Neighbors: This man knows a lot about North Dakota town — he’s the descendant of one of the founders

Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

Here’s a note from Jay Rice, who holds the distinction of being the only descendant of one of the founders of Maddock, N.D., who still lives there.

Jay writes Neighbors that his father, Herman J. Rice, came to North Dakota from Wisconsin in 1901. He worked on the farm of Michael Maddock, a pioneer settler in the area.

The town was incorporated in 1908.

Herman got a job as a rural mail carrier in Maddock, southwest of Devils Lake, in 1906. He retired in 1952.

He told his son Jay that he remembered when the railroad through Maddock was built.


Jay sends along some of his childhood memories. Among them: He and his siblings made smudges out of wet hay or straw to make smoke to get rid of mosquitoes around the cows; they made slingshots out of laths and old rubber tires; and he earned a nickel for driving a team for a neighbor, Cal Hare, who was hauling bundles for Jay’s father’s threshing machine.

Jay also, after seeing a column about Ruso, N.D., wrote that his brother-in-law, William L. Royko, was born in that town in 1904. He later lived in Velva, N.D., and died when he was 102.

And now, here’s the best news of all: Last January, Jay and his wife Marjorie celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Belated congratulations, Jay and Marjorie!

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The Rainbow Grill

Mary Etta (Muldoon) Moore, Valley City, N.D., writes she’s been reading with interest about Harry Hayashi and the Rainbow Gardens.

Mary is referring to several columns about this man who started the Rainbow Gardens in Carrington, N.D., then was interned during World War II because he was Japanese .

Those columns about the Rainbow Gardens caught Mary’s attention because there was a Rainbow Grill in Valley City in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


Mary now writes Neighbors about what she found in a book she owns titled “Valley City’s 100th Charter Anniversary 1883-1983.”

An article she found in this book was written in 1954 and reads, “Rainbow Grill was opened here by Al and Harry Hayashi, Carrington, N.D.”

Al probably refers to Harry’s son Alfred.

Thanks to Mary, who wrote out this information for Neighbors early this year despite having carpal tunnel syndrome in her right hand and was pushing 82.

Wahpeton memories

And here’s a note from Larry Lasch, Wahpeton, N.D., who reminds Neighbors that Wahpeton is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and suggests some of you may have memories of past days of that fine city.

Over to you, Wahpeton-related neighbors.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email

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