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Timeline: 1940s

By | Last Modified: December 27, 2019


  • Underpass completed at 9th Street and Northern Pacific Railroad
  • F.W. Woolworth relocated on September 13 into the former City National Bank building at Main and 4th.
  • Kuilman’s Motel is established. The building is demolished in 1985 or 1986 to create additional parking for Kroll’s Kitchen.
  • U.S. Weather Bureau departs Camp Hancock, where it had been housed since 1894. The camp was among Bismarck’s earliest establishments, in 1872, as an infantry post and supply depot.


  • Buttrey’s relocates Bismarck store to southwest corner of 4th Street and Broadway Avenue (February)
  • Fort Lincoln Internment Camp is established (April); first prisoners arrive on June 2
  • Logan’s Grocery closes
  • Morton County Courthouse in Mandan is destroyed by fire. The 56-year-old brick building was built in 1885. Initial damage estimates were $50,000. Few loose items were saved, but most of the official records housed in a fireproof safe were salvaged.


  • 700 additional Japanese detainees arrive at Fort Lincoln Internment Camp, bringing total to 1,500 prisoners (February)
  • Ownership of the Clarence B. Little house on Washington Street transfers to St. Mary’s.
  • Gold Seal Company is founded by Harold Schafer





  • Major construction is completed on Main Avenue from Washington Street to 9th Street, and also on 6th Street between Rosser and Main Avenues – both streets in turn widened by 8 feet to allow parking on both sides. A new lighting system was also installed with 264 new lamp posts.
  • Traffic signals installed at six intersections, including one at 4th Street & Broadway Avenue; intersections listed included those at 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Streets at Main Avenue; and 4th & 6th Streets at Broadway Avenue. Another location considered was 6th & Avenue C, however this was never done.
  • Hoskins-Meyer greenhouses are replaced after hail destroys the original structures.
  • Lillian Henlein and John Wachtler acquire Hoskins-Meyer. Wesley Bohrer will buy out Wachtler’s interest in 1964, then Henlein’s interest in 1974.
  • St. Alexius completes a new five-story wing in November.


  • Roy Rockstad & Eugene Leary purchase local Piggly Wiggly and rename it Bismarck SuperValu
  • Fleck’s Garage is constructed on corner of 3rd Street & Main Avenue (destroyed by fire in 1977)
  • A.W. Lucas begins remodeling project, which adds nearly half an acre of additional space.
  • KFYR completes a $300,000 renovation of its building, adding the granite and blue-gray porcelain panels still evident today.
  • Ressler’s Cafe is established at 210 N 6th Street. The restaurant relocates to 2219 E Main Avenue in 1956. Its former downtown home houses Big Boy/KFC from 1970-1976.
  • Dairy Queen opens first Bismarck location, at 230 W Broadway Avenue. Second location to open was along State Street in 1961. Today, there are 4 Dairy Queens in Bismarck.
  • Corral Theater opens April 22. It is the first local drive-in movie theater. Corral closes in fall of 1968.
  • The Admiral Hotel opens on the site formerly home to the Lamborn Hotel – the original home of St. Alexius. It was the first new hotel built since 1917.

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