The Rooster Crows – July 23, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The brief rain shower that passed through Rutland and vicinity on the afternoon of Monday, July 19, was the equivalent of a bloop single that spoiled what would have been a perfect game for the Drought team this past week: no rain; no fog; and, no dew. Although the rain came down hard for a few minutes, it did not leave even a slight measurable trace in any of the local rain gauges. The haze that has been hanging in the sky for the past week is not any kind of moisture in the atmosphere, the weather gurus tell us, but is smoke from the fires in western Canada; eastern Canada; and, the northwestern U. S. The fires have already consumed hundreds of thousands of acres of timber and, with no rain in sight, are expected to continue until there is either significant rainfall, or all of the timber is consumed, whichever occurs first. In the meantime, the thought that, “Every day that it doesn’t rain is one day closer to the day that it will,” is keeping hope alive out here on the Great American Desert.

The harvest of Hard Red Spring Wheat commenced last week, and mixed results, ranging from poor to worse are being reported. Despite some reports of yields as low as 9 bushels to the acre, trucks filled with wheat are rolling down Main Street in Rutland, heading for the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op’s facility here, Rodney Erickson’s refurbished Rutland Elevator. The relative success of the harvest seems to be directly tied to when the crop was seeded. Cameron Gulleson reports that Gulleson Brothers have harvested some fields that were planted just before the one good rain this area received back in April, and those fields have yielded from 15 to 30 bushels to the acre. That is a long way from the 50 to 70 bushel wheat yields to which local producers have become accustomed, though. Old timers remember when 20 bushel wheat would have been a bumper crop, and a $2.00 price was boom times. This year, though, the only bright spot in the picture is that the reports of skimpy yields have pushed the price of wheat up to nearly $7.00 per bushel in some markets, so there’s always some good news, even if you have to look under the rocks to find it.

Eugene Erickson of Ithaca NY, accompanied by one of his sons, Jeff Erickson, visited in Rutland at Noon on Wednesday, July 14. The two were on a family history fact finding mission, and were in Rutland looking for information concerning Eugene’s mother, the late Ida (Helberg) Erickson. The original Helbergs were Swedish Immigrants who homesteaded on the Tewaukon-Ransom Township Line southeast of Rutland back in the 1890’s. The original farmhouse was in Tewaukon Township, and the barn was in Ransom. Their farmstead is now the site of Roger Nelson’s farm headquarters. Eugene’s mother was a daughter of these immigrants, and a younger sister of the late Theodore “Ted” Helberg of this community. Ida married Oscar Erickson of Dunbar Township, and they later settled at McLeod ND, in Ransom County. Eugene, now 92 years of age, grew up in McLeod ND and graduated from high school there. Oscar Erickson was a brother of Alvin Erickson, father of the famous “Uncle Ed” Erickson of Shuman Township who is noted as the inventor of the Eagle Ditcher and as one of the mastermind builders of the frying pan for Rutland’s “World’s Largest Hamburger” back in 1982. Eugene went to college at NDSU, at that time titled North Dakota College of Agriculture and Applied Science, in Fargo, graduating with a Degree in Agriculture in 1953. He then went on to graduate school at Michigan State University, and to a teaching career as a Professor of Rural Sociology at Cornell University in Ithaca NY, one of the most prestigious agricultural colleges in the world. Eugene has been retired for a quarter of a century, but he is still mentally & physically active, and, to look at him you would think that he is 62, not 92. While in Rutland, the Ericksons had dinner at the Rutland Seniors Center, and enjoyed visiting with many there, including Dick Meyers, who remembered the late Ted & Tina Helberg well. They had also stopped at the Sargent County Museum in Forman to do some research in the local newspapers from years ago. Jeff had found the obituary for his great grandmother, Karina Helberg, and from that had picked up some new trails to follow in their search for family history. When they departed Rutland, the Ericksons were headed for the Alan & Doreen Olstad farm, to check out their family’s connection to the Olstad family.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – July 23, 2021”

Hens Do Crow! Dec. 11, 2020

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rutland thanks to the elves who installed the new snowflake lights along First Street. Last week, Jake Erickson and Evan Huemiller hung the decorations while Nick McLaen actually read the instructions on how they were to be installed. (We know guys do not usually read the instructions first, right gals!). A huge thanks also goes to the Rutland Community Club which purchased the decorations earlier this year. The Christmas lights will light up the night for residents and visitors alike for several weeks.

