News & Events

The Rooster Crows – August 7, 2015

Spring wheat harvest is now underway in the Rutland area, and reports are that this year’s wheat crop varies from great to terrific.  Yields of 50 to 70 bushels per acre have been reported, with some test weights as high as 64 pounds and protein at 14%.  One producer reported 80 bushels to the acre with 16% protein and 66 pound test weight, but he was the last guy to make his report, and all of the realistic numbers had been used up.  Wheat is no longer the “King of Crops” on the northern plains, but it does still figure prominently in the rotations of many producers, and this year it promises to play a significant role on the balance sheet, as well.

There are many stories that tell “the long and the short of it,” but it isn’t too often that the descriptive phrase becomes a visual reality.  On Monday, August 3, two combines, one a self-propelled and the other a PTO powered pull type began straight cutting spring wheat in one of Dennis McLaen’s fields about a mile west of the intersection of County Road #10 and ND Highway #11.  The long and the short of that story was that Dennis was operating a modern Case-IH rotary combine that was cutting a swath down the field that was 40 feet wide, and the other combine, a 73 year old 1942 Model 42R International Harvester powered by a WD-45 Allis Chalmers tractor was cutting a swath 42 inches wide down the same field.  Rutland native David Susag had rescued the ancient 42R from a junk pile in the trees on the old Louis Saunders farm southeast of Rutland several years ago, and had completely restored the old machine to showroom condition.  David had the know-how to get the job done, as he had grown up on the Susag family farm a mile west of Rutland where he had often repaired and worked with equipment of a similar vintage, and he had recently retired from a long career as a mechanical engineer with the Case-IH, formerly Steiger, tractor factory in Fargo.  David’s WD-45 Allis-Chalmers was also a restoration job he had successfully completed several years ago.  David reported that the restored Model 42R IHC handled the heavy wheat crop very well, but couldn’t quite keep up with its huge Case-IH successor.  Although he enjoyed the day in the field, showing off his new old combine, and appreciated the fact that the heavy wheat crop shined up the innards of the old 42R, David states that he is not interested in a new career in the custom combining business.  Congratulations to Dennis on a tremendous wheat crop, and thanks to David for reminding us of how the harvest used to be brought in, back when farms, and the machinery that was used to farm them, were a lot smaller.  The 42R, and other machines like it, was a tremendous technological achievement, replacing the men and horses formerly required during the harvest season with a piece of machinery that didn’t have to be fed or paid while it wasn’t working, and freeing up the labor force formerly required for farm work for factory work and military service during World War II.  They are mere toys by today’s standards, but back in 1942 they were the biggest deal on wheels.

David & Glenn Kulzer arrived in Rutland on the evening of Wednesday, July 29, ready to attend the reunion of descendants of Myrtle (Aus) Kulzer and Roman Kulzer from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2.  Glenn Kulzer resides at Dillon, Montana, where he is employed as a pharmacist.  Glenn and his uncle, Norbert Kulzer, were fishing on Lake Tewaukon on Thursday, July 30, and brought in 6 walleyes, a great day of fishing, according to Glenn, and a “disappointing catch,” according to Norbert.  Grandma Patty, son Ross and grandchildren Lilah and Cohn arrived on Thursday, July 30, having traveled across Montana at a more leisurely pace.  45 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren attended the reunion.  The 6 children of Myrtle & Roman are: the late Kurt Kulzer; Norbert Kulzer; David Kulzer; Diane Davis; Kathy Kriegelstein; and Karen Buisker.  The Kulzer descendants headquartered at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, and also toured sites of interest in Rutland on a wagon ride through the community, with Norbert driving the D-19 Allis-Chalmers tractor that pulled the wagon.  The Kulzers wrapped up reunion activities on the evening of Sunday, August 2, with a marshmallow roast around a bonfire on the lots owned by Glenn Kulzer at 115 Dakota Street.

There were some big changes in the management of Rutland Housing, Inc., as of Friday, July 31.  Kris Nerison, who had been project manager since 2002, resigned her position a month ahead of her earlier submitted and accepted August 31 resignation; and, long-time board member and president Ron Narum resigned from the board of directors, effective immediately.  Ron cited frustration in dealing with USDA Rural Development, the housing corporation’s primary lender, as well as personal health issues, as reasons for his resignation.  Vice-President Delores Lysne will step up to the President’s position, and, along with Treasurer Bertha Siemieniewski will assume the duties of project manager pending the appointment of a new board member and the hiring of a new project manager by the current board members.  Currently, Rutland Housing owns 3 apartment buildings in Rutland and has 3 apartments available to rent.  Current board members are: Delores Lysne, acting president; Carolyn Christensen, secretary; Bertha Siemieniewski, treasurer; and, Bill Anderson, director.

