Napoleon Farmer Leaves a Legacy - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Napoleon Farmer Leaves a Legacy


It's a heartbreaking loss for the community of Napoleon.

"You'd see him in church on Sunday and then you see him working, you know, Monday through Saturday," says David Rohrich.

"Really good farmer in the area and that was his life," says Troy Jangula.

Charles Sperle was born and raised on a farm four and a half miles southeast of Napoleon.

Monday, at the age of 39, his life was cut short.

"The grain vac here that was up inside the grain bin and they were trying to vac the grain out of there and it made a tunnel in there and then when that collapsed, Charles was standing in front of the door and it come out and he got buried in that pile there," says Andrew Bartholomaus, Logan County Sheriff.

The tireless efforts of the responders at the scene is a testament to this tight-knit community.

"Most of the people there knew him. Everybody gave it 100 percent I mean there wasn't anybody slacking. Everybody did everything they could," says Bartholomaus.

"They tried everything. There were guys up there trying to keep that corn from coming out with scoop shovels. Finally they found a piece of plywood, put a piece of plywood up which slowed it down some but, when you got 30,000 bushels behind you pushing, it's a lost cause," says Steve Engelhardt, Logan County Deputy Sheriff & Coroner.

In Napoleon, North Dakota, the saying is "come to visit...or spend a lifetime."

Charles spent his life here -- an icon in the community, the person everyone liked...

"Everybody you talk to is pretty heartbroken over it," says Bartholomaus.

"It's just kind of hard to wrap your mind around," says Rohrich.

"A hundred percent sure he never had an enemy on earth," says Engelhardt.

"If Charles had an enemy they'd be lying if they said he had one. You couldn't find a better guy. It's just...sad," says Jangula.

Charles not only leaves a legacy as a good farmer, but his exceptional character will always be remembered.

"Charles was well-liked. Well-liked man. You'd never find Charles saying a bad word about anybody," says Engelhardt.

"He's just a good example to follow," says Rohrich.


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