News & Events

The Rooster Crows – August 5, 2016

Another thunderstorm rumbled, roared, snapped and crackled its way across Sargent County at about 9:30 p.m. on Monday, August 1, providing another shot of much needed precipitation across the County on a narrow west to east route.  For once the rain gauges of next door neighbors Roger Pearson and Norbert Kulzer at 409 and 415 Gay Street, respectively, agreed, with each indicating .75 of an inch on Tuesday morning.  A block to the west, Paul Anderson’s electronic rain gauge at 309 Gay Street showed .77 of an inch.  Mike Walstead reported that 1.1 inch of rain fell at his farm in western Rutland Township, while Silver Lake Park Manager Dennis Goltz stated that there was an even inch in the gauge at Silver Lake, while his farm in Weber Township was as dry on Tuesday morning as it had been on Monday afternoon.  To the north and east of Rutland the rainfall decreased, as well.  Mike Anderson reported .25 of an inch at his Ransom Township farm 3½ miles east and 3 miles north of Rutland, and Jesse Brakke had an identical .25 of an inch reading from his electronic gauge between Rutland and Cayuga.  As of Tuesday, August 2, the corn and soybean crops in the Rutland area are looking good, but there is a long way to go yet, before that harvest comes to pass.

Paul Anderson and Kurt Breker report that the late frost in May and the dry conditions through June seem to have put just the right amount of stress on the grapevines at their Shortfoot Creek Vineyard south of Cayuga and at Paul’s Oleo Acres Vineyard in Rutland to stimulate production to bumper crop proportions.  Paul reports that a couple of varieties that have never produced well in the past are fairly bursting with grapes this season.  Kyle & Kathy Marquette report that their vineyard north of Rutland is also loaded with grapes this year.  All of the grape growers were spreading nets over their vines this past weekend, to keep the eager birds out of the ripening grapes.  One of folk singer Bob Dylan’s early hits started out, “Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine, when you gonna let me get sober?”  If you see a bunch of tipsy robins staggering around, you’ll know where they’ve been.

Rodney Erickson reports that the wheat harvest is winding down in the Rutland area, and that both he and the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op are very satisfied with the volume of grain that has been handled at the Rutland Elevator this season.  The Rutland facility handled between 30,000 and 40,000 bushels per day on several occasions during the 3 weeks since the harvest season began, but the record of 45,000 bushels of wheat handled in one day, on Monday, July 25, looks as if it will stand, at least for this year.  Rodney also reports that his diversified business pursuits keep him hopping.  On Tuesday, August 2, he started out the day buying wheat at the Rutland Elevator, then he and Bill Gulleson applied spray foam insulation to the foundation of Cam & Jenny Gulleson’s new home on the farm east of town, and by late afternoon he was heading up to the Thompson Aerial Service airfield near Wyndmere to join up with Dan Thompson, applying fungicide by air to irrigated corn fields in that area.  If he only would have had a wedding dance to play for that night, Rockin’ Rodney lamented, the day would have been a complete success.

Bill Anderson of this community was the guest of the Sargent County Bar Association, all 3 members, for a Retirement dinner at the Silver Prairie Saloon in McLeod ND on Thursday evening, July 21. Bill was accompanied to the dinner by his niece, Betsy Anderson, and by his daughter in law, Marcia Brakke.  A number of other attorneys from Richland and Ransom Counties as well as 2 judges and other dignitaries were also present.  The dinner was a semi-surprise, as Bill had been led to believe that it would be a small gathering consisting of only the Sargent County attorneys and their spouses or guests, so the large group that greeted him was a surprise and a pleasure.  Sargent County States Attorney Lyle Bopp, Assistant States Attorney Jayne Pfau and attorney LeeAnn Even organized and hosted the event.  Bill thanked those in attendance for their collegeiality, cordiality and friendship during his years as a practicing attorney.  Bill placed his license to practice law on inactive status as of July 1.

