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25 Years Ago-1993

Bruce Boehm has been welcomed back to the Mandan City Commission in a special election with 58.9 percent of the 1,430 votes cast throughout Mandan’s 11 precincts. Boehm had served two terms on the commission during the 1980s. His opponents this time were Al Liebersbach and Howard Moldenhauer.

Mandan Mayor Bob Dykshoorn called the election because the short-staffed commission had tied on at least one very important vote — whether to grant merit raises to some 70 percent of city employees. The seat, which will be up for re-election in April, was left vacant with the death of Edward “Bosh” Froehlich on May 18.

Funerals this week:

Percy N. Livdahl, 71, Bismarck; raised, educated in the Hickson area. Worked for Leo Johnson Furniture Co., Moorhead, prior to induction into the U.S. Army in 1942. Served in European Theater; discharged in November 1945. Married Betty Berndt in 1947. Moved to Bismarck in 1948 and worked for Firestone and Goodyear stores. Began Western Auto Goodyear Tire Store, Mandan, in 1952. Began automotive sales career with Remund Ford Co., renamed Norby- Rath Ford. Retired in 1992, moved to Bismarck in 1993. Member of Mandan Elks, Moose, Eagles, VFW and American Legion. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and their families, two brothers, two sisters.

Oswald Garen, 83, New Salem; raised, educated in Oliver County, where he farmed for a number of years, moving to Mandan in 1970. Survivors include seven nephews. Preceded in death by his wife, Stella; one brother, Melvin; one sister, Martha Myre.

Frank Usselman, 70, Mandan; raised, educated in Hazen. Married Cecilia Eckroth in 1947. Worked for Cloverdale Foods for 29 years, then M & W Meat Packers for five. Survivors include his wife, four sons, four daughters and their families, seven brothers, three sisters.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, Oct. 26: a high of 50 degrees, 33 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago-1968

The Mandan Elks Club kicked off its three-day homecoming celebration by holding a “Joe Halm Night” at the club. Halm is club manager, and in appreciation for his work, the club presented a color television set to him.

Mandan’s class of 1943 recently held its 25th reunion. Class president Chris Boehm was master of ceremonies at the program held at the Mandan Country Club, attended by 68 graduates and spouses. Various awards were presented during the evening, including to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Whitney, Dexter, Maine, for coming the longest distance. Mrs. Whitney is the former Betty Norton. Others receiving prizes were Myles Knudson for the grayest hair; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sullivan, British Columbia, for the largest family; Mrs. Angela Helbling Johnson, Mandan, for the youngest child; and Mrs. Helen Zander Doll, New Salem, for the most grandchildren. Also noted: Stan Gehring, Los Angeles, had changed the most, while Leo Stumpf, Mandan, changed the least.

Gene Mosbrucker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Mosbrucker, Mandan, has received a master of arts degree in music from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. A 1963 graduate of Mandan High School and a 1967 graduate of Dickinson State College, he began teaching in the Napoleon public schools this fall.

In the season’s final game, Mandan High School quarterback Tom Assel scored twice on runs and threw two scoring passes in a 38-27 victory over the Dickinson Midgets. Assel scampered for a 60-yard score and dove for another from the three. Mandan’s Jim Syvrud also snagged tosses of 23 and eight yards for touchdowns. Mandan finished the season 5-3-1. The Braves’ head coach is Dennis Johnson, assisted by Louis Bosch, Don Hansen and Roger Erickson.

75 Years Ago-1943

Harold K. Jensen has been elected commander of the local American Legion Gilbert Furness Post No. 40; he succeeds Martin Mosbrucker. Jensen, spite of an illness that has confined him to his home for many months, will handle most of his duties over the telephone.

Miss Thelma Armstrong, Carson, has assumed the duties of the Morton County Welfare Board’s executive secretary, succeeding Mrs. J.A. Hofto, who resigned to join her husband, Capt. Hofto, stationed in San Diego. Miss Armstrong had been the Grant County Welfare Board executive secretary.

