Edwin Dodge Tostevin, youngest of the three sons born to Edwin A. and Florence G. (Clemmons) Tostevin, was born on March 7, 1896 and spent his early years in Racine, Wisconsin. In 1909, he moved with his parents and older brothers Earle and Walter to Mandan. He graduated with the Class of 1914 from Mandan High School and immediately joined the family newspaper publishing business. He eventually rose to serve as Circulation Manager and co-Editor of the Mandan Pioneer with his brother Walter.
Always a staunch Mandan Supporter, Tostevin promoted the rock "MaNDan" sign on Crying Hill, which was a landmark at the city's east approach for many years. When the old Mandan Central public school, constructed in 1900, was razed, he was instrumental in salvaging the school bell. In June 1966, the bell along with the cornerstone from Old Central School was placed on a plinth and incorporated into the front entrance plaza at Mandan Junior High School building.
For many years he wrote the “Eddietorials” column in the Pioneer.They were a mixture of folksiness, terrible puns, and praise for the local area.He also chided the public servants and citizenry about things that needed to improve.His optimism and pride in Mandan were evident in everything he wrote.
No one called him Edwin, he was Eddie Tostevin to every one who knew him.He married the former Sarah Gurtner, who alternated between teaching and newspaper work after her family moved to Mandan.
Eddie, his brother Walter and his brother Earle’s widow Agnes ran the paper for years, each working in whatever capacity was required.But as Mandan slowed down from its boom years so did the Pioneer and when Walter died in 1960 the will to go on slowed, too.In 1963 the paper was sold to the Conrads of Bismarck, another pioneer newspapering family.
Eddie and Sarah both retired in 1963 and moved to Shelton Washington in 1970 to be near their son, James and his family. Upon retirement Eddie dabbled in politics and Sarah wrote Mantani; A History of Mandan and MortonCounty, 1738-1964. Eddie wrote occasional guest “Eddietorials” for the Mandan paper. Sarah continued to satisfy her passion for history by compiling and publishing the History of the Shelton Public Library.
During Mandan's Centennial Celebration in 1981, the Tostevins presented to the community the only known existing city of Mandan charter, preserved from the newspaper files.
He died in Shelton Washington in August 17, 1982 at the age of 86. He and his wife Sarah are buried in Union Cemetery in 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 3102 37th St; PO Box 1001; Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave message at (701) 663-5200