Intern Pastor Nicholas Rohde begins a year long internship at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana on Sunday, August 7.  Pastor Rohde had also conducted services at Nordland and Trinity on July 10 and July 17, filling in for Pastor Curt Larson while the Larsons enjoyed a family vacation in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Pastor Rohde is a graduate of Luther College, Decorah IA, and is in his final year of studies at Wartburg Seminary in Iowa.  His wife is currently serving as Youth Minister at Bethel Lutheran Church in Wahpeton.

Youngsters of all denominations, or of no denomination, are invited to join the children of Nordland Lutheran, Rutland, and Trinity Lutheran, Havana, for Vacation Bible School at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland from Wednesday through Friday, August 10-12, reports Kathy Wyum, one of the organizers of the activity.  Classes will be held for Kindergarten through 6th Grade, and faculty from Red Willow Bible Camp will be providing the instruction.  Kathy asks that parents of children wishing to enroll contact her ahead of time, so appropriate supplies can be on hand for all students in attendance.

Cayuga native Chuck Kiefer, now of Austin TX and Big Lake MN, recently provided the following report of the reunion of descendants of the late Frank and Mary Riba, pioneer residents of Sargent County: “On Saturday July 30, 2016, Lois Breker of Rutland, grandson John Breker, granddaughters Morgan Breker and Rachel Olson, and great grandchildren Eli and Celia Olson, traveled to New Market MN to attend the Riba reunion.  Lois is the daughter of William and Celia (Riba) Kiefer who were long time residents of Cayuga.  Others attending from the area (west Fargo) were Jim & Mary Breker along with their daughters & sons-in law Jane & Gary Speich and Susie & Paul Dinger, and Loren & Mary (Riba) Hill from Sisseton, SD.  Mary lived on the original Riba farm for many years with her parents Frank Jr and Minnie Cubis Riba and her grandmother Mary Riba, who died in 1960.  The farm was sold in the 1950’s.  Chuck Kiefer (son of William and Celia Kiefer) also attended with his wife, Carolyn, daughter Stephanie and husband Vic Wilcox and granddaughter Genevieve Pierce.  Chuck was the MC at the celebration and gave an overview of the Riba history.  The original family farm was located 1-½ miles south of Geneseo on the east side of the highway.  After the farm was sold in the 1950’s the house became vacant and neglected.  This was disheartening to the family because from when it was built in the 1880’s until Frank Riba Sr’s death in 1937, it was a jewel on the prairie.  Frank’s father and mother John and Anna (Zemlica) Riba emigrated from Bohemia and first came to Blue River, WI, then to Geneseo where a Homestead Act land grant was given to them in 1889 by president Benjamin Harrison.  They became prosperous farmers and raised a large family.  Frank is the one that stayed on the family farm and married Mary (Kroll) Prydnykowski in 1898.  She was the stepdaughter of Kashmir Pyndynkowski, an old family from the Geneseo area.  Frank and Mary Riba had an interesting and storied life.  They had 10 children with 3 dying at birth or very young and 7 surviving. The survivors were daughters Myrtle (Efner ) Bailey, Blomkest, MN, daughter Eleanor (Frank) Flynn, Cogswell, ND, daughter Francis (Frank) Pahl, Lidgerwood, ND, daughter Florence (Ernie) Sandeen, Glenwood, MN, daughter Celia (William) Kiefer, Cayuga, ND, son Frank Jr, (Monica Cubis) Geneseo, ND and son Loren (Martha Klosterman) Sweet Home, OR.  From the date of their marriage in 1898 until the stock market crash in 1929, the Riba farm was known for its prosperity in the Geneseo area.  Frank Riba Sr was a progressive and visionary in almost any endeavor he chose to pursue. He not only was a prosperous farmer, but he also devoted much of his time on the Geneseo elevator and school boards as well as serving on the board of directors at the Geneseo bank.  He was a staunch member of the Masons society and affiliated with Bohemian Brethren, a strong religious reformation group. He ran for the state legislature in 1916, and served in the 1917 Legislative Session. The house on the farm showed his prosperity and a full modern bathroom was installed in 1906 with running water and a functioning septic system. Electric lights were installed in the home, operated by a battery system in the basement. Hired hands were common on the farm, and a maid stayed in the home to help with the small children.  Fortunes, sadly are made and lost, and with the Wall Street crash followed by the depression, hardships followed. Frank Sr died from cancer in 1937, and with him the glory of his beloved farm.  