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25 Years Ago – 1994

The rising price of coffee appears to be the "talk of town" this past week. Due to unusual freeze conditions in the mountains of Brazil that killed plants bearing coffee beans, the price of coffee has doubled and tripled. The last time Del Wetsch of Circle Foods put coffee on sale, a 39-ounce can was $3.99. This week, the price is $8.88. Since it takes over a year to grow a coffee crop, most Mandanites are buying extra coffee in anticipation of even higher prices.

High school students from 40 counties participated in the 32nd annual North Dakota Farm Bureau Citizenship Seminar held in June at the University of Mary, Bismarck. More than 145 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors attended the three-day event. Attending from Morton County were Sheila Renner and Robin Schaff, from St. Anthony; Clint Schaff and Jodi Vogel from Mandan. The goal of the seminar is to instill in high school students a stronger appreciation of the freedom enjoyed as United States citizens.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, July 19: a high of 98 degrees; 62 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

Three men, wearing American flags on heir left sleeves, rocketed away from Earth on Wednesday, July 16, to take mankind’s most daring step into the unknown − a walk on the moon. By launch time, 9:32 a.m. EDT, more than a million people had flocked to the beaches around Cape Kennedy, Fla., while television via satellite and ground relay beamed the launch to an estimated 528 million people in 33 nations around the world. Manning the Apollo mission were Civilian Neil Armstrong, Air Force Col. Edwin Aldrin and Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Collins.

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Back to Mandan for her first visit since 1907 was Mrs. Howard Buck of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her father was E. S. Weatherbee who was editor of the Pioneer in 1906 and 1907. “It was the wild west in those days,” said Mrs. Buck who remembered Mandan having 21 saloons and no trees. However, despite advice given by the outgoing editor, she said her father was the first editor of the paper who didn’t keep a loaded pistol on his desk.

Showing off their fishing luck this week were Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Kupper of Mandan, who caught a 23-pound, 43-inch Northern at Wold Creek at the Elks Campground, using small sucker minnows. The couple also pulled in a 10-pound Northern while fishing on the Missouri River, south of Mandan.

75 Years Ago – 1944

The Mandan City Commission has notified the Morton County Board of Commissioners that beginning Aug. 1, the rent of the space occupied by the county in the World War Memorial Building will be increased from the present $50 a month to $200 a month. The space had been leased to the county for the nominal rent as an emergency measure after the 1941 fire that destroyed the courthouse building on Collins Avenue hill.

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“Word was received from the War Department by Mr. and Mrs. Joe Knoll, rural Mandan, that their son, Pfc Peter Knoll has been seriously wounded in action in France on June 19.

“First Lt. Peter J. Hoffman has been listed as missing in action, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Hoffman. Lt. Hoffman left Mandan with the 185th Field Artillery unit and was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash. He had taken part in the invasion of Africa and was with troops in Tunis and Bizerte. He was also wounded in the battle of Sicily and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Lt. Hoffman has been stationed in England since November 1943. His brother, Staff Sgt. John Hoffman, is on leave and is visiting here with his wife and parents.

“Mrs. LaGrave, superintendent of the Mandan Deaconess Hospital, has received word that her husband, Lt. Maurice LaGrave, was wounded in France on June 11. LaGrave has been awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. He and his unit have also received a special citation for being one of the first Yanks on French soil.

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“Pfc Paul M. Miller, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Miller, St. Anthony, has been overseas since December 1943. His parents recently received his letter: “Just a few lines to let you all know that I am fine and hope you are all well, too. Yes, we were involved in the Invasion. This country is certainly a mess. All the small towns are blown up.

“Just had mail call, and I got a package from home. I didn’t have much trouble opening it as the fellows around me are a great help in such matters. The boys said 'Thanks! the fruitcake was swell.'

“We had Catholic Mass out in the field tonight. It was very nice, so quiet and serene. Glad to hear you and the folks back home are praying for us boys. Prayers will help us to come through it all. Love, Paul”

100 Years Ago – 1919

“John, the 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stebner of East Main St., was instantly killed and his 17-year-old sister, Laura, was badly burned, when the car left a graded road, four miles south of Mandan, and overturned, pinning Stebner under the steering wheel, breaking his neck. The car was being driven by young Stebner, who was attempting to turn around and return to Mandan on Sunday night, but the St. Anthony road is very narrow at the place when the accident occurred. Two other occupants in the rear seat of the Overland car escaped with a few bruises. Funeral services will take place at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

“While operating an electric clothes wringer this morning, Mrs. R. S. Johnstone received serious injuries to her hand when it became caught between the rollers. No bones were broke, but the had was badly lacerated.

“The Lewis and Clark Billiard hall has added another improvement to their place by installing a new Seeburg electric piano which arrived Saturday, direct from the factory at Chicago.

“The Heart River has been thronged every night for the past ten days with bathers – both young men and women, who have greatly increased the sale of bathing suits at the stores.

“There will be no services at the Presbyterian Church for at least a month, as the new organ is being installed. In the meantime, the pastor, Rev. H. H Owen and family, will spend the next month at a resort in Wisconsin.

“Work was begun this past week on the concrete work for the foundation of the new Western Auto Company building. The concrete is being poured to a depth of 11 feet and two feet in thickness which will enable the company to expand to as many as five stories. The 100x140-ft. garage will be the southwest corner of 2nd Ave. and First St., directly across from the Daily Pioneer office. The house being moved from the lots, where the Western Auto Co. is to build, has been purchased from L. N. Cary by Al Lanterman, and it will be moved onto the lot adjacent to the E. R. Lanterman residence on Third Ave. N.W.”

125 Years Ago– 1894

“On Thursday, July 19, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 77 degrees above zero.

“The strike is over. Life returns to a normal pace.

“There was considerable excitement in town Sunday afternoon when it was known there would be a train arriving from the east. The news spread quickly, and nearly everyone was out to see the train come in.

“Scab” Martin was the train’s engineer, accompanied by Conductor Walsh. Although the “scab” stepped onto the platform for a few minutes, he was well protected by several deputies. There were also no demonstrations at the depot, due to the presence of several cars of federal troops attached to the train. Troops from Ft. Yates guarded the depot entrances, as two mail cars were unloaded. After an hour’s delay, the train resumed its journey to Dickinson.

“Troops A and C, 8th U. S. Calvary, commanded by Capt. Hickey, arrived in Mandan from Fort Yates several days before the train’s arrival, and they have camped in the city park, just west of the depot. It is said that the west end people are learning how to become early risers, as they’ve been rising up at the sound of reveille each morning.

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“Prior to the arrival of Sunday’s train, the east bound hand car driven by Al Nichols, conductor, arrived in Mandan, having made the run from Dickinson in 12 hours, 55 minutes.

“The No. 1 train from the east, arrived practically on time this morning. It was a regularly equipped train and carried passengers, among whom was a detachment of men from the 3rd Infantry on their way west. There were also on board fifteen telegraph operators going west to take the place of striking operators.”

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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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