The coronavirus has been cutting a swath through North Dakota for the past several weeks, and it has not passed Rutland by. Roger Pearson of this community has been in the hospital battling the effects of the virus, plus pneumonia, since Thursday, December 3. As of Monday, December 7, he was at Sanford Hospital on Broadway in Fargo. Roger said that the nurses had him sitting in a recliner, drinking Coca-Cola and watching TV, so it was almost like being home. Roger is a member of RHS Class of 1958.

Larry Christensen reports that his cousin, Rutland native Ed Christensen of Bismarck, was recently released from the hospital there, after being besieged by Covid-19 for several weeks. Ed is a 1961 graduate of RHS. 

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! Dec. 11, 2020”

Hens Do Crow! June 26, 2020

Old friends were saddened last week when word was received that Wayne Maloney passed away on Tuesday, June 15, at his home in Rutland surrounded by his family. Wayne Robert Maloney was born in Morris, Minnesota, on December 26, 1953, to William & Darlene (Faatz) Maloney. He was raised on a farm southwest of Morris and graduated from Chokio-Alberta High School in 1972. After graduation, he moved to North Dakota and worked for Dennis Pherson’s custom combining crew. Since then he worked for Bernard Mahrer Construction, Crandall Construction, Arrowhead Transport, Breker Trucking, Kulzer Farm Supply, and then Central Specialties until his retirement in 2017.  He was a hard worker & could fix just about anything. Wayne was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in February 2017 and battled diligently since then with treatments every two weeks. He entered Hospice care on May 28. Wayne married Pamela Jacobson on August 13, 1977. They lived in the Rutland area where they raised two daughters, Taryn Christine & Brianne Cathlene. Wayne loved to hunt deer & pheasant & also enjoyed ice fishing. He loved his snowmobiling trips out west with family & friends & ATV rides with kids & grandkids. He enjoyed the simple things like Sunday afternoon drives, watching NASCAR races, tinkering in his garage, relaxing at the lake, and nurturing his new trees. But, above all else, time spent with his grandkids was his most treasured. He is survived by his wife, Pam; daughter Taryn (Shane) Jensen and their children Cohen Robert, Beckette Cathlene & Landrie Rose of Wyndmere, ND; daughter Brianne (Joshua) Nelson & their children Piper Lynn & Royce Curtis of Rutland; parents, Bill & Darlene Maloney of Morris, MN; six brothers & sisters Ed (Connie) of Ramsey, MN;  Cindy Schmidt (Rollie Retzlaff) of Hoffman, MN; Gary (Terry) Maloney and Alan Maloney, all of Morris, MN; Pam (Steve) Reed of Sioux Falls, SD; & Craig (Julie) Maloney of Freeman, SD; brothers & sisters-in-law Carolyn (Larry) Christensen, Calvin (Wendy) Jacobson and Diane Smith all of Rutland; and Boyd Jacobson, Jr. of Starbuck, MN; & numerous nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Sarah Lynn; maternal grandparents, Richard & Anna Faatz & paternal grandparents, James & Mary Ellen Maloney; and father & mother-in-law, Boyd & Catherine Jacobson. A family funeral service was held on Friday, June 19 at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and burial was held at Nordland Cemetery which many Rutland and area friends attended respecting social distancing guidelines.