A group of more than 75 family and friends gathered at the Milton & Danene McLaen home in Forman on the afternoon of Sunday, August 2, to extend a hearty “Happy Birthday!” to Milton on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of his birth.  Milton’s parents were the late Emil & Clara (Anderson) McLaen of Rutland.  A veteran of World War II, Milt is the only remaining charter member of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion with 69 years of continuous membership.  Milton’s birthday was actually on Tuesday, August 4, but, back in 1925, no one looked ahead to make sure that his 90th would fall on the weekend.  The Rutland community extends birthday greetings to Milton McLaen, and best wishes for health and happiness in the years ahead.

About 35 friends and family gathered in the dining room of the Lariat Bar on the evening of Thursday, July 23, for a surprise birthday party honoring Rutland resident Noel Liermark.  The party was organized by Noel’s wife, Debbie, and, according to Noel, it was a complete surprise.  Noel has now attained the 3 quarters of a century mark, and is looking to make it through the fourth quarter as well.  Noel’s many friends in Rutland extend a hearty “Happy Birthday” to him.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 3, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Bradley Christensen, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present.  Alderman Rodney Erickson was absent.  The financial report showed all funds to be in the black.  The Council approved a Conditional Use Building Permit authorizing Doug Olstad to place a new, 40 X 24 mobile home on Lots 3-7, Block 6 of Cooper’s Addition, 116 Anthony Street; and, approved a building permit authorizing the construction of a backyard fence at the Kyle & Kaia Mahrer residence at 318 First Street.  Raffle permit applications from the Windy Mound Chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation and the Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever for gun raffles to be held on Saturday, November 14 were approved without objection.  Temporary Off premises liquor permits were approved for the Lariat Bar to operate outside during the Rutland Rib Fest on Saturday, August 8, and to operate in the Rutland Town Hall for the Hoflen-Lauen wedding reception on Saturday, August 15.  A temporary off-premises liquor permit was also approved allowing the Geneseo Bar to operate in the Rutland Town Hall for the Bergh-McKinney wedding reception on Saturday, September 12.  Pursuant to a request from Delores Lysne, the Council increased the hourly rate paid for cleaning the Town Hall from $15.00 to $20.00 per hour.  Mike Mahrer reported that magnesium chloride dust control had been applied on Cooper Street/County #3 from the intersection with Dakota Street past the Cemetery, and appeared to be working well.  Alderman Mahrer also reported that the alley graveling had been completed during the month of July.  Auditor Banish reported that pet license fees were being collected, with good cooperation and compliance from pet owners; that 3 delinquent water, sewer and garbage collection accounts were delinquent, and service would be discontinued if the accounts were not paid in full by August 15; that Alderman Rodney Erickson had gotten the light atop the Rutland water tower working again; and, that Rutland’s application for a Safe Routes For Non-Drivers Grant from the Department of Transportation had been rated 7th of the 12 applications that were qualified, but that the DOT only had enough money to fund the first 4 projects on the list, 3 of which were in the oil producing region of western North Dakota.  After authorizing the payment of the City’s bills, the Council adjourned.  The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8, the day after the Labor Day Holiday, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Word was received here last week that Rutland native Marvin Franzen had passed away on Sunday, July 19, while under the care of Hospice in a Maryland nursing home.  Marvin was 87½ years old at the time of his death.  Marvin Carl Franzen was born on January 24, 1928, in Britton SD to the late Carl & Ruth Franzen.  He grew up in Rutland, where his parents owned and operated a retail hardware and grocery business.  When a devastating fire destroyed most of the business buildings on the east side of Main Street in August of 1941, Marvin and his brother, Donald, along with their grandfather, spent most of their spare time for the next 6 months salvaging bricks from the rubble and preparing them for re-use in the rebuilt Franzen Hardware & Grocery Store.  That building is the one in which Rutland’s U. S. Post Office is now located.  Marvin graduated from High School in 1946 and enrolled in the University of North Dakota, graduating in 1950.  He attended Navy OCS and was commissioned as an Ensign that year.  He rose to the rank of Lieutenant before leaving the Navy and going into business in Maryland.  He married Joyce Marie Franzen in Fargo in 1953, and they had 4 children.  Marvin had a successful career in insurance sales and in the real estate sales and development businesses in Maryland.  He and Joyce had made their home in Lexington MD for many years.  She had predeceased him several years ago.  Marvin is survived by his children, and by his brother, Donald Franzen, of Britton SD.  The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Marvin Franzen, a home town boy who went out into the world and did good things.

