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Franklin Auto, 1919

Franklin Auto, 1919

25 Years Ago – 1994

Although the opening of the new Fort Lincoln Elementary School received most of Mandan’s attention this fall, the junior high school has also gone through a facelift with much-needed remodeling and more room for the library and classrooms due to the closing of Central Elementary last spring. “With Central Elementary gone, seven much-needed classrooms for the junior high have been added,” said Junior High Principal Harlan Haak.

Robert Schaaf, Hanover, was the winner in the District Six Cattle Women’s Chili Cook-Off held Aug. 21 at the Morton County Fair. His recipe, “Better Left Over, Chili,” received $50 in beef gift certificates. He also won $10 for having the best organized table. Second place and $35 went to the Senate candidate, Pam Geiger, Mandan, and incumbent Representative Rocky Bateman, New Salem, with their “Republican Roadkill Chili.” They also won the People’s Choice Award and $15. JoAnn Gaasland, Mandan, took third place and its $25 prize.

An old Mandan landmark has disappeared from Main Street with the demolition of the Mirror Bar. The all wood structure, one of the city’s oldest, was condemned by the city last spring. During its demolition, workers noticed the basement floor was all dirt, and the warped main floor had been supported by wooden posts. The site has been purchased by Dan Kraft who is expanding his Butcher Block Meats shop, 108 West Main St., into the vacant space.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, Sept. 6: a high of 74 degrees; 39 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

Mandan had 3,843 students on opening day, Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day, in its public and parochial school systems. The enrollment includes 221 students from the rural schools that are now included for the first time due to this past year’s reorganization.

Class officers of Mandan High School have been named for the coming school year. Senior class officers are Dave Evinger, president; Kevin Kremer, vice president; and Paula Koch, secretary- treasurer. Junior class: Mike Stumpf, president; Chris Assel, vice president; and Diana Grable, secretary- treasurer. Sophomore class: Bruce Gallagher, president; Grant Caya, vice president; and Mary Johnson, secretary- treasurer.

Pamela Marie Sturn, 19, New Salem, has been crowned the new Miss Morton County at a pageant, attended by more than 475 people, held at New Salem. Nine contestants took part in this year’s event. Pamela, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sturn, was sponsored by Mandan Security Bank. Runner-up, and winner of the talent event, was Ardis Weisenburger, 17, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Weisenburger, Glen Ullin.

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The 1969 Mandan Demolition Derby has been deemed one of the best ever, as an estimated crowd of 5,000 people saw the cars wrecked and left in shambles at the annual Demolition Derby held at the Mandan Rodeo grounds. Announcer Jim Hillard kept the crowd well informed of the happenings in the arena.

The Bergers seemed to dominate the Derby as they took a number of heats and events. Lucas Berger won the first heat, driving a car sponsored by Emineth’s Bar and the Silver Dollar Bar. Dale Berger won the 4th heat, while Colleen Berger won the Powder Puff event. The grudge match between Mel Beckler and Lucas Berger was ruled a draw after Beckler’s gas tank erupted. However, the match was eventually decided by an egg fight with Beckler getting in more hits than Berger.

In other heats, Al Fleck, sponsored by B & M Auto Parts, won the second heat, while Bob Chase won the roll-over event. Winner of the third heat was Jerry Bossert, driving for Kuhn Trucking.

75 Years Ago – 1944

Volunteers shockers area still needed to help farmers during the final days of harvest for Morton County’s bumper grain crop, according to County Agent R. C. Newcomer. Persons who can give full days or only evenings will be very welcome, he said, and farmers are now paying 75 cents an acre for shockers. Volunteers should report to either the county agent’s office or to the U. S. Employment Service.

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News from the Armed Forces:

“Two Almont men have been killed in France. Cpl. Eugene O. Hanson, 30, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alex Hanson, was killed in action in France on July 6. He was a messenger for the infantry. Hanson came home on furlough to visit his brothers and sisters in March, and shortly afterwards was sent overseas. Another young man from Almont, Pfc. Reuben Olson, 34, was also a casualty in France, and also on July 6. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Sivert Olson of Almont and is survived by one brother and six sisters.

“Friends in Mandan have received a letter from Sgt. Ken Nickerson, who has been in a hospital in New Guinea for the past two months. He says he feeling better now and hopes to be back on duty soon.

“Phar. Mate 1/c Clarence West arrived in Mandan this past week to spend a three week’s furlough visiting his brother and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Marcus West. PM West has been in the South Pacific for the past 28 months. He was stationed on Guadalcanal as the fight for that island was in progress, and was also stationed in New Zealand. He met several Mandan men on his journeys, among them Don Mushik, Louis Helmsworth and Fred Kopp.”

100 Years Ago – 1919

“Fifty official county newspapers, under the new printing law passed by the last legislature, have been selected by the state printing commission. The county papers of Grand Forks, Kidder and Richland have not been selected as yet. The papers, chosen by the commission, will hold their appointments until Jan. 1, 1921, when they will be either re-chosen or retired by the vote of the people of each county. All official county, state and legal advertising will now be published in one “official” paper instead of three, as in the past.

“Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Lanterman and A. Lanterman left today by train for Fargo. They will return overland in their new Franklin car. According to recent ads, tires on the Franklin are guaranteed for 21,000 miles without a mishap.

“Christ Fritz, John Timmerman and Fred Romer returned this morning on the No. 3 train from Camp Dodge, Iowa, where they were mustered out of the service. He left here with Co. E of Mandan in 1917 and saw plenty of action on various fronts in France.

“W. S. Barrows has sold the property across from the Nigey Hotel, 100 feet on Third Ave. N.W. and 140 feet on First Street to the Standard Oil Co. and the Connolly Motor Co., who will take the inside 50 feet to enlarge their garage next year. The Standard Oil Co. will use the corner lot for a gasoline filling station. The building is to be 12 x 24 with canopy, 18 x 24. There will be a driveway on both sides with two service pumps.

“It has been noticed, and commented on, the great number of grasshoppers seen around town. In former years, this has not been noted very much, but this season you see hoppers flying around in colors of the rainbow, giving the impression of a swarm of butterflies, rather than hoppers. However. the hoppers seen out in the grain fields do not look like this. They’re only of one color, apparently, and that is white.”

125 Years Ago– 1894

“On Thursday, Sept. 6, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 89 degrees above zero.

“Still waiting for rain. The slightest of winds stirs up clouds of dust on the city’s streets.

“As of today, six births and one death have been reported to the Superintendent of the Board of Health for the month of August. Reports from the county are not being made, according to law, and the state authorities are going to send an officer out with a sharp stick.

“A prominent official began the chicken hunting season on Sunday morning by emptying the contents of his double-barreled gun into his dog. However, just like the prairie chickens in his area, the dog survived.

“Although President Cleveland has designated the first Monday in September as a Labor Day holiday, it wasn’t observed here in Mandan as any kind of special day. Everyone still worked as usual, and the postmaster stayed on the job, even though, as a federal employee, he was allowed the holiday. Labor Day to Mandanites only means the end of summer, especially for the school children.

“The coming winter is going to be a severe one,” said Major Gooding, yesterday, “and my reasons for thinking so is this: In my travels over the prairies, I have noticed that the gophers are banking up their holes a great deal higher than usual. An Indian called my attention to it, and they know all about the natural instincts of the pesky gopher.”

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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.

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