Wife Mary tried to hold on to the assets but never could recover the losses, and she and Frank Jr sold the farm in the 1950’s.  The descendants, however, gathered again for the 8th Riba family reunion on Saturday, July 30, in New Market MN.  There have been approximately 437 descendants from Frank and Mary RIBA and 138 chose to attend or have survived. Attending from as far as Hong Kong, China and from too many states to list.  It was a wonderful tribute to this humble immigrant couple who found their dreams in Geneseo, ND.”  Congratulations to Lois Breker and the other descendants of Frank & Mary Riba for keeping family ties and memories alive, and thanks to Lois’ brother, Chuck Kiefer, for the report on one of Sargent County’s pioneer families.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 1, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; Mike Mahrer; and, Bertha Siemieniewski; present.  The financial report showed all funds to be in the black.  Dennis McLaen, owner of the property situated between County #3 and the railroad tracks and west of the Drain #8 drainage ditch, and Calvin Jacobson of Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating of Rutland, met with the Council to discuss extending municipal water and sewer lines to the west so that residences built in that area may connect to municipal utilities.  Mr. McLaen has recently acquired a manufactured home that he is considering installing on his property.  Back in 1886, a portion of that area had been platted as part of the Original Townsite of Harvard, now Rutland, by the first owner, Albert H. Stewart, but the portion of the plat west of 3rd Street, where the drainage ditch now runs, was apparently abandoned sometime after the drain was dug in 1917.  The abandoned plat could be reinstated, or Mr. McLaen could re-plat the area to suit his future development plans.  The City Council will proceed to obtain cost estimates for the street and utility improvements required for the development of the area.  The Council also held the first reading of a proposed Amendment to the City’s Zoning Ordinance that would prohibit the placement of metal shipping containers and hoop buildings in residentially zoned areas within the City.  Under the proposed Amendment, structures of this type would be permissible in areas zoned for commercial or industrial use.  A building permit for the construction of an entry addition and a dog kennel at 215 Cooper Street was issued to Aaron Bergh, pending receipt of written approval from the owner of the real estate involved; and, a building permit was not issued to Shannon Mehrer for the installation of a metal shipping container for use as a storage/accessory building at 408 Anthony Street.  The Auditor was authorized to certify an assessment of $1,452.34 against the property at 210 Anthony Street, also described as lots 7-9 of Block 5 in Cooper’s Addition, for the repair of a residential water service line.  In other business, the Council also approved a resolution authorizing the County Auditor to levy the County’s tax for the County Park at Silver Lake against property in Rutland.  The Council has approved this resolution every year since 1961.  After reviewing the bills and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned.  The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 12, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Uff-Da Day XXXII in Rutland is only 58 days down the road, and less than that if you’re reading this on a date after Friday, August 5, 2016.  Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke reports that Lefse Lena and her crew have been rolling up a storm in the Rutland Town Hall, and have already produced 984 lefse as of 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2, in preparation for the big day.  As of the date of this column, there will already have been lefse making sessions on July 28, August 2 and August 4.  Marcia has provided the following schedule for the remainder of Uff-Da Day lefse production: 8/16 and 8/18, 8/23 and 8/25. 8/30 and 9/1.  All sessions are at 9 AM and 6 PM, offering a shift in the morning and a shift in the evening to accommodate as many people’s schedules as possible.  We need packagers, turners, rollers and runners.  We also want people to get involved who have never done this before. We have excellent teachers amongst us. We welcome all – men, women, young and old to share the fun and community activity.  Contact Marcia Brakke at 763-221-7862 to get in on the fun, the excitement and the joy of the wonderful world of lefse.

