From Our Early Files Aug. 25, 2021




Aug. 29, 1996

It wasn’t quite the same as being on television with Jerry Lewis over the Labor Day weekend, but Bea Van Tassel — and Whitehall – figured prominently in a regional version of the fundraising telethon. Van Tassel, a Whitehall resident, was one of a handful of patients featured during the CancerHeart Challenge put on by the Gundersen Medical Foundation and WKBT-TV. The eight-hour show aired Saturday on the La Crosse television station.

 St. Boniface Parochial School in Waumandee recently hired Gail Lubahn, a Winona, Minn., resident, as the new principal/elementary teacher. 

Christ Lutheran Church has set up a fund to help Pat Rodriguez and her family after a fire ravaged their home on Aug. 15. The Rodriguez family has been staying at a local motel since the fire, which started in her living room and spread to the rest of the home. Firefighters were able to save the structure from total destruction, but the damage was extensive.

New staff members at the Arcadia public school are William Grelle, Dave Ludy, Jeff Byom, John Hokenson, Kristin Knutson, Clara Hediger, Stacy Julson, Robyn Droessler, Diane Hermann, Esther Frost and Bob Siewert. 

In what he called a “wrist-slapping” a state Department of Natural Resources official told the city of Galesville to correct some long-standing deficiencies in its water utility. City utility workers responded by saying they’d never heard about some of the reported problems. One worker said the city’s last public works chief had “kept us in the dark,” and councilman John Gardner, who chairs the city’s utility committee said “this is the first I’ve seen of this.” He was referring to a list that DNR environmental engineer Charlie Cameron said had more than 20 deficiencies. 

An Ettrick woman that many have turned to over the years has been recognized as the community’s Citizen of the Year. “Ettrick is a good place to live,” said Charlotte Bishop in accepting the award on Aug. 22. It was Bishop, herself, who helped make it that way, in a variety of roles that have largely put her in or near a kitchen over many of her some 70 years. 

Valerie Thompson was crowned Miss Ettrick 1996 with first attendant Heather Cantlon, second attendant Emily Ofsdahl and third attendant Shannon Johnson. 

Steve Larson of Whitehall has been hired as the third police officer in the city of Blair. The part-time position will require full-time hours, filling the absence of police chief Carlyle Helstad, who has not been able to return to work due to health reasons following an auto accident in October 1995. 

An intruder broke into Jeffrey’s Kwik Mart in Blair during the early morning hours of Aug. 14. At 3:43 a.m., Service Master Cleaning Service personnel drove up to the building and parked when a male exited a door with the alarm system blaring. The service van then chased the male, fleeing on foot around the block toward Stetzer Electric before getting away. The only articles reported missing from the store were 10 pornographic magazines, which the burglar dropped while fleeing. 


Sept. 2, 1971

As of Wednesday, Art and Irene Kulig, formerly of Pleasantville, are the new owners of Johnnie and Connie Dubiels’ bar and cafe on Abram St. Mr. and Mrs. Dubiel purchased the business in 1963 from Truman Jacobson and have enlarged and improved the building considerably.

A 35- by 90-foot addition to the Clipper’s IGA building on Ellis Street is being constructed.

Arcadia Public Schools opened last Thursday morning with a total enrollment of 979. High school enrollment showed an increase of four over a year ago and the elementary a gain of 27. Children from Holcombe and German Coulees annexed to the Arcadia School District since the start of the last school year are attending Arcadia schools this September.

Enrollment at the Arcadia Catholic School remained stable with 393 enrolled on opening day last Thursday. Last year’s opening day enrollment totaled 392. There are also 60 students enrolled at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Pine Creek.

Postmaster Burton Sauer, amplifying on a new mail service program recently announced by Washington headquarters, today identified local areas, which are to receive overnight delivery of first class mail originating within the Arcadia area. Sauer said 16 areas contiguous to Arcadia will benefit from the next-day deliveries under a new mail service goal announced by Postmaster General Winton M. Blount. 

The school board of the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau or Southern Trempealeau County School District opened bids for the construction of a new biology laboratory at the G-E-T High School in Galesville last week. 

A running deer target was a major attraction Sunday at the Trempealeau Archery Range as area bowmen attempted to score kill shots on the mechanical deer. As far as is known, it is the only fully automatic running deer target for archer in this immediate area.

Marine Pvt. John A. Stephenson, son of Mrs. Clara Stephenson of Blair, graduated from the recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. 

MT 3/C Jim Beaman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Don Beaman, was aboard the USS Regulus that was driven around during the storm, Typhoon Rose. 