St. Thomas More Council, Knights of Columbus, has purchased the Verein hall on Collins Avenue and will convert it into Knights of Columbus clubrooms, according to T.P. Heisler, grand knight of the council. The two-story structure was purchased from St. Joseph’s Verein.

The resignation of C.G. Byerly as president of the Mandan City Commission has been accepted at the Monday night meeting of the commission. Mayor Byerly has served as president of the commission for the past seven years. He recently left Mandan for Seattle to enter defense work and does not plan to return to Mandan until after the war.

John Mushik, who has been vice president of the commission for more than seven years, will serve as acting president until the next city election in April 1944. Mushik has also been the street commissioner.

100 Years Ago-1918

“Dr. F.E. Bunting, health officer, says that 183 cases of the Spanish influenza had been reported to his office from the city of Mandan alone, and that, thus far, 29 cases have been reported from the county districts. The disease appears to be spreading rapidly, and every citizen should take precautions by staying home as much as possible.

“There were two deaths in Mandan today from pneumonia following the influenza, the victims being Mrs. George Dawson, night cook at the Lewis and Clark hotel, and Mrs. Conrad Broxmeier, who leaves a husband and five children. The Northern Pacific freight house has also been hard hit, with 16 of the force being off duty.

“The body of 20-year-old Clyde Claflin, son of Postmaster Claflin of Sweet Briar, was brought to Mandan today on the No. 3 train from the Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, where he died of the flu. Owing to the restrictions placed on funerals for Spanish influenza cases, only brief services were held at Mandan’s Union Cemetery.

“The body of Carl Fristad, who died of the ‘flu’ at Camp Grant, will reach Mandan by train tonight. The remains will be taken to Harmon and the funeral held from the old Seaman ranch tomorrow.

“Mrs. A.W. Furness received a telegram from the commanding officer at Camp Taylor, Louisville, Ky., stating that her son, Gilbert, was seriously ill with pneumonia. Mr. Furness immediately wired, asking if it was advisable for them to come down since they had just received a letter from Gilbert, dated Oct. 13, saying he was fine. It is thought he must have been taken with a sudden attack, which rapidly developed into pneumonia.

“Frank A. Grunenfelder, aged 31 years and one of the best-known young men in Mandan, died last night at the Northern Pacific hospital at Glendive of pneumonia, following an attack of the Spanish influenza. The deceased was born and educated in Mandan and raised at the home of an uncle after both parents died when he was yet a child. Survivors include a daughter being raised by grandparents after the death of his wife, Edith, in 1915; two brothers, including George Grunenfelder of Mandan; and four sisters, including Mrs. Louis Eckroth, Mandan.

125 Years Ago-1893

“On Thursday, Oct. 26, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 48 degrees above zero.

“The underwear that you buy at McGillic, Simpson and Theis will outwear any underwear sold anywhere.

“A young man and woman in this city met for the first time last Friday. On Monday morning, they were married.

“Mr. A.E. Thorberg hied himself to Chicago on Saturday to take in the closing of the World’s Fair and to collect his share of the dividends from the Sitting Bull Cabin enterprise.

“A few days ago, a charming-looking lady stopped a gentleman at the top of the steps leading from Stark Avenue to the courthouse at the top of the hill. Pausing a moment to get her breath, she said, 'Whyever was this building put so far from the business center of Mandan? I should just like to take one look at the man or group of men who authorized its erection up here, for I am sure they must be queer-looking creatures.'

“Mandan citizens whose business sometimes takes them to Bismarck will miss, hereafter, the familiar figure of Thomas Riley, the night watchman at the Depot. For 17 years, he has been on hand in all kinds of weather, to look after the Northern Pacific affairs from six o’clock each evening until six o’clock the next morning. On Wednesday morning he performed his duties for the last time. He was struck by an engine while in the performance of his duties, when pulling in the switch lamps. He died from the injuries a few hours afterwards.”

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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