25 Years Ago – 1994

A total of 65% of the eligible voters in Morton County went to the polls this past week returning all incumbents in the county to office.

Republican Rae Ann Kelsch was reelected to her third term in the District 34 House of Representatives with 2,595 votes. She was followed by Democrat incumbent Jim Coates, also reelected to his third term in the House.

In District 31, Steve Tomac defeated Republican Pam Geiger. Republican incumbents Jim Boehm and Rocky Bateman easily defeated their Democrat opponents, Joanne Beckman and Joe Vogel.

Nine candidates vied for three Morton County Commission seats. Two incumbents, Michael Schaaf and Raymond Knoll, will serve four-year terms; Matt Erhardt was elected to fill the unexpired term of Robert Chase.

Four constitutional measures were on the ballot with Morton County going with the statewide trend in three of the four. Although the county residents voted to repeal the law, statewide, the law remains with 54% in favor.

An impressive football season came to a close in Jamestown this past week as the Blue Jays knocked Mandan out of the playoff picture with a 14-0 victory. The Braves ended its best season in recent memory with a 7-3 record, and the team reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time ever after a 37-29 win over Fargo Shanley. Mandan’s 7-3 record had the most wins in a single season dating back to the 1940s. “You need a whole page to document all the great accomplishments the 1994 Braves put up,” said Mandan head coach Tom Stebner.

Temps recorded Tuesday, Nov. 8: a high of 56 degrees; 26 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

The new North Dakota motor vehicle plates became available to the public this week. The plates are being issued for 1970, instead of the stickers that were affixed to last year’s old plates. The new plates have the same white, reflectorized background with blue numerals instead of the red ones on the previous plates.

Members of the Morton County 4-H leaders council met Oct. 27 to reorganize for the 1969-70 year. The elected officers are Mrs. Frank Jochim, Flasher, president; Duane Olsen, Mandan, vice president; and Walter Hermes, Glen Ullin, secretary. Olsen is the leader of the Highlanders Club of rural Mandan; Mrs. Jochim is a leader of the Oak Coulee Club of Flasher; and Hermes is leader of the Busy Beavers Club of Glen Ullin.

Ralph Ferderer has become the ninth man, and the second from Mandan, to be inducted into the North Dakota Officials Hall of Fame. George Heidt is the only other man from Mandan to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ferderer graduated from Mandan High School in 1936 and was all-state in basketball, 1934, and in football, 1935. He played for the Mandan Trainers baseball team from 1939 until 1955 and was the Trainers’ manager from 1952 to 1955. In 1954, the Trainers team won the State Amateur Baseball championship. With the exception of two years in the U.S. Army, 1941-43, Ferderer officiated in sports from 1935 to 1961.

75 Years Ago – 1944

Miss Era Belle Thompson, daughter of the late Tony Thompson who operated a second hand furniture store in Mandan some years ago, is spending several weeks in Mandan and Bismarck. After graduating from the University of North Dakota, she’s been making her home in Chicago. Miss Thompson is currently in North Dakota seeking material for a book. She has been awarded a Fellowship by the Rockefeller Institute.

Members of the Gilbert S. Furness Post No. 40 have elected Roy Dow as their new commander for the coming year. Vice commander is F. G. Tharp; Dod Sempson is second vice commander. Other officers elected include: H. B. Uden, finance officer; Ed Kruger, service officer; Carl Keidel, chaplain; and R. W. Barnard, historian.

News from the Armed Forces:

“Pvt. Joe Stasney, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Stasney, has arrived in Mandan from Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Aleutians, on a 15-day furlough. He has been stationed in Alaska for one year and six months.

“Word has been received from the War Department that 2nd Lt. Carl Edwards was wounded in action on Sept. 9 and is in a hospital in France; he has also been given the Purple Heart award. The message was received by his wife, who, with their small son, makes her home in the Dailey apartments in Mandan. 2nd Lt. Edwards is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Edwards, Mandan.