Aug. 29, 1946

At an informal meeting of the Trempealeau County chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis held at the courthouse Monday, Miss Janet Swenson, county nurse, informed the group that there are now four cases of polio in the county, and two suspects. Although the manner of spreading the disease is not known, she recommended that parents keep their children away from the Trempealeau County fair and any other large gathering, in the hope of thus keeping the disease from reaching epidemic proportions.

Myron DeBow, sportsmen’s committeeman for Trempealeau County, reports that the state Conservation Commission released 15 coons in this area last week. Four each were liberated in the Square Bluff area, Big Slough and German Valley, and three in Moe Coulee.

Reuben Gunderson of Strum will display a barn cleaner at the Trempealeau County Fair. The unit, manufactured by an Eau Claire concern, will clean a 160-foot gutter in less than eight minutes, with just the flip of an electric switch.

The Pigeon Falls state graded school will open Sept. 2, with Everett Guse teaching the upper grades, and Mrs. Theron Paulson, the lower grades.

Arcadia will be represented with a director on the Trempealeau County Fair Board this coming year. A.C. Schultz, manager of the A-G Cooperative creamery was elected a director at the annual meeting held in Galesville recently. Two other new members are Maurice Casey, Ettrick and J.B. Hamre, Galesville. 

John Wason, eight-year-old son of the Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Wason of Centerville, died from diphtheria at a La Crosse hospital Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. A student at the Centerville school, the boy became ill Tuesday night after attending school that day. He was taken to the hospital Thursday morning. John was the oldest of five children in the family. 

The piano students of Mrs. Spencer Hanson presented a recital for their parents and friends in the English room of the high school.

James Ristow of North Bend has been engaged as an agriculture teacher in the Blair school for the ensuing year.


Sept. 1, 1921

The proposition to establish a union free high school district in the village of Whitehall and the towns of Lincoln, Pigeon and Preston was defeated at the polls Friday. The vote in the village was almost unanimously in favor of the proposition, 264 for and two against, but the vote in the townships was against, 364 to 124. This issue, which was practically unheard of the week previous, excited the voters in all the townships, with the result that meetings were held to consider the question, and the parties supporting and antagonistic worked hard to accomplish its passage or defeat. Such interest was aroused as to bring out 745 voters from the districts included.

One of the largest grades in highway construction in the state, which took over a year to finish, has been completed the past week and is now part of Hwy. 93. Located about four miles southeast of Arcadia, the grade will eliminate the old, so-called Devil’s Elbow. Tourists who has traveled the new road tell us the scenic beauty of the bluffs and valleys is much more pronounced from the new view, and that the grade is also easier, such that the entire incline can be made in high gear by a good working auto.

The Union Giants met the Arcadia baseball team on the local diamond and shut them out 12-0. A large crowd enjoyed the game.

Engelhardt Doelle, a veteran of the Civil War and resident of the town of Cross, tied after an illness of several months. 

J.J. Schneider became owner of the lumber business of J.A. Hess. 

 The Tom Whalen place, one and one-half miles from Ettrick on the main road between Ettrick and Melrose will be sold at public auction Tuesday. This farm, consisting of 200 acres, has been owned by the Whalen family for 60 years. 

W.J. Harvall’s original “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” company, numbering 25 people, traveling in their trains of special motor cars, trucks and trailers, will present Harriet Beecher Stowe’s everlasting success. The big tent, seating 1,000 people, will be located in Reception Park. 

Robert Bright, pioneer Trempealeau citizen, who was injured last week when he was thrown from a wagon, died at his home Tuesday. 


Aug. 27, 1896

Next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be the big days in Whitehall, on account of the 10th-annual fair of the Trempealeau County Industrial, Agricultural and Driving Park Association. There will be something going on from morning until night each day. The five-mile race on the last day between Luna Mac, the smallest running pony in the state, and Chas. Butman, a speedy La Crosse bicyclist, will be a novel and interesting attraction.

Richard Mattson and his crew of workmen have the new buildings, and the ones destroyed by the cyclone, on the fairgrounds all finished and in apple-pie order to receive the visitors at the exhibition next week. The grounds and race track were never in as good condition to accommodate the crowd and entertain the people, as they are at the present time.

Pigeon Falls — Several of our Republicans went to Whitehall last Friday evening to hear the political speech by J.C. Gaveney.

Ettrick — Ettrick was well represented at the Galesville fair. A large number attended the Donnelly-Fink debate, and the Free Silverites are busy trying to explain Donnelly’s motive in dumping his potatoes in the Mississippi instead of shipping them by river to Mexico and receiving 45 cents per bushel.

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