Rutland natives Joayne (Brown) Hogoboom of Denver CO and Jeanne (Brown) Campbell of Aberdeen SD visited in their old home town on the afternoon of Monday, August 3.  The 2 sisters, daughters of the late Jack & Ida (Breum) Brown, stopped to visit their aunt, Irene Anderson, at the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman, and then, along with Irene, enjoyed supper at The Lariat Bar in Rutland with their cousins Paul Anderson, Pat Kulzer and Bill Anderson.  Joayne & Jean recalled that their mother had died when they were quite young, and that they had resided for a time with their paternal grandparents, Hans & Lena Brown, their aunt Irene, and their uncle, Art Brown, on the farm 3 miles east of Rutland.  They said that they would sometimes cajole Art to take them to the movie theater in Lidgerwood and he would agree, “…if the headlights on the car keep working.”  As they were driving toward Lidgerwood, the headlights would suddenly dim and Art would tell them, “Looks like we might have to turn back, if I can’t get these headlights fixed.”  Then he would slap the dash, whistle and the headlights would mysteriously brighten again, allowing the journey to the movies to continue.  The girls thought that Art really knew what he was doing.  They had to get a little older before they figured out that the headlight dimmer switch was on the floor by the driver’s left foot in those days, and that their Uncle Art was just having a little fun with them.  When their Dad, Jack, went off to work on the Alaska highway during World War II, Joayne and Jean became part of the family of their uncle and aunt, the late Lincoln & Clara (Breum) Flados, and moved with them from Rutland to Forman, to Britton SD and then to Bowman ND, where they both graduated from High School.  Their cousins, Beverly and Lavonne Flados, were about their age and became like sisters to them.  Both Joayne and Jeanne have fond memories of their childhood days in Rutland, and of the loving extended family in which they grew up.  The next time they are in Rutland they plan to tour the Coteau des Prairies Lodge.

Saturday, August 8, is shaping up to be a big day in Rutland.  The day will start out with a community wide rummage/yard sale at various locations around town.  Visitors can stop in at The Rutland General Store for the addresses of sale participants.  In the early afternoon, several Relay For Life teams will be hosting a “Junk-Fest” at which collectables, antiques and junk of all types will be available in the Weber Building at 102 First Street.  The “piece de resistance” for the day, the 7th Annual Rutland Rib Fest will commence at about 5:00 p.m. on the 100 Block of Main Street, from Front Street on the north to the intersection with Arthur & Gay Streets on the south.  The street will be blocked off and rib chefs will be competing for the title of “Best Ribs In Rutland” as well as selling their product to the public.  The American Legion Auxiliary will also be holding its annual Pie & Ice Cream Social in the Rutland Seniors Center, right in the middle of the action, while the Earl Fust Band and Raw Sugar will be providing musical entertainment on the street.  Don’t miss it!  Rutland’s 7th Annual Rib-Fest!  Good music; good food; good friends; and, a good time.  You just can’t beat that combination!

Well, something you only see once in a Blue Moon was observed last Friday, July 31, an actual Blue Moon.  A Blue Moon occurs when there are 2 Full Moons in the span of one month, with the second Full Moon being designated as the Blue Moon.  As the Moon completes its cycle in about 29½ days, and most months have 31 or 30 days in them, a Blue Moon is bound to happen once in a while.  The next one will not occur until January 31, 2018, two and a half years down the road.  If you missed the one last Friday, make sure to pay attention when 2018 rolls around.

Speaking of Blue Moons, another rarity these days is a Republican who is not a candidate for election to the office of President of the United States.  Seventeen of them will be “debating” on the evening of Thursday, August 5, if you can call two question and answer sessions involving that many people who love to talk a debate.  The first, involving the “second tier” candidates, those who couldn’t quite muster enough support to make the first team, will have 7 candidates, and the second, on during TV’s prime time, will include the 10 with the most support in 5 recent polls, according to Fox News, if you can believe Fox News.  Leading the pack, so far, is the blustering, bombastic billionaire, Donald Trump, who has appealed to that portion of the Republican Party’s base who don’t know what they’re for and don’t know what they’re against, but do know that they’re mad as hell, and that they like a guy who sounds as angry as they are.  They want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare and Social Security, and they want all immigrants kicked out of the country, right after they get done shingling the house, mowing the lawn and taking out the trash.  Trump has certainly tapped into America’s “mean streak,” and whether he can parlay that into a ticket to the White House remains to be seen.  Thirty-six years ago, 14 months prior to the Election of 1980, no one figured that a washed up actor and former mediocre Governor of California named Ronald Reagan could be elected President, either, but it happened.  Anyone who counts Donald Trump out at this point is premature, at best, and probably dead wrong, at worst.

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, and stop by the Rutland blog and 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.

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