Hey!  This is Rutland!  If one “Fest” is good, a bunch of them is bound to be better.  Rutland has more Fests, and more fun, on the schedule than you can shake a stick at.  Here’s the latest report on upcoming good times from Ione Lunneborg: “Things are getting more exciting each day as August 13 nears for the 8th Annual Rutland Rib Fest and 2nd Annual Rutland Junk fest.  Mike and Jeremy at the Lariat still have some room for ribbers if you want to try your luck against the other competitors-call Mike at 724-3610 to register.  There will be live music that evening on main street at 7pm!  The Little Old Ladies of Sargent County’s Junk Fest has 27 vendors as of this am and we have room for more! Last year we had 16 so we are over the moon with the response to our event. There are several returning vendors, your favorites from last year, and many new vendors.  Food will be available in the Senior Citizens building from 11:00 to 3:00 or gone. Some goodies being offered are: Super Nachos; Ham Sandwiches; Macaroni Salad; Scalloped Potatoes; Soda; Water; Cookies; and, there are rumors that lefse, walking tacos and floats may be available!!  Also going on in the city the 13th: City Wide Rummage Sales beginning early; Pie and Ice Cream Social at Sr. Citizens building, served by the Rutland Auxiliary; and, The Old Parsonage Will be open for the day.  It will be a full day in the city with something for everyone! Come early and spend the entire day!  Thanks!  Rutland will be rocking on the 13th!!”  Thanks to Ione for the report.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention have both concluded, with the Republicans nominating self-proclaimed billionaire Donald Trump and the Democrats bestowing their endorsement on the most investigated woman in American history, Hillary Clinton.  The Republicans painted such a bleak picture of America that their theme song could have come from the Hard Luck Boys segment of the old 70’s TV show, “Hee-Haw,” in which a group of cast members sang, “Gloom, despair and agony, oh me!  Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.  If it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all.  Gloom, despair and agony, oh me!”  In his acceptance speech to the Convention, The Donald proclaimed that, fortunately for the country, no one knows the system better than he does, and that only he can extricate the nation from its present troubles.  What a relief!  We thought that someone else would have to figure out how to deal with record highs in corporate profits and the stock market; 7 straight years of private sector job growth that has produced more than 14 million new jobs; 20 million more Americans with healthcare coverage; and, a 4.9% unemployment rate that is continuing to decline, all with record low interest rates.  The volatile and unpredictable Mr. Trump then demonstrated his expertise by picking a fight with the Gold Star Mothers of America and by kicking a crying baby out of one of his rallies.  Man, we really feel comfortable with that guy!  Mrs. Clinton, a woman whose integrity has been questioned more than her virtue, also promptly stepped into another controversy about her handling of e-mails while she served as U. S. Secretary of State and the recently concluded FBI investigation of her actions.  The voters of America, it seems, will choose between 2 candidates, one of whose integrity is questionable, and one of whose sanity is in doubt.  Well, at least we still get to vote.

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 Uff-Da Day and Rutland Facebook pages 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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  1. Scott D Evans
    Posted August 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi, My Grandmother is/was Anna Barger. She was a member of Rutland going way back My mother is Georgeanna Barger/Evans She has passed away as well as my grand mother. also Dorthy and Perk have also passed away. And others of the Barger family. I’m just 69 years old and sort of wished things were as they were back in the old days (everyone was alive).
    I used to come up to stay at Bill Ericksons place. Bill dealt in horses and had some Bulls he leased/rented out. It’s been many years since I have been up there to the Dakotas . I live in Illinois Northeast corner, used to live in Chicago. Now living in Zion, Il.
    What was the water called from back in the 1950’s It was from a well and not from White Lake. I have also fished at White Lake hundreds of times. But I surely would like to know the name of the water from the 1950’s. I found the name of it many years ago but have forgotten it. To a kid like I was back then this water tasted bad, compared top city water. And it turned something green, when you went to the bathroom. 🙂 But once you got used to it, it tasted just like city water.
    Can you help me???

