The Rooster Crows – Aug. 12, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“Ask and ye shall receive,” the scripture reads. Last week rain was requested on Friday morning, and rain was received that night. That’s a quicker return than Sears-Roebuck or Montgomery-Ward used to make back in the day. It wasn’t a lot of rain in the Rutland area, but, as the Old Timers say, “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.” In an unusual coincidence worth noting, the rain gauges of next door neighbors Norbert Kulzer and Roger Pearson agreed that .2 of an inch was the amount received in Rutland. Harvey Bergstrom reported that his rain gauge on the Bergstrom Farm south of Cayuga held “.29 of an inch and 10 mosquitoes,” when he checked it on Saturday morning. Mike Banish reported that the gauge at the Mike & Debbie Banish farm held .22 of an inch on Saturday morning; Lisa Wyum reported that the gauge at the Tom & Lisa Wyum Farm south of Buffalo Lake held .235 of an inch on Saturday morning; Steve Wyum reported .325 of an inch at the Steve & Sheila Wyum farm northeast of Rutland; and, Randy Pearson reported that the gauge at his Shuman Township farm registered .75 of an inch. Reports from the airports at Gwinner and Milnor indicated 2 inches at Gwinner and 1 inch at Milnor.

Mark & Vicky Weber took their business, M & V Consulting, on the road last week, and traveled out to the western reaches of the State to check farm fields for bugs, weeds, diseases and other disorders. The Webers were in Dickinson on Thursday & Friday and checked fields in the Dickinson, Mott, New Leipzig and Carson areas before heading for home on Friday night.

The family of Cayuga native Mary (Kiefer) Breker hosted a Birthday Party in her honor at The Coteau des Prairie Lodge on Saturday, August 6. Mary was actually born in January of 1933, but it was decided to celebrate while the weather was a little more cooperative than it usually is in January. Mary’s parents were the late Bill & Cecelia (Riba) Kiefer, who farmed near Lake Tewaukon at the time of her birth. In 1942 Mary’s Dad and one of her uncles, George “Pete” Kiefer, bought the international Harvester dealership in Cayuga and created a legendary business where customers could buy “…everything from soup to nuts,” and, just in case someone called them on the slogan, they kept a case of Campbell’s soup under the parts counter, and had a penny operated peanut dispenser by the front door. Mary and her husband, the late James Breker, farmed just south of Cayuga and were members of the community for their entire lives. Their son, Kurt, is currently on the farm and one of their grandsons is also producing cattle and grain in the Cayuga area. For many years Mary was the Avon Lady in the Cayuga, Rutland, Geneseo and Havana communities, and she is still known by many and missed by all. The many friends of Mary Breker in the Rutland community wish her a very Happy Birthday, and many more in the future. Mary currently resides at Sheyenne Crossing Assisted Living Center in West Fargo.

Rutland native Bonnie Anderson, now a resident of Brookings SD, was the guest of her sister-in-law, Dianna Anderson, from Friday, August 5, to Sunday, August 7. Bonnie had driven up to attend the Birthday Party for an old friend, Mary Breker, at The Coteau des Prairies Lodge.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Aug. 12, 2022”

The Rooster Crows- August 5, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Back in the 1930’s, our parents & grandparents used to sing, “It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more; It ain’t gonna rain no more. So how in the heck can I wash my neck if it ain’t gonna rain no more.” Well, it finally did rain, and, as those Old Timers used to say, “It always rains after a long dry spell.” We’re looking for that rain around here, but there hasn’t been any precipitation of any consequence for quite a while. Meanwhile, the growing crops have been reaching for whatever moisture is in the soil, and that’s starting to run short on the hilltops. It’s not the first time it’s been dry around here, and it won’t be the last, but, for this summer, it has gone on long enough. We’re ready to be too wet, again.

Steve & Sheila Wyum took off on a summer vacation trip on Friday, July 22, with their first stop at Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where they saw the sights and took in the Medora Musical at the Burning Hills Amphitheater. Next on their agenda was the Little Big Horn Battlefield where a Native American guide from the Crow tribe gave them a guided tour of the area where Gen. George Armstrong Custer and the 7th U. S. Cavalry met their end at the hands of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and the combined might of the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. (It should be noted that Crow scouts also guided Custer and the 7th on that fateful day back in June of 1876.) From there, they enjoyed the scenery of the Big Horn Mountains as they headed for Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they took in the Rodeo & Frontier Days. The last stop on their tour was the ranch of Steve’s cousin, Tommy Fabris, a grandson of the late Isabel Kulzer, in northwestern South Dakota. Tom was a professional rodeo bronc buster in his younger days, until one broke his back, once again proving that old cowboy proverb that, “There’s never a horse that couldn’t be rode, and never a cowboy that couldn’t be throwed.” He made a complete recovery, but now restricts himself to horses that can be, and have been, rode. The Wyums returned to their Ransom Township farm home on Tuesday, August 2, known to Icelanders as “The Deuce of August,” and celebrated by them as their National Day.

