News & Events

The Rooster Crows – November 3, 2017

The first blast of Winter hit Rutland on the morning of Thursday, October 26, with all of those dreaded 4-letter words: cold; rain; snow; and, wind; being heard in abundance. There were no accumulations of snow, but a few patches of ice, coupled with sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 60, that contributed a little danger to the discomfort of the occasion. Fifteen degrees greeted those who were out and about on Saturday morning, October 28, followed by a 16-degree reading on Tuesday, October 31, providing a chilling experience for all of the ghosts and goblins out on the Tricks or Treats route on Halloween evening, although the mercury had climbed up to 30 by suppertime. The weather change did slow down, but not halt, harvest activities in the area, as Rutland’s Main Street continues to be busy with farm semi’s hauling corn through town to the Rutland Elevator, and the semis of the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op continuing to haul the corn out of town, to the Co-op’s unit train loading facility in Britton SD.

Stephen Kulzer and son, Will, of Hartford SD were weekend visitors at the home of Stephen’s parents, Norbert & Beverly Kulzer from Friday, October 27 through Sunday, October 29. Stephen and Will, accompanied by their dog, Indy, braved wind and cold to go waterfowl hunting during their time here and went home with several ducks and geese for the dinner table. On Sunday morning they stopped in at the Rutland Town Hall to enjoy some pancakes & sausage prepared by the local American Legion Post, and to visit with many old friends and neighbors.

This community was saddened last week when word was received here that Danene McLaen had passed away on Friday, October 27, 2017, at the Sanford Hospital on South University in Fargo, at the age of 81 years, 10 months and 16 days. Danene Rae Syverson was born December 11, 1935 to Raymond and Dorothy (Wittich) Syverson at the Ole Syverson homestead in Taylor Township, west of Havana, ND. The family moved frequently as her Dad worked as a skilled carpenter and builder on construction projects throughout the western U.S., and Danene attended school in Minnesota, Oregon, and North Dakota, before graduating from Rutland High School in 1953. At Rutland, she made lifelong friends and fond memories with her teammates on the girls’ basketball and track teams. After graduation, Danene worked in the business office of Gamble Robinson Wholesale Grocery in Aberdeen SD. Danene married Milton McLaen at the Rutland Baptist Church on December 13, 1953. Their wedding cake had been ordered from a bakery in Aberdeen, and arrived via Railway Express on the Great Northern just in time for the reception! Danene and Milton made their home on their farm 5 miles south of Rutland for 52 years. They had two children: Karen, born 1955; and, Warren, born 1958. A new house was built in the early 60’s, and the farm buildings were kept in meticulous condition. Danene raised a large vegetable garden each year, and maintained an orchard of fruit trees. She spent many hours canning and freezing the abundant produce. She was also an accomplished baker of breads and desserts, and had the oven going almost every day. She also pitched in as needed to move machinery or run for parts. Danene kept a beautiful yard and flower beds. She & Milton moved to Forman in 2005 just before she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Danene was a farm wife, but she had the soul of an artist. She enjoyed numerous hobbies and her favorites were rosemaling, china painting, quilting and genealogy. In the 1990’s she operated a small gift shop, “Designs By Danene,” in Rutland, ND. Milton did all the woodworking for her projects. Besides designing and painting items such as bird houses, holiday crafts, and yard decorations, she did decorative painting and stenciling in private homes. She painted wildlife scenes for local chapters of Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, and Danene’s painting of Rutland’s Great Northern Railway Depot was selected in 1995 for a North Dakota Collectors Plate. She also painted the background scenery for many of the Rutland community’s theatrical productions. She baked and decorated hundreds of wedding cakes and, with help from Milton and her good friend MaryAnn Thornberg, catered dozens of receptions and parties of all sizes. Danene often shared her time and talent with her community. In 1985, Danene was one of the co-founders of Rutland’s Uff-Da Day festival, and she chaired the annual event for many years. In 1988 & ’89 she and Milton were one of 4 couples who were the organizing committee for Rutland’s observance of the North Dakota State Centennial, and they were also on the committee that established the Rutland Depot Museum. She was a member of: the Rutland Community Club, serving as President and as a member of the board; TwinState Homemakers; The Friendly Garden Club of Rutland; the 4-H organization, in which she served as a Leader; and, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Havana and of Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland, congregations in which she taught Sunday School, served on church council and took part in quilting groups. She welcomed into her home the nieces and nephews, neighborhood children, and teens who came to help Milton on the farm. She cherished her grandchildren, Alisha, Brandon, and Rachael, and was quite proud of her status as “great-grandmother” to Joseph, Matthew, David, Daniel and Maria Holzer and Alexis Hornseth. Danene is remembered as a kind lady who enjoyed people of all ages. As a result, the McLaen home was often filled with extra guests, especially during the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays, as Danene didn’t want anyone to spend a holiday alone. Her neighbors remember her many thoughtful acts of kindness. Danene touched many lives in numerous ways and she will be greatly missed. She is survived by: 1 daughter, Karen Hornseth of Veblen SD; 1 son, Warren McLaen of Queen Creek AZ; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; 2 brothers, Orville Syverson, & Clyde Syverson; 1 sister, Carole Clipperton; and, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Milton; her parents, Raymond and Dorothy Syverson; and her brother, LaVerle Syverson. The funeral for Danene McLaen was at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, October 30, 2017, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. Pastor Curt Larson officiated. Visitation was from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29th, at Nordland, and concluded with a 5:00 p.m. prayer service. Interment will be at a later date, as Danene had directed that her body be donated to the University of North Dakota Medical School for the advancement of science. The Price Funeral Chapel of Forman and Britton was in charge of arrangements. The family requests that memorials be given to Kedish House, 509 89th St SE, Ellendale ND 58436, or another fitting charity. Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Karen Hornseth, 10095 445th Ave., Lidgerwood ND 58053. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Danene McLaen, a kind and talented friend whose contributions to her family and her community will long be remembered.

