From Our Early Files April 28, 2021




May 2, 1996

Among the Whitehall High School vocal and instrumental musicians who will be competing at the state solo and ensemble contest in Eau Claire are soloists Leah Hanson, Erika Skadahl, Eric Moe, Mandy Kampa, Ryan Martinovici, Elizabeth Foltz, Lindsay Nelson, Kris Van Sickle, Shanna Hanson, Michelle Koxlien, Beth Martin, Jenny Skadahl, Kara Hanvold and Greg Van Sickle. 

The Whitehall city council Monday night approved the fourth loan to be granted from the Whitehall Economic Development Loan Fund. The council, acting on the recommendation of the fund’s advisory board, okayed a $20,000 loan to The Oil Spot, a new business being developed by Gary and Jane Holen of rural Whitehall. The firm will provide quick oil changes for motor vehicles and also do some light welding. 

A rural Whitehall man has been convicted of weapons charges in federal court. Joseph Taylor pleaded guilty Friday to one count of possessing unregistered firearms in U.S. District Court in Madison. A second count of the charge, which involves the possession of components for making explosive devices was dismissed. Taylor, 50, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and/or fined as much as $250,000.

The six contestants for the 1996 Miss Arcadia Pageant are Carolyn Bisek, Erin Slaby, Jill Patzner, Tricia Sonsalla, Jessica Smith and Rebecca Suchla. 

The Arcadia Playground Committee and hundreds of area volunteers built a state-of-the-art playground for the children of Arcadia last week. The volunteers spent five days working in all kinds of weather to complete the project. The new playground was opened on Sunday afternoon after an inspection was completed. 

When Loren and Roselyn Nelson — proprietors of Nelson Straightline Auto Corp. — decided to locate in Independence, they wanted to bring their personal and business philosophy out in such a manner that people could understand and relater to what their goals were. It was then that they decided to purchase an old Texaco gas station and restore it to the condition it was in during the 1950s. 

Things were percolating as students from inner-city Milwaukee and Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau got together in Galesville Friday night. And it wasn’t just that a dance step in the small gym at the high school was called “percolating.” A public concert in which the visiting choir members called in their counterparts from G-E-T for the final two numbers helped brew good feelings as well.

A citizens committee began planning its role Monday for a new all-day kindergarten program, with its actual deliberations overshadowed by the fact that all those named to the panel showed up. School officials had appointed both opponents and supporters of the optional all-day plan that drew some of its criticism from the fact that the program would be centralized in Galesville, requiring busing from Ettrick and Trempealeau.

It isn’t the major plan village leaders talked about 15 months ago, the loss of state grants that would’ve covered 80 percent of the cost took care of that. But the Trempealeau village board isn’t ready to give up on a modified improvement program for Main St. At a special meeting, the board approved a small start on the upgrade. It accepted a $3,682 bid to repair curb, gutter and sidewalks on both sides of Main St., south of Third Street and to add wheelchair-accessible cuts in sidewalk corners.  

As the polls close, the fate of the Blair-Taylor school building will be known. This Saturday is election day for residents of the B-T district, voters will decide whether or not to approve the borrowing of $6.5 million by the district for the financing of a new 9-12 high school building on a neutral site in the country and improvements to the existing high school building for grades Pre-K-through-eight. 

Jennifer Olson was named valedictorian and Kristin Ginther was salutatorian for the B-T High School class of 1996. 


May 6, 1971

New employees in the Trempealeau County nurse’s office are secretary receptionist Janet Loken of Galesville and part-time staff nurses Pat Mack of Ettrick and Louise Hauge of Pigeon Falls.

The Whitehall swimming pool building fund has grown to $670.87, following a recent gift of $130 from the Whitehall Happy Homemakers.

Pfc. Ralph Kamrowski, 18, home on leave, became Trempealeau County’s fourth traffic fatality in the year when he died Sunday evening from injures received in a crash on Highway 93, three miles north of Centerville. 

Barbara Jean Haines of Arcadia was one of two 19-year-old girls chosen to represent Region Six in the Alice in Dairyland contest to be held June 17, 18 and 19. 

About 2,800 junior and senior high school musicians will invade Galesville for the Concert Musical Festival on May 8. A total of 21 bands and 30 choral groups will take part in the third section of the annual spring music festival, according to Don Rowlands, director of instrumental music at Gale-Ettrick High School. 

The Trempealeau County Historical Society regrets they will not be able to have the museum part of the schoolhouse on the fairgrounds open during May as planned because of vandalism to the windows, which required considerable repairs. 

The Ettrick Rod and Gun Club purchased more than 26 acres on the former Leo Mack farm, two miles east of Ettrick.

Improvements to the Ettrick village dump include covering the banks with earth and a deep trench dug for refuse, which will be covered with earth from time to time.


