Walter was the second of three sons born to Edwin A. and Florence Tostevin on July 22, 1893.
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 served as the paperís Business and Advertising Manager, and would eventually become its Editor.
He was very active in his community. He belonged to the Masons, the Rotary Club as well as the American Legion, serving a term as post commander. He was also elected in 1936 as Grand Exhalted Ruler of Mandan's Elks Lodge. He was also elected by his district to serve in the ND Legislature for one term.
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 in a local band, whose members would include Lawrence Welk. The band 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. Under the direction of 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, 1961. He and his wife Doris are buried in the family plot in Union Cemetery, Mandan.
The Society would like to thank Mandan Historical Society members James and Patricia Tostevin as well as Walter's grandson Walter Noyse for sharing this information with us.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 3827 30th Avenue NW; PO Box 98; Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org