The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022

By Bill Anderson


The brisk southeast breeze was heavy with humidity from the thunderstorm that had rolled over Rutland and surrounding area at about 4:30 a.m., giving the countryside a 1 inch drenching in the early morning hours, on top of the .4” and .6” that had been received on Friday & Saturday mornings. The American Flag, at half staff on the Nordland Cemetery flagpole, snapped in the breeze. The ceremonial detail from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion formed up just east of the Main Gate a little before 10:15 a.m. and prepared to march to its pre-designated position at the east end of the cemetery. This year, members of the detail were: Color Bearers Rob Wyum & Andy Hoflen; Post Chaplain Ted Lee; Sergeant At Arms Calvin Jacobson; and, squad members: Roger McLaen; Tom Manley; Andy Harris; Larry Christensen; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Pearson. Calvin, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has been serving as Sergeant At Arms since 2009. Before then, Clayton McLaen, a Korean War veteran, had been Sergeant At Arms. No one remains who remembers the name of the Sergeant At Arms prior to Clayton. High water had deterred spectators so the crowd was sparse. The ceremony was to honor those who sleep beneath the grass, though, not those who are on top of it, so the number of attendees was irrelevant. The detail was arrayed at the east end of the cemetery, and Chaplain Ted Lee delivered a prayer before the firing detail fired off 3 volleys in salute of their departed comrades. The command to “Present arms!”was then given. Roger Pearson played “Taps,” and the detail marched back to the Main Gate to head for the Rutland Cemetery, where the process was repeated 3 more times. At the Rutland Cemetery the volleys echoed off the Woytassek Farm’s grain bins, providing double the effect. The ladies of The American Legion Auxiliary placed floral tokens of remembrance on the graves of veterans prior to the volleys being fired. The ceremonies out at the cemeteries were followed by a brief program at the Rutland Town Hall, and by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, to which everyone was invited. During the Program, Auxiliary President Carolyn Christensen recognized those who had earned years of service pins during the 2 years that covid-19 prevented the program from being held, and presented pins to those entitled to them this year, among those honored were: Pam (Jacobson) Maloney, 10 years; Brianne (Maloney) Nelson, 10 years; Taryn (Maloney) Jensen, 10 years; Ione (Bensen) Pherson, 10 years; Susan (Orth) Fust, 20 years; Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, 25 years; Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, 25 years; Allison Hoflen, 40 years; Joan (Jacobson) Lee, 45 years; and, Rita Preble, 45 years. Ted Lee; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Nelson; received 50 Year membership certificates and pins from The American Legion. Auxiliary member Sonja Christensen read an article from the Sargent County News of January 9, 1943 that reported on a community gathering at the Baptist Church honoring some of the local servicemen who were home on leave at that time. Woodrow Olson had served aboard the USS San Francisco in the big naval battle near Guadalcanal in mid-November of 1942 in which the American cruiser had slugged it out toe to toe with Japanese battleships. The Americans won the battle, but the San Francisco had to return to the shipyard at Bremerton WA for repair of battle damage, and Woodrow had been granted leave to return home for a few weeks while his ship was being made fit to return to duty. The newspaper report, written by the late Lou Sanderson, included the information that a poem written by Mrs. Seaquist, the wife of the Baptist Minister, which contained the names of the young men & women from Rutland then in the military service, had been read. A collection of $153.35 had been received at the gathering, and that sum was used to purchase a War Bond that would be used for the benefit of Rutland’s returning veterans when the war was over. Following this year’s program the traditional Memorial Day pot-luck dinner was enjoyed by all. The Rutland Community Club had supplied a couple of roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham that had been prepared by Mrs. Lyndsee Pherson, and were judged to be as good as those prepared by the Lutheran Ladies Aid back in the good old days. Some who had come from a distance had to cut their conversation time short due to severe weather warnings being issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau. They all plan to be back next year.

Some of those from out of town who were in Rutland for Memorial Day were: Pat Prindiville of Horace; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon Sundlie of Fargo; Becky Hicks & daughter, Ashley, of Fargo; Brenda Gibbon of Milnor; Kathy Stout of West Branch IA; Allison Hoflen of Fargo; Ann Hoflen of St. Paul MN; and, many others.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Last Spring, it was too dry. This Spring, it’s too wet. On the average, though, it’s just right. This Spring, the weather has not been cooperating with the Spring planting plans of farmers in this area. Just when it seems that fields will get dry enough to allow the spring’s work to proceed, along comes another bolt of lightning, rumble of thunder and a quarter inch of rain to keep things at a standstill. With the market prices of wheat, corn and soybeans all in the high to higher range, this is the year to have a crop to sell. The fact that the weather is preventing that crop from getting planted is the cause of anxious impatience among local producers. About the only individuals more nervous about the situation than local farmers are local bankers. On the bright side, at least our farmers know that their bankers are concerned about their health, both physical and financial. The old timers used to say that whatever the weather was like on Memorial Day was a good indicator of what it would be like throughout the rest of the growing season, and every now and then the old timers were right.

