This month’s highlight is on a Crescent resident from the 1890’s.
Han’s Rudoff-“The Old Russian”
Hans Rudoff immigrated to the U.S. in 1893 from Russia. He settled here in the mountains in Cresent, or East Cresent as the area was known in those days. The area was also referred to as “The Flats, Big Willow”.
Legend has it that Hans left Russia to avoid fighting in war, having lived through the Second Polish Revolution (1863-1864) and the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878).
After immigrating and coming to Utah, Hans built his home and barn (on the 160 acres he purchased in Crescent), by himself, with rock he found in the area. The mortar he used wasn’t the best, but his expertise in fitting the stones made the structures very sturdy.
Known as a kind man, he was befriended by the people living near him. Vera Whetman Dunn remembers “the Old Russian” from her childhood, with fondness. “He didn’t talk much, as he exhibited on an occasion when he was invited to their home for dinner. He got up and walked around the table for the food he wanted, instead of asking others to pass it.” Well mannered and polite, Vera remembers many lessons that her mother taught her that she had been taught from “the Old Russian”.
Hans would walk to Draper to shop, as Phil Whetman remembered, then walk back home often carrying a 50 lb. bag of flour or sugar on his shoulder. He often walked to Sandy for other provisions, and would hunt for meat in the mountains near his home.
Hans had long gray hair and a long beard. Clyde Fairbourn remembers visiting Hans with his father, and being afraid of the Old Russian because of his appearance.
By trade Hans was a tailor and sewed clothing for many people in the area. Men’s suits and overcoats specifically, as well as doing mending on various other items.
Hans attended Sunday School, but would walk, weather permitting, to Sacrament meeting every Sunday, which showed great faith.
Joyce Dunn Dahl remembers the Old Russian fondly because of the stories she was told by her parents. Hans passed away in 1930 at the age of 77 and is buried in the Crescent Cemetery. “One man lived and was remembered kindly.” Author Unknown