By Deborah Banish
Rutland native Rev. Ann Hoflen arrived in Rutland on Friday, December 20 to attend the Hoflen Family’s Christmas get-together at the Andrew Hoflen farm in Ransom Township on the next day, Saturday, December 21. Ann reports that since retiring from her long-time ministry at Paw Paw, IL she has moved to Roseville MN, near St. Paul, and has been doing some traveling. Earlier this year she accompanied her brother, Robert Hoflen of Rutland, and sister, Allison (Hoflen) Glarum, of Fargo, on a tour of the British Isles that included some stops in Scotland to visit the ancestral home of the McPhail clan, the land of Ann’s maternal grandmother, and also to make a couple of stops at some world famous distillers of scotch whiskey. Ann states that she did not taste any of it, nor did she buy any of it to bring home, but she cannot say the same for Rob. She states that she is enjoying her new home at Roseville, and that, for the time being at least, she is enjoying just sitting back with her feet up and letting others worry about the fate of the World. Ann departed Rutland for Roseville on the afternoon of Monday, December 23.
Nobody is quite sure when the practice of Christmas Caroling, groups of singers going door to door to entertain friends and neighbors with songs associated with the Christmas season, began, but the earliest mention of it in England comes from documents written back in 1426, during the reign of King Henry VI, nearly 600 years ago. On the evening of Monday, December 23,a group of singers armed with beautiful voices carried on the ancient tradition in Rutland by going door to door with the gift of music, spreading the spirit of Christmas throughout the community. The Christmas Carolers were: Hilary Mehrer; Shannon Mehrer; Thomas Mehrer; Jacob Mehrer; Chuck Anderson; Mary Beth Anderson; Pam Maloney; Taryn Jensen; Cohen Jensen; Megan Means; Kaci Millette; Cora Millette; Cruise Millette; Kathy Wyum; Phyllis Wyum; Pat Renner; Vicki Renner; Kyla Temple; Morgan Temple; and, Marlee Nebben. The Rutland community extends its thanks to the Carolers for sharing the gift of music with all during the Christmas season.
Megen Means of Columbia MO visited in Rutland at the home of her parents, Larry & Carolyn Christensen, during the Christmas holiday.
The Weber Township farmstead that was formerly the home of Monica Bergh and the late Todd Bergh has been acquired by Pat & Vicki Renner, formerly of Britton SD. The Rutland community extends a hearty welcome to the Renners and wishes them all the best in their new home.
The first real blizzard of the season hit the Rutland area in the late afternoon of Wednesday, December 26, with about 8 inches of powdery snow and sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts up to 60. Oops. That was 2018 and that weather continued well into 2019 with 63 consecutive days below freezing before the temperature rose into the 40s on March 12. Mother Nature repeated herself in 2019 with the first blizzard hitting the area starting on Saturday, December 28, 2019, and continuing through early Monday morning. Several areas were without power for quite some time as the blizzard conditions kept the lineman home safe. Let’s hope this winter season is not a repeat of the last.
It is hard to believe that 2019 has ended and not only do we enter a new year but also a new decade. A lot has happened in the past ten years – too much for this person to recall – but a lot happened in 2019 as well. There were a lot of highlights, lowlights and everything in between last year:
- Otter Tail Power installed a new power station for improved service to Rutland.
- Work began to expand and convert The Old Parsonage back to residential property and Bill Anderson and Kathy Brakke started to move into the renovated facility in May.
- The City Council held public hearings and obtained grant funds and a loan to fund the Emergency Lagoon Project that was completed in October. The project will be repaid through the City Sewer & Lagoon Fund and did not include any new assessments or resident charges.
- Jeanne Leinen announced that the 2019 Easter Egg Hunt would be her last as Chairperson. The Easter Egg Hunt is several times larger than it was back in 2002. The Rutland Community Club will host future events.
