Subscribe for 33¢ / day

1993: The Midtowner.

25 Years Ago-1993

Mandan’s outdoor pool near Custer Elementary School will be closed for at least a year for major repairs, according to Ron Biberdorf, president of the Mandan Park Board. The pool, built in 1949 and refurbished in 1976, has ongoing problems with leaking, resulting in a drop of up to six inches of water every day while in operation. Repairs are estimated at $20,000, about 10 percent of the pool’s value.

Three-term Mandan School Board member Joyce Dettmann will not be running for re-election on June 8. “It’s time for new blood,” said Dettmann, who taught 31 years before retiring from the Mandan school system in 1983.

The 1993 state Legislature, the longest in state history (lasting 77 days), ended a 16-hour marathon to adjourn the session, 11:45 Saturday night, April 24. In the end, lawmakers dipped deeply into state savings accounts and passed $23.6 million in new taxes on cigarettes and pulltabs to balance the state budget. Shortly before midnight, with Rep. Alice Olson, of Cavalier, at the piano, legislators gathered in the Great Hall to sing “Auld Lang Syne.”

Funerals this week:

Martin Stasney, 80, Mandan; raised, educated in rural Mandan. Never married. Devoted to farming and love of animals. Served in Civil Conservation Corps, mid-1930s. Life member of ZCBJ fraternal organization. Survivors include one brother, one sister and their families.

Jack J. Leingang, 77, Mandan; raised, educated at St. Anthony. Married Elizabeth Zander, 1940. Farmed west of St. Anthony, moved into Mandan,1986. Member of St. Anthony Verein. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and their families and three sisters.

William B. Kesler, 70, Mandan; raised, educated in Timmer area. Served in U.S. Army in World War II. Married Priscilla Sehn, 1948. Worked as a truck driver for Hauck Transport, Northern Tank Line. Retired from Cenex, 1985. Member of Local Teamsters 123, Eagles, Moose and American Legion, AMVETs and VFW. Survivors include his wife, two sons, six daughters and their families, his mother, Theresa Seifert, Bismarck, one sister, two stepbrothers, two stepsisters, two half brothers, three half sisters.

*     *     *

Temperatures recorded Tuesday, May 4: a high of 76 degrees; 47 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago-1968

Donald Shaw has been re-elected president of the Morton County School Boards Association at its annual meeting. Other officers are Lyle Dawson, vice president; Mrs. Thelma Klingensmith, secretary; and Leo Ressler, treasurer.

Dennis Johnson, assistant football and wrestling coach at Mandan High this past season, has been named to succeed Pat Vickers as head track and football coach. Johnson is a former football and track star at Mandan High. As a senior, Johnson was co-captain and all-conference in football and was the state champion in the pole vault.

Mrs. Florene Hille, rural Mandan, has been named manager of the Mandan Country Club under lease from the Mandan Park Board. The club was previously managed by Barry Davis, owner-manager of the Seven Seas dinner club. Mrs. Hille was born and still lives on her family’s farm, 12 miles south of the city. The farm was homesteaded by her grandfather, Mike Pitzer, and is operated by her husband, Melvin. She learned her culinary skills from her mother, who came from Germany and was, for many years, a boarding house cook in Mandan.

The Mandan Mrs. Jaycees have announced that Mrs. Eldo (Ora Jean) Johnson has been named the Outstanding Mrs. Jaycee for 1968. Mrs. Johnson’s activities have included chairman of the Heartview tours, Christmas gifts for soldiers in Vietnam and Valentine treats for children in special education. The mother of three, ages two to 13, is employed fulltime as a receptionist at the Morton County Courthouse.

75 Years Ago-1943

Jack Kapeloviz, who has been stationed at Fresco, Calif., with the armed forces, returned to Mandan this past week. He has been honorably discharged from active service under the 38-year-old law. Kapeloviz operated Jack’s Shoe department in the Cummins’ store prior to his induction.

Paul Fleck, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Fleck, Killdeer, was standing on the shore somewhere in Africa, watching a convoy of American soldiers unload when he met his cousin, John Schanz, of Mandan, face to face. The men had a great time visiting, even though they were 10,000 miles from home.

Matthias George Matz, Mandan, has been commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army at the field artillery officer candidate school, Fort Sill, Okla.

Bevan Shaw, son of Mr. and Mrs. LaRue Shaw, rural Mandan, has been promoted to the rank of corporal. He is stationed in the artillery division at Fort Lewis, Wash.

A portrait of Capt. George “Jug” Newgard, one of the first members of the 164th North Dakota Infantry to be killed in action at Guadalcanal, will be unveiled at ceremonies held in the Hillsboro armory high school, where Newgard was principal and athletic coach before going into active service. Newgard is a former Mandan resident and graduated from Mandan High School. He is the son of Mrs. Julia Jacobson, Tacoma, Wash.

100 Years Ago-1918

“Dr. and Mrs. F.E. Bunting returned yesterday from Minneapolis, driving a brand-new Cadillac coupe. They made the trip in short time, making 400 miles in just one day.

“Edward Dowd, the western cue artist appearing this week in exhibition match games at the Messmer Billiard parlors, was in good form last evening. He made a run of 112 balls without a miss, which was the largest run ever made in Mandan. He had no challengers.

“In order to stop the congestion of the mails to France, the post office department has put an embargo on what may be sent across to soldiers. Loving friends and relatives have been flooding the postal department with packages containing everything from cookies and candy to cigarettes and coats. In order to get everything across, it is now necessary that a letter from the soldier be given to the post office, asking for the stuff.

“Fred Tharp, superintendent of waterworks, and his little son, Fred, met with an accident on Sunday afternoon. Mr. Tharp was driving his motorcycle with his son in the side car, when, as they were turning in across the tracks toward the pumping station, the car skidded and went down the embankment of the new reservoir. Mr. Tharp went only part way down the steep grade, but his son tumbled down to the bottom with the car landing on top of him, resulting in a severe concussion of the brain. Although little Fred was unconscious when picked up, he did come to, after arriving home. It is thought that both father and son will recover within a few days.”

125 Years Ago-1893

“On Thurs., May 4, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 53 degrees above zero.

“It’s Arbor Day tomorrow. Don’t forget to plant a tree.

“The comedy ‘Is Marriage a Failure?’ will be presented at the Emerson building on Monday evening. It is absolutely free from rough horse-play and vulgarity. It’s a play for sweethearts, wives and daughters.

“A theatre goer: ‘If I were the manager of a theatre, I would charge children under eight years of age, $100 each. Perhaps, then, everyone could enjoy a performance.’

“William Rollins, alias ‘Broncho’ Bill, was found dead on the prairie last Saturday, between the city and the Sixth Crossing west. He had been in town the previous day and left in the evening after having imbibed very freely of intoxicants. He was buried on Sunday.

*     *     *

“A large, curious crowd attended this week’s opening of the McGillic, Simpson & Theis store on West Main St. The original firm of McGillic & Simpson have contemplated the addition of a dry goods department to their established grocery business for a long time. The proposed change necessitated the move of Mr. J.M. Clark, druggist, one door west. John Theis, the well-known dry goods man, was then admitted as a partner.

“The new department will be found side by side with the grocery department and a large doorway between the two makes it convenient for customers to go from one area to another. The well-lighted new department is 25 feet wide by 80 feet long, with walls and ceiling handsomely papered in panels of the latest design in wallpapers.”

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