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Gary Wood

1968: Gary Wood.

25 Years Ago-1993

The weatherman turned on the switch for spring on March 1 with temperatures soaring into the 40s and 50s, forcing a quick breakup of ice on the Heart River, southside Mandan. During the weekend, hundreds of people gathered on the bridge and alongside the guardrails to see the tremendous chunks of ice rumbling by.

The Mandan Braves boys swim team finished third in a field of 10 competitors at this year’s state tournament. Minot, the state meet’s host, took top honors with 285 points, followed by Fargo North. Title winners for Mandan wer: Russell Gerhardt, Mitch Henke, Billy Willson and Josh York in the 200-medley relay; Henke in the 200-individual medley; Kim Humble, Troy Schuchard, Henke and Willson in the 200-free relay; and Henke in the 100 breaststroke. Head coach for the Braves is Ralph Manley.

Funerals this week:

Edward G. Ricker Jr., 36, Bismarck; raised, educated in Mandan. Married Kathy Mourhess, 1978. Was marine mechanic and salesman for Ricker’s Riverside Marina. Received pilot’s license, 1991. Captained the Lewis & Clark Riverboat on the Missouri River. Employed with Price Construction Co., Dallas. Member of Elks Lodge No. 1256. Survivors include one son and daughter. three sisters, one brother and his mother, Irene Ricker.

Julius W. Brandt, 79, New Salem; raised, educated near Churchtown. Married Vianne Holze, 1956. Farmed in Churchtown and New Salem areas, retiring 1982. Survivors include his wife, five sons and their families, one brother, two sisters.

Anna (Baumgarten) Lennie, 86, New Salem; raised, educated in Judson area. Married Nohe Lennie, 1932. Member of Peace United Church of Christ, New Salem. Survivors include three sisters and their families.

Mildred (Smith) Hogan, 74, Almont; raised, educated in Almont area. Married Robert Hogan, 1942. Survivors include two sons and their families, one brother.

Nick J. Matz, 84, Glendive, Mont.; born at Odense, raised, educated in Mandan. Married Catherine Geiger, 1933. Worked for Northern Pacific Railroad, later Burlington Northern, all his life, as a fireman, brakeman and conductor. Survivors include three sons and their families, one brother, five sisters.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, March 9: a high of 48 degrees; 32 degrees above zero for the low.

50 Years Ago-1968

A large crowd turned out for the third annual Winter Band Concert presented by the band organization of Mandan Senior High School under the direction of Ernest B. Borr. The concert featured performances by the Concert Band, the Varsity Band and the Percussion Ensemble with intermission music by the sixth-grade Beginners Band, directed by John Peffer.

However, receiving the evening’s thunderous applause was Gary Wood’s solo performance on the drums. His outstanding rendition of “Drumbeat Jamboree” was dramatized by the use of black light and luminescent sticks in a darkened auditorium. Gary is a top high school percussionist in the state and has been chosen as a member of the 1968 International Music Camp European Tour Band. Gary is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kent Wood, Mandan.

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Viola Heinle and Howard Schwinkendorf, employees of the Mandan Red Owl Store, have been selected Miss Courtesy and Mr. Courtesy by their co-workers. The two qualified for the award by consistently offering friendly, courteous service to both customers and other employees.

75 Years Ago-1943

As a result of the far-reaching changes in North Dakota income tax laws, Tax Commissioner John Gray has issued an order extending the deadline for filing returns from March 15 to April 15. Gray said provisions of three Senate bills signed by Gov. John Moses this week are now in effect as emergency legislation.

Miss Dorothy Dow, who recently enlisted in the WAVES, has received her call to report for boot training at Hunter College, New York City. Miss Dow is a former Girl Scout who received the Golden Eaglet, the highest award given to a Girl Scout. The MHS graduate is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Dow. Her father is a veteran of World War I.

Leo Schweigert, who enlisted in the U.S. Naval Aviation Corps several months ago, has been called for his basic training and has left for Minneapolis. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Schweigert.

Lt. Bernard Schauss, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gus A. Schauss, is now serving with the armed forces in North Africa. He was stationed in England before going to Africa.

Pvt. Phil R. Schaff has arrived safely in Australia, according to information received by his father, Roy Schaff of St. Anthony.

100 Years Ago-1918

“Mandan Lodge No. 1256 B.P.O. Elks celebrated the opening of their handsome new hall, located on the second floor of the new Hudson-Wynn building (304 W. Main St.), with a ball which was, without question, the most brilliant social event of the winter season and perhaps the most elaborate ever given in Mandan. More than 250 Elks, their ladies and guests enjoyed a most delightful time until the wee small hours of the morning.

“As couples entered the hall, flower girls decorated each lady with a rose and each gentleman with a carnation. Punch bowls were also placed at each side of the hall, along with baskets of bon bons. The ladies’ dresses are deserving of more than passing notice. Their gowns, made of silks, satins, brocades and lace, were in a variety of colors, in shades of purple, pink, red and blue. When the dancing began, it was a veritable kaleidoscope of color.

“The evening’s music furnished by O’Connor’s orchestra, who were seated upon a raised platform, managed to please everyone’s tastes. Every provision for the convenience and comfort of the guests had been arranged for, including light ventilation, a spacious dancing floor, ladies’ parlors, comfortable chairs, dressing rooms, etc. Not the smallest detail had been overlooked.”

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“Fire that is supposed to have been caused by a defective flue completely destroyed the home of H.S. Moffitt located in the Girard Addition, causing a loss of about $2,000. The house was the old Dogtown school which was purchased by Mr. Moffitt several months ago. He recently moved there from his Seventh Ave. home so as to be nearer the railroad shops where he is employed. The house was valued at $900 but was insured for $500.”

125 Years Ago-1893

“On Thurs., March 9 at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 54 degrees above zero.

“A few hours after the release of the March 3rd issue of the Pioneer, the North Dakota Legislature for 1893 adjourned, and a large proportion of the measures that were introduced, can now be safely found in the waste basket. Certainly, some of the measures were of the most radical and impractical character, and death, in committee or on the final roll call, was the best thing for the state.

“Many loyal democrats have returned from Washington, D.C., where they attended the inauguration on March 4th of Grover Cleveland, the 24th president of the United States. The inaugural ball was held in the Pension building, which featured the new invention of electric lights. (Cleveland is the only U.S. president to serve two non-consecutive terms, making him the 22nd and the 24th president. He lost the 1888 election to Benjamin Harrison.)

“Who will succeed Mr. Thorberg as postmaster in Mandan? is now troubling the minds of local democratic politicians, and candidates are now endeavoring to obtain the fateful OK.

“Mr. P.B. Wickham returned from his visit to Ohio on Saturday. He is making preparations for the removal of his family to Chicago where he will reside during the summer in order to watch his Sitting Bull cabin interest.

“Mrs. W.C. Gooding of Fort A. Lincoln has made an infant’s christening dress and cap which will be exhibited at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Sixty-five hundred yards of thread were used in their construction, and they are entirely handmade, every stitch being done with a crochet needle. Mrs. Gooding has been working several months on these articles which were basted over blue tissue paper for shipping to Chicago. They will be part of the exhibit of the Glasgo Lace Thread Co. who has offered $2,000 in premiums for the best work made from their thread.”

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. Boit can be reached at