From Our Early Files Aug. 3, 2022





Aug. 7, 1997

Andrew Sargeant, 18, of Arcadia died when his vehicle went into a ditch on Lewis Valley Road about a mile and a half west of Hwy. 93 in the town of Arcadia on Saturday. Sargeant’s vehicle, which was eastbound on the town road, struck a concrete bridge support and overturned next to Lewis Valley Creek. Sargeant was a 1997 Arcadia High School graduate and the son of Dr. James and Gail Sargeant. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources may give the village of Pigeon Falls more time to fix the Pigeon Creek mill dam. But the village apparently will have to buy that time by assuming ownership of the deteriorating dam – and the potential financial liability that goes with it. And the mill pond might have to be drawn down to buy that time if the dam’s condition is as bad as thought. In May, the DNR said the village would have to repair or abandon the dam within two years. Regional DNR water regulation and zoning engineer D. John Coke told the village board last week that if the village could prove that the dam was in better shape than he thinks it is, then that would be basis for re-negotiating the DNR timetable. 

The Whitehall municipal swimming pool, which is due to be replaced over the next year, was shutdown over the weekend when a pump in the filtering system failed. The problem might force the city to close the pool for the season earlier than planned. Parts for the 25-year-old pump are no longer available and a replacement can’t be obtained before the planned Aug. 24 closing of the pool. 

The Arcadia school board announced the hiring of Roger Derrickson as the new superintendent of schools. Derrickson, 48, began his job on Aug. 1. He is a Blue River native who most recently worked as superintendent of the New Lisbon School District. 

While Arcadia Police Chief Pat Grzadzielewski said he couldn’t give names or details, his department recently apprehended criminals who are believed to be responsible for the rash of crimes that have plagued the community in recent weeks. 

The pleasant dreams of a state championship came to an end for the Arcadia High School baseball team as they were defeated by Grantsburg 7-6 in their first Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Tournament game. Blair-Taylor lost to Wauwatosa East 10-0 in its game on Wednesday. 

Chris Anderson, a 10-year-old Galesville boy, was listed in serious condition in a La Crosse hospital Tuesday after a go-cart accident outside his home on Harris Road. According to family members, he had been riding a go-cart on an oval pattern around a small tree in his yard when the vehicle suddenly left the pattern and went over a bank. Police Chief Randy Sacia said the go-cart was found 42-feet down the embankment, which he described as “almost totally straight down.” 

James Mielke, who has been interim administrator in Ripon, will become the village administrator-finance director in Trempealeau on Aug. 25. His appointment, with a salary of $42,000, was made by the Trempealeau village board following a series of interviews with candidates in July. 


Aug. 10, 1972

One of 23 local girls will be crowned Miss Whitehall 1972 at the pageant that will be held next week Thursday, and will kick off the Beef and Dairy Days celebration. The candidates are Natalie Anderson, Jeanne Arneson, Barbara Bensend, Ellen Everson, Darlene Goplin, Juline Goplin, Naurine Goplin, Andrea Granlund, Marcia Hagen, Debby Halama, Carol Hanson, Mary Harnisch, Sandra Isaacson, Debby Julson, Nancy Knudtson, Gloria Larson, Linda Larson, Sheila McRae, Lois Moen, Mary Relyea, Becky Ryan, Holly Schaefer and Ann Schorbahn.

With next week’s issue, Robert Gauger will turn over ownership of the Whitehall Times to Ed and Louise Goodpaster, who are coming here from Washington, D.C.

Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Kostner will hold an expansion sale in their new enlarged Kostner’s Department Store this Friday and Saturday. Booby and Dorothy Kostner recently closed out the dry goods line formerly carried by the business and expanded the grocery department throughout the store. The store now boasts one of the largest frozen food sections in this area. 

New teachers in the Arcadia Public School include Steven Bina, Patsy Bade, Renee Ramsay, Mary Ryan, Thomas Ryan and Sheila Stateson. The school opens for its fall term on Aug. 24. 

The volunteer trout project is sponsoring its first annual Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament at the ballpark in Galesville this weekend. 

The Garden of Eden Club will stage its 12th