Walter was the second of three sons born to Edwin A. and Florence Tostevin on July 22, 1894. He graduated from Mandan High School and attended the University of North Dakota where he majored in civil engineering and played on UND's first football team. However with the start of World War I, he was drafted and served in France as a member of the 164th field artillery.
After the war, he returned to Mandan and went to work in the family business, at the Mandan Pioneer newspaper. He eventually became the papers Business and Advertising Manager. He was very active in his community. He belonged to the Masons, the Elks, the Rotary Club as well as the American Legion, serving a term as post commander.
His wife, the former Doris A. Bloomer whom he married in 1920, was also a World War I veteran. She served as an army nurse before coming to Mandan from her native Terre Haute, Indiana to teach physical education in the Mandan school system. Together they raised their three daughters (including one set of twins) in Mandan; Lucille (married E. Howard Hendrickson of Mandan), Helen (married James Noyes of Old Lyme Connecticut) and Shirley (married William Rolshoven of Missoula Montana).
Walter Tostevin was an accomplished musician and singer. However the piano best showcased his talents.For several years during the late 1930s, Walt played piano for Lawrence Welk's band which provided entertainment for dances throughout the area. In addition to Welk on the accordion, Bill Steinbruck played trombone, Rolland Lutz played trumpet and Ernie Wilkinson played drums, and all were from Mandan. In addition to Henry Dahners, the group played under the moniker "The Hotsy-Totsy Boys." Tostevin also sang live on Mandan's first radio station KGCU which operated from its downtown Mandan location. His wife was known to chastise Walt when a ragtime beat would creep into his version of "Onward Christian Soldiers" while playing the organ during Sunday services at First Presbyterian Church.
The Mandan Pioneer remained in the Tostevin family until 1963. Their daughter Lucille Hendrickson continued with the family tradition and became a newspaper reporter. She worked for the Mandan Pioneer and later joined the Bismarck Tribune; winning many awards including several from the Associated Press. She stayed at the Tribune until her retirement.
Walter died on May 20, 1960. He and his wife Doris are buried in the family plot in Union Cemetery, Mandan.
The Society would like to thank members James and Patricia Tostevin for sharing this information with us.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 411 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave message at (701) 751-2983