  2. Rutland Admin
    Posted September 23, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I believe you are thinking of an artesian well. I will see if I can get you a bit more history on the area.

  3. Rutland Admin
    Posted September 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Scott must be remembering the “artesian” water that came from deep wells on some farms. In many parts of the world, artesian water is considered to be good, but out here on the prairie it is loaded with salts and minerals that it picks up from the geological strata where the water is stored. Most of the artesian wells around here are 900 to 1,000 feet deep, although some might be a little deeper and some a little shallower. The advantage of an artesian well is that it flows to the surface under its own pressure. Some of the disadvantages are the taste, odor and the fact that you can’t turn it off. There has to be an overflow relief for the water that isn’t used to flow into, usually producing an alkali slough or an “Alkali Lake,” such as the one south of Cayuga.

    Scott’s grandmother, Anna Barger, owned a house that was on the lots on Bagley Street, just north of the Legion Hall. Mrs. Barger took in boarders, who rented a room in her house and could also get one or 2 meals a day at her table. Scott’s uncle Robert, better known as Bobby, and his wife, Alice, spent quite a bit of time in Rutland in the 70’s. At one time Bobby owned the “Rutland Recreation” which was the building now owned and occupied by the Rutland Senior Citizens. The Rutland Recreation had 2 bowling lanes with manual pinsetters, 2 pool tables, 3 or 4 card tables, a counter where you could get candy bars, ice cream cones, soft drinks, malts & shakes, etc., but no cooking. Bobby fixed up the area in which the kitchen is now situated and had a barber come in for a couple of days each week. Anna Barger’s husband, Charles Barger, owned the butcher shop/meat market in Rutland back in the 1920’s & 30’s. He took over from Schuveillers, and then sold the business to George Hoflen in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s. George sold it to Edgar & Hilda Narum in 1946, and the business operated until Hilda closed it in 1970.

    Bill Erickson was a frequent boarder at Anna Barger’s house. Bill had a lot of horses, and he would let any kid have one for the summer if you promised to ride it and take care of it. Usually, the horses had been purchased from a sale barn, and they always looked half starved when you got them. Their ribs “stuck out like bars on a jail house window,” according to the late Les Bengston. They were often covered with cockle-burs and had untrimmed hooves, manes and tails, too. the kids would get their feet trimmed up, get the cockle-burs combed out, trim the manes & tails, and put the horses on good, green grass supplemented with some oats to get some fat on them. Kids would ride those horses for several hours a day, and it didn’t take long until they were pretty well broke to ride. When Bill noticed that you had a horse in pretty good shape, he would stop by and say that he had a sale for that horse, but that your parents could buy it, if they wanted to. Of course, our parents did not want to buy a horse. They knew who would have to take care of it when the kids went back to school in the Fall. Bill would pick up the horse you had just gotten into good shape and take it away, but he always had another horse for you to ride, one that looked just as the other horse had looked when you first got that one. The whole system was a good deal all the way around. Bill’s horses got taken care of; kids had horses to ride and learned some responsibility; and Bill made a profit by buying horses that weren’t much good to anyone and then selling them after they had been shaped up. Most of the kids in town had a horse from Bill, and we rode all over the place: to Cayuga; Havana; Lake Tewaukon; and Silver Lake,; among other places. We would leave after breakfast and get back home for supper.

    Some of the other boarders who often stayed at Mrs. Barger’s were: Lou Sanderson; Wolfe Gabriel; and, Tom Shepstad. Mrs. Barger didn’t put up with drinkers, so Tom Shepstad was regularly evicted, but she usually relented and let him back in if he was sober and almost out of money. Tom was OK as long as he had just enough money to pay his room and board, and not enough money to buy whiskey. Mrs. Barger was a kind, goodhearted person. She didn’t have much, but she always looked out for those who were less fortunate than herself.

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