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25 Years Ago-1993

Nearly 700 Mandan residents turned out to vote in Tuesday’s school board election in which two incumbents faced two newcomers in a race for three seats. Incumbent first-termers Jan Pratt and William Faris were easily re-elected, while Leland Fleischer edged by Keith Winks with only a five-vote margin to claim the board’s third seat.

Friends and family of Pauline Green recently gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday at the Mandan Golden Age Senior Center and at the Mandan Eagles club. The active centenarian even baked four batches of cookies, two batches of rolls and zucchini bread for her own parties. Her children, Geraldine, from Everett, Wash., and Clifford of Mandan, helped organize the celebrations.

Eleven Morton County residents graduated from Medcenter One College of Nursing in Bismarck with a bachelor of nursing science degree. Receiving diplomas were Claudia Feist, Nicolette Feist and Susan Schneider, all from Hebron; Tanya Berger, Mark Dammen, Sara Gress, Bonita Halvorson, Shelly Schaf-Robsahm and Joyce Stastney, all of Mandan; and New Salem’s Sharon Heid and Tricia Kuether.

Funerals this week:

Rose (Panko) Umber, 93, Mobridge, S.D.; raised, educated at Shields. Married Silas Umber in 1917. Homesteaded near Shields and Selfridge. Was a Stanley Home Products dealer for many years. Survivors include two sons, four daughters and their families, including 20 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.

Katie (Miller) Stein, 77, Mandan; raised, educated at Crown Butte. Married Adam Stein in 1939. Worked as a housekeeper for many years. Survivors include three daughters and their families, one sister.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, June 8: a high of 59 degrees; 34 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago-1968

More than 75 percent of the stockholders of the Mandan Co-op Super Market have voted to liquidate and sell the grocery store, according to manager Dick Wood, who blamed rising expenses and “a lack of support for the cooperative movement in the grocery field” as causes for the closing of the store at 200 Second Ave. N.W. The Co-op store, incorporated in 1941, has nearly 1,000 stockholders on its rolls.

Lorrie Niles, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Niles, Mandan, has been installed as worthy advisor of Mandan Rainbow for Girls at a ceremony held at the Mandan Masonic Temple. “Faith” is Miss Niles’ motto, green and white her colors, the carnation her flower. She received the traditional hand-made wooden gavel from Ted Serr.

Leland Fleischer of Mandan hauled in a 19-pound lunker catfish near Huff during the last weekend of May. The fish was 35 inches long and was caught on a sucker minnow. Also having good luck was Ray Schlosser of Mandan who caught a 22-pound, 48-inch-long northern pike south of Fort Yates, using a large sucker minnow as bait. Both Fleischer and Schlosser will receive a “Malcom’s Club Award” as well as the “Whopper Club Award.”

Diane Gruchalla of Mandan heaved a softball 219 feet, 10 inches to set a new state record at the State Girls Track meet held in Minot. The MHS senior cracked the former mark of 210 feet by nearly 10 feet. As a team, the Mandan girls totaled 10.5 points, good for seventh place in the 30-school event. Bowbells captured the high team honors, tallying 21 points, against 18 each for runners-up, Minot and Tuttle.

75 Years Ago-1943

Seventy-two seniors of the Mandan High School 1943 graduating class received their diplomas at the 41st annual commencement exercises held at the Memorial building. Former Assistant Attorney General M.K. Higgins, Mandan, delivered the evening’s address, followed by Grant Unkenholz with the salutatory address and Mildred Lohstreter, the valedictory.

W.L. Neff, high school principal, presented the class of 1943, while diplomas were awarded by R.F. Gallagher, president of the board of education. Mr. Neff, in his presentation, stressed the fact that the senior class numbered 103 on opening school day last fall. Twenty-two students dropped out of the class this year, nine completed their education at the mid-term, 12 left school to enter employment in essential defense work, while another 10 have joined various divisions of the armed forces.

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Thirteen seniors received diplomas at the Flasher High school commencement ceremony held in the school auditorium. The Rev. G.W. Stewart of Mandan was the day’s speaker. Betty Borge was named valedictorian of the class and Cecil Huncovsky, salutatorian.

“By order of the President of the United States, the Silver Star medal has been awarded posthumously to Pvt. Wenzel A. Picha for gallantry in action on Nov. 22, 1942, at Guadalcanal. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wenzel A. Picha Sr., of Sweet Briar. In order to relieve a machine gun squad, it was necessary for Pvt. Picha and other members of his crew to cross ground in which exposure to enemy fire was unavoidable. Regardless of personal danger, he worked his way to the emplacement. He further exposed himself to put his machine gun into action and, in doing so, was killed by enemy fire.”

100 Years Ago-1918

“Although the hotel was already operating in early April, the formal opening of the Lewis & Clark Hotel occurred Tuesday evening, May 28, and not less than two thousand people called during the evening and paid their respects to the management, extending them a most cordial welcome to Mandan.

“From 8:30 to 9:30, guests passed through the doors into the corridor, where a receiving line of dignitaries awaited them, including Mr. and Mrs. E.K. Keller and daughter; Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Boyd; President J.H. Newton of the Mandan Commercial Club and Mrs. Newton; and Mr. and Mrs. Geo. H. Bingenheimer.

“Following introductions and congratulations, the crowd inspected the beautiful structure from the cellar on up to the fourth floor. The ladies especially went into raptures over the room of former Gov. Hanna and also the bridal chamber on the fourth floor. But even the ordinary guest room was a surprise as nothing had been left to be desired for comfort and home-like surroundings.

“During the reception the Mandan orchestra, stationed in the balcony, discoursed excellent music and at about 9:30 a short program was given. Miss Marion Newton, one of North Dakota’s leading sopranos sang ‘Because I Love You, Dear,’ followed by ‘Laddie in Kahki.’ Then Mrs. W.H. Ordway, always a local favorite, sang ‘Love, I Have Won You’; her encore was the popular song ‘Somewhere in France.’

“John F . Sullivan, on behalf of the Mandan Commercial Club, gave a brief address, stating that Mandan owed a debt of gratitude to Gov. Hanna who made this beautiful hotel possible. Only two years ago, he had purchased and razed the old Inter Ocean hotel and then spent nearly a quarter million dollars to build this superb structure.

“‘And we are going to have another reception here when the boys get back from the War,’ Sullivan said, ‘and we are going to have to raise the roof in celebration of the planting of Old Glory over the Imperial Palace in Berlin!’ The crowd responded with a long and raucous cheering.

“Following the program, the guests enjoyed dancing until a late hour. The dining room and lobby was the scene of a happy throng of young and old alike. The orchestra certainly outdid itself, and when the morning hours arrived, all were loathe to leave.”

125 Years Ago-1893

“On Thurs., June 8, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 70 degrees above zero.

“Beautiful June days are here!

“Strawberries are very scarce and today are selling for 25 cents a box.

“The public schools closed for the summer vacation on May 25. Students and teachers alike have worked hard and they all deserve a vacation season. Several of the teachers are soon to hie themselves to the World’s Fair where there are studies innumerable to occupy their attention.

“After a delay of three days, the early part of this week, work has been resumed at the artesian well. The drill is still within 1,900 feet and is again working through sandstone.

“A number of citizens, who are contemplating improvements of their property with the erection of windmills to pump water, are being cautioned to wait and see whether the artesian well turns out to be a gusher at 2,000 feet, or a dry hole. If the former, then windmills will be out of date.”

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