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1944

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25 Years Ago-1994

Ben Lui, formerly of Billings, Mont., has opened Mandan’s first Chinese restaurant, the Rice Bowl, on the second floor of the Northern Plains Office Center, across the street from Bill’s Super Valu on West Main Street. Lui arrived in America in 1976 and opened his first restaurant in Casper, Wyo., later moving to Billings, which soon was flooded with eight other Chinese restaurants. When Lui learned of space available in the top floor of the remodeled freight house, he was excited for a final move to start over in Mandan. The Rice Bowl will seat up to 140 people.

For the first time since 1978, the Mandan Braves basketball team played for the regional tournament title, but lost in a tight game, 44-41, to the Bismarck Demons. The loss put the Braves’ season record at 18-4. Three Braves were chosen for the all-tournament team: Jamie Wagner, Keith Walters and Preston Fleck. Mandan’s coach, Jim McPherson, was also chosen West Region Coach of the Year.

Mandan gymnast Paul O’Neill took first place in the U.S. Winter National Gymnastics Championships, held in Colorado Springs, Colo. In competition against 47 other athletes, O’Neill scored a 9.8 on the rings for the first-place honors. O’Neill, 28, moved to Mandan in September to take the competition director’s job at Dakota Star Gymnastics. He and his wife chose Mandan, so they could raise their three small children in a small town.

February was much colder than normal this year. Temperatures averaged a chilling 4.8 degrees, which is 10.9 degrees below normal. The coldest temperature was 43 below zero on Feb. 9. Snowfall measured 12.7 inches, more than twice the normal amount. This brought the winter seasonal total to almost 6 feet at 71.6 inches.

Funerals this week:

Anna (Uhlman) Kilian, 94, Mandan; raised, educated in rural Mandan. Survivors include two sisters-in-law, Stella Uhlman and Rose Stastny, both of Mandan; and many nephews and nieces.

Katherine (Stephens) Thomas, 85, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; raised educated at Logan, Utah. Was a 65-year resident of Mandan. Survivors include two daughters, Louise Thomas, Honolulu, and Jane Murray, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

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Temperatures Tuesday, March 8: The high was 25 degrees; the low was 5 degrees above zero.

50 Years Ago-1969

The Mandan Elks Lodge has plans to set a record, not only in the state of North Dakota, but also nationally. At the regular Thursday evening meeting, the seventh and eighth sons of Harry Zachmeier were initiated and became members.

“This should set a record,” said Leonard Stack, exalted ruler of the local lodge, “where a father and his eight sons, all living, belong to the same lodge. And if not, then the nine Zachmeiers — Harry, the father, and the sons, Bill, Ed, Wallie, Jim, Louie, Albert, Tom and Leo — should set a record in weight as the group can swing the scale at one ton.” Are there more Zachmeier prospects? “Yes,” says Harry, “I have 11 grandsons!”

Another round of heavy snowfall resulted in snowmobiles being used to replenish the heating fuel supply of St. Anthony farmer George Barnhardt. Richard Froelich, owner of A & L Oil Co. west of Mandan, and his driver, Bill Chyles, each drove snowmobiles the last 2.5 miles to deliver heating fuel to Barnhardt’s snowbound home.

A pickup, followed by a fuel truck, was used to pull the snowmobiles as close as possible to the farm. Fifty-five-gallon drums were then filled with the fuel and loaded on makeshift sleds fashioned from car hoods. Attached to the snowmobiles, the drums were then hauled to Barnhardt’s farm. Their mail was also delivered at the same time.

75 Years Ago-1944

A chilly welcome greeted the baby daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gratz, rural Mandan, on Monday, March 6, when she put in her appearance on a country road 4 miles northwest of the city. A late start from the farmhome and handicapped by snow-covered, icy highways, zero-degree weather and high winds, had delayed the couple in the race with the stork. Mother and daughter are doing fine at the Withnell home. The baby weighs 7 pounds and is the second child born to the couple.

Armed forces news:

“Aviation Cadet Greg Dahners has arrived safely in England according to a cablegram received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Dahners.

“George Millner, Camp Carson, Colo., has been promoted to the rank of corporal. He is the son of Mrs. Mary Millner of Mandan.

“Charles Kidd, U.S. Navy, who has been visiting here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Kidd, has returned to the West Coast.

“Monday was a happy day at the F.C. Voight home when letters from both sons, Staff Sgt. Lloyd Voight, U.S. Army, and Dick Voight, QM, U.S. Navy, arrived in the mail on the same day. Staff Sgt. Voight is stationed in India with the Army Air Corps’ ground crew, while his brother is located in the South Pacific. Neither have been home since before Pearl Harbor.”

100 Years Ago-1919

“Basketball has had the stage throughout the state during the past two days with the four district basketball tournaments being held at Minot, Grand Forks, Fargo and Bismarck.

“Yesterday afternoon, the Ashley team defeated Steele high school, 40 to 12, and last evening Bismarck won easily over Beach, 25 to 10, and Mandan almost worked up a sweat over Glen Ullin, 44 to 20.

“In the second drawing, Mandan drew Ashley for this morning’s game, easily winning, 66 to 18. Coach Erickson did not use the regular first team, consisting of forwards Kalberer and Love, center Tavis, and McDonald and Olson, guards, in order to have a well-rested team for the weekend match with Bismarck for the district title.”

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“The Mandan school board has set aside $600 for equipment at the local high school gymnasium. The apparatus installed consists of two sets of rings, one large leather horse, one set of parallel bars, two mats and a climbing rope.

“This summer will probably see the running track installed in the high school. It’s to be built about 12 feet above the floor, all around the gym, and will also provide more seating room for basketball fans at next year’s games. The gym has been too small for most of the crowds this season which our popular basketball team has been drawing."

“Sgt. Ira Place arrived home yesterday from France. He was gassed at Chateau Thierry and later wounded at Montfalcon, and the boat on which he went over on, torpedoed. He could tell an interesting story, but he dislikes talking of the experience. He left the U.S. on May 5 on the transport Muldovia, which was torpedoed when about 75 miles out from Dover, England, killing 53 soldiers. All others were picked up by destroyers. Frank Weinhandl, of this city, was also on this boat.”

125 Years Ago-1894

“On Thursday, March 8, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 32 degrees above zero.

“It is said that Easter will bring a large batch of weddings.

“Seven carloads of brush for use in the rip-rapping that is being done near the Missouri River bridge were to be seen in the railroad yards yesterday.

“In a letter to a personal friend a few days ago Rev. I.O. Sloan, who lives now in Philadelphia, expressed himself as still being a Dakotan and hoped soon to return to the field of labor, the working of which he took up 20 years ago. He says there are many friends he made here in pioneer life whom he would like to see again.

“The Pioneer has a few tickets, good from Mandan to Christiana, Norway, and other Scandinavian points, and return to Mandan, which it can sell for $98.50. This is an exceeding low price, and it’s not likely that this low price will prevail long. It may be remarked, incidentally, that the return half of these tickets is good for a year."

A citizen: “I don’t think our city fathers asked enough of Mr. Mack, the Bismarck gentleman who so badly wanted to put in an electric light plant in Mandan. If the Council had demanded hat Mr. Mack put in electro-plated poles with a gilded weather vane on each pole and that each pole show red, white and blue lights on every Fourth of July night, he would have thought we amounted to something! However, even though Mr. Mack showed his willingness to do practically anything the Council asked, a decision still could not be made. Let’s move forward!”

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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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