From Our Early Files April 5, 2023





April 9, 1998

Lee Meinerz and Mandy Kampa were the 1998 recipients of the boys’ and girls’ Norse Awards, presented to the top senior athletes at Whitehall Memorial High School. Meinerz and Laura Bender are the school’s Scholar Athlete Award winners and are thus eligible for the statewide awards presented by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. 

The village of Pigeon Falls appears likely to get a state grant to renovate the failing Pigeon Creek mill dam. Village President Kermit Hanvold reported that he had heard from a Department of Natural Resources representative earlier that day concerning the grant. D. John Coke, regional DNR water regulation and zoning engineer, had informed him, Hanvold said, that the village had a “good chance” of getting the state dam-repair or -removal money.

Whitehall Memorial High School recently picked the juniors who will attend Badger Boys and Girls State, Business World and World Affairs Seminar in June. They are Jess Holen and Jordon Voss, Badger Boys State; Stephanie Ekern, Badger Girls State; Chad Sosalla, Business World; and Andrea Hulett and Mandy Gauger, World Affairs. 

Nearly two and a half years after deciding to build a new fire station, the Independence city council finally let bids for the project. The council awarded the contract for the new station to Olympic Builders of Holmen, which submitted the lowest bid at $268,319. 

Governor Tommy Thompson presented a $402,300 Community Development Block Grant to the town of Dodge at a ceremony held in Madison on April 2. The grant will be used to install a sewage collection system, construct a lift station and upgrade the Dodge wastewater treatment plant. 

Two challengers in the race for three at-large village of Trempealeau seats will serve as trustees for the next term. Gene Gawlik and Milton Uhl received the highest votes in the Trempealeau races putting them on the board. Incumbent Marilyn Berger received 115 votes, allowing her the third seat on the board. Incumbent Marie Krahenbuehl got only 112 votes, losing her bid for reelection. 

Second ward challenger Bob Duellman beat out incumbent Gerald Stalzer in the only contested Galesville city council race. 

Timothy Jessessky and Aaron Johnson each beat incumbents to get seats on the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board. Johnson beat incumbent Rick Geske and Jessessky topped incumbent Judy Grant. 


April 12, 1973

Most people sort of smiled when the snow began falling Sunday, but it just kept coming, and by the time it stopped on Tuesday morning, more than a foot had fallen. Real blizzard conditions existed in the area on Monday, with schools closed, the ditches full of cars and some businesses unable to operate.

Leaders of the Whitehall Teachers Association maintained a “wait and see” attitude this week about a tentative contract settlement negotiated by an attorney for the school board and a representative of the Wisconsin Education Association.

Wendy Humphrey and John Peterson have been chosen as king and queen of the April 28 Whitehall High Junior Prom. Other members of the court are Julie Briggs, Gretchen Hegge, Wanda Roelofs, Sue Kopp, Lana Guinn, Kay Clipper, David Pientok, Jerry Sosalla, Arnie Johnson, Cal Thompson, Bryan Pucik and Paul Windjue.

A fire of undetermined cause destroyed two cars and gutted a two-car garage at the David Krett residence on Pearl Street during the height of Monday’s snowstorm. The Arcadia Volunteer Fire Department received a call at approximately 12:40 p.m. and found the garage totally in flames. According to Arcadia Fire Chief Martin Rebhahn, Krett’s son, Mike, was in the garage putting chains on a vehicle when he looked up and saw the garage on fire. He barely managed to escape the blaze. 

A capricious April snowstorm dumped close to 16 inches of snow on western Wisconsin on Monday, burying the Arcadia area along with much of the upper Mississippi Valley and Wisconsin. It was the worst snowstorm of the year, which, for the most part, had been a mild winter. Arcadia Chief of Police Edward Kaiser termed it one of the worst storms in his experience because it caught people totally unprepared. 

A blizzard on April 10 dumped 18 inches of snow on Galesville.

G-E-T High School will compete in the High Quiz Bowl against St. Charles, Minnesota on April 15 on Channel 8. Mr. Robert Christianson coaches the G-E-T team which consists of Ronald Aasland, Pat Jacobs, Mark Severson, Irvin Diamond Jr. and alternate Patrick Scheller. 

Selection of cheerleaders for the 1973-74 school year has recently been completed at the G-E-T High School. Varsity squad members will be Jane Trim, captain; Sharyn Becker, Janice Hansen, Jane Erickson, Jill Carhart and Mary Sacia, alternate. 


April 8, 1948

Harold Stassen won a decisive victory in Tuesday’s Wisconsin Republican presidential primary over Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Gov. Thomas Dewey. Stassen carried Trempealeau County except for the cities of Arcadia and Independence and the village of Blair, which went for MacArthur.

Whitehall has a new mayor, as H.J. Holtan was elected Tuesday to succeed T.O. Rice, who did not seek reelection.

Tom Thunder of Hunter’s Bridge, chief of the Winnebago tribes in Wisconsin, was in Whitehall Monday and interviewed Dr. R.L. MacCornack in regard to the part the Indians will take in the centennial program to be held in Whitehall May 21. Chief Tom and his tribe will lead the parade and will give a ceremonial dance in the evening.

Mrs. Richard Rogers has resigned as supervisor of nursing at Community Hospital, and has been succeeded by the Misses Esther Johnson and Gladys Olson, who will share the responsibility, at least for the time being.

