The long-time, Douglas County family of Rosie Rueter lived in the area since the 1930's. As the legend goes (which has likely evolved over the decades), Rosie Rueter resided next to a family by the name of Hess. It was a rural, ranching community at the time. Since they were homesteaders, there were no dating websites or disco bars to meet people at- ergo Rosie married the neighbor boy and became Rosie Hess.
Fast forward 70+ years and Parker Water & Sanitation District is attempting to purchase Ms. Hess’s property.
By now, she is a widow, but still running cattle at age 80+. Rosie
wanted nothing to do with Parker Water and the issue was headed to
court. On the court house steps, Ms. Hess proclaims that she will
sell her land, but with some conditions.
Rosie wanted a life
estate, a couple of houses moved, the money (of course), and she wanted
the reservoir named after both her married and maiden names. And,
“ta-da” we have Rueter-Hess Reservoir.
The remnants of Rosie's
homestead can still be found today at the base of the dam where a few
old cottonwoods still exist. On full moon nights, they say that you
can still hear her calling to her cows…(whoever “they” are). As I
noted, I’m sure the tale has grown over time, but that’s the way it
was recalled to me...