By Bill Anderson
The big day is almost here. In keeping with the old tradition that “The sun always shines on Rutland, even when it’s raining,” the weatherman is predicting near perfect weather for Sunday, October 2, the 37th Uff-Da Day Fall Festival in the little city that can. Rutland Community Club President and Uff-Da Day Chairperson Katie McLaen has furnished the following schedule of events for the day: Uff-Da Day 5k Run/Walk – 7:45 registration & 8 am race. Registration will be in Rodney Erickson’s green building on the SW corner of First & Arthur Streets, across the street from the Stock Growers Bank, the original Prindiville Saloon, Schweiden’s Pool Hall, Skoglund’s Café & Ice Cream Store, Ink’s Bar, Bohn’s Bar, The Lariat Bar, and, hopefully, the future Rutland Post Office. At 10:00 AM Vendors and Craft Sales begin; demonstrations at various indoor and outdoor locations commence; car show on Gay St begins; Lefse & Goodies available at Senior Center on Main St; freshly made Lefse for sale at the senior Center; and, the one-room country School House, Rutland Depot Museum & Pioneer House will be open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. At 11:00 AM Dinner at the Community’s Town Hall, $13 Adults, $6 children age 6-12, Under 6 free. Rommegrot will be served at the Senior Center. Uff-Da Tacos, hot dogs & brats will be on sale at the Fire Hall on Bagley Street, and Abelskievers will be made outside by the Legion Hall/Fitness Center. The new Lariat Bar will be open at 10:00 AM with drink specials. At 1:00 PM it’s time for the Uff-Da Day Parade! 1:30 is the time set for the Nickel Scramble on Main Street, in front of Stock Growers Bank following the Parade. Bounce houses for the kids will be Open from 10:30 to 12:30, and from 1:30 to 3:00 PM. School starts at 2:00 PM with lessons for children of all ages at the one-room Country Schoolhouse. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is invited to Rutland to meet old friends and make new ones at Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 2. See you there!
Rodney Erickson reports that traffic has been brisk at Wheaton-Dumont Co-op’s Rutland Elevator station. Soybean harvest has been in full swing since last Friday, September 23. Reports of yield and quality are sketchy, but, as has been said many times before, “It sure looks good from the road. “Rodney said that he had been occupied with aerial spraying most of the summer, with most of his work this year being in northern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and southwestern North Dakota. Most of the aerial applications up north were insecticide and fungicide treatments for wheat, barley and canola, he said. Rodney states that he covered more acres in 2022 than in any other year since he started in the business. Next year, though, he is planning to take his business to a new level, not in altitude but in area. He is purchasing a newer, larger spray plane with an 800 gallon tank and a 1,400 horsepower turbine engine. The plane he has been flying has a 500 gallon tank and a 900 horsepower turbine engine. His current plane, and the new one he is acquiring, are single wing monoplanes. The Ag-Cat plane that he had when his business began was a bi-plane and had a 660 horsepower piston powered radial engine. In his spare time, Rodney, his wife, Andrea, and their 3 girls: Abby; Maddie; and, Sophie; are building a substantial addition to their home in Rutland.
Steve & Sheila Wyum accompanied Steve’s cousin, Joe Oyer and his wife, Patty, on a sight-seeing trip out to western North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming from Wednesday, September 14, to Tuesday, September 20. The Oyers reside near Boston MA. Joe’s mother was a Cookson girl from Forman, a sister of Steve’s mother, the late Jan (Cookson) Wyum. The Oyers and another cousin couple, Tim & Tessa Boehm, had been visiting in Sargent County during the previous week, and had made their vacation headquarters at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge during their time in the community. Tim & Tessa Boehm currently make their home in the Philippines, but they had previously resided at Eugene OR. The Oyers and the Boehms enjoyed their stay at the Lodge, and the hospitality of the Breker family and their employees. On their western tour, Joe & Patty and Steve & Sheila explored some family history on their way to the Custer Battlefield along the Little Big Horn River. Steve discovered a great-great-great-grandfather of whom he had previously been unaware. Back in 1862, 14 years before Custer’s fatal clash with the Sioux, a young man named Sanford Murphy had enlisted in an Iowa Regiment to fight in the American Civil War. Instead of going south, though, the Regiment had been sent to the northwest, to chase hostile Sioux, supposedly survivors of the Minnesota Uprising of 1862, across the prairies of Dakota & Montana Territories. Sanford Murphy left behind him a young wife and infant daughter. Back in 1862, an Army Private was paid the magnificent sum of $13.00 per month, so the Murphy’s weren’t in it for the money. The expedition to which Pvt. Murphy’s unit was attached crossed the Missouri River and established Fort Rice on the west bank of the river, near the current location of the “Dakota Nights” tribal casino, and south of the present location of the City of Mandan. At that time, there were no organized communities in the northern portion of Dakota Territory other than Pembina and Fort Abercrombie on the bank of the Red River