News & Events

The Rooster Crows – December 25, 2015

As promised, Santa Claus stopped in at the Rutland Town Hall early in the evening on Saturday, December 19, to take part in the community’s 70th annual Santa Claus Day event.  Activities began at 5:00 p.m. with hot chili, knefla soup, sandwiches and bars served at the Rutland Town Hall by the Rutland Community Club.  Santa Claus Day activities proceeded with games and crafts for youngsters; BINGO games with cash prizes for each game; and, a bake sale held by the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club.  Those in attendance also signed up for a drawing for Christmas turkeys donated by local businesses and individuals.  While other events proceeded, Santa listened to Christmas requests and posed for photos with children and adult admirers, alike.  Santa’s elf assistants made sure that each child received a bag filled with candy and other small gifts prepared by the Rutland Community Club for the event.  After the last BINGO game was played, the drawing for Santa Claus Day Christmas Turkeys donated by local businesses was held.  Christmas Turkey winners were: Rita Preble; Pat Bladow; Doris Hoistad; Shawna Bergh; Max Hamilton; Polly Rohrbach; Bill Anderson; Julia Mahrer; Mark Breker; Bev Kulzer; Roger McLaen; Abby Erickson; Lyle Erickson; Joanne Harris; Carolyn Christensen; Corbin Carlson; Deb Banish; Dianna Anderson; Phyllis Erickson; Janice Christensen; Elana Granger; Doug Spieker; Heidi Siemieniewski; Pam Maloney; Marlane Hernandez; Celia Olson; Delores Breker; Whitney Mahrer; Piper Nelson; Ryland Roney; and, Vicki Weber. Santa Claus Day events concluded with the lighting of Rutland’s Community Christmas Tree, complete with stockings containing the names of each child who participated in Santa Claus Day this year hanging from its branches, and the huge, lighted, star at its peak.  His task performed, Santa and his elves then returned to their North Pole Christmas Headquarters, via the Eden SD home of their special friends, Mr. & Mrs. LaRon Knebel, to load up the sleigh for Christmas Eve and make a final check of the “naughty and nice” list.  Before his departure, Santa Claus promised to return to Rutland next December for Rutland’s 71st Annual Santa Claus Day.  Debbie Banish expressed the thanks of the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club for another very successful Christmas Bake Sale held in conjunction with Santa Claus Day activities.  Congratulations to the Rutland Community Club, and to 2015 Santa Claus Day co-Chairpersons, Doug & Cher Spieker, for another fun and memorable community event.

