25 Years Ago – 1994

Housing, Industry and Training, Inc. of Mandan held its 15th annual meeting this week, electing RaeAnn Kelsch, president of the board of directors for the coming year, replacing Bryan Giese who has served the past two years. The board of directors was also reorganized as follows: Bryan Giese, vice president; Ron Joersz, secretary; and Curt Walth, treasurer. Members at large are: Ken LaMont, Russ Staiger and H. John Loerch. HIT, Inc., organized in 1979, is a private, nonprofit corporation providing services to disabled persons of all ages in the area.

Gail Mackey and Barb Braun of Mandan were among those honored at the North Dakota Special Olympics awards banquet held recently in Bismarck. Mackey was honored for her continuous service, while Braun received the Daryl Bjelde Award, the highest honor bestowed by NDSO.

A big change in dialing long distance is scheduled to begin on Monday, Oct. 1. On that date people must dial 1 plus the area code 701 to complete a long-distance call. North Dakota is one of the last states to undergo the change.

Temps recorded Tuesday, Sept. 27: a high of 72 degrees; 43 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

Thousands of area residents roamed the streets of Mandan this past week for the popular Annual Mad Market Days and took part in the “crazy bargains” while enjoying the “crazy costumes” worn by merchants and their staff. Taking the $15 first prize for best costume was Clem Kuhn of Paris Hardware; he posed as a “gramma hippie in a mini skirt.” The $10 second prize went to Paul Myers of Gambles; he wore a varied dabbling of costumes, ranging from hobo to Riviera girl watcher. Gloria Doll of the Ben Franklin Store took third prize with her colonial costume.

Two Mandan men, Paul D. Myers, manager of the Gamble store, and auctioneer, Larry Barnhardt, have announced the opening of a new auction sales service, to be known as B & M Auction Co. The firm intends to hold weekly sales of consigned merchandise in a building on Sunny Road, a half block east of Brady Auto Parts.

E. J. George, former superintendent of the Northern Great Plains Research Center in Mandan, has been named the superintendent of Morton County Parks. George retired from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture after 40 years of work in the forestry service. He is known internationally as an authority on trees and shrubs.

The Mandan Braves football team rolled over the Minot Ryan Lions, 37-20, as quarterback Jim Gronowski fired three touchdown passes into the hands of Randy Loeb. The Braves head coach is Dennis Johnson.

75 Years Ago – 1944

The United States had more cases of infantile paralysis reported for the first 31 weeks of 1944 than at any other time in the past 28 years, according to a report from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. There were 3,922 cases through Aug. 15, which is 1,226 more than during the same period in 1943.

The Mandan Braves opened their 1944 football season by walloping St. Mary’s of Bismarck, 33 to 6. Scoring honors were shared by the Huber brothers, Ed and Vern, and halfback Buck Eckroth. Other members of the Braves starting lineup are: Bob Helbling, Dick Lanz, Don Froelich, R. Unkenholz, Glen Rolfe, Bob Nelson, Bob Hagerott and Eugene Dietrich.

News from the Armed Forces:

“Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ressler of Mandan have three sons in the service, all three being sergeants. Sgt. Al Ressler is stationed at Fort Snelling; Sgt. Leo Ressler is at Camp Livingston, La. In a letter recently received by his parents, Sgt. Clem J. writes that his platoon has adopted a little French boy, Louie, who is 13 years old. Louie has been roaming around the country ever since the invasion and seems to like the American boys, who have outfitted him with GI clothes. Sgt. Clem says that Louie rides with them on the jeep, and his pockets are always full of candy and gum from the Americans. Louie’s mother is in occupied territory, while his father is in a German work camp.

“First Lt. Joe G. Fix has arrived here from Elgin Field, Fla., where he was checked out as a B-25 and B-26 bomber pilot. Lt. Fix is here on 10 days leave, visiting with his wife and two sons, David and Donald, and with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Fix.