“S2-c Edward Froelich has been assigned to a troop transport, the USS Logan, which transports Marines to the battle fronts. S2-c Froelich is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Froelich, Mandan.

“Pfc. Leo Roethlisberger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jake Roethlisberger of Huff, was wounded in action in Germany, according to a telegram received by his parents. Roethlisberger is in the heavy infantry machine gun division and has been overseas since November of 1943. He is now hospitalized in England, having been sent there from Paris.

“John Gates, Fort Yates, former Sioux County Sheriff, was in Mandan this week and exhibiting a Japanese officer’s sabre which was just received from his son, Cpl. John Gates, USMC, from Saipan. The sabre was encased in a leather scabbard, the blade of fine quality steel, with a leather handle inlaid with mother of pearl and figured brass. Cpl. Gates has been overseas for two years and served on Guadalcanal and other hot spots in the Pacific. The sword came by air mail with a postage charge of $3.06, under a special permit by his commanding officer. Mr. Gates also has another son in the service, Cpl. Hobert Gates, who is in the regular army and was at Pearl Harbor when attacked by the Japanese.”

100 Years Ago – 1919

“Mandan Elks Lodge No. 1256 celebrated their eighth anniversary of the founding of the lodge last weekend by initiating a class of between 40 and 50, including many of Mandan’s prominent businessmen.

Shortly after one-o’clock today, as a result of an auto crash at the corner of First Street and Second Avenue Northwest, a Franklin car belonging to Albert Lanterman was almost totally wrecked and a Ford car belonging to the Morton County Co-operative Store was damaged. As the Ford attempted to turn the corner, it crashed into the Franklin, pushing it into the curb adjoining the Lyman building, demolishing a wheel and throwing it against the gasoline station post, resulting in the car being overturned. Luckily, the sedan top remained intact as it saved the Lantermans from serious injuries. A few seconds later, help was at hand to turn over the Franklin car, freeing its inhabitants. The Ford was not badly damaged, but the Franklin’s damage will be more than $1500.

“Several months ago, officers of the Country Club employed a special watchman to care for the property of the club as several times this year miscreants had broken into the club house and had done damage. Last weekend, while the watchman was on a break, a bold delinquent sneaked into the club house and, not only took the watchman’s toolbox, but also his lunch bag. According to the police, there are no suspects.

“Cupid has been extremely busy the past few days, and eight marriage licenses have been issued by his assistant, County Judge B. W. Shaw. The St. Anthony, Fort Rice and Flasher districts, so far, have the lead. Licenses issued were as follows: L. L. Gustine, Flasher, and Francis Hoffman, St. Anthony; Phillip Schmidt, St. Anthony, and Ida Gustine, Flasher; Roy Morrell and Mathilda Hoffman, both of St. Anthony; Irwin F. Hoppenstadt and Loretta Backus, both of Ft. Rice; Fred Landeis of Sweet Briar and Philomena Broxmeyer, Solen; Frank Dillman and Lizzie Leingang, both of St. Anthony; and Bernard Kunkel and Anna Moort, both of Almont.”

125 Years Ago– 1894

“On Thurs., Nov. 8, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 39 degrees above zero.

“Now that all the fun, the worry, the excitement, the dirty work, the prevarication and other things, good and bad, incidental to an election, are over, everybody can go back to work, bank up his house and get ready for winter.

“The public schools and the banks were closed on Election Day.

“The successful candidate for sheriff, Charley McDonald, had some able lieutenants in his cause – his brothers, who happily covered the county for him before election day. Charley is a popular young man, and although he was not the Pioneer’s candidate, we congratulate him in his election.

“Everyone who has walked up the hill to the courthouse in the last few years has most likely cursed the commissioners who located it so high in the air. One of the ex-commissioners is now in an insane asylum; one moved to Colorado; another is – heaven knows where; and two of them have just run for the legislature in this county. Both of those ex-commissioners were snowed under.”

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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.