- Sargent Central Ambassadors group is formed after being nominated by their teachers to participate in the musical tour of Europe. Rutland residents Tyler Banish and Thomas Mehrer, along with Forman youth Eric Bergeman, Ethan Bergman, and Kiauna Bergh raised the funds and spent over two weeks traveling to several countries giving performances in choir and band.
- The new Rutland website was launched on May 9, 2019, thanks to funding from the Rutland Community Club.
- Orvis and Alphie Pearson returned from Arizona and moved into the Four Seasons Villas in May.
- The Sargent Central Boys Vocal Group received an Outstanding Performance at the State Music Competition. Members of the group included Rutland residents Thomas Mehrer and Tyler Banish along with Forman residents Eric Bergeman, Ethan Bergman, Emmet Bergeman and Noah Kujanson.
- Rain and thunderstorms increased in intensity in early May and continued until the first week of June when temps finally reached the 80s.
- Leonard Heinen, accompanied by his daughters Marcia Brakke and Margo Ganske, attended the KVRR Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
- Sargent Central High School graduating class of ten included two Rutland residents: Tyler Banish and Thomas Mehrer.
- Rutland competed in the KVRR Town of the Year bracket competition making through the first round but losing in the second round to Sheyenne ND.
- Rutland Fun Night was held; Jordan Peplinski was crowned Miss Rutland and represented the town in the Sargent County Fair.
- Brody Mahrer was crowned Mr. Lefse and Lucy Mahrer was crowned Miss Lefse at Rutland Fun Night and both rode in the Uffda Day Parade in October.
- On June 14, 2019, one of the City’s oldest residents was struck and killed by lightning. The huge 70’+ high cottonwood tree at 217 First Street was split from top to bottom and had to be removed from its spot where it stood for 117 years.
- Nordland Lutheran Church sold the Parsonage in July and Zach Jacobson moved back ‘home’ to Rutland in August.
- The Rutland Tree Committee obtained a matching grant and, with the help of the ND Community Forestry Specialist, identified 15 diseased and dying trees to be removed from City property
- Logan Wyum spent Labor Day weekend in the hospital after sustaining a broken femur at the Sargent County Bulldogs football game in Sisseton SD.
- Sydney Hanna of Columbia SD was hired to work at the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge and moved into The Bagley House in Rutland which had been converted back to residential/rental property.
- The first ten days of September brought more than six inches of rain to Rutland with eight inches by the end of the month – making a total of more than 26 inches of precipitation since January.
- Violet Wyum moved from the Wyum farmstead North of Rutland to the Four Seasons Villa and Rob, Dana and Brianna Wyum moved from town to the farmstead.
- Quinn Lock moved into Rutland in August taking up residence on Anthony Street.
- Anthony Banish was elected a Sargent County 4-H Ambassador joining Emily Hamilton, both members of the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club. They join the other Ambassadors Jacy Bopp, Allie Bopp, Hanna Deyle, and Kari Fuhrman.
- On October 10th, Rutland had its first winter storm that resulted in several school closings.
- The Governor declared a Statewide Flood Disaster Emergency in October and Sargent County announced the long list of County and township roads closed due to flooding.
- Sargent Central students participated in Volunteer Day and several students cleaned the Rutland City Hall, Rutland Fire Hall, and the Legion Hall.
- The Rutland area said a final farewell to several long-time residents in 2019 including John J. “Jack” Brummond and Francis Maly Sr. both on January 29, Richard Nelson in April, Alphie Pearson in June and Leonard Heinen in October.
This list is just a summary of 2019 events in Rutland. If you want to read more on any of these – or others – just check out the blog online at http://www.rutlandramblings.blog or head to the Sargent County Museum to read past issues of The Teller!
Upcoming events: Kids in the Kitchen on January 5th and 12th; Rutland City Council meeting Monday, January 6, 5 p.m.; Rutland Community Club meeting Monday, January 13, 5 p.m.; Rutland Community Club/Anderson Pinochle Tournament, Saturday, February 1; Rutland City Council meeting on February 3.
Happy New Year Everyone!