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The busy time of the year is from November through February with tax statements printed and mailed out by Dec. 10. According to Herman, 90% of the money for the county taxes are paid by the first of January.

The treasurer office posts and deposits money every day, also balancing every day.

All of the ownership land records are stored in the vault in the courthouse, dating back to 1910. Receipts are kept for only 10 years.
Herman noted that the office still keeps a lot of paper copies.


Herman has attended every Treasurer’s Conference since 1975, not missing a single one.
The conference used to be held just once a year, but now is twice, in June and October.

The June conference is held at various sites, from Wahpeton to Williston. The October conference is always in Bismarck.
Herman has helped host the June conference three times. The counties of Burke, Divide and Williams hosted together in Williston. Herman served the County Treasurer’s Association as president in 1985 and 1986, and as a director, committee member and NDACo delegate many times over the years.

At a ceremony on Monday, Oct. 13 during the NDACo Annual Conference in Bismarck, Herman received the County Official - Excellence in County Government Award.


“I’m a reluctant retiree,” smiled Herman. “I had always decided that if I ran I would fill out that four year term. If I had run this past June, the term not starting until May of 2015, that would put me at nearly 81 years of age when my term expired.”

“I’m reluctant to retire because I love it,” explained Herman. “I love going to work.”

Herman plans to spend time with her grandchildren and traveling, “all those things that everybody’s says when they retire,” with plans to go somewhere south for part of the winter in 2016.

She has been spending some time volunteering at the local food pantry and making quilts with the church ladies at Bethlehem Lutheran.

She is active with the Burke County Historical Society. She is retiring as treasurer from the Bowbells Development Corporation, but would like to stay on as a board member.


Hazel and her late husband Jim raised their family of five (four boys and a girl) in Bowbells. She is the proud grandmother of 10 and also has five great grandchildren. The newest great grandchild, a boy, Deklan, was born in February.


Herman expressed her love of the people, “I’m really going to miss the people. They come in once a year, and for a lot of them, it’s the only time I see them and I just like to visit with them. Everyone is so friendly. That’s what I’m going to miss–the people.”

She went on to say, “We had such few complaints over the years. The people are just really good, cheerful, and fun to visit with.”


Cake and coffee will be served at the courthouse on Thursday, April 30 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in honor of Hazel Herman’s years of service. Everyone is invited to stop by an enjoy a visit with Hazel, along with some cake, coffee and punch.



Although names have lazily been changed, more shifted than changed, the story you’re contemplating donating five or ten minutes of your life to read (could be longer depending on your literacy level, cognitive function, and severity of narcolepsy) is mostly true and based on mostly factual events. Our memories of events from our youth are like that, mostly true and mostly factual.

Embellishments, exaggerations, and flat out lies creep into every event and every story about an event almost immediately, and over time, some of those embellishments become a permanent part of the story, some become the story.

Over time, a good story, a funny story, will be told and retold because in general we like to laugh and to make people laugh. It feels good to laugh and it feels good to make others laugh.

So, maybe this story will make you laugh, maybe it will remind you of stories from your youth, and maybe you’ll share it with someone you think might enjoy such a story.
Stories are meant to be shared. Thank you for letting me share this story with you.

Blanchard’s house was a rutabaga’s toss from ours. More accurately, I suppose, our house was a rutabaga’s toss from his, as our parents didn’t plant rutabagas nor would they have thrown them towards Blanchard or his little blue house.

Civilized, I suppose you could say “normal” folks, don’t do such things. I suppose it could be said that both my parents are civilized and mostly normal. The same can’t be said for all of their children.

The youngest, Arthur, only a year old at the time of these particular events, was still too young for judgments of character to be passed, but with the errant role models he was exposed to there was a pretty strong inclination as to the path he would follow.

Rose, a stubbornly quiet six-year-old, was much too busy concerning herself with the life and times of her many dolls to pay any mind to the comings and goings of her two pain-in-the-Barbie butt older brothers or some little troll that willingly soiled himself.

The poor girl, adrift in a sea of stupidity, stuck sharing her inner most thoughts and feelings with a spirited but misdirected Cabbage Patch doll and a ratty haired stiff legged Barbie.

Our given names were Charles and Ray, not to be confused with the musician Ray Charles, as neither of us were blind and we were both too dumb to play the piano.

Ray couldn’t keep his hands out of his pant pockets long enough to learn how to tie his shoes so the piano was most definitely out of the question. The advent of velcro shoes was a godsend for Ray.

Our mother grew tired of repeatedly taking each of our names in vain and took to referring to us jointly, and accurately, as “fricken’ idiots.” Maybe this allowed her to emotionally separate herself from our behavior, making herself believe it wasn’t her flesh and blood, Charles and Ray, performing those idiotic acts of lewd depravity, it was those fricken’ idiots.

I was 12, Ray was 11, and my mother was right, we were fricken’ idiots.

To be continued…

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