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Diane Boit: St. Anthony Church celebrates 100 years, 1997

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25 Years Ago – 1997

The population of St. Anthony grew by more than 25 times its normal size this past weekend during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of their church. The parade had a number of entries, but one of the biggest attractions was a float carrying long-time resident priest of St. Anthony, 88-year old Father Florian Fairbanks, along with Bishop Zipfiel, Abbot Patric Moore, Monsignor Walsh of Bismarck and Reverend Leary, Mandan. Another highlight of the celebration was the display of historical items, set up in the school. Many St. Anthony residents, past and present, donated pictures, books, paintings, toys and dishes. The parish also sold hundreds of commemorative 100th Anniversary books, which were put together over many months by Freda and Ed Ziniel and produced by Julie Ellingson.

As if the church’s 100th anniversary wasn’t special enough, it was also a farewell celebration with the news of Father Florian’s retirement in September. He’s been the resident priest at St. Anthony for the past 30 years. “I’m proud to say that when I started, there were 108 families in this parish and now, 30 years later, there’s still 102,” he said. “The people have been so wonderful to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better parish.”

Temps recorded Tuesday, June 24: a high of 75 degrees; 53 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1972

The Mandan Park Board took action in a special session to repair the grandstand in the rodeo grounds before the annual rodeo opens on July 1. A sum of $1,000 was allocated by the board for lumber, nails and paint to repair the lower part of the 33-year-old wooden grandstand which had been reported as unsafe to use by the city building inspector, David Ohlheiser; the city engineer, George Toman; and city fire chief, Pete Gartner.

The Bingenheimer Mercantile Company, 123 E. Main St., has been sold to Leo Wetsch of Mandan and renamed the Town and Country Lumber Company. The sale was contracted between Wetsch and J.E. Martineck, past president of the Bingenheimer business. Founded in 1902 by Ferd and George H. Bingenheimer, the firm was later acquired by Martineck who had been employed by the Bingenheimers in 1916. Prior to joining the business, Martineck had been a schoolteacher at St. Anthony. He became president of the corporation in 1928. Josephine Zahn, who has been with Bingenheimers since 1924, will continue as vice president and part-time bookkeeper.

Joe Halm of Mandan fired the first hole-in-one of the season at the Mandan Country Club on Sunday, June 18. Halm was golfing with his wife and son when he notched his ace on the 190-yard sixth hole, using a four-wood. He finished the round with a 46.

Funeral services were held this past week at the Annunciation Priory in Bismarck for Sister Bertilla Schneider, OSB, age 83. The Minnesota native entered the Convent of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., in 1909 and pronounced her perpetual vows in 1915. After receiving her teaching certification, she taught in Minnesota schools and later at the St. Joseph’s schools in Mandan and Dickinson, retiring in 1964. Sister Bertilla was one of the original 140 Sisters to establish the Bismarck Foundation of Annunciation Priory.

75 Years Ago – 1947

The newest of Mandan’s eating places is Ulmer’s Kitchen, which has opened at the White Fence Lodge on East Main Street. The eatery will be managed by Leland “Chub” Ulmer, World War II veteran, and will offer quick lunches of hamburgers, beverages and a variety of homemade pastries. Curb service will be available to motorists.

Louis Eckroth boarded a train on Monday for Buffalo, New York, where he will represent the Mandan lodge at the convention of the Switchmen’s Union of North America. He was joined in Jamestown by his brother Frank who is representing the Jamestown lodge. Leaving today to attend the meeting of the women’s auxiliary of the union are local auxiliary members, Mrs. Dale Jones and Mrs. Margaret Knoll.