Debbie & Mike Banish, Rick Banish and Mark Wyum departed Rutland on Thursday, July 28, bound for Belton MO, a suburb of Kansas City, where Debbie, Mike & Rick checked out a motor home RV. They bought one, a 2019 Integra 45’ Motor Home, equipped with a full kitchen, living room, 1 master bedroom & a pull-out sleeping area, 2 bathrooms, a 605 horsepower X1500 Cummins diesel engine and a separate engine with a generator that produces enough electricity to run the motor home’s 3 air-conditioners. “It’s nicer than our house,” said Debbie. While at Belton, they looked up one of Mark’s & Mike’s old classmates, Becky (Reif) Hall, and her husband, Kirby. Becky is the youngest of the 3 children of the Late Rev. Jack & Martha Reif who were part of this community from 1953 to 1964 when Jack served as pastor of the First Baptist Church and Martha was a teacher and principal in the Rutland school system.  Becky & Kirby invited the quartet from Rutland to their home in Belton for supper on the evening of Friday, July 29. Mark served as an unpaid consultant during the trip, and, as any lawyer can tell you, “Advice is worth what you pay for it.”

The TNT Parish, composed of Trinity Lutheran Church of Forman; Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland; and, Trinity Lutheran Church of Havana; held a joint service at the Silver Lake Park Pavilion at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 31, the 5th Sunday of the month. It was Pastor Julie Johnson’s Sunday off, so Rachel Hoistad from Trinity at Forman conducted the service. Mrs. Hoistad is currently studying for the ministry. Following the service, a pot-luck dinner at which the cornucopia of good, home cooked fare overflowed, was served. Pastor Johnson will be departing for Holden Village WA on Friday, August 5, where she will take part in a retreat for pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She plans to return on Saturday, August 13.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows- August 5, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – July 29, 2022

By Bill Anderson

When Mike & Debbie Banish returned home in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 24, Mike checked their electronic rain gauge and found that it had recorded .9 of an inch of precipitation since he had last checked it back on Tuesday, July 12. The Banishes, along with Mike’s brother, Rick, and friends Mark & Jeannie Bopp had been on a 12-day tour of Alaska that had culminated with a cruise down the Inland Passage from Whittier AK, near Anchorage, to Vancouver BC. The trip, sponsored by the Farmers Union and Colette Travel, had begun with a flight from Fargo to Fairbanks AK via Minneapolis; and a train and bus tour from Fairbanks to Anchorage that took them past Mt. Denali, formerly Mt. McKinley and through the spectacular mountains of the Alaska Range to the port of Anchorage. The scenery, both on land and on sea, was magnificent, Mike stated. The group flew from Vancouver back to Fargo, again via Minneapolis. Air accommodations were supplied by Delta Airlines. But that’s not the entire story. The .9 of an inch of rain mike noticed on his return home had come as the result of several thunderstorms that had rumbled over Rutland and vicinity during their absence. And that’s not the entire story, either. The thunderstorms, in addition to the usual thunder and lightning, had also been accompanied by some hail and high winds in some areas, from several miles west of Rutland to several miles southeast of town. The toughest storm hit on Wednesday night, July 20, damaging crops from the Lock farm in the middle of Rutland Township to east of the Breker farm in Tewaukon Township. The wind destroyed a pole storage building on the Doug & Cher Spieker farmstead, formerly the Clarence & Adeline Breker farm, in Tewaukon Township, and took several hay bales for a nighttime airborne trip to the east. Follow up rains on Thursday night, July 21 & Saturday morning, July 23 were more gentle in their nature and character, leaving a few tenths of welcome rain with each occurrence. Growing crops around the area could use some more rain, but the wind and the ice are phenomena non grata.