“From an AAF Bomber Station in England comes word of the promotion of Delbert Skjod, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Skjod, to First Lieutenant. Lt. Skjod is co-pilot of a Flying Fortress. He graduated from Mandan High School in 1938 and entered the service in 1942. In a recent letter to his Mandan friends, Lt. Skjod, who is somewhere near England, wrote: “I have three Oak Leaf Clusters to my Air Medal, so I have been on quite a few missions. I’ve seen flak so thick, we could almost let our wheels down and taxi across it. Scared? You bet we get scared, but there is a strange fascination about it that seems to give us the courage to go back again and again. There’s excitement of seeing dog fights right off your wing, and the cheers over the ship’s interphone when a Nazi ship goes down. God willing, I’ll be home by Christmas, so save me a drumstick of that big turkey you’re going to have.”

100 Years Ago – 1919

“While the exact figures of the receipts for the 1919 Missouri Slope three-day fair are not available, officials say they will total nearly $5,700, the largest in the fair’s history. The gate receipts on the last day were $1,048.

“On the fair’s final day, the grandstand was packed for the afternoon’s main feature -- the 4-mile race between three touring cars: a Hudson driven by Mr. Loubek of the Missouri Valley Motor Co.; an Elgin, driven by Mr. Smith of the Mandan-Elgin Sales Co.; and the Hupmobile driven by Ben Finnegan. The Elgin dropped to the sideline during the first lap. Smith claimed the Hudson had sideswiped his Elgin, while Loubek claimed he had the right of way. The judges, however, were unable to determine who was at fault as the mishap occurred at the farthest end of the track. In any event, only the Hudson and the Hupmobile continued around the track, with the Hudson leading until after the third mile lap. Then in the home stretch, as the roaring crowd stood and cheered wildly, Finnegan sped past and crossed the finish line, a hundred yards ahead of the Hudson, to receive the $100 prize.

“During the fair, Art Kredler, manager of the Lewis & Clark Hotel, was on the hunt for young women to help in the dining room, offering top wages of $3 per day. “A good waitress can pick up from $2 to $10 a day in tips,” said Kredler. “In fact, this year, some of the young ladies made even more money than I made myself.

“Mike Hyland, the contractor who is installing the new White Way of street lights, kept his promise and turned on some of the new lights in the Main Street business section during the first evening of the fair. Although the glass tops were not put on, the general effect made its citizens swell with pride.

“Miss Tora Haugen and Andrew Clauston, both of the Lyons area, were recently married at the Presbyterian manse, Rev. Hugh H. Owen officiating.

“The K of C picnic at the Missouri Slope Fair grounds Sunday afternoon was very well attended by the members and their families. After the picnic the afternoon’s feature was a baseball game between the Mandan team and the state penitentiary, the latter winning by a score of 14 to 2. After that game, a team made up of local KC members walloped the pen players to the tune of 6 to 3.”

125 Years Ago– 1894

“On Thursday, Sept. 27, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 76 degrees above zero.

“No frost yet, but our trees are now dressed in fall colors. A beautiful view can be seen from the north hills.

“There were traveling men galore in the city yesterday.

“A largely-attended farewell reception was given to Rev. Sloan at the Presbyterian Church in Bismarck last evening. Mr. Sloan leaves for the East today, and it’s expected this is his last visit to North Dakota.

“Mr. John Fogarty is a visitor in town this week on private business and is, incidentally, enjoying a chat with old time political friends and foes. Many hearty laughs can be heard escaping from “D.R.’s” store on Main Street.

“Ground was broken yesterday for a building at the corner of Main St. and Dilworth Ave., to take the place of the old “Curley’s Place,” burned several weeks ago. It will again be occupied by George Barrie.

“Work is progressing rapidly at the Rock Haven ice harbor, northeast of Mandan. Upwards of 30 men and 19 teams of horses were at work there this week.

“Dr. Read is mourning the loss of one of his trees in front of his house. Last night, a horse nibbled the bark off clear around. The doctor had spent a great deal of time this summer watering and caring for his trees, and he is now wondering what the pound master is doing.”

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Diane Boit was raised and educated in the Red River Valley before coming to Mandan with her family in 1970. She has been involved with the Bismarck-Mandan newspapers for more than 30 years. She can be reached at dboit46@gmail.com.