Legion Bowery dance, 1919

Legion Bowery dance ad, 1919

25 Years Ago – 1994

For the fourth time in the last five years, the Mandan Chiefs reign as the North Dakota American Legion Champions. After victories over Wahpeton, 10-9; Grand Forks, 7-4; and host team Dickinson, 19-1; and a loss to Bismarck, 12-3; the Chiefs had to win a final game in the double elimination tournament to take the title, and they did, by coming from behind for a rally in the 10th inning, with a two-run homer by T. J. McFarland, to defeat the Jamestown Eagles, 16-14. It was the fifth consecutive year that Jamestown finished in second place.

In their run for the title, the Chiefs averaged 11 runs a game; everyone contributed to the victory. Pitcher Aron Amundson was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

The Chiefs are coached by Owen Stockdill; assistant coach is Damien Huettl.


Temperatures recorded Tuesday, Aug. 16: a high of 94 degrees; 44 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

Funeral services were recently held at First Lutheran Church for long-time Mandan resident, Ole Syvrud, 94. He was born in Norway in 1875, coming to the United States and to Mandan with his wife, Guri, in 1906. The following year, he opened a shoemakers and harness repair shop in Mandan. Since he was unable to speak English at that time, he had a small boy, George Thorberg, as his contact person with the public.

As harness repairs disappeared, Syvrud continued shoe repairs at his Mandan Shoe Hospital, which he operated until retiring in 1967 at the age of 92. Syvrud is survived by four sons, Sig, M. G. and Peter, all of Mandan, and Otto of Seattle, Wash; and one daughter, Mrs. Don (Signy) Dryden, Drayton. There are 26 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.


Spike Keigley, along with his sister, Tracy, hauled in a 13-pound catfish while fishing at Wolf Creek with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Keigley of Mandan.

Dean Doll of Mandan also enjoyed a good fishing day. He latched onto a 32-pound paddlefish while at Douglas Bay on the Garrison Reservoir.

75 Years Ago – 1944

The response to the plea for workers to assist farmers in harvesting their crops has been gratifying. With more than 1,000 acres to be shocked, many women, as well as men, have signed up to aid in the work. Gas will be furnished by the county for transportation to the farms, with four to five people to each car. More than 140 persons have signed up as volunteer laborers from the following Mandan businesses: Kist Meat Market, Gamble Store, Connolly Chevrolet, Pioneer Publishing Co., Russell-Miller Milling Co., J. C. Penney Co. and the Mandan Creamery, including the poultry department, the receiving room, Cloverdale and all of the office girls.

The first of probably more Mexican laborers, 17 to be exact, arrived in Mandan this past week and are also at work in Morton County fields. They were brought here, along with another group for Burleigh County.

News from the Armed Forces:

Pfc. Arnold Sterna, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sterna, has written his parents that he was wounded in action in France and has received a Purple Heart medal. Sterna is with a tank battalion. The Sternas have two other sons in the service: MP Fred Sterna, located in Italy; and S-1c Melvin, who’s in the South Pacific.

Sgt. Mike Mullner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Mullner of Huff, is now stationed at Camp Lee, Va., following a furlough visit with his parents. Sgt. Mullner only recently returned from overseas, where he participated in the African and Italian campaigns.

Mr. and Mrs. John Ehlis, Mandan, received a letter from their son, Pvt. Simon Ehlis, dated July 15. Pvt. Ehlis, serving with the signal corps, saw action in the Italian and African campaigns and has been overseas 18 months.

Irvin H. Roth, petty officer 2/c (USN) returning from the invasion of France, spent a 10-day leave visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Roth of Huff. He left Thursday for the East Coast for his next assignment.

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Cpl. Erasmus P. Leingang, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Leingang, Mandan, is stationed in New Guinea with the medical corps. In a recent letter, Cpl. Leingang says the mail is not coming thru fast enough to suit him and says, as do so many of the boys, what a great morale builder it is to receive letters and the hometown newspaper.

Storekeeper 2/c Frank L. Gruye returned to Mandan on Saturday evening from San Francisco. He has been honorably discharged from the Seabees and will take up his duties as manager of the Vallancey Hardware Store. Mr. Gruye has been with the Seabees for 18 months and during that time, spent a year stationed at Attu, Alaska.

100 Years Ago – 1919

“A nationwide strike has been called by the Federated Railway Shopmen’s union in Chicago. Increased wages are the issue of the strike. Current wages are 68 cents an hour for mechanics and 46 cents for helpers, and the men are asking 85 cents and 60 cents, respectively.

“The machinists, boilermakers and helpers at the Mandan shops and roundhouse, along with 63 carmen, walked off their jobs this past week, making a total of 121 men on strike. Riots, burning of railway property and loss of life by 150 strikers at Marmarth were also narrowly averted, only by the selection of William Langer, attorney general, as a special arbitrator. Conditions are now well under control throughout Mandan and the western part of the state.


“The new Gilbert Furness Post of the American Legion will meet this evening at the Commercial Club rooms. A full attendance is required. Recently returned soldiers, sailors or marines, who plan on joining the club, are also urged to attend. The meeting’s main purpose is to secure 40 percent of the dues which is needed in order to secure a charter. Members who have not paid their dues are urgently requested to do so. In the meantime, in order to raise funds for the treasury, an outdoor dance is scheduled for Friday on the pavement in front of the Palace theatre.

“John Mushik and son have leased the west half of the store building they have been occupying, which portion was recently vacated by Lewis, the tailor. They will put in an exclusive retail shoe store, and the building is being remodeled for such purpose.

“Victor Daly of Hagerstown, Md., who has been here for the past month installing the new Moeller pipe organ in the Presbyterian Church, completed his work this morning. The congregation will hear the heavenly sounds emitting from the organ after Rev. H. H. Owens returns next week from his vacation. Until then, there will be a regular rehearsal of the choir tomorrow evening in preparation for the opening service.”

125 Years Ago – 1894

“On Thursday, Aug. 16, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 94 degrees above zero.

“It was sizzling hot on Wednesday.

“For the first time since the strike ended, the eastbound passenger train on Saturday was on time.

“One more week - the hunt begins for prairie chickens. If they had any foresight, they’d be running to Canada.

“The burning down of 'Curley’s Place' leaves an unobstructed view of Dilworth avenue from the depot platform.

“The railroad machine shops can be said to have been re-opened in earnest on Wednesday morning when about two-thirds of the usual force began to work. The vacancies, cause by the discharge of some of the employees due to their recent strike activities, will be filled in a short time.

“Engraved calling cards for ladies and gentlemen can be purchased at the Pioneer office at the following prices for first-class work: 50 cards and plate, $1.40; 100 cards and plate, $2.10. For those who have already got their plates, we will print 100 cards for $1, or 50 cards for 80 cents.

“If some people mean what they say, the 'dives' beneath the shadow of the Merchants’ block will have to go, and their days are numbered. There is considerable indignation among east end people that the places have been allowed to exist so long on Main Street.

“Old Fort Lincoln has become a favorite trysting place with a number of young people of this city. Congenial spirits get together, with well-filled picnic baskets, and drive out to “dear old Lincoln” as some young ladies now call it, and in secluded nooks, enjoy daintily-made sandwiches, angel food cake, fruit and lemonade. Afterwards, they talk and walk and tell funny stories. They must be funny or why the peals of laughter that ring out so frequently, which at times can be heard at far distances.”

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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.