Rev. Gilbert W. Stewart, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Mandan, was one of five men given honorary degrees during the commencement program at their alma mater, Washington and Jefferson College at Washington, Pennsylvania. Rev. Stewart was presented with a Doctor of Divinity Degree. He also attended his 50th class reunion, before heading to Cleveland, Ohio, to attend the annual convention of the Red Cross and to take part in the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., at Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Marriage vows were spoken by Miss Cecelia Yantzer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Yantzer, and John Kopp, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kopp, all of Mandan, at a nuptial high mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic church. Miss Hildegarde Yantzer, sister of the bride, was the maid of honor, with the bride’s cousin, Miss Agnes Barth, as bridesmaid. Little Louella Yantzer, cousin of the bride, served as flower girl. The groom’s best man was his cousin, Frank Braun, with George Brilz as an attendant. Supper was served at the church, followed by a dance at the Legion hall. The bride is employed at the F. W. Woolworth store in Bismarck. The groom is a veteran of nearly three years’ service in the Army engineers and is currently employed with Reidinger Motors in Mandan.

Births announced this week: Sons born to Mr. and Mrs. John Duppong, Glen Ullin; and to Mr. and Mrs. George Fors and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ressler, both of Mandan. Daughters born to Mr. and Mrs. Morris Christianson, Almont; to Mr. and Mrs. James DeSchneau, Glen Ullin; to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Heid, New Salem; and to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Steinbrueck and Mr. and Mrs. Anton Beer, both of Mandan.

100 Years Ago – 1922

“Departing from the usual practice of boarding convention attendants in the homes, members of Mandan Chapter H of P.E.O., furnished the first surprise to the 100 delegates from the state’s 11 chapters attending the eighth annual state P.E.O. convention by assigning rooms to the ladies in the Lewis & Clark Hotel, with all expenses paid by the local organization, according to Mrs. A.H. Peterson, president of Mandan’s Chapter H. The convention began in the Presbyterian church with remarks from Miss Florence Porter of Minot, the state president. P.E.O. meetings are ritualistic and secret, but one of the highlights of the three-day gathering was the address given by Mrs. Bertha Clark Hughes of Omaha, Nebraska, president of the Supreme P.E.O. Chapter. Before adjourning, the Valley City Chapter A was chosen as the site of the 1923 convention, headed by the state’s newly-elected president, Mrs. Lillian Lillibridge of Dickinson. (P.E.O.=Philanthropic Educational Organization)

“A son was born June 5 to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hertz of Mandan at the Deaconess hospital.

“W.H. Vallancey has been re-elected to the Mandan board of education. Mrs. Evelyn Nickerson was elected as a new member and is the first woman to serve on the board; she will be replacing Francis McDonald. Total votes cast, 839, was unusually large for a school election.

“Members of the 1922 class of Mandan High School were guests of honor last weekend at the high school gymnasium for the annual banquet and dance of the high school alumni. More than 75 were seated at the big table with the meal prepared by the Catholic Daughters of America and served by girls from the lower high school classes. Following the banquet, Mrs. A.M. Renden, vice president of the alumni, acting in the absence of the president, Miss Cecile Porter, welcomed the new class into the alumni association.”

125 Years Ago – 1897

“At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 24, the thermometer recorded 61 degrees above zero.

“A story comes from the Bismarck side of the river that the farmer’s son who tied a calf to his bicycle and tried to lead the animal in that fashion, will know better by the time the doctors are through with him.

“Dean Collins of St. Joseph’s church visited his mission charge out at Little Heart yesterday and celebrated the festival of Corpus Christi there. For this mission, McGillic & Simpson have donated 10 acres of land for a church, graveyard and school purposes. Fr. Collins is now urging the people there to buy the remaining 150 acres, and thus be amply prepared for all purposes of the church.

“The Mandan fire boys returned this week from the tournament in Fargo and were met at the depot by the band and hosts of their friends who gave them a hearty welcome and congratulated them on their success of winning the hose race for the second consecutive year. In the association hose race, Mandan got first money, $25, making the run in 29.5 seconds. Larimore and Bismarck took second and third place. If Mandan wins the race next year, the prize hose cart will become the property of the Mandan fire department.”

Diane Scharf-Boit can be reached at


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