Kathy Wyum; Mary Beth Anderson; Joanne Harris; and Patty Breker departed Rutland on Wednesday, July 20, and drove up to Cavalier ND to take in the Frostfire Theater group’s performance of “The Sound of Music” in Icelandic State Park. They were joined at Cavalier by Rutland native Mary (Olstad) Indridson, who accompanied them to the performance. Kathy and Mary Beth had seen the musical a month earlier but were so impressed by the quality of the performance that they wanted to experience it again. A good time was had by all, and justifiably so.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer stopped by Rutland on the evening of Wednesday, July 20, for a visit with an old friend, Bill Anderson. Randy has been visiting at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Pam & Keith Hoistad, northeast of Milnor, for the past month. Randy is a bicycling enthusiast, and last year he rode his bike out to Portland, Maine, and spent the Winter there. This Spring, he rode from Maine down to North Carolina, then over to Missouri and up to North Dakota. Randy is planning to continue his summer pilgrimage on Thursday, July 28, when he intends to start riding west, heading for his former headquarters at San Luis Obispo CA. He plans to pause at Sheridan WY for a visit with a niece, Michelle Hoistad, before completing the ride to California. After he arrives in CA, he plans to fly off to Portugal for a bike tour of that country with friends before heading to Morocco on the North African coast to begin a tour of that region of the world, from the northwestern corner of Africa to the northeast corner, at Egypt. Due to hazardous conditions in that part of the world, Randy intends to forsake his bicycle for the comfort and relative safety of bus, train & plane travel. Bill & Randy drove over to Lidgerwood on Wednesday evening, and met up with another old friend, Kevin Oland, at Dee’s Bar & Café. The three enjoyed a very pleasant evening, reminiscing about “the good old days,” when Wednesday night in the Summer would have had every town in rural America full of people doing business. Last Wednesday evening, there were three vehicles on Main Street in Lidgerwood, one was Randy’s, one was Kevin’s and the third may have been abandoned. There were no vehicles on Main Street in Rutland, not even any that may have been abandoned. “The times, they are a’changin’,” sang Bob Dylan, and he was right.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – July 29, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – July 22 2022

By Bill Anderson

According to Siri, the little know-it-all who lives in the I-phone, we are now in the middle of “The Dog Days of Summer, that hot, sultry period of time when the days pass slowly and it seems as if Summer will last forever. It won’t of course. The Dog Days of Summer officially begin on July 3 and end on August 11, although they can be extended by a few days on either end, depending on the weather. So far, the weather has been hot and dry. The mercury hit a sweltering 95 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, July 18 with a blast furnace wind out of the west. The heat generated a thunderstorm on Monday night that blew down some tree limbs and left somewhere between 0.001 and .37 of an inch of rain in its wake, depending on which block in Rutland you are talking about. The .37 of an inch reading came from the weather app on Scott Haan’s cell phone, which registers the precipitation that falls at the old Rutland school grounds. The temperature dropped down to the mid-80’s on Tuesday, July 19, and, according to Alexa, a shower of rain that began at about 9:30 p.m. left another .1 of an inch of precipitation on Rutland. Chuck Anderson reports that the rain gauge in his Weber Township farmyard measured Tuesday night’s rainfall amount as .55 of an inch. Meanwhile, the crops keep right on growing. Corn that was knee high on the 4th of July was head high two weeks later, by the 18th of the month. A good rain, say an inch to an inch and a half, would be very welcome right about now. Soybean fields appear to be green & healthy. Whheat fields are filling and some are even beginning to take on that golden, pre-harvest hue. The Dog Days of Summer are doing their job.

Bill Anderson and his 12 year old great-grandson, Brody Mahrer , returned to Rutland on the afternoon of Saturday, July 16, after spending a week in Fredricksburg VA, where they attended a reunion of the U. S. Marine Corps unit that Bill had served with in Vietnam 52 years ago. They made the round trip on American Airlines, flying from Fargo to Reagan National Airport in Washington DC via Chicago’s O’hare Airport. All flights were on time, or early, and everything went smoothly, Bill reports. Among other activities, those participating in the reunion Toured the Fredricksburg Civil War Battlefield on Monday, July 11; drove up to Washington for lunch with James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy, U. S. Senator from VA, former Platoon Commander and Company Commander of Delta Company, 5th Marines on Tuesday, July 12; Visited the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico VA and took in other sites on Wednesday, July 13; toured the Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville and Wilderness battlefields on Thursday, July 14; and, visited the Vietnam War Memorial Wall and the Marine Barracks in Washington DC on Friday, July 15. Each Friday evening during the Summer months, The Marine Band also known as “The President’s Own,” the Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, all stationed at the Marine Barracks, perform for the public in a “SunsetReview.” The performance began at 8:30 p.m. and concluded at 10:30 p.m. It was very impressive and was enjoyed by all. Those participating in the reunion at Fredricksburg were Marines who had served in Company “D” of the 5th Marine Regiment in Vietnam back in 1969 & 1970. Brody also took in King’s Dominion Amusement Park in Fredricksburg on Thursday, July 14, and throughout the week received lessons on how to play “Back Alley,” a card game that the Marines played while in Vietnam, and which they continue to this day. Bill and Brody are making plans to attend next year’s reunion, which is tentatively scheduled to be held in Louisville KY.

The price of gasoline has been dropping since the 4th of July, but it was plummeting in northern Virginia last week. Bill Anderson reports that the posted price at most gas stations between Washington DC and Fredricksburg was between $4.89 and $5.00 on Sunday, July 10, but had dropped to as low as $3.98 by Saturday, July 16. The price of diesel fuel, too, had declined, but not by as much as the price of gasoline.