Speaking of Memorial Day, Carolyn Christensen, an officer of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary, says that the holiday will be back to normal in 2022, after 2 years of Covid-19 disruption. In Rutland, Memorial Day observances on the morning of Monday, May 30, will begin with military rites conducted by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion at the Nordland Cemetery, 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of town, followed by military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m. A program produced by the American Legion Auxiliary will be presented at 11:00 a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall, followed by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, also in the Town Hall. Everyone is invited to participate in Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 30.

Bruce Burke of Seattle WA stopped in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, May 19, doing some research for a personal family history project. Mr. Burke grew up in Breckenridge MN, but the Burke family traces its history back to Rutland and the Great Northern Railway. Bruce’s parents were Harvey & Alice Burke; his grandparents were Rutland natives John & Anna (Spande) Burke; his great-aunt was the late Bertha (Spande) Penfield; and his great-grandparents were Knud & Alisa Spande. Knud & Alisa Spande owned & occupied the house at 309 Gay Street that is now owned by Paul Anderson, from 1918 until Alisa Spande’s death in 1958. The house had been built by Paul’s grandparents, Ole & Julia Anderson, back in 1909. Prior to moving to town, the Spandes had farmed south of Silver Lake. Bruce has a vivid memory of an event that occurred at the Spande house in Rutland back in the early 1950’s, when he was a small boy of about 4 or 5 years of age. It seems that there was an unused water well in the backyard that had been covered over with an old door. Being a boy of some energy, Bruce decided to take a run and jump on the center of that old door. When he did so, the deteriorated boards broke and down went Bruce. Fortunately, as he went through the door he stuck his elbows out and caught himself on the edges of the hole he had made, leaving his head sticking out, above the door, and his feet dangling just above the water in the well. He said that he can still remember looking down and seeing the cold water just beneath his feet. Bruce’s Dad, Harvey Burke, rushed to his assistance and pulled him to safety. Bruce said that he can’t remember just what his Dad said to his great-grandfather about the continued existence of that well, but he’s pretty sure that it was powerful. It had been Bruce’s intention to take a picture of the old well, if any evidence of it still existed. He could not find any trace of the well but was pleased to find that the house is in excellent condition and still looks much as it did back when his great-grandparents first bought it 104 years ago. Mr. Burke had taken the long way around to get to Rutland. He had driven through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to get here. He had stopped in New Mexico to take a look at the Air Force Base at which he had been stationed back in the late 60’s, and in Nebraska to visit some students he had taught there back in the 70’s. He was surprised to find that the teen-age students he remembered are now in their 60’s. Time marches on. Mr. Burke was visiting at the home of his cousin, the daughter of the late Jim & Nellie (Burke) McCulloch, at Ottertail Lake MN during his stay in this area. He planned to be heading back to Seattle on Saturday, May 21, and hoped to make it home in 3 or 4 days via I-94 & I-90.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – May 14, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Mother Nature has been cautious in her approach to Spring this year. The cool weather persists, although it has been gradually climbing into short sleeved shirt conditions, with highs in the upper 60’s and lower 70’s predicted for the coming weekend. Ma Nature has been sparing with the precipitation, too, as .1 to .2 of an inch of rain fell in the Rutland area on Wednesday, May 5. The cool, dry conditions have been great for getting the field work done, though. Planting has been proceeding at a rapid pace throughout Sargent County. Bruce Speich of Milnor reported on Monday, May 10, that he and his sons were down to 300 acres of beans and 110 acres of corn left to plant near Delamere. Rick Bosse reported on Wednesday, May 12, that Spring planting was nearing completion in the Brampton area, too. No predictions are being made as to what the results will be this Fall, but, for now, things are looking up.

CORRECTIONS! In the April 30, 2021, column, the name of Ted Lee was inadvertently omitted from the list of members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 who comprised the ceremonial detail for the graveside service for the late Urban Hoistad. The service was held at the Nordland Cemetery southeast of Rutland on Monday, April 26. Ted Lee also serves as Post Chaplain for the Rutland American Legion Post.

In the May 7, 2021 column, the date on which Curt & Renee Larson observed their 50th Wedding Anniversary by renewing their vows should have been Saturday, May 1, not Sunday, April 25. They were married on Saturday, May 1 back in 1971, and renewed their vows 50 years later, to the day. The author of this column apologizes to Bergman-Evenson Post #215 & Ted Lee, and to Curt & Renee Larson, for the omission and for the error.

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The Rooster Crows 5/29/2020

By Bill Anderson

Although field conditions in the Rutland area are still plenty wet and muddy, there hasn’t been much rain lately. That situation changed, a little, on the morning of Sunday, May 24, when a two-hour .16 of an inch drizzle gave the area a clean-up shower just before Memorial Day. There are no predictions about when the next rainfall might be scheduled, but the old-timers used to say that “Every day that it doesn’t rain is one day closer to the day that it will.” Can’t argue with that.

Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, dawned gray and overcast with a light wind out of the northwest. The air was humid, and the grass was covered with a heavy dew, a reminder of the light rain of the previous day. Despite the fact that the traditional Memorial Day program and pot-luck dinner had been cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic, a substantial number of current and former Rutland community residents were at both the Nordland and the Rutland cemeteries to witness the members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion perform military rites honoring the memory of those honored dead who had served in the nation’s military services. Members of the ceremonial detail for 2020 included: Andy Hoflen; Rob Wyum; Ted Lee; Andy Harris; Larry Christensen; Doug Olstad; Roger Pearson; Calvin Jacobson; Doug Spieker; and Bill Anderson. Those who were at the cemeteries commented on the precision of the detail’s performance. Following the military rites at the cemeteries, Post Commander Larry Christensen called a brief meeting in Calvin Jacobson’s driveway at which the members approved a gift to Logan Wyum, SCHS Class of ’20, in appreciation for his services as Post Bugler over the past several years; elected Rob Wyum as Vice-Commander to replace former Vice-Commander and Past 10th District Commander Tom Manley who has moved to New Mexico; and, awarded 50-year membership pins to Vietnam veterans Larry Christensen and Andy Hoflen. With the meeting concluded, those present commemorated the occasion with appropriate beverages served by the host, Sergeant At Arms Calvin Jacobson. A good time was had by all, and justifiably so.

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Hens Do Crow! May 22, 2020

Members of the Rutland Community Club spent time on Friday, May 15, to brighten up the town. The adults and kids planted some bright purple petunias and other flowers in several flowerpots they had placed along the main business district. The block between Walock-Johnson and the Post Office has five beautiful large potted plants and one was also placed by City Hall. The businesses have been asked to water the plants to keep them looking lively for residents and visitors alike. Sargent County Bank also has two of their own flowerpots greeting patrons who stop in at the Bank.

The column last week mentioned the Birthday caravan that made its way through and around town. One birthday girl was missed. Kaitlyn Shirley Mahrer turned three last Thursday and the parade made sure to pass by there first to wish her a happy birthday. Then, as mentioned last week, the caravan made its way south to greet Anthony “Tony” Banish and then back through town and East to share the day with Audrey Anderson. Small towns can have big celebrations especially when three share the same date.

Word was received here on Tuesday, May 19, that Rutland native, John A. Lee, had passed away the previous evening at a Fargo hospital after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 76 years old at the time of his death.  John was a son of the late Tollef and Ethel (Weller) Lee of this community. He was a member of the RHS Class of ’63 and was a frequent visitor in his old hometown.  He and his wife, Cheryl (Halstenson) Lee, have made their home in Colfax ND since the 1970’s. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend with a party at their home organized by their two daughters. John had served as Mayor of Colfax for many years, and he was known to his many friends as the common man’s Renaissance man, multi-talented and always willing to share his talents to make life better, and living more enjoyable, for all. Funeral plans were not available at this writing.

Sargent Central High School finished up the school year on Wednesday, May 20th.  Students and parents lined up in their cars on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon to return their books, computers, and other school materials that had been used for the past several weeks while COVID-19 kept most at home. A closed graduation ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m. with only immediate family members allowed. A livestream video of the ceremony will be available on Sargent Central’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Vy4ocl4qO5k. Some graduates have postponed the customary reception following graduation with a few selecting to have the reception with guests spreading outside to conform with the six-foot distance suggestions.

Memorial Day military rites ceremonies will be held at the Nordland Lutheran Cemetery and at the Rutland Cemetery. On Monday, 25, the American Legion Post #215 ceremonial detail will be at Nordland Cemetery, (2 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Rutland) at 10:15 a.m. and will be at the Rutland Cemetery (east edge of town) at 10:30 on Memorial Day morning. Commander Christensen requests that all Post members, and all members of the public attending the services, observe social distancing guidelines and wear face masks or other appropriate face coverings to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Auxiliary members will also be at the ceremonies.

That’s it for this week in Rutland. Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Hens Do Crow! May 15, 2020

Several members of the Rutland Community Club met on Monday, May 11, for an update on events and projects. The Missoula Theater Group still plans to be in Rutland June 22-26 for a community play unless cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Sargent County Fair has not been cancelled as of this writing and the Sargent County Queen pageant will be held even if it is cancelled. The ‘passing of the crown’ event for the new Miss Rutland has been done in the past at the Rutland Block Party. However, the Block Party may not be held so the new Miss Rutland, Cora McKinney, may be crowned at a smaller event. The Rutland Community Club has purchased flowers to be placed in the flowerpots that popped up around town and those will be planted on Friday afternoon to beautify the community. Planter boxes will be placed in Rutland this week with two planters by City Hall and two by the Rutland Senior Center. The Sargent County Garden Committee has been working with the NDSU Sargent County
Extension office, Sargent County Ambassadors, and the Master Gardener program. The group obtained donated wood to make the boxes and seeds for planting. Several boxes have already been delivered and planted in Forman and four will be placed in Rutland. The planter boxes by the Senior Center will provide vegetables for use at the Senior Center for meals. Two Sargent County Ambassadors, Tony Banish and Emily Hamilton, will help maintain the Senior planters. The planters by City Hall will be community gardens to be watered, weeded, and harvested by volunteers from the community. Katie McLaen will get a schedule for volunteers to help water and weed the boxes. The Community Club will provide additional funding for plants and tools needed for the project.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! May 15, 2020”