From Our Early Files April 12, 2023 Edition





April 16, 1998

There may not have been many contests for seats on the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors, but last week’s election nevertheless will result in a shakeup on the board. Only two of the 21 seats on the board were contested, but both incumbents lost — and, in both cases, they were powerful board members. John Killian had served the last four years as the board chair, but lost to challenger Ray Seiler, 58 to 55, in the Arcadia-area district. In the Trempealeau-area district first-time candidate Donald Hellrung defeated Fred Nelson — one of the most senior board members who chaired a couple of important committees — 156 to 70. 

Whitehall Memorial High School Junior Prom court members were selected last week. Members of the prom royalty are: Dan Gunderson, Sarah Johnston, Ryan Mickelson, Lydia Lyon, Eric Kulig, John Bautch, Travis Borreson, Chad Sosalla, Brandon Lee, Chad Coburn, Kelly Kowalsky, Leah Hanson, Kylee Severson, Amanda Gauger, Andrea Hulett and Bambi Kneifl. The miniature king and queen are Jakob Pientok and Cailyn Kneifl. 

The Hale Township Volunteer Fire Department has a couple of good reasons for putting off its annual firemen’s dance. The firemen will get to show off their new quarters during an open house that will proceed the dance this Saturday. The dance is usually held in February, in Osseo, but the completion of the new fire station provided them with a place to hold the dance and marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the fire department gave them a good reason to hold the event a bit later. 

When an acid mixture created a poisonous yellow cloud near the Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. plant in Arcadia last Wednesday afternoon, local and regional emergency personnel responded to ensure the safety of residents in Arcadia. The chemical accident occurred when a driver from West Argo accidentally unloaded acid into the wrong tank. That created a poisonous cloud, which resulted in the evacuation of approximately 84 individuals from Franciscan Skemp Healthcare-Arcadia Campus and affected 100 residential homes. According to Diary Farmers plant manager Jerry Haines, eight employees were working at the time of the accident, but none of them were hurt. Joe Feltes, Arcadia deputy fire chief, said the evacuation of residents at the medical facility and people from homes in the half-mile radius went smoothly. 

In a move that shocked Mayor Gary Bautch and other members of the Arcadia city council, alderman Vince Wozney gave the mayor a letter announcing his resignation last Thursday. Wozney’s letter stated “there are certain issues that don’t receive the attention that I feel they should and there are situations that, in my opinion, have not been handled properly” before announcing he would resign his position. 

Miss America 1990 Dr. Debbye Turner will be in Arcadia to serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies at this year’s Miss Arcadia Pageant on May 9. 

Three Arcadia area farmers have reported the theft of beef calves from their property within the past few days. Farmers filing reports were Scott Schank, Leonard Pientok and Gerald Wolfe. 

In 1913, Roy Christianson was the salesman for J.H. Mathison in Strum. Now, 70 years later, he is still working as a salesman in his own store, Roy’s Store in Tamarack Valley. The store has been in business for 61 years. He and his wife, Francel, moved to the valley and built their home and country grocery store in 1937. 

Roxanne Davis expects to open a new Coast to Coast hardware store in Galesville as early as Memorial Day. Davis, a Galesville resident, said Grandma’s Hardware will be in the Friday Canning Company property on West Mill Road. 

Dan Eddy officially started as the new Ettrick postmaster on March 24. 


April 19, 1973

Whitehall Police Officer John Sikora, who was suspended briefly earlier this year for his handling of an arrest, has resigned to take a position with an abstract service in Neillsville. Sikora’s suspension was later revoked and removed from his record, but he remained on probation.

Merlyn Klebig family of Winona, formerly of Whitehall, won first place in the talent and variety show held by the Whitehall Lions Club Saturday night. Carol Ellison and John Syndergaard took second.

Two Whitehall High wrestlers, 112-pounder Brian Borreson and 132-pounder Tom Ritland, were named to the All-Dairyland Conference team. Independence had eight All-DC wrestlers: Bruce Fox, Gary Boland, Mark Helgeson, Joe Giemza, Tom Matchey, Linus Waldera, Dan Slaby and Roger Conrad.

Three Arcadia Public School music department bands received first-place ratings in their respective classifications at the district concert group contest held Saturday in Independence. A total of 280 students participated in the event. 

Arcadia Junior Dairymen demonstration team placed first in competition at the district meeting held in Black River Falls last week. It marked the fifth straight year that the Arcadia team has placed first at district. Arcadia’s entry was one of five and demonstrated the best way of marking and identifying cattle. 

Dennis Klonecki, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Klonecki, and Tina Harrison, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Harrison, were announced as king and queen of the Arcadia High School junior class prom. 

At the final organizational meeting, the league board completed plans for the 1973 season of the Coulee Slo-Pitch Softball League. The following teams will make up the league this year: Ettrick Merchants, Uncle Carl’s, Hank and Fran’s, Snappers Bar, Galesville Manufacturing, Olson-Gilmesister, Trempealeau Texaco, Ed Sullivan’s #1, Ed Sullivan’s #2 and Abby Tool and Die. 

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Senior High School band received a first rating in Class A competition from all three judges at the Spring Musical Festival in Independence on April 14. 


