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25 Years Ago-1992

The Mandan School Board has offered the position of business manager to Alan Roll, a Mandan native and current chief analyst with the N.D. Office of Management and Budget. Roll, 30, a 1980 MHS graduate, will take office after Dec. 1; he succeeds Tracy Porter. Roll’s annual salary has been set at $37,000.

Gov. George Sinner was in Mandan this past week to drop the ceremonial first puck of the 1992-93 Mandan Braves varsity hockey season. The game against Hazen featured tough play by both teams, but ended with a come-from-behind 4-3 win by the Braves. Head coach is Chris Ocampo; his assistants are L.G. Smith and Tom Peters.

Funerals this week:

Anna (Heinert) Berger, 80, Bismarck; raised, educated at Odense. Married Nick G. Berger, 1931, at Solen, where they farmed until 1952, and moving into Mandan. Survivors includeone son, two daughters, one foster daughter and their families, two brothers.

Nona (Curfman) Griffin, 81, Mandan; raised, educated at New Rockford, graduating from New Rockford High School, 1930. Married Merlin Griffin, 1937, at rural Methodist Church, south of Mandan. Farmed until moving into Mandan, 1986. Was a volunteer at AID Inc. for many years. Survivors include her husband, one son and three daughters and their families, two sisters.

Timothy Eckroth, 55, Las Vegas; raised, educated at Mandan. Lived at Las Vegas since 1986. Was maintenance supervisor at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. Survivors include his wife, Judith, three sons, one daughter and their families, five brothers, six sisters.

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Temperatures recorded Tuesday, Dec. 1: a high of 41 degrees; 12 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago-1967

The fourth annual St. Joseph’s Blue Jays banquet was held in the St. Joseph’s cafeteria, where the potluck dinner was cooked and served by the players’ mothers. Special guests at the basketball banquet were Mandan High School athletic director Lefty Faris, Mandan High head football coach Pat Vickers, Mandan High head basketball coach Gary Melling, St. Joseph’s principal Sister Helen Margaret, and the Revs. Tuxbury, Sullivan and Backaus, along with referees Bill Zwarych and George Kary.

The evening’s master of ceremonies was St. Joseph’s athletic director Emil Kautzmann. Trophies were awarded to the team’s two most valuable players, who were selected by their teammates. Selected as Most Valuable this year were Mike Presler and David Kopp. Their teammates are Randy Schatz, Bill Pfau, Bill Knudson, Allen Wetsch, Chuck Zander, Mark Handtmann, Terry Barnhardt, Steve Hoffman, Gary Kuntz, Arnold Wingenbach, Tom Tooley, Edward Goldade, Gary Himmelspach, Bill Glardon, Mark Geiger, Bob Haider and Jack Schatz.

The Blue Jays were coached by Bob Schulte and Gene Morrison.

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Mr. and Mrs. Charles Grantier, 311 Fifth Ave. N.W., Mandan, recently held their traditional social evening for fellow artists and friends at their home, as they have done for 23 of the past 24 years. The event gave guests the opportunity to view the antique-laden rooms of the two-story Grantier home. Mrs. Grantier was hostess at a coffee hour for the 25 guests. A gold and brown color scheme was used on the serving table at which Mrs. Charles Tighe, wife of Lt. Gov. Tighe, poured.

75 Years Ago-1942

Announced casualties of the armed forces now total 48,956. According to the War Department, the total included killed, wounded, missing and prisoners, but not casualties from the African campaign. Most of the Army’s 32,429 casualties are classified as missing due to recent action in the Philippines and are presumed to be prisoners of war.

First Class Seaman Michael Messmer of the U.S. Navy left this week for San Diego, following a leave to visit his parents in Mandan. Messmer was aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Wasp when it was torpedoed in the Pacific and is returning to San Diego for a new assignment to duty.

First Class Private and Mrs. Nick Steckler are the parents of a son born Nov. 22 in the Mandan hospital. Mrs. Steckler is making her home at Solen with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Barth, for the duration of the war. Her husband is stationed in England with a U.S. Army Medical unit.

Two old cannon, which have been in the park at Fort Rice for over a half century, will be donated to the Morton County scrap metal drive, according to the Fort Rice park board of which Ben Gwyther is chairman. The two old field pieces are almost solid brass, one weighing 1,200 pounds and the other 1,300 pounds. Nothing but the barrels of the old guns remain, the wooden mounts long since having rotted away. The board expects that after the current war, other cannon will be donated to the park as replacements.

100 Years Ago-1917

“Thanksgiving was celebrated very quietly in Mandan, the usual family gatherings and religious service covering the day. Because of the numerous boys from this city who are in the service 'over there,' many places at the tables were vacant. But, so far as possible, every boy has been sent a package of eats that will remind him of home.

“Postmaster John Foran has received a telegram stating that postcard postage will be two cents whether inside or outside of the city. The letter postage remains the same, three cents outside the city and two cents within the city.

“Will the persons having the following books belonging to the public library, please return them immediately: Richard Carvel; Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come; Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm; Lost in the Land of Ice; Poppy; and Dear Enemy. — Librarian.

“Warned to stay off of the premises, a certain Mr. Dietz of Almont, persisted in making visits to the home of Mrs. Cecilia Michael and, as a consequence, Mrs. Michael is alleged to have broken a broom over the offender’s head. Sheriff Olson brought Mrs. Michael to Mandan today and this afternoon she was arraigned in Justice Henke’s court and fined $35 to cover costs and damages.

“The government’s first move toward eliminating non-essential industries, to save coal for factories in wartime production, has been made in an order issued by the fuel administration, limiting the use of fuel for electric display advertising. Effective immediately, electric signs may only be operated between the hours of 7:45 and 11 p.m. Experts say 250,000 tons of coal are used annually for the operation of electric signs. The savings in coal would guarantee a continued supply for the war effort as well as keep 100,000 families warm during the winter months.”

125 Years Ago-1892

“On Thurs., Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 36 degrees above zero.

“Mayor McDougal: I measured the artesian well yesterday and, to be exact, I found that it is down 1,620 feet and 10 inches. The last measurement was in May, and the depth then was 1,405 feet. It has taken nearly six months to drill 215 feet. Again, I find it necessary to write to the contractors regarding this unsatisfactory situation.

“Died in the city on Saturday, Mrs. C. Anderson, aged 51 years. The funeral was held on Monday afternoon. Rev. E.P. LaCell officiating. The deceased came here in May and joined her family from whom she had been separated for some years.

“A number of Russian settlers, four or five families, arrived in the city yesterday morning. They came here from Texas where they’ve lived for two years. They say the conditions and advantages were not what they expected and decided to come to Mandan after receiving letters from their fellow countrymen in Morton County.

“Mr. W.C. Gooding, custodian of the military post of Fort Abraham Lincoln, writes the Pioneer, that within the last week, considerable depredation has been made upon the government buildings. The service of a special detective will be secured, and the guilty parties will be punished to the full extent of the law.

“On Friday night, a party of friends of Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Heegard pounced down upon them, giving them a genuine surprise party in honor of their wedding anniversary. Contrary to the usual custom, the husband had not been informed of the intention of the visitors, and, as a result, both Mr. and Mrs. Heegard were driven to their wit’s end when they saw more than 30 friends walk into their parlor. However, the happy visitors were weighted down with refreshments, along with a fine table lamp for the parlor as a gift to the couple. The evening was spent in playing card games, and everyone went home delighted with the evening’s entertainment.”

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