Palace Theatre

Palace Theatre

25 Years Ago – 1994

A formal dedication was held Aug. 16 for the new Fort Lincoln Elementary School, south side Mandan. Principal Ron Biberdorf officially cut the ribbon to open its doors for the 496 students enrolled for the coming school year which began Tuesday, Aug. 23. The students and teachers were especially grateful to be in an air-conditioned building as the temperatures ranged that week from 88 to 92 degrees.

H. G. Vander Vorst has been appointed as a temporary replacement on the Morton County Commission, replacing the late Bob Chase. He will serve until a new commissioner is elected in November. Five Morton County residents have already filed to place their names on the ballot.

Mrs. Dean Lavachek of Mandan is proudly displaying a king-sized tomato grown in her garden this summer. The giant weighs 3.35 pounds and measures 21.5 inches in circumference. The seed was of German origin and had been kept 10 years before soaking and being planted this past spring.


Temperatures recorded Tuesday, Aug. 30: a high of 85 degrees; 53 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

After 32 years of taking pictures of graduating seniors, newlyweds, rodeos, scenery and anything else that caught his fancy and acquiring 41 prize winning pictures during his career, Lee Mohr has closed his photographic studio in Mandan. “Hate to give it up, but you gotta quit sometime,” said Mohr, 65. Mohr became interested in photography as a hobby while working part time for several J. C. Penney Co. locations, including Mandan, which was managed by his father, D. C. Mohr. While waiting for a fulltime opening, he purchased a studio at the corner of 1st St. and 3rd Ave. NW from Rolland Lutz in 1937. Mohr served as a President of the North Dakota Photographers Association and was a charter member of the Mandan Rodeo Association. He also served as president of the Mandan Rotary Club and was a Master of the Mandan Masonic Lodge No. 8, AF & AM.

Mandan’s American Legion baseball team came out second best in the state’s Class A Tournament held at Willison when Fargo’s eighth inning homer, with two men on base, lifted their team to a 7-5 victory over Mandan in the final game of the tournament. The state title is Fargo’s first since 1960. Mandan was also the state runner-up in 1968 when Grand Forks claimed its second straight title. Mandan is 29-22 under Coach Gary Melling.

75 Years Ago – 1944

Minimum farm wages on a per-hour basis has been established for farm laborers during this year’s harvest season, according to H. W. Herbison, state farmer labor director. For general farm work, the minimum wage will be 40 cents an hour; for haying, 50 cents; shocking, 65 cents; threshing, 75 cents; potato loading, $1 an hour; and potato picking, 8 cents per bushel.


News from the Armed Forces:

“Seaman, 2-c Edward Froehlich arrived in Mandan this week from Farragut, Idaho, where he just completed his boot training. He will spend his furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Froehlich.

“T-Sgt. Francis J. Gill, writes that he has been transferred into the army air forces, but is still located somewhere in northern Canada, along the Alaskan highway. He says that there are only two other North Dakota boys with his outfit, all from Morton County. They are Gale Johnson, New Salem; and George Heidt of Mandan.

“Anton Helbling, son of John V. Helbling, formerly of Mandan and now at Tacoma, has been promoted to Seaman First Class in the U.S. Navy. He is stationed at Radar School at Point Loma, San Diego. He has been in the Navy since December 1943.

“According to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Fleck, Mandan, their son, Ernest Fleck, has been promoted to first lieutenant. Lt. Fleck is stationed somewhere in England.


Mr. and Mrs. William Lanz, of Mandan, have received a letter from their son, First Lt. William T. Lanz, who is currently in Italy. He writes: “I and other American soldiers have been disappointed in the news from our homeland. You people seem to think that an armistice is near. Well, the American soldier knows better. This war is a long way from being over. Germany isn’t licked yet. They are fighting more viciously than ever.

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“I recently visited Rome and saw the coliseum and other ancient buildings and statues. I also visited St. Peter’s, where my greatest thrill came from meeting Pope Pius. I saw him and kissed his ring. I had a rosary in my hand, and he placed his hand over it. I am enclosing the cross from the rosary and am wearing the rosary around my neck. Here’s hoping the extra insurance will bring me home safely. Keep us in your prayers. Your son, Bill”


“Pvt. George Bender, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Bender, Route 1, Mandan, and brother of Mrs. John Stroh, Mandan, was killed in action in Italy on July 9, according to a war department’s announcement to his wife, who resides in Yakima, Wash. Pvt. Bender, who was the father of five children, moved to Yakima three years ago and enlisted in the army and served in the infantry, going overseas in April of this year. In addition to his parents and sister, survivors include two brothers and four sisters, all living on the West Coast.”

100 Years Ago – 1919

“A. E. Thorberg, who is threshing wheat on his farm south of the city, has obtained 15 bushels to the acre which is considered very good for this season.

“Charles Motsiff returned last Sunday from overseas. He had been in the 11th Marines for over a year and a half. His return was quite a surprise to the F. H. Motsiff family who had not expected him for another week.

“The large crowd who attended the Palace Theatre last night to witness the “Hearts of the World,” featuring the beautiful Miss Lillian Gish, are loud in their praises for this great film of the World War. It plays again tonight.

“The Kinzel Vulcanizing plant is installing new equipment, the largest of its kind in western North Dakota. A large steam boiler and a varied number of molds to handle every sized tire, from the smallest up to the large eight-inch truck tire, are part of the machinery.

“The Russell-Miller Co. has a large force of men at work moving the warehouse from its former location to a place near the mill, a distance of nearly 80 feet. The old cooper shop, a reminder of years gone by when flour was shipped in barrels, is being torn down which will improve the looks of the mill yard.

“The first service at the Presbyterian church, since the installation of the new $4,000 pipe organ, was held last Sunday, and the congregation, at both morning and evening services, were delighted with the sounds. Rev. H. H. Owen, having returned from a month’s vacation, occupied the pulpit and declared “the church has the finest organ in the state.” An organ recital is scheduled for September by Robert MacDonald, pipe organ instructor at Columbia School of Music at Chicago.”

125 Years Ago– 1894

“On Thursday, Aug. 30, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 82 degrees above zero.

“Will it please rain?

“Another week of vacation, and then school work will begin again.

“The new lamp lighter does not seem to know where all the lamps are. Some are lighted and some not, nowadays

“Martin Barth was granted his final citizen papers by Judge Winchester on Tuesday morning. He expects soon to go and visit his relations in Europe.

“A cap belonging to a young man who, on Monday night, made a raid on a certain melon patch between here and Fort Rice, is at the Pioneer office at the disposal of the owner, whose identity is disclosed inside the cap.

“According to a recent report received at the Pioneer, the Sitting Bull Cabin exhibit at last year’s World’s Fair at Chicago, paid to the Fair company, $2,575 commissions for the privilege of being on the Midway.

“A little girl, named Rodman, narrowly escaped from being run over by a train, a few miles west of here, on Saturday afternoon. She was engaged in herding cattle and had fallen asleep on top of her pony which had strayed onto the track. Engineer Cass, who was running the engine, stopped as quickly as possible and came so close to the pony that the ‘cowcatcher’ touched the pony’s hind legs. The girl, only eleven, it is said, herds for her father from sun up to nearly sun down and every day, including Sunday.”

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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.