Rutland native Mavis (Hoflen) Wold (RHS Class of ’47), accompanied by her son & daughter-in-law, David & Mary Wold, and by her nephew, Paul Silseth, drove out to Rutland from Minneapolis on Sunday, October 29 to attend the Sunday afternoon Prayer Service and the Monday morning Funeral for Danene McLaen. Mavis is a first cousin of Danene’s late husband, Milton McLaen, and has also been a lifetime friend of both Milton and Danene. Mavis was not able to make her usual trip to Rutland for Uff-Da Day this year, but hopes to be back for Memorial Day next Spring. She states that Art Hritis has been a constant companion lately, even though she would rather not have him around. Another cousin, Bill Anderson, gave Mavis the recipe for an arthritis treatment called “Drunken Raisins,” for which the main ingredients are golden raisins and a good bottle of gin. Mavis said that she may try it, and if it works, she will give a full report next may.

Another pair of former Rutland residents who were in Rutland for the Danene McLaen Funeral were Pastor Andy Boe and his wife, Joan. The Boes served the Nordland congregation from 1969 to 1974, and became friends with the McLaens during that time. Two of the Boes’ 3 daughters were born while they made their home here, and Joan stated that Danene’s friendship and assistance during those years was invaluable. By a remarkable coincidence, October 30 also happened to be the 46th wedding anniversary of Lyle & Ann Erickson of this community, and Pastor Boe had officiated at their wedding ceremony at Nordland back on Saturday, October 30, 1971. Andy and Joan Boe are now retired, and make their home in Amory WI, with all 3 of their daughters living nearby.

The Rutland City Zoning Board was called in for an 8:00 a.m. meeting in the Rutland Town Hall on the morning of Thursday, October 26, to review Otter Tail Power Company’s (OTP) request for a building permit to construct a new substation at the southwest corner of First and Cooper Streets, on Lot 1 of Block 8, Auditor’s Plat. OTP intends to replace the old substation that has supplied electrical power to Rutland for the past 90 years, or so, with a new, ground level facility. According to the representative of OTP who provided information to the Zoning Board on Thursday morning, the capacity of the new facility will be the same as the old one, 4 kilovolts. The lot on which OTP wants to place the new facility is zoned residential, and, according to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, “public utilities” are not a permitted use in that area. So, the Zoning Board did what good boards do, and passed the buck to the City Council to consider amending the Zoning Ordinance or come up with some other, acceptable location on which to situate the new substation. The City Council will discuss the matter at its next regular meeting, at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 6, in the Rutland Town Hall. A representative of Otter Tail Power is expected to be present to discuss the company’s intentions.

The members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion served 167 enthusiastic diners at the Pancake, egg and sausage breakfast/brunch served from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, in the Rutland Town Hall, according to the dishwashing crew that washed and counted each and every plate. According to Post Adjutant Doug Olstad, free will donations totaling $1,367.00 were received. The event was a fund-raiser to support the Post’s activities in the community, including: Boys State; International Music Camp; ceremonial details for community events and to honor deceased comrades; and, many others. Current officers of Post #215 are: Larry Christensen, Commander; Tom Manley, Vice-Commander; Doug Olstad, Adjutant; Ted Lee, Chaplain; and, Calvin Jacobson, Sergeant At Arms.

