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25 Years Ago-1994

Pastor Richard Hagestuen has retired from his regular pastoral duties, after a 35-year career, 25 spent at the First Lutheran Church in Mandan. The Starbuck, Minn., native graduated from Augsburg College and Seminary, Minneapolis, and was ordained in1959. After spending two years at Medicine Lake, Mont., then eight years at Powers Lake, he and his family arrived in Mandan in 1969 to serve at the First Lutheran Church, where the membership has grown from 1,400 to the current 3,000.

Humor and storytelling are inseparable parts of Hagestuen’s ministry, and he’s in demand as a public speaker. He’s also been involved in the community, serving as Heartview’s chaplain for 23 years.

Hagestuen and his entire family, including his wife, Vernie, and their three children, Dawn, Kirsten and Jon, were honored at an open house celebration held at First Lutheran Church on Jan. 23.

Funerals this week:

Helen (Olstad) Stevens, 60, Mandan; raised and educated at Hettinger; graduated from high school in 1960. Married Robert Johnson in 1955; he died in 1969. Married Harry Stevens in 1975. Owned and operated Creators Common, 1979-83. Worked for Morton County Housing, retiring in 1990 to care for her parents. Survivors include one son, six daughters and their families.

Jack Flink, 83, Mission Hills, Calif.; raised and educated in Mandan. Employed at Mandan Creamery and Produce Co. Married Grace Sheppard in 1937. Moved to Santa Monica, Calif., in 1941. Worked as produce man for Safeway Foods. Survivors include two daughters and their families, one brother.

Elmer A. Smith, 71, Almont; raised and educated in rural Almont. Worked on area farms before serving in World War II, 1942-46. Married Grace Kilen in 1947. Worked for Northern Pacific Railroad, then with Morton County. Retired as heavy equipment operator in 1987. Survivors include his wife, two sons, two daughters and their families.

Temperatures Tuesday, March 1: High, 26 degrees; low, 6 degrees above zero.

50 Years Ago-1969

Mandan High School’s A debate team walked off with first place and a 6 and 0 record during a recent invitational debate tournament held in Jamestown. Members of the team are Greg Danz, Gary Wood, Sue Pratshner and Sharon Gallagher. MHS B and novice debate teams both placed third. Members of the B team are Kevin Kremer, Joe Miller, Mary Jane Baer and Dave Kuhn, with Herb Nelson, Dan Kary, Bob Dykshoorn and Frank Falkovic on the novice team. The overall record for the Mandan teams, coached by Dennis Haney and James Paul for the tournament, was 28 wins and four losses.

A surprise gathering has been held in honor of the 60th wedding anniversary for Mr. and Mrs. John C. Baron, 207 Fourth Ave. N.E. The couple married in Karlsruhe, Russia, in February 1909 and came to the United States four years later. Mr. Baron, who arrived as a plumber’s helper, went into the plumbing business for himself in January 1930. The couple has a daughter, Mrs. Steve (Adelia) Erdos, Blue Earth, Minn.

School officials voiced optimism, following a concentrated circulation drive, that the campaign for signatures supporting annexation of the Mandan School District to Square Butte School District will be successful. More than 135 people blanketed Mandan in an attempt to secure signatures of two-thirds or about 5,000 of the qualified electors of the district. According to Gordon Berge, drive organizer and clerk for the Mandan School Board, the Mandan School District is pressed financially and hopes to improve its position by annexing into the wealthy Square Butte District, which includes the American Oil Co. refinery, the Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. R.M. Heskett power plant and the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric and Telephone Cooperatives headquarters building.

75 Years Ago-1944

Members of the U.S. House Military Committee have rejected the suggestion that the draft age be lowered from 18 to 17. According to Chairman May, D-Ky., it would be better to take in some of the fathers between the ages of 38 and 45 who are now classified as overage. Currently, the armed services are not taking men over age 38.