Doug Spieker had been hospitalized at Sanford in Fargo on Monday, June 15, after suffering what was at first thought to have been a stroke. Doug reports that his doctors are of the opinion that the sudden onset of symptoms may have been a reaction to one of the prescription medications he has been taking. He was back at home on Saturday, June 20, in time to enjoy the first day of summer and the Summer Solstice at home on the farm. Doug says that he will be taking it easy at home for a while, but expects to be out and about in short order.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! June 26, 2020”

Hens Do Crow! March 20, 2020

A large crowd of family and friends gathered in the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, March 7, to participate in a celebration of life honoring the late Jerry Sapa of this community. Jerry passed away at Sanford Hospital in Fargo on Wednesday, February 26 after a brief but spirited battle with an aggressive cancer. Jerry was the youngest of the six children of the late Joe and Helen (Silseth) Sapa, who had made their home in Rutland from the 1930’s until the late 1950’s. Jerry was born in 1956, when the family resided here, and moved to Fargo with his parents  and sisters shortly thereafter. The Sapas always considered Rutland to be their hometown, though, and Jerry frequently accompanied his parents on visits with his maternal grandparents, Arthur & Nellie Silseth, on their farm south of Rutland. Jerry’s great-grandfather, Ole Silseth, had been one of Sargent County’s early pioneers, having homesteaded near Silver Lake in Rutland Township back in 1882. After he had graduated from Shanley High School in 1974, Jerry took up the trade of carpentry and earned a reputation as a master of his craft as well as for the precision of his work. A little over 20 years ago, Jerry moved from Fargo to Rutland to practice his profession and to pursue some of his favorite activities, hunting whitetail deer, upland game and waterfowl. Jerry made many friends in this area, and always maintained contact with the friends he had made as a youth growing up in Fargo. Those new friends and old friends were often his hunting companions around Rutland, and also established a connection to the Rutland community. On Saturday afternoon many of them got up to speak about Jerry’s character, skill and good humor, and about the good times they had enjoyed in his company. Those attending the program enjoyed a supper featuring Rutland Scalloped Potatoes at its conclusion. During his years in Rutland, Jerry became the community’s “Mr. Fix-It,” working on many projects, large & small, including projects in and on the Town Hall in which the celebration of his life was held. He was generous with his time and his talents. (Back in 1947, Jerry’s Dad, Joe Sapa, was one of the volunteers who donated their time and talent to build the Rutland Town Hall that Jerry worked to maintain and improve.) He is survived by two sisters: Margaret Ann Hartze of Fargo; and, Jeannie Seifert of Fargo; by his 2 beloved dogs; by numerous nieces and nephews; and, by a multitude of friends. He will be missed by all who knew him.

The Rutland Community Club held the annual Fun Night on Sunday, March 15, with a good crowd of Rutland residents attending. Katie McLaen and Morgan Peterson organized the evening of games for the kids and bingo for the adults. The Hall was full of energy and activity for two hours concluding with the drawing for over 70 prizes for the youth. Individuals helped with the clean-up and it did not take long to take down all the decorations and seating which had taken hours to prepare.

Sargent Central High School, along with all K-12 schools in the State, took off the week of March 16-20 as announced by the Governor. Sargent Central students were already scheduled to have March 19-20 off for spring break. Students could get necessary items from their lockers at school on the morning of Wednesday, March 18. Information on when and how classes will resume is anticipated on Friday. The students may be home longer making it difficult for working parents who still need to work during this time.

The gathering of Rutland residents will soon be confined to ten or less as recommended by the ND Department of Health amid the spread of COVID-19. People have been urged to participate in “social distancing” to help stop the spread. Basically, avoid social gatherings of 10 or more and try to be in excess of 6 feet of others. Use caution when getting groceries or shopping. Now is the time to hunker down with a good book, go for a drive, watch movies, take a walk, start that indoor spring cleaning or take an online class. 

Information will be posted on the City of Rutland website and Facebook page as needed on events and activities in Rutland so be sure to check regularly. Events are being postponed or cancelled so be sure to call before planning to attend. That’s it from Rutland for this week. Stay warm and stay healthy!