Carolyn Lewis has been on duty at the Rutland Station of the Sargent County Bank this week, October 30 through November 3, while Station Manager Shawn Klein is taking a week of vacation. Carolyn states that she enjoys getting over to Rutland to greet old friends here, and to meet new ones.

A Veterans Day Program will be presented by the students and faculty of Sargent Central Elementary & High School, Grades K-12, at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, in the Sargent Central Activities Center in Forman. Everyone is invited.

Other Veterans Day activities in the community include: 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, a ceremony at the Sargent County Veterans Monument on the Courthouse Grounds in Forman performed by a detail of veterans from the entire County, followed by a program and lunch in the Forman City Hall, presented by the Forman American Legion Post and American Legion Auxiliary; 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, a Flag Retirement Ceremony for the respectful retirement of soiled and damaged American Flags, performed by members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion at the Legion Hall grounds at 123 Gay Street in Rutland; and, 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, a Veterans Day Program and a soup & sandwich supper for veterans in the Rutland community at the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, presented by the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary Unit.

Friends here were shocked to receive the news on the morning of Tuesday, October 31, that a proud American veteran, a member of the Havana American Legion Post and former Commander of the American Legion’s 10th District, Department of North Dakota, William E. “Dollar Bill” Smith, had departed this life, suddenly and unexpectedly, at his farm home south of Forman at the age of 72 years, 3 months and 26 days. Bill knew everyone, and had been in Rutland only 2 days earlier, to support the Rutland American Legion Post’s fund-raising efforts. As Commander of the 10th District, he had held the District’s semi-annual meeting in April of 2016 in Rutland, and that meeting turned out to be the most well-attended and successful District meeting in many years, with 17 of 25 Posts in the District sending representatives. Bill was well known as a businessman, farmer, livestock producer, auctioneer, political activist, conversationalist and community leader. He enjoyed starting revolutions and putting them down, and he never had an opinion that he was reluctant to share, whether it was popular or unpopular. Bill not only knew everyone, but he had nicknames for most of us, too. He was well known for his phenomenal memory for names, places, dates, facts and figures of all kinds, particularly about the history of Sargent County in general, and the Havana community in particular. With his death, a remarkable treasury of Sargent County history has ceased to exist. His many friends in Rutland mourn his passing, and express their sympathy and condolences to his family, and to his family of friends. Information about funeral arrangements was not yet available as of this writing.

Football fans of the purple and gold Minnesota Viking variety are advised of an opportunity to accompany friends to see their favorite team in action. The Lariat Bar of Rutland has arranged a tour package to the Vikings’ November 19 game in their home field Stadium that includes round trip motor coach transportation; beverages for both the outgoing and return trips; and, a reserved seat ticket to the November 19th game that will pit the Vikings against the Rams; for $200.00, according to owners Mike Pyle & Jeremy Becker. Give Mike or Jeremy a call at 724-3610, or check out the details and sign up for the trip on Facebook at Lariat Bar Rutland ND. Football, friends, beverages and no driving. It just doesn’t get much better than that! For anyone who might be wondering what a motor coach is, it’s a nice, big, comfortable bus.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, Special Counsel Robert Muehler’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 American Presidential Election has accomplished what no one else has been able to do – shut down the President’s practice of non-stop twittering and tweeting from his cell phone for more than 20 hours. The arrest of the President’s former Campaign Manager and other associates, plus a plea agreement with a former foreign policy advisor to the President’s campaign has apparently taken the tweet out of his twitter finger. Where the Special Counsel’s investigation will go from here is anyone’s guess, but the noose appears to be tightening around the Oval Office, while the President’s pal, Vladimir, smiles with smug satisfaction. As of Friday, November 3, there are 41 weeks down and only 167 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. On the bright side, though, Republicans in the U. S. Congress, without any help from Russia at all, are pushing forward a tax plan that the CBO predicts will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion, deepen the national debt to $30 trillion and give massive tax breaks to billionaires. Who taught math to those guys, anyway? It sure wasn’t Ernie Randa!

For the next 2 weeks Deborah Banish will be writing the weekly column from Rutland. Debbie is a very good writer, and, if you appreciate her work, please let her know.

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 Uff-Da Day and Rutland Facebook pages while you’re at it, too. Remember to patronize your local Post Office, 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! Later.

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