April 15, 1948

The city council, at its regular monthly meeting Monday night, adopted a motion that a suitable resolution of appreciation be framed and signed by members of the council, expressing a vote of thanks to Mr. T.O. Rice for the performance of the duties of village president and mayor for the past 12 successive terms of office.

Myron DeBow was elected president of the Whitehall-Pigeon Rod and Gun Club at the annual meeting held Wednesday evening at the City Hall, succeeding Tilman Haug, who was elected vice president.

Lloyd Gunderson, king of the junior prom that will be held at Whitehall High April 30, has chosen Marie Rice as his queen.

The Boy Scout First Aid Team representing Whitehall’s Troop 78 won a Class A rating at Marshfield, with a team score of over 99. Members of the team are David Hauge, Richard G. Matson, Richard W. Mattson, Richard Rice and John Speerstra.

A meeting will be held at the Pigeon Falls school house April 23 for the purpose of gathering and presenting information on the feasibility of combining all school districts in the town of Pigeon, and adjoining Hale districts, into one consolidated district, or of attaching such districts to an existing high school district.

A grass fire believed to have been started by a cigarette butt thrown from a passing car threatened the buildings on the Joe Smick farm near Elk Creek the week before last. The Independence fire company was called to the scene, but arrived to find the blaze nearly under control through the work of neighbors.

The Better Homes Homemaker Club met at the Larson home in Schimmerhorn March 31. A very interesting demonstration was given on nationality foods by the making of Bohemian kolaches, by Mmes. Harold Jacobson and Menick Ringlien.

The local fire department was called to the Matt Feltes farm six miles west of Arcadia on Glencoe Ridge Wednesday morning. An overheated stove pipe which ran through the wall to the outside of the house is believed to be the cause of the fire. Feltes had the fire under control, however, before the fire department arrived. Little damage occurred. 

A 4-H club was organized in Lewis Valley by Yvonne Olson, home demonstration agent, in the absence of Ray Shanklin, county club agent. Officers were elected as follows: president, Marianne Filla; vice president, Theresa Filla; secretary-treasurer, Lucille Heath; reporter Lavern Fonfara; senior leader, Marian Ressel and junior leader Marianne Filla for the girls; senior leader for the boys, Aaron Bisek. Ralph Bisek, Marcus Skroch and Joe Pietrek Jr. are on the entertainment committee. 


April 19, 1923

R.A. Lamberson received a carload of limestone last week, and has been busy hauling it to his farm west of town, where he will spread it onto seven acres of Grimm alfalfa and five acres of new clover seeding. Raymond completed the agricultural course at the state university a few years back, and since has been devoting his time to building up a fine herd of Holsteins and applying scientific methods of farming.

The spring of 1923 will go on record as one of the latest springs that this section has seen since the arrival of the pioneers. At this time, we have failed to learn of a farmer attempting to do any spring’s work. David Wood informs us that, in the year 1881 or ’82, the first grain was sown on April 23. Unless we experience a sudden change, we will beat the record of 40 years ago.

Martin Swenson, who has an enviable reputation as a hair cutter and whisker trimmer, is also making a remarkable success of raising poultry which produces large eggs. He has on display at his tonsorial parlors an egg measuring six inches in circumference and weighing nearly a pound.

Farmers & Merchants Bank has made arrangements for a “new Ford weekly purchase plan.” You can make as low as a $5 deposit then select your Ford of any kind and arrange weekly deposits. 

A car hauled out of the ice on Lake Marinuka was dunked at 7:43 a.m. on March 30. This was sponsored by the Galesville Lions Club, Irvin Woestman won the first prize, guessing 7:40 a.m., March 30 and Ed Knepper guessed 8 a.m. on March 30. 

A house car was parked at the public square in Galesville and attracted a good deal of attention. It was a house on wheels equipped with beds, other furniture and cooking articles. The travelers were four brothers going home to Fergus Falls, Minn. from Tampa, Fla. 


April 14, 1898

An ordinance is published this week prohibiting the further riding of bicycles on the sidewalks of the village of Whitehall. Wheelmen will hereafter “keep in de middle ob de road.”

Joseph Wright circulated a petition last week to raise funds with which to purchase a cow for his neighbor, Marcus Thompson, who lot one and can ill afford to buy another to replace it.

James Larson drew the water in the mill pond off Monday night to make some needed repairs, and Tuesday the bottoms were literally black with nimrods catching bullheads, suckers, etc., which had been grounded in the sloughs and recesses by the receding waters.

Dr. Parker sold his corner lot, the old post office property, yesterday to A.G. Buchholz, the consideration being between $1,300 and $1,400, the exact sum being known only to the contracting parties. It is the best business location in the village, and the ex-postmaster is to be congratulated in obtaining this choice bit of real estate.

If we don’t have war, it will be because Spain gets out of Cuba at once, body, soul and breeches.

Blair — Peter Solberg of Whitehall, Martin Lyngdahl of Pigeon and Oluf Solberg of Blair are negotiating with Ole Moe for the rental of his harness shop for a saloon. They offer $20 per month rent, and have paid $5 down to bind the bargain.

Elk Creek — It is said that our baseball pitcher has already begun to lubricate himself with snake’s oil every evening, so that when the season opens, he will be able to pitch the ball with as much velocity as if it were fired from one of Krupp’s big guns.

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