Mike & Diane Kulzer vacationed in Las Vegas NV for a week, from Friday, December 4, to Friday, December 11, and they took in a couple of days of the National Finals Rodeo while they were there.  Neither Mike nor Diane competed in any of the rodeo events, although Mike stated that he has had some interesting, even exciting, rodeo-like experiences with livestock over the years, back in the days when he was raising hogs and cattle on the farm east of Rutland.  Mike recalled one event involving hogs that occurred back in the late 1980’s.  At that time, Mike was raising pigs “farrow to finish,” that is, the pigs were born on his farm, and he raised them up to “butcher” weight of 220 to 240 pounds, then took them to market.  Back then, Kenny Beck, who operated the livestock sale barn at Britton SD, also had a weekly feeder pig and butcher hog sale in facilities at the Earl Parrow farm on the southwest corner of Havana.  Mike had 2 dozen butcher hogs ready to sell, so he loaded them into his livestock trailer and hit the road for Havana.  Mike’s trailer had the usual wide doors at the rear, and it also had a smaller, “walk-in” door on the right side, near the front.  Mike had used that door earlier in the week, and it had apparently not been latched properly when that use was completed.  Mike said that he started out of his farmyard with his load of hogs, waving to his wife, Diane, as he left the yard.  Diane was still watching Mike’s pickup and trailer when he crossed the railroad track just south of their farmstead, and she noticed that the unlatched walk-in door popped open and 4 pigs fell out on the track.  This was in the days before cellular telephones, so Diane had no way to contact Mike while he was on the road.  She called Kenny Beck at the Havana sale ring, told him what was happening, and asked that he let Mike know about it when he got there.  In the meantime, Mike was proceeding merrily on his way, oblivious to the side door on the trailer that opened and closed with each bump and turn on the road.  He lost a few pigs by the farm of his brother & sister-in-law, Lyle & Ann Erickson, a few more on the corner by the old Picot farm, and a couple more by the Arnold & Bea Banish farm south of Rutland.  Some more fell out by the old Orvey Arneson farm east of Havana and a few more had rolled out by the Jack & Bev Brummond farm east of town.  Mike said that he was passed by another local hog raiser at one point, this fellow having a pickup and trailer that were both considerably larger than Mike’s.  As the other rig pulled in ahead of him Mike looked in his rear view mirror and saw a pig sitting on its haunches by the side of the road.  “I bet that pig fell out of his trailer,” thought Mike, “I’ll have to give him a bad time when I get to the sale ring.”  Mike arrived at the sale facility and backed up to unload.  Kenny Beck, who knew all about Mike’s problem, was right there to help unload, but he said nothing to Mike of Diane’s earlier call.  Mike backed his trailer up to the unloading chute, and went back to open the gate and unload his hogs.  The market price for hogs was quite good at that time, and all the way over to Havana Mike had been mentally calculating how much those hogs would bring, and where the proceeds would be allocated.  He opened the gate and 4 hogs, not 24, rushed out.  He was sick.  It was his hog he had seen in the rear view mirror, and he must have lost hogs all the way from Rutland.  Kenny Beck looked at the 4 hogs and said, “Small load today.”  “Yep,” said Mike.  He wasn’t going to tell Kenny Beck that he had scattered hogs all over the countryside, from Rutland to Havana.  “These were all that were ready,” Mike said, “so I thought I might as well bring them over.  “Oh,” said Kenny Beck, “you’ll be bringing some more later, then?”  “Yep,” said Mike.  Then Kenny smiled, and the smile turned to a chuckle, the chuckle turned to a laugh and the laugh into a roaring guffaw.  Mike knew then that he had been had.  Kenny told him that Diane had called earlier with the “heads up” about the lost hogs.  When Mike walked into the office to settle up, he saw every hog producer who had hauled pigs to Havana that morning waiting for his arrival.  They all wanted a chance to pile on and rub it in a little, as if none of them had ever forgotten to latch a door or close a gate.  Over the next few days, Mike succeeded in rounding up nearly all of the lost hogs.  There were about half a dozen at the old Picot farm, he recalled, and they were the hardest to catch.  Mike & Diane’s eldest son, Chad, was a high school football player at the time, and Mike figured that Chad could use the tackling practice, so Chad tackled the pigs one by one, until they were all recaptured, and Chad’s tackling technique had been perfected, said Mike.  The last of the escapees was recovered when Mike received a call from Jack Brummond telling him that Jack had discovered “one of your gold bricks” in his farmyard, and that he had it corralled in his pole barn.  Some of the hogs that had fallen out on the road were somewhat bruised and battered from the experience, but they all eventually recovered and ended up making the trip to market.  The moral of the story is “Lock the door before the pigs fall out,” or, “Don’t count on your hog check until you get the hogs to market,” or, “If you intend to cut a fat hog in the derriere, hang onto that hog!” Well, nearly 30 years after the fact, it makes a pretty good story, but the humor was not so apparent at the time.

Also heading for Las Vegas on the 4th of December was Joel Susag, who was planning to spend some time vacationing at the home of his brother, Ron Susag.

Old friends here were saddened last week when word was received that former Rutland Postmaster Izetta Colvin had passed away Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at ManorCare Health Services in Fargo.  She was 91 years of age at the time of her death.  Izetta Pauline Colvin was born February 17, 1924, at Cogswell, ND to Otto and Milda (Pieper) Anderson. Her mother died when Izetta was ten years old and she and her brothers were split up to live with relatives. Izetta made her home with an aunt and uncle in Aberdeen SD until she was 16 years old. She then returned to the family farm near Cogswell, She graduated from Cogswell High School in the Class of 1941. Izetta became a bride in 1942, a mother in 1943 and a widow in 1944. Izetta had married her high school sweetheart, Duane Brash, in 1942. Six months after their marriage, Duane entered the U.S. Navy and served in the Philippines during World War II. Duane was killed in action in 1944. Izetta continued to make her home in Cogswell to raise their infant son, born in 1943.  In 1947 Izetta married John Clyde Colvin, also a veteran of World War II. They continued to reside in Cogswell where Clyde owned Dakota Motor Sales Company. Izetta worked as the clerk in the Cogswell post office for 20 years, until the mid-80’s when the U. S. Postal Service appointed her to serve as Postmaster in Rutland. Izetta & Clyde moved to Rutland  and in 1988 they built a new home at 221 Gay Street.  Izetta was Rutland’s Postmaster until her retirement in 1992.  Clyde passed away in 1996. In 2010, Izetta moved to Fargo to be closer to her family, and her home in Rutland was purchased by friends Cameron & Jenny Gulleson.  She always liked her home here, though, and whenever she returned to Rutland for a visit she wanted to drive by and, “take a look at my house.”  Izetta was a lifetime member of Nazareth Lutheran Church of Cogswell and the Cogswell American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.  Although Izetta had her share of tragedy in her life, she was well known for her cheerful, outgoing personality. She made hundreds of quilts in her lifetime and she loved to cook and bake. She made doughnuts out in the attached garage at her home here, and the aroma of freshly made doughnuts wafting through the neighborhood drew in many a caller who “just happened to stop by” and was rewarded with a cup of coffee, a freshly made doughnut and Izetta’s cheerful conversation.  Izetta was still dancing well into her late 80’s. In Rutland, Izetta was active in community activities, serving as President of the Rutland Community Club, as chairperson of many community events and as a willing worker whenever she wasn’t in charge.  She particularly enjoyed Uff-Da Day each October, and was always classily attired in her Norse Bunad for that event.  Izetta was a staunch Democrat and enjoyed campaigning for such friends as Scott Stofferahn and Pam Gulleson.  The grass didn’t grow long under Izetta’s feet as she loved to travel the US and especially Norway. On her third Norway trip in 1999, she took her five granddaughters along, and that trip was one of the highlights of her life.  Family was of the utmost importance to Izetta.  She is survived by three sons and two daughters: Fred Branch of Fargo; Hugh (Kathy) Colvin of Fargo; Debra (Craig) Kapfer of Maplewood, MN; Denise Johnson of Fargo; and Joel (Gloria) Colvin of Fargo; seven grandchildren, seven step-grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and six step-great-grandchildren.  Preceding her in death were her parents; her brothers: Harris; Roland; and, Roger; both husbands: Duane Brash; and, Clyde Colvin; a son-in-law, Richard Johnson; and a special friend, Clayton McLaen.  A memorial service is being planned for a later date, and will be announced on the Price Funeral Chapel website at  Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Hugh Colvin, 4452 Woodhaven Drive South, Fargo ND 58104.   The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Izetta Colvin, a good friend who made life better and brighter wherever she went.

