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Welcome to Rude's Home Furnishings Online

Rude's Home Furnishings, South Dakota's oldest furniture store, is a fifth generation family business established in Brookings in 1881. It is currently owned by Alfred and Deanna Rude. A fifth generation is now on staff including Conor Duane Rude, son of Alfred and Deanna, and Nick Hanson, their nephew.

Rude's is a shareholder/member of BrandSource, a national group of independent home furnishings stores, which allows Rude's to aggressively compete with major chain stores yet provide the personal service of a family business.

At Rude's, WE MAKE IT SIMPLE. GOOD FURNITURE. LOW PRICES. REPUTABLE SERVICE. And, it is backed by a locally owned, family business serving the Brookings area for over 130 years.

We look forward to the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for visiting Rude's Home Furnishings Online.

Rude's Home Furnishings History

George G. Rude, great, great grandfather of Conor Duane Rude, founded the family businesses in Brookings in 1881. George was quite an entrepreneur. In 1880, George began construction of a hotel, one of the first large structures in the city. The Christiana House opened in January 1881 and George operated it for three years before renting it to J. P. Johnson. He also opened a grocery and general merchandise store which he sold in 1893 to Christ Hanson. George established a farm implement business which became the largest in the county in the late 1890s.

In the early 1880s, George Rude became a stockholder and president of the furniture store managed by his brother Ole. After Ole's death, George spent most of his time in the furniture business.

The children of George became active in the business as they grew to adulthood. His daughter, Florence Noethe, became bookkeeper, his son, Orin, became proficient in the floor covering department, and his son, Bert, managed the furniture department. Bert also graduated from mortuary science school and was the licensed mortician and funeral director for the firm.

The complete business had moved to 402 Main Avenue, in the Kendall building, prior to 1910. There it prospered for many years and in 1928 Bert Rude established a separate funeral home in the south half of the Masonic Temple building. George Rude died in August 1930, about the time the Great Depression was setting in. Orin and Bert moved the furniture and floor covering store to the north half of the Masonic Temple building shortly thereafter. Orin Rude left the furniture store and moved to the west coast in 1938. Bert became sole owner of the furniture store and funeral home.

Bert's sons, Bert II, Vernon, and Duane worked at the furniture store and the funeral home while attending high school and South Dakota State University. Duane and Bert II entered the armed services in 1941 and 1942 respectively while Vernon became manager of the furniture store and licensed funeral director.

The Raak building at 307 Main Avenue was rented in 1943 and became the furniture store. The floor covering department remained in the north half of the Masonic Temple building. Duane returned after nearly five years service in the United States Army during World War II and worked at the furniture store while finishing his degree at South Dakota State University. He then became manager of the furniture department and, after an addition was made on the Raak building, the floor covering department.

Duane was united in marriage to Dorothy Mae Donovan on June 9, 1946, at Tyler, Minnesota. To this union were born two children, Diane Lynette on May 1, 1947, and Alfred Lyman on September 2, 1958.

Bert Rude Sr. died in June 1954 and, within the next year, the furniture and floor covering store was purchased by Duane and the funeral home was purchased by Vernon. At this time, the name of the store was changed to Rude's Home Furnishings. It continued to be located at 307 Main Avenue until 1977.

The Woolworth Company store, located in the LeGeros building at 409-411 Main Avenue, was closed for business in late 1976. Duane negotiated with the LeGeros family for lease of the property and Rude's Home Furnishings moved to the larger store building in February 1977. Dorothy, who had been a homemaker and active community volunteer, began assisting in sales at the store. Duane's son, Alfred, had been working at the store while attending school and began assuming management responsibilities. Rude's Furniture To Go, a budget and clearance "store within a store", was established on the lower level of Rude's Home Furnishings in 1986.

On January 1, 1987, Duane sold the business to Alfred and semi-retired. He continued to assist and offer guidance until his health no longer permitted in 2003. Alfred is the fourth generation of the Rudes to own the business. Alfred purchased the store building from the LeGeros family in 1987. In 1989, Alfred purchased the adjoining Stratton building at 413 Main Avenue from Orrin Juel. The main store building was remodeled and Rude's Sleep Center was established in the adjoining building with a grand opening held in October 1990.

In November 1990, Rude's was forced to move to a temporary location at 2405 Sixth Street because of a fire which destroyed the neighboring Mac's Restaurant at 407 Main Avenue and caused extensive damage to Rude's. The store reopened at the downtown location in April 1991.

On September 19, 1992, Alfred was united in marriage to Deanna Joy Biggar. Coincidently, the Biggar family homesteaded in Brookings County about the same time that the Rudes did in the late 1870s. The families were friends and generations of the Biggar family have done business with the Rudes. Deanna has been a wonderful wife, mother, talented decorator for the firm, and active community volunteer. In 1996, Alfred and Deanna were blessed with the adoption of their son, Conor Duane Rude, who was born in South Korea on January 28, 1996. Conor excels in school. He became an Eagle Scout on October 23, 2012. He is active at First Lutheran Church. Conor enjoys trap and skeet shooting, woodworking, cars, mechanical and technical projects, playing piano, and hunting and fishing with his dad. He works parttime at Rude's Home Furnishings and has been instrumental in establishing our new TV/home entertainment department which opened in November 2012.

Deanna established Rude's Hometown Heritage Exhibit on the lower level of Rude's Home Furnishings. The exhibit features Brookings, area towns, South Dakota State University, World War II, and Rude family business displays. Visitors as well as community members enjoy the exhibit. It is our belief that we can learn much from the past in planning for the future.

Nick Hanson, nephew of Alfred and Deanna, joined the staff at Rude's in 1998 as a delivery and service person. He has a talent for merchandising and display and assumed those responsibilities in 2012. He attends markets and assists with buying. Nick is also responsible for daily accounting and inventory management.

In 2004, Rude's 2 was opened in the loft above the main store. Former apartment units provide a unique setting for antiques, collectibles, florals and fun. Seasonal changes are made and open houses are held for spring and Christmas. Tour and convention groups have enjoyed visiting Rude's 2 "The Loft".

Duane Rude died on December 7, 2004, in Brookings, at the age of 84 years. He was a good father, mentor, honest businessperson, caring community member, and faithful to God. Dorothy Rude died on February 14, 2007, at the age of 85 years. She provided wonderful support, guidance, and inspiration. She was a dedicated community volunteer. Dorothy found it easy to make friends with newcomers to the community, customers, and to provide support for those in need of guidance. Alfred and Deanna Rude with the support of a dedicated staff plan to carry on the legacy of the Rude family in providing honest home furnishings values along with the personal, caring service of a family business.

Thank you for your interest in the Rude family business and for visiting Rude's Home Furnishings Online.

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