Harris Construction of Crete, owned & operated by the father-son team of Mike & Mason Harris, has been busy pouring cement for some sidewalk and front step projects in Rutland during the past couple of weeks. A new, handicapped accessible front step has been installed at Nordland Lutheran Church on Cooper Street; a new patio deck has been constructed at the Mark & Kathy Wyum home on First Street; a new sidewalk has been poured at Delores Lysne’s home on Anthony Street; and, a new sidewalk extension across the boulevard to the street has been completed at Paul Anderson’s house on Gay Street. Also, Kathy Wyum has been doing some Exterior Decorating on her own house at 217 First Street, and at the house belonging to Paul Anderson at 309 Gay Street. She has been decorating with lights, flags, pottery decorations and flowers on the front porch.

This community was saddened on Thursday, July 14, when it was learned that long time Rutland resident Lary Arneson had passed away at his home here after a multi-year battle with cancer. The funeral for Lary Arneson has been scheduled for Thursday, July 28, at Nordland Lutheran Church, with burial in the Rutland Cemetery. There will be more about Lary’s life among us next week.

Preparations for Uff-Da Day XXXVII are now in full swing. Rutland’s annual Fall festival with a Scandinavian theme will be on Sunday, October 2, in 2022. Several lefse making sessions have already been held, with the latest on Tuesday, July 19 and on Thursday, July 21. . Chairpersons of the various committees are lining up their helpers for the big event. As of Friday, July 22, there will be 72 days remaining until Uff-Da Day in Rutland on Sunday, October 2, 2022.

The Rutland Roosters played their last home games of the season on Tuesday, July 19, with play commencing at 6:45 p.m. at Lou Sanderson Field. Once again, Lady Luck deserted the Roosters as they dropped 2 games to the Squirrels of Sheldon, the first by a score of 16 to 6 after 6 under the 10 run rule, and the 2nd by a score of 15 to 12 in the regulation 7 innings. It was a tough season, but we’ll get ‘em next year.

Meanwhile, up at the State Capitol in Bismarck, the big “to-do” is over the $1.8 million in unauthorized spending engaged in by the late former Attorney General, Wayne Stenhjem, before his unexpected death earlier this year. The Ag’s office used the money to make improvements to a leased office building owned by prominent ND Republicans, including a State Legislator. Will anything be done to hold anyone accountable for an unauthorized expenditure of $1.8 million of the peoples’ money? Doubtful. No one in Bismarck is even asking why the State is paying millions to lease office space from wealthy Republicans while office space in the State Capitol Building stands empty. The Party of small government likes to spend big when they’re lining their own pockets with public money, it seems.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at, and take a look at Rutland’s Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Remember to patronize your local Post Office,and don’t forget to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.

The Dray Line

Here is a little bit of Rutland history for your enjoyment until we get another installment of the Rooster Crows.


In the grey dawn, Oscar Hoflen climbed to the spring seat atop his dray wagon and ordered his team of large draft horses to “Giddap”. The two Percherons, Pride and Bess, easily pulled the heavily loaded wagon away from the freight house door on the north side of the Rutland Depot. Oscar swung his team and wagon south on Main Street to begin delivering the freight which had arrived during the night to the businesses in town. Most mornings several loads awaited the dray man when he slid open the freight house door. When the freight had been delivered there would be coal to haul. It was hard work, but good horses and a strong back would see the job through. 1924 was the height of the railroad age, but it still took men and horses to move the goods to and from the rails.

The dray line was a business separate from the railroad. The dray line operator, called the drayman, contracted with local businesses to haul their freight to and from the depot for a fee. Otto Anderson, who had come to Rutland from Norway in 1901, operated the dray line during the early years of the century. Later, Irving Preble and his brother owned the business. Oscar Hoflen recalls that his brother, George, purchased the dray business in Rutland from Lars Holen shortly after World War I. George operated a line for a while and hired Oscar to assist him. In 1924 George purchased the Rutland Meat Market and sold the dray line to Oscar. For $1,800.00 Oscar purchased three wagons, three teams, three teams sets of harness and one Model “T” truck.

In those days the freight trains came through Rutland at night. The Westbound freight arrived about 10PM and the eastbound freight arrived about 2AM. Goods destined for Rutland would be transferred from the boxcars to freight wagons and pulled into the freight house where they would await the drayman. The drayman would begin delivering by 5 or 6 AM so the freight could be at the business places by opening time. Everything from whiskey to watermelons and panties to pianos came in on the train so there was a lot of freight to move. The businesses paid the drayman every week based on the weight of the freight which he had hauled for them.

Another job of the drayman was to deliver coal. Most homes were heated by coal then. Coal was handled by both the lumberyard and the elevator. The elevator sold most. The delivery charge for coal was $1.00 per ton.