May 2, 1946

The same issue which existed at the time when Christ drove the moneychangers from the temple, brought immigrants from Europe to America, and perplexed Lincoln, confront the common people of America today, former Socialist Milwaukee Mayor Daniel Hoan told a Whitehall audience Friday. It is the age-old battle between wealth and the common people, said Mr. Hoan, who urged that a strong Trempealeau County liberal ticket be organized.

Edward Van Sickle, 21, of the town of Hale, who is home on a 60-day furlough from the service, fractured his right leg above the knee when the car he was driving went off Hwy. 121 at the Maule curve east of Independence Monday about midnight. His companion, 18-year-old Helen Dahl of Hale, received lacerations to her right knee.

Thirteen-year-old Spencer Foss, an eighth-grader and son of Mrs. Ernest Foss of Whitehall, won the Trempealeau County marble contest conducted at Whitehall Saturday by Coach Colonel Larson of the high school. Orville Nething, who won the tournament last year, was second; William Steig was third, and Roy Ambli came in fourth.

At the triangular track meet held Thursday at Galesville, Bob Bensend of Whitehall set a new record for the broad jump of 19 feet, three-quarters inch. The old record, 18 feet three inches, was set in 1937 by Pete Galuska of Arcadia.

Justice Elmer E. Barlow of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, whose hometown is Arcadia, was elected president of the Wisconsin Law Alumni Association. Barlow, a former Arcadia city attorney, Trempealeau County District Attorney and state commissioner of taxation, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1909.

Fire destroyed the Taylor Green Bay and Western depot, the Olson and Anderson Lumberyard and damaged the nearby pickle station. Estimated loss is $30,000.


May 5, 1921

The U.S. Census Bureau has sent out its 14th census report, which shows the population of Trempealeau County as 24,506. Of the municipalities in the county, the town of the Arcadia, with a population of 2,585, is the largest; the village of Arcadia is the largest incorporated municipality, with 1,418. Whitehall’s population is 851.

The musical comedy “The Gypsy Rover,” given at the hall Monday night, was a great success and again demonstrates the dramatic abilities of Whitehall’s young people. Mrs. Haesle, who had sole charge of the Glee Club in this stage setting, has also become famous by reason of her success in directing operatic productions.

Strum comes to Whitehall Sunday to meet the local team, the game to be called at 2:30 p.m. sharp. The new suits have arrived and will be donned for the first time in the Strum game. E.E. Roesler of Juneau has decided to move to Whitehall and make his home, and will do the backstop work for the local boys. He is an experienced ball player, having player with a number of players who are now in the major leagues. Edgar Gunderson of Welch Coulee, now a student of the La Crosse normal, will throw for Whitehall.

Official reports of conditions of two Arcadia banks, Bank of Arcadia and Farmers State Bank, showed resources of $649,323 for the Bank of Arcadia and $648,713 for Farmers State. 

“An Old Fashioned Mother” was the name of a play presented by the St. Aloysius School commercial department in the Arcadia school auditorium. 

Triplets were born to a Red Poll cow owned by Peter Theisen in the town of Montana. 

Phillip Herman Sr., for nearly 50 years a Trempealeau County resident, is now a full-fledged citizen of the United States. The Galesville man was granted his final papers at Whitehall last week.

William Davidson suffered a broken ankle Monday as he jumped from the wagon as his team took fright on the Decora Prarie-Galesville road. 

Work on the city restroom and public library is nearing completion. The place will be a credit to Galesville and will place this town on the front rank. 


April 30, 1896

The new plant for steam heating the courthouse offices, sheriff’s office and the jail, for which an appropriation of $800 was made at the last meeting of the county board, is finished. The plant cost $775, and appears to be complete and satisfactory. The committee is to be congratulated in getting the job done within the sum named by the county board.

The examination in the case of the state versus Dr. James Best, for alleged rape upon the person of Mrs. Henry E. Browne of Osseo, adjourned April 20 for the purpose of securing an important state’s witness, was taken up Monday before Judge Odell and continued through Tuesday afternoon. The state was unable to make a case sufficiently strong to justify the judge in binding the defendant over to the circuit court, and he was discharged.

Ole Torson lost a seven-months-old child with whooping cough last week.

The village election will be held next Tuesday. Candidates for the office will make known their desires at the caucus Saturday evening. Possibly, some may before that time.

Barth Bros., proprietors of the Arcadia Leader, have dissolved partnership, L.G. retiring and P.J. continuing the publication. The politics of the paper will be the same as heretofore, democratic.

Hale -- There will be a dance at the Grange Hall Friday, May 8, to which all are cordially invited.

Eleva -- All the small boys, and some of the big ones, have a well-worn path, carrying angleworms to and from the pond.

Hegg -- M.O. Thunold and James Quammen went to the Black River fishing Tuesday, returning home Friday with about 300 pounds of fish.


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