A Girl Scout Brownie troop is being organized in Whitehall. Mrs. Arnold Olson has been secured as leader, and the committee members are the Mmes. Roy Huitfeldt, C.D. Platz, Goodwin Anderson, Hiram Hegge, Keil Blank and O.G. Birkeland.

Anton Lien and son Helmuth of Borst Valley were in town Friday on business. When asked if he had delivered tobacco here, Mr. Lien stated that he and his sons have discontinued growing the crop and increased their dairy herd instead. With a milking machine, Mr. Lien says he figures it is more profitable to devote the tobacco land to other crops and produce dairy products.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hanson of Whitehall have purchased the Arthur Fredrickson hotel and took possession Thursday. Mr. Fredrickson has moved his family to the Melvin Thomley farm on Highway 53 east of Whitehall, which he purchased.

The erection of the McClary bridge on Highway 53 near Galesville has been let by the state highway commission to the Minneapolis Bridge Construction company, according to word received by Trempealeau County Highway Commissioner Jens Klavestad. The bid was for $64,190.22.

The Arcadia city council approved a motion making the Petunia Arcadia’s official city flower. The Petunia was selected by the council because it is the most adaptable long-flowering and colorful of the garden annuals. It succeeds with little attention and grows everywhere, while it also blooms for most of the summer. 


April 12, 1923

Last week, a truck driver abandoned his attempt to take a load of household goods from La Crosse to Barron with a five and a half-ton truck. It took a day and a half to drive from La Crosse to Whitehall. Our citizens wouldn’t have been surprised if the authorities had taken the man before Judge Hensel for a mental examination, knowing there is something wrong with his “transmission” when a man will attempt to travel on country roads with such a load during the spring break-up. There are no laws on our statutes to prohibit such traffic, so the party attempted to make the return trip home, unmolested.

Officers of the fire company appeared before the village board Monday in behalf of a motor truck, equipped with chemical tanks, hose, ladders and capable of carrying several firemen, and also capable of trailing the regular hose and ladder carts. With a motor truck in readiness at all times, the company could be at the scene of a fire any place in the village, not only at a great savings in time, but in condition to fight a fire instantly, instead of standing exhausted from a long, hard run with the equipment.

Last Sunday, skiing was enjoyed by the Fitch Coulee boys on the new slide at Finstads’. Milton Hallingstad and Bennie Borreson tied for the longest standing and falling jumps, 69 and a half feet and 74, respectively. Longer jumps could have been made, but, strangely, there was a lack of snow.

Regardless of the poor condition of the roads, the Auto Sales Co. is selling cars. Pearl Reichoff purchased a Ford roadster, Arndt Huleatt of York, a truck and a touring car, and the MacCornack clinic, a roadster.

R.R. Langworthy is building a fire-proof smoke house for Martin Simonson, at the rear of his shop.

Augustine Bros. are raising foxes on quite an extensive scale, and are supplying orders far and wide. Last Saturday, they shipped a pair of red foxes to a customer in Oklahoma.

Sever Staff is having a barn frame and lumber sawed, and is contemplating erecting a large, modern barn on his farm in Big Slough next summer.

A combination passenger-freight train derailed three miles east of Dodge. Tow freight cars tipped over, but the passenger car remained right side up and the passengers were not seriously disturbed because of the low speed at the time. 


April 7, 1898

Farmers are rushing spring work.

Sheriff Jensen brought home another Shetland pony from Winona last week for his children to drive.

William Kremers has lumber on the ground for an addition to the dwelling on his farm east of the village.

The village school opened again Monday, with less than half the usual attendance. The absence is due to the general prevalence of measles in the district.

The new firm of Bjerke, Berg and Wall took possession of the stock of general merchandise which they purchased of Geo. K. Whitney, on the first inst. and will continue the business in the Reitzel block.

Solsrud, Kidder and Co.’s spring clearing-up sale last week was a hummer. Some idea of the amount of goods sold may be had when 11 clerks, including the proprietors, were kept busy from morning to night tying up goods throughout the sale.

The class in ancient history will meet at half-past seven o’clock on Monday evening, with Mrs. H.M. Wade. Response to roll call by quotations.

Geo. K. Whitney, who sold his stock of general merchandise here and returned to Merrillan, made many friends during his brief business career here, who regret to have him make his departure.

At the town caucus last Saturday, J.C. Lamberson moved that the assessor be paid $2 per day of $10 hours. clerk, $65 per year; supervisors, $2 per day on the board of review for 10 hours of service; and that the treasurer receive for collection of taxes one and one-half percent to Jan. 15, and two percent after that date. The motion passed without opposition. Mr. Lamberson can always be counted on the side of the taxpayers, and wherever he sees that way clear to lessen the burden of taxation, he stops and drives a peg.

Elk Creek -- It is a fact that, in equalizing the valuation of the different towns in the county, the late board assessed only one long-eared and strong-lunged animal, of the species that Baalam of old is said to have ridden, to the town of Pigeon, and placed thereon the sum of $18, for proof of which see page 20, “chronicles” of county board. Perhaps Chairman Neperud, who appears to be a living encyclopedia of statistics and a firm believer in per capita wealth, will explain how almost 200 people own only one such animal.

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