Finding Purewater

1960 Purewater church and parsonage

It all began with two guys and a couple wagons. Case Vanden Bos and Ben Brink struck out in 1909 from the little community of Harrison, South Dakota, to go farther west into an even more remote area of South Dakota. They bought land in Todd County, which was part of the Rosebud Indian Reservation. (White settlers had only been allowed to legally settle there since 1904.) Each man began to build a house.

For some unknown reason, both men went back to Harrison, then returned in the spring of 1911 with their families. By that time, other Dutch families had also moved into Todd County to establish farms. For two years, the settlers held home church services at the Brink home. Having no minister, Case Vander Bos read Dutch sermons aloud.

In 1914, they constructed a tiny building to worship in, just 18 feet by 26 feet. About the same time and a few miles away, another group of Dutch settlers had built a little church, the Lakeview Reformed Church. The two congregations were technically in different denominations, but the members knew each other.

In 1916, the Vander Bos/Brink group of believers pooled their money together to buy 10 acres of land, and built a larger church to worship in. As the county did not have enough residents to have a public school system, they also used the building as a school for their children, with one of their members as the school teacher. They still had no minister, and continued to read sermons.

The little group of believers were very excited to get a student pastor, the son of one of the church members, for the summer of 1917.

In 1918, the church members constructed a parsonage, and drilled a well on the hill next to it. A gravity pressure water system transported the water to the parsonage. The well pulled in water from the Ogallala aquifer and had a pure, almost sweet flavor.

In 1919, the little congregation got their first full-time minister – Henry Verduin, who had just finished seminary and been ordained. The congregation finally got a name. Because of the excellent water, the congregation voted to be known as Purewater Christian Reformed Church.

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Cracklin’ Oat Bran – Creeping Back Onto Shelves (March 23, 2022)

Our favorite cold cereal has been out of stock everywhere for months. I’ve gotten in the habit of just checking every time I’m at the grocery store, and this morning I hit the jackpot. My local Meijer grocery store had about 20 boxes of it on the shelf!

When I got home, I checked their website. It still showed Cracklin’ Oat Bran being “out of stock”. Perhaps Meijer is getting such a limited supply that they don’t want to advertise that they actually have some.

For those of you without a midwest Meijer near you, check at your local Walmart or Target store. Here are some screenshots from each store’s website:

I can’t guarantee that you’ll find this much-loved cereal on your store shelves today, but Cracklin’ Oat Bran is slowly rolling back in.

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