Twelve men left Mandan this week for pre-induction physical exams at Fort Snelling. Mandan men leaving included William C. Rowe, John M. Weber, Harry H. Kautzman, Jacob L. Doll, Roy V. Pitzer, Ralph Klein and John C. Berger. Other men called were William L. Joersz, Almont; Louis A. Tokach, St. Anthony; William Chittick, Flasher; Wilbur H. Klusman, New Salem; and Mike V. Shafer, Glen Ullin.

Armed forces news:

“Pvt. William R. Boehm, stationed at the western signal corps unit training center, Camp Kohler, Calif., has been promoted to technician, fifth grade. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Boehm, Mandan.

“Pfc. George Paul, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Paul of St. Anthony, has returned to Fort Berry, Calif., after spending his furlough with his parents.

“Lt. Don Mushik writes his parents from somewhere in the Pacific. An excerpt from the letter reads: ‘We’re kind of hard up for reading material. You’d be surprised how large a circulation the Mandan Daily Pioneer has here. Everybody around here reads it when I get a few. Keep them coming!’”

100 Years Ago-1919

“At this week’s meeting of the city commissioners, city engineers Black & Griffin submitted plans and estimates for the installation of an ornamental lighting system to cover 77 blocks in the paved district. The estimated total cost is $38,600 which covers 77 blocks with 294 posts and lamps. The installation cost can be distributed over a five-year period so that the tax for a 50-foot residence lot would be about $15 a year. The commissioners took no action as numerous requests have been received to have the lighting system extended into unpaved districts.

“The last dance before Lent will occur Monday evening at the Elks hall under the auspices of the Mandan orchestra. It will be a military ball, and all returned soldiers will be admitted free.

“The local high school basketball team stepped hard on the Glen Ullin five last evening, tallying their 11th and final victory of the season, 77 to 6, at the local gym. The score at the end of the first half was 26 to 4, so coach Erickson decided to have his second string finish the game. Mandan’s season record stands at 11 and 2.

“Rev. H.H. Owen, pastor of the Presbyterian church, announced from the pulpit on Sunday that a new pipe organ has been ordered and should be installed about June 1, in time for the state Sunday School convention. The organ is a two-manual and pedal organ with 883 pipes and will be concealed in chambers at both sides of the choir. The new instrument will cost about $3,600 and will be one of the best in the state.

“W.G. Ray, special agent representing the Collector of the Internal Revenue, will be at the post office on Monday and Tuesday to give information to those having questions about the federal income tax. Reports are required by March 15 when part of the tax must be paid. Severe penalties are imposed for any who neglect this.”

125 Years Ago-1894

“On Thursday, March 1, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 40 degrees above zero.

“Merchants have begun their spring cleaning.

“The cows and chickens seem to thoroughly enjoy the warm spring-like weather this week.

“Three tiny blades of green are peeping out of the ground in a warm nook on courthouse hill on Wednesday.

“The warm rays of the sun this week also played havoc with the snow on the bluffs, north of the city, causing quite a large stream of water to run down the Stark Avenue culvert.

“City Council will convene in regular session on Monday night when the electric light business will come up again for discussion.

“We will be offering special bargains in table linens and napkins during the coming week. And we believe we have the best line of kid gloves in the city. Also, the ladies who wear our corsets are perfectly comfortable. Please give us a call. We have what you want and need. See Kennedy & Armstrong.

“Very few people in Mandan society know that Mr. George H. Bingenheimer is a singer. It is learned that the gifted sheriff is singing lullabies of his own composition and that he sings them nearly all night long at the sheriff’s residence, amid the clouds near the courthouse, overlooking Mandan. Mr. Bingenheimer is now entertaining the family’s latest arrival, a charming young soprano who will be known as Marie Bingenheimer. She is only five days old, weighs 10 pounds, is quite bold, wears no glasses, but has lungs that Mr. Bingenheimer will set to music.”

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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