Selz is Small, but That's Why People Like it
Lind, Bob. "Selz is Small, but That's why People Like it." Forum, 15 August 1993, sec. B & 3B.
The sounds of Summer in Selz: a flag flapping in the community
park; a car on a gravel street; birds singing; long periods of no
sound at all, interrupted by the harsh roar of Ruth Dosch's lawn
Ruth came to Selz in 1967 because, she says, it was a good place
to raise the two youngest of her six children.
Andrew Zeien at the former Selz schoolhouse,
where he now lives with his family.
Selz is just north of Harvey, North Dakota. Population estimates
vary from 60 to 75. It had a general store until 1969, a school
until 1988. The store now houses a carpentry business and the school
now is the home of the Zeien family.
Andrew Zeien, 13, attended school in this building until second
grade. He says its "kind of fun" to live there.
Andrew says he likes Selz. "It's nice and quiet; not too much
traffic," he says.
That's a fact. Selz, like many rural communities, struggles to
exist. Its businesses are the carpenter's shop, a machine shop,
a bar and the grain elevator where Jamey Weinmann works.
Weinmann and his wife Brenda live in a neat yellow and white house
across the street from the baseball diamond now overgrown with grass.
Brenda was the Selz postmaster until the post office closed four
years ago; now she's the postmaster in Esmond, 17 miles away.
"I like this size town," Weinmann says. "It's not too
busy. Grand Forks, Fargo, Bismarck, they're OK, but any bigger,
it gets too fast. Here, you can walk to work."
Jamey Weinmann, right, lives near and takes
care of the Selz Community Park.
Selz's residents include 10 children aged 14 and under. Three of
them belong to the Weinmanns. The two oldest sometimes play on the
merry-go-round and the slide in the park.
Their father looks after the park; he's paid out of a maintenance
fund. Many of the park's facilities were donated by families and
a homemaker's club.
The park contains playground equipment, two picnic tables in a
shelter, a grill, a two-holer outhouse, the flag pole and a small
flower garden. Pauline Ziegler voluntarily makes the garden her
Pauline's house is at the edge of town, down the street from St.
Anthony Catholic Church, which was built in 1959.
Most of Selz's residents are Catholic and German. Lawrence Welk would
have felt at home here; his German-Russian ancestors came from the
village of Selz in Russia.
Ruth Dosch works with the flower and
seashell display in her yard.
Ruth Dosch takes a breather from mowing her lawn. She worries about
the flowers around her house. "We got too much rain,"
she says. "It's hurting them."
The rain is hurting the farmers around Selz, too; the fields are
With all the water, it's appropriate that Ruth Dosch has a display
of seashells in her yard. Her daughter in North Carolina brings
them to her.
She's impressed by her neighbors. One of them is Jamey Weinmann.
"He does things for me and he won't take a thing for it,"
Another neighbor, Raymond Martel, cleared a dead tree off her yard
and fixed her car "and he wouldn't take anything, either,"
"I had a chance to move to Harvey," she says. "But
I couldn't have it any better than I've got it right here."
She cranks up the mower and its roar again cuts through the quiet
Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Fargo, North Dakota.