of the North, more than 200 miles to the east, and the Fort Union trading post at the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone Rivers, near the present site of Williston. According to the story that Steve & Joe were told about their ancestor, he had been sent out on a scouting/hunting assignment from Fort Rice. While on this assignment, it was his misfortune to come in contact with some hostile Sioux. According to one version of the story, he was struck by an arrow and was taken back to the Fort where he died of the wound. According to the other version of the story, he was hit by several arrows, and died out on the prairie where those who had killed him smashed his head with a war club or large rock. In both versions of the story, his body had been buried at Fort Rice. In later years, the bodies of soldiers buried at Fort Rice had been disinterred and reburied at the Custer Battlefield along the Little Big Horn River, along with the bodies of those who had died there during Custer’s battle in June of 1876. Joe and Steve tried to find the grave, but had no luck in finding it, either at Fort Rice or at the Little Big Horn. Shortly after Pvt. Murphy’s untimely death, his wife also passed away. Their daughter was raised by her grandmother, a Mrs. Brown. The daughter grew up and became the ancestor of the Hurley family of Forman. Mrs. Charley Cookson, grandmother of Steve and Joe, was a Hurley. Steve reports that the Oyers and the Wyums thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the West, and their exploration of family history. Steve expects to do some more research on the subject.
Janice Christensen has informed friends here that her Granddaughter, Miss Laura Biewer, the daughter of Dennis & Stacey (Christensen) Biewer of Hickson ND, is a candidate for 2022 Homecoming Queen at NDSU in Fargo. The selection of the new Homecoming Queen will be made on Thursday, September 29, by NDSU’s students. Laura is well known to many in Rutland, and her friends here wish her the best of luck in Thursday’s election. If Janice shows up at the Uff-Da Day Rommegrot Counter wearing the tiara of a Queen’s Grandmother, we will know how the election turned out. In appearance and personality, Laura is a beautiful girl, and the students at NDSU would be fortunate to have her representing the student body as their Homecoming Royalty.
Congratulations to Josie Hamilton, daughter of Kenny & Tanya Hamilton, and Fletcher Willprecht, son of Kevin Willprecht and Wendy Willprecht, for their election as Sargent Central’s Homecoming Royalty last week. Both Josie and Fletcher have ties to this community. We are confident that they will do a great job representing the students, faculty and taxpayers of Sargent Central.
Personnel of the Sargent County Department of Health were in Rutland on Wednesday, September 28, administering flu vaccinations to all comers, and covid-19 booster shots to as many as could be accommodated. Hours were from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Shots were still being administered in the Rutland Seniors’ Center as this article was being written, so no numbers are available. A lot of people were on hand, so it is assumed that the event will be considered a success by County officials. For additional information about flu and covid vaccinations, call the Sargent County Department of Health at 724-3725, and speak with Brenda, Briana, Kelsey or Diane to make an appointment.
Meanwhile, on the international scene, Russian President Vladimir Putin is exhibiting more and more desperation as the war in Ukraine goes worse and worse for him and the Russian Army. His threats to use nuclear weapons rather than lose the war could lead to a global nuclear conflagration of epic proportions. Americans who are old enough will remember that sixty years ago, in October of 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of just such a disaster over the Soviet’s placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy put down the marker on October 16 of that year with, “Any missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere will be considered to be an attack on the United States by the Soviet Union, requiring a full retaliatory response.” For 12 days, from October 16 to the 28th, the President of the United States and the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, stood, eyeball to eyeball, while the world held its breath, a hair’s breadth away from disaster. The President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was second only to Theodore Roosevelt as the youngest person to ever serve as President, and was a combat veteran of WWII. Nikita Khruschev had survived World War I, the Communist Revolution, the Russian Civil War and World War II. Fortunately for the world, neither man wanted to subject his country and its people to the total destruction of a nuclear war. Both men sought a way out of the crisis, and our President finally found it. As then U. S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk said, “We were eyeball to eyeball, and the other fellow just blinked.” We can hope that our current leadership in both the U. S. and Russia will have the maturity, judgment and courage that it took to end the crisis 60 years ago. Within 2 years of October 1962, President Kennedy had been assassinated and Khruschev had been exiled to Siberia. Such are this world’s rewards for Peacemakers.
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 www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.