braves and actual Mandan businesses. Teaching in Bismarck for over 20 years, Kremer is currently a fifth-grade teacher at Bismarck’s Dorothy Moses Elementary School, and this book is dedicated to his 1993 fifth-grade class. Kremer is the son of Myron and Pat Kremer of Mandan. “The community of Mandan, both church and business people alike, made growing up and Christmases in Mandan so special,” said Kremer.

Temperatures recorded Monday, Oct. 16: a high of 57 degrees; 32 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1970

The MHS cheerleaders for the coming year are: Jane Stumpf, Sue Pratschner, Pam Gaab, Viv Loeb and Lindy Steckler. Chosen in the spring by all junior and senior class members, the girls are advised by a committee of five teachers: June Larson, Ernest Borr, Loren Faris, Margaret McCann and Leo Stumpf. The squad cheered for the first football game of the season when the Braves defeated Aberdeen Roncolli High School.

Gov. William Guy spoke during groundbreaking ceremonies this week for a new building which will be constructed by the Heartview Foundation, next to its existing structure, the former Mandan Deaconess Hospital. The one-story administration building, expected to cost more than $150,000, will be connected to the adjacent building by an enclosed corridor. The remodeling of the older buildings is expected to cost $2,500. Others at the groundbreaking were: Mandan Mayor Archie Shaw, Herman Leonhard, architect; C.H. Walker, member of the Foundation board; and Mayor E.V. Lahr of Bismarck.

Funeral services were held this past week at Mandan’s First Lutheran Church for Earl Livdahl, 15, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Livdahl of Mandan. The MHS sophomore was killed in a duck hunting accident near Tuttle. Young Livdahl was an Eagle Scout of Troop 53 and a member of the football and track teams.

Providing a market for goods made by refugees around the world, the First Presbyterian Church of Mandan will be holding a Foreign Festival at the church on Saturday. The Festival will feature such gift items as wood carvings from Kenya, mother of pearl jewelry from Jordan, coconut bowls from Puerto Rico, zodiac trays from Korea and spice baskets from Grenora, along with dolls from various countries. Cookies and bars from foreign recipes will also be offered at a silver tea sponsored by the Women’s Association of the church. Chairwomen for the tea are Mrs. George (Vera) Rogler and Mrs. Art (Hazel) Bergman. Festival arrangements are in charge of Mrs. Leland (Mary Jane) Ulmer, Mrs. Ben (Barbara) Dove and Mrs. Charles (Jane) Ellis.

75 Years Ago – 1945

Mandan High School celebrated its first annual homecoming last weekend, a fitting celebration also for the end of the war and the “homecoming” of hundreds of veterans.

At 8 o’clock, Thursday evening, a gigantic mountain of wood, piled high at the fairgrounds and sprinkled with gasoline, was lit and went up in a great roar and blaze, signaling the start of Mandan High’s first homecoming celebration. With the aid of the high school cheerleaders and the band, directed by George Fors, the enthusiastic crowd of students, parents and alumni cheered and sang until the fire began to burn low. Then, the boys and girls joined hands and began a snake dance, circling the bonfire, and began a winding trip in and out all over Mandan, the line stretching at times for nearly four blocks. Led by the band seated in the back of a truck, the snake dance halted all traffic as it crossed Main Street, with the students yelling “Beat Bismarck” repeatedly.

Homecoming activities concluded the following evening, Friday, with the traditional football game between the Braves and their longtime rivals, undefeated Bismarck. However, the Mandan Braves, coached by John Mach, were not to be denied and went on to victory in a rough and tumble game, 7-6.

At the half time, a homecoming coronation ceremony was held for Queen Mary Stamaris. Escorting the queen and her attendants, Louayne Tavis and Loretta Rothschiller, were two war veterans, former high school students - 1st Lt. LeRoy Christenson and 1st Sgt. Arthur Brunelle. The queen was formally crowned by Lt. Gov. C.B. Dahl who also gave a short patriotic speech. The queen’s crown of daisies was carried by pageboy Pat Williams, young son of Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Williams. The ceremony concluded with the Glee Club chorus of more than 100 students, directed by Miss Taipale, singing “All Hail, Mandan High.”

Following the game, a victory dance, sponsored by the Rainbow Girls, was held in the World War Memorial building for all students, alumni and guests from Bismarck. Miss Mary Stark was the homecoming chairwoman.

100 Years Ago – 1920

“A special city election will be held Nov. 9 to fill the caused by the recent death of Commissioner William McDonald.

“Charles Smeder of Mandan, well driller, was killed this past week when working on a well on the John Kuntz farm, nine miles northwest of Flasher. Smeder had gone down into the well, about 58 feet, to break up a rock when he was overcome by gas oozing from the ground. Smeder, about 35 years old, has lived in Mandan for the past 10 years. He leaves a wife and four young children.

“A report has been received regarding Mrs. Harry Voss who was injured while with a hunting party, west of the city. One of the small pellets from a shotgun shell entered her right eye when a gun was fired at close range, and she was rushed to Mandan for treatment. An operation was performed, resulting in the removal of her eye.

“Statistics show births are ahead of deaths in the city of Mandan during the quarter ending Sept. 30, with a total of 40 births against 24 deaths. For the year, ending Sept. 30, there have been 114 births against 54 deaths.

“Due to the popularity of the auto races at last month’s fair, another 10-mile auto race, sponsored by the local American Legion post, was held last weekend at the fairgrounds. A good-sized crowd first enjoyed the Ford novelty race with four entries; this was won by Frank Wetztein in a roadster owned by Wm. Sullivan. Then three of the fastest racing cars in the state roared onto the track where a wildly, cheering crowd saw the speed record of 7 minutes, 52 seconds, made on the last day of the fair by Fred Moe, broken by John Lee of Fargo in his Elgin roadster. Lee lowered the time to 7 minutes, 14 seconds. The three in the race - John Lee in his Elgin; Ole Skogrud with a Monroe special; and Fred Moe with a special Ford - stuck together from the start until the final lap. The racetrack was in better shape Saturday than at fair time as two good rains have fallen, hence the better time.”

125 Years Ago – 1895

“On Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 65 degrees above zero.

“Yesterday was a scorcher, with thermometers ranging from 87 to 90 during the day.

“Mandanites are long on wind and dust today, as a wild, howling wind came in from the north last night.

“In Mandan, at the present time, the supply of servant girls is far below the demand, and there is trouble in many households who are looking for help.

“The Presbyterian college at Jamestown, which has been closed the past three years on account of “hard times,” is soon to be reopened.

“At the Presbyterian parsonage last night, Mrs. P.S. Davies entertained her Sunday school class at supper, which was also a 'farewell' event for Mollie Gunderson, who will be leaving for Minneapolis tomorrow with her mother. Mollie is well known for her campaign to collect a million canceled postage stamps a few years ago in an exchange for her much-needed artificial limbs. With the help of numerous people from across the state and country, she did reach her goal and can now walk unassisted in her prosthesis. Molly was a young school-age girl when an accident took place in the Mandan rail yards. She was selling fresh milk and cream to a passing train’s kitchen crew, and lost her balance, then falling on the tracks just before the train passed over her legs.”

Diane Boit can be reached at


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