The CorTrust Bank ALM (Artesian, Letcher, Mt. Vernon) Community Foundation Board of Directors recently awarded the following grants: Mt. Vernon Fire Department for $1,780 for two sets of new safety gear; and Sanborn Central School District for $1,500 for a new commercial grade treadmill for the cardio room.

The CorTrust Bank ALM Community Foundation is an organization formed to attract and distribute gifts of capital for community betterment. It was initially funded by CorTrust Bank with a match from the South Dakota Community Foundation for the benefit of the Artesian, Letcher and Mt. Vernon communities. The first grants were awarded in August 2000.  Grant applications are considered based on several factors, including the potential benefit of the proposed project to the particular population to be served and to the community as a whole.  The CorTrust Bank ALM Community Foundation has awarded over $142,000 since its inception.  

The CorTrust Bank ALM Community Foundation encourages and welcomes donations, memorial gifts, bequests and gifts of capital. The income generated from investment of these funds is then made available for grants. Donors may restrict their gifts to certain types of grants or to certain communities, or they may designate them as unrestricted. 

The CorTrust Bank ALM Community Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors that consists of people from the Artesian, Letcher and Mt. Vernon communities, as well as CorTrust Bank. The current members of the Board of Directors are Jeff Ebersdorfer from Artesian, Gibi Page from Fedora, Lori Kluth and Cheryl Hohbach from Mt. Vernon, Sherri Stekl and Janet Maeschen from Letcher, and Jeff Tiede, Barb Metzinger, Brad Haiar and Don Threadgold from CorTrust Bank. The Board meets twice a year to review grant applications. The next grant application deadline is Aug. 15. Applications and more information can be obtained from the CorTrust Banks in Artesian, Letcher and Mt. Vernon, or at

Due to limitations caused by the coronavirus, most events like funerals, weddings and birthday parties are limited to only family members for attendees. That wasn’t going to keep residents of Artesian and the surrounding area from paying their respects to a prominent member of their community.

On Saturday, May 9, Jim Hoffman, whose funeral was that morning, was honored with vehicles and farm machinery full of friends and family and community members lined along both sides of Artesian’s Main Street from the First Lutheran Church to Highway 34. Everyone was there to support Hoffman’s family and to give him the wonderful sendoff he deserved since they couldn’t attend his funeral service.

Once the family escorted Hoffman from the church and down the street in their vehicles, 47 cars, three fire trucks and 20 pieces of machinery followed them in a procession to the Hoffman farm, about a mile north of Artesian, and continued to the cemetery. The entire event was a very respectful and incredibly honorable and moving moment. It was a farewell perfectly suited for a man who loved farming and his rural community and made them an integral part of his entire life. 

…See a photo in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

On April 7, 1970, a fire, aided by 40- to 50-mile-an-hour winds, destroyed the Artesian business district. It was reported that the fire began just before 2:30 p.m. in the upper floor of Noell’s Department Store. The fire quickly spread, burning buildings and property on both sides of more than two blocks of main street. The fire made it to Highway 34, burned the service station, the two grain elevators and a large storage bin.

Fire departments from Artesian, Woonsocket, Letcher, Carthage, Howard and Mitchell worked together to fight the flames through the afternoon and the evening. A fire-watch was organized that included Artesian residents to monitor and prevent the fire from flaming up again.

The buildings destroyed or badly damaged included the former hardware building, theatre, recreation hall, bar, barbershop, café, American Legion building, launderette and an adjoining building. The homes of William Boocks and Ray Cunningham were also ruined by the fire. Buildings that were spared included the Livestock State Bank and the Artesian Improvement Co. building that housed the post office, the Northern States Power Co. offices and Milliken Funeral Chapel.

…Read on in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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