The Rooster Crows – Sept. 24, 2021

By Bill Anderson

September hesitated on its way to Autumn last weekend, when the temperature soared into the upper 80’s, with the humidity following suit, on Saturday & Sunday, September 18 & 19. Local mosquitoes thought that they might have a chance for a good season, after all, but their fantasies were foiled by a 35 degree plunge in temperature on Monday morning. Monday’s conditions wrung some moisture out of the air, resulting in a day long drizzle that left .2 of an inch of precipitation in Rutland, according to Roger Pearson’s rain gauge, and .4 of an inch of precipitation according to the rain gauge of Roger’s next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer. As of Tuesday, September 21, the forecast is calling for pleasant, early Autumn weather through Uff-Da Day, Sunday, October 3. Cross your fingers!

Miss Lauren Kulzer of Kansas City MO visited at the home of her grandparents, Norbert & Beverly Kulzer, from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12. Lauren is the eldest daughter of Stephen & Ann Kulzer of Hartford SD, near Sioux Falls. She is a graduate of South Dakota State University in Brookings SD, and is currently employed as an RN in a large hospital in Kansas City. As the old song goes, “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City.” Despite its modern advantages, though, Kansas City can’t compare to Grandpa & Grandma’s home in Rutland, or to Grandma’s home cooking.

Kevin Oland of rural Geneseo reports that a Marboe Township Reunion was held on Saturday, September 18. The Township is situated in the southeastern corner of Sargent County, and is south of the northern boundary of the Wahpeton-Sisseton Reservation and north of the North Dakota State Line. According to reunion organizer Carol Anderson, 60 current and former Township residents registered for the event, including 40 Alumni of Marboe Township’s 1 room country schools. The Wood Lake School building is the only one of the Marboe Township school buildings that remains at its original location. One of the Marboe Township school buildings is now part of an exhibit of structures from early Norwegian settlements in America on the island of Radoy in Norway. Carol Anderson is the daughter of the late Edwin and Fern Anderson of Marboe Township. Her grandparents homesteaded in Marboe Township, and Kevin Oland now owns and resides on the original Anderson homestead.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Sept. 24, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 3, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The drought is not yet broken, but it was seriously bent and dented during 8 days NEAR THE END of August. Depending on whose rain gauge you want to believe, Rutland and vicinity received between 3” and 3½” of rain from Friday, August 20 to Saturday, August 28, restoring green to the grass and hope to the hearts of local corn and soybean growers. The meteorologists on TV and radio are telling us that we are still 12” to 13” short of precipitation for the year, though. In the event that the precipitation shortfall is made up in snowfall this coming winter, we are looking at about 12 feet of snow just to get back to “normal,” whatever that is. Here in Rutland, we’re still praying for rain, but keeping the snow shovel handy.

A crew from Morris Seal Coat of Morris MN took advantage of the hot, dry conditions that prevailed prior to August 20 to apply a seal coat of oil and chips to 15 miles of County Road #10 and County Road #7 near Rutland and Havana. The sections of road in this area that received the treatment included the 3 miles from ND Highway #11 north to the intersection with County #10A; the 7 miles of County #10 from Rutland south to the intersection with County #7; and, the 5 miles of County #7 from the intersection with County #10 through Havana to ND Highway #32. Several other sections of Sargent County roads were also slated to receive seal coats, according to County Road Commissioner Jason Arth. The seal coat is intended to preserve the existing pavement and extend its life for another 7 to 10 years. Several other sections of County roads, such as #10 south from ND Highway #11 through Rutland; and, County #12 from ND Highway #11 at Cayuga to ND Highway #13; are in line for new pavement overlays, but those projects have to wait for funding from the Federal Government’s new infrastructure bill. The seal coat projects now underway and recently completed were paid for with funds from the existing Federal Aid program and matching money from the County’s Federal Aid Roads mill levy. Sargent County’s annual allotment was not sufficient to pay for the current seal coat projects, but the program does allow counties to borrow ahead if funds are available and to repay the borrowing, at no interest, with future allocations.

Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen reports that preparations for Uff-Da Day XXXVI on Sunday, October 3, are progressing well. According to Katie, Lefse Lena has 2 more lefse making sessions scheduled: at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 9; and, at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14. Both sessions will be in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall. Anyone who wants to practice their lefse making skills, or who wants to learn just how lefse is made, is welcome to participate. Just give Katie McLaen a call, or show up at the Rutland Town Hall on Thursday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 14.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Sept. 3, 2021”

Hens Do Crow! Jan. 3, 2020

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.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! Jan. 3, 2020”

Waiting for the Train

By Bill Anderson

Written December 20, 1999; Revised December 23, 2019

When we were kids, back in the early 1950’s, growing up in a small town in southeastern North Dakota, the rhythm of our lives was governed, to a large extent, by the schedule of the Great Northern Railway Company. Our father, Earl Anderson, was the station agent/telegrapher for the Great Northern in our hometown of Rutland, North Dakota. His schedule was set by the Great Northern and our schedule was set by him. Back then railroad trains ran on schedules, with arrival and departure times calculated down to the minute. Tough conductors like Shag Lehmann and Herb Cochrane would cuss a blue streak if their train arrived in the station as little as a minute or 2 ahead or behind the scheduled time, and woe be unto the locomotive engineer or brakeman who was responsible for the deviation. Back in 1951, you could tell what time it was by the freight train steam whistle or the passenger train air horn as it came into town or departed with a load of freight, passengers, cream cans and U. S. mail. It’s not that way anymore. Now, a person can’t even determine the time of the year by the arrival or departure of trains on the Rutland branch line. As the late Ahrlin Hoffman commented some years ago, “I used to set my watch by the old Great Northern, then, one day, I came into town and discovered I was two months late.”

Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s the trains ran on schedule every day, holidays being no exception, and the men who worked for the railroad were on duty whenever the company said they were needed. As the railroad’s agent and telegrapher, Dad had to be at the depot when trains were scheduled to arrive. Everybody knew the train schedule and, a lot of times, folks would go down to the depot in the evening to “meet the passenger train” just to see who got on and who got off. The arrival of the eastbound evening passenger train from Aberdeen was always looked forward to with anticipation. Everything from freight to passengers to postcards moved by rail in those days, and folks were always looking forward to either sending or receiving something. You could drop an envelope containing your order to the Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Ward Companies into the slot on the side of the eastbound passenger train’s Railway Post Office car on Tuesday evening, and expect the items you had ordered to arrive with the U.S. Mail on Thursday morning. All it took to send a First Class letter back then was a 3 cent stamp. Is today’s internet service any better than that? It’s certainly not any easier.

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Rutland Trivia

This year’s Rutland Block Party included a trivia contest about Rutland. Three teams competed to answer the following questions. The Team of Norbert Kulzer, Pam Maloney, and Lori McLaen, won with 9 points! Test your knowledge about Rutland. Answers are at the end. How did you do?

1.   What was the original name of the town of Rutland?

2.   Number of pieces of lefse made for the 2018 Uffda Day Celebration?

3.   How many pounds was the World largest flipped hamburger and during what year was it made?

4.   How many single family houses are there in Rutland?

5.   What was the year of the last graduating class in Rutland?

6.   How many post office boxes are there in the Rutland Post office?

7.   What township is Rutland in?

8.   How long has Ronald Narum been mayor?

9.   What are the ingredients in scalloped potatoes?

10. In 1949 a pitcher for the Rutland Roosters amateur baseball team set a record for strikeouts in a single game in the ND state Baseball tournament. Who was the pitcher AND how many strikeouts did he throw?

11. What year according to the census (20s 30s 40s 50s etc) did Rutland have the highest population?

12.  To the nearest hundred thousand how many hundred thousand gallons of fuel did Herby sell at Rutland oil in 2018?

13.  What was the name of Benard Mahrer Construction Inc. before it was incorporated in 1979?


  1. Stewart
  2. 3,500 pieces;
  3. 3,591 lbs in 1982 – give yourself two points if you got them both right!;
  4. 86 single-family homes;
  5. 1963 was the last graduating class;
  6. 171 PO boxes;
  7. Trick question! Rutland is in two townships – Ransom and Rutland;
  8. Ronnie Narum has been Mayor for 47 years;
  9. Ingredients for scallop potatoes are potatoes, cream, onion and ham (some argue a bit of water or a dash of salt but NO);
  10. Leif Sundlie had 20 strikeouts (and the record still holds). Two points.
  11. In 1950 Rutland had its highest population of 309 residents;
  12. Rutland Oil sold 800,000 gallons of fuel in 2018. As of this June, Rutland Oil will have been in the Donaldson Family for 3 generations and 2019 is the 100th year in business!
  13. Bernard Mahrer Construction was originally called C & B Construction – C & B stood for Chuck and Bernie, brothers who started in the business in the 50s.

Let us know how well you did on the trivia!

Rutland in 2013

2013 was another year of “Hello” and “Goodbye”, fun and excitement.  Here is a brief summary of events in Rutland, ND from 2013:

We said our goodbyes to:

  • Verna Kiefer of Cayuga, passed away in January at the age of 91.
  • Roman Weber, passed away in February in Fargo at the age of 77. 
  • Earl Cramton passed away February 2 in Rutland.  He was 64 years old.
  • Donald Markeseth of Tewaukon Township, died March 16.
  • Ella Lou (Baumer) Nelson passed away in Forman, April 10.
  • Woodrow Leonard Olson departed this life April 15, 2013, at Bristol, South Dakota
  • Rutland native Valrae (Thomas) Miller passed away April 27, 2013 in Sioux Falls, SD
  • Harry A. Kiefer of Cayuga, passed away in Fargo June 1.
  • Rutland native Kimberly “Kim” G. Sjothun died June 2, in Fargo.
  • August 22, Rutland native Neal Preble departed this life in Grand Forks ND.
  • September 12, Loretta M. “Lolly” Arneson passed away in Fargo.
  • Joyce (Colby/Butler) Narum passed away September 19, in Fergus Falls MN.
  • Rutland native Marvin Evenson, died September 28, in Sioux Falls SD, 101 years old.
  • October 6, Borghild (Christianson) Lee passed away in Forman
  • November 27, Rutland native Ellis Sundlie passed away at his home in Pahrump NV.
  • Clarence J. “Butch” Harff  passed away on November 29, 2013, in Forman.

We welcomed new Rutland residents: Continue reading “Rutland in 2013”