Peder Gulleson of Bismarck was in town on Friday & Saturday, December 18 & 19.  Pete was taking advantage of the remaining days of the 2015 archery season and did some deer hunting on the Gulleson farm, east of Rutland.  Peder is the music director for a large Lutheran congregation in Bismarck, and the music business has been hectic lately, he stated, with Christmas cantatas, concerts and Sunday School programs filling the calendar until last week, when he had a few days off.  Peder went out to a tree stand on Friday afternoon and interrupted his meditation session long enough to bag a big doe, he reported to friends here, and that should keep him in venison until the 2016 hunting season rolls around.

Cameron & Jenny Gulleson of this community were among those who took in the National Semi-Final Championship Football game at the Fargo Dome on the evening of Friday, December 18.  The Gullesons watched the North Dakota State University Bison squash the University of Richmond Spiders by a score of 33 to 7.  Next stop for the Bison is the Division 1A National Championship game on Saturday, January 9, at Frisco, Texas, where they will meet up with the #1 ranked Division 1A team from Jacksonville, Alabama.  Joinning Cam & Jenny for Friday’s game were Cam’s brother and sister-in-law, Lance & Natalie Gulleson of Lisbon and Cousin Rob Wyum of Rutland.  Cam stated that he and Jenny have not yet decided whether they will go to Frisco to cheer the Bison on to a 5th consecutive National Championship.  He checked air fares from Minneapolis to Frisco before Friday’s game and found that a round trip ticket could have been booked for $251.00 at that time.  By 4:00 on Saturday morning the price of that round trip ticket was $551.00.  Tickets for seats at the Frisco Stadium, normally $30.00, were being bought and sold for prices ranging from the hundreds to the thousands, depending on the seat location, by the morning of Monday, December 21.  Welcome to free-market football!

Frederick and Ulrika Almer of Vargon , Sweden , arrived in Rutland on the evening of Saturday, December 19, at the conclusion of 24 hours of flying and driving.  The Almers were accompanied by their 3 sons, Erik, Oscar and Gustaf.  The Almers are visiting at the home of their cousins, Jesse & Marcia Brakke.  Fredrick Almer is the great-great-great-grandson of Ransom Township pioneers Karl Peter & Ingrid Ahrlin, who homesteaded on the SW¼ of Section 15 back in 1888.  All of the family of K.P. & Ingrid Ahrlin emigrated from the province of Jamtland, near Ostersund, in Sweden to Rutland between 1888 and 1897, except for Fredrick’s great-great grandmother, Karin Ahrlin, who remained in Sweden with her children.  Fredrick Almer is the in-house corporate counsel for a large grocery wholesaling and distribution company in Sweden, and Ulrika is an elementary school teacher.  Their 3 sons are all college students, with Erik currently studying Business Administration at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater WI, Oscar studying engineering at the Chalmers Institute in Sweden, and Gustaf studying law, and planning to follow in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather, the late Rolf Almer.  The family plans to depart Rutland on December 22, bound for Miami FL and 10 days in the Florida Keys before returning to Sweden.  This is Fredrick & Ulrika’s 3rd visit to Rutland since 1991, but this is the first time that they have been here during the winter season.

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, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re at it, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office during the Christmas season, and don’t forget to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Peace On Earth to all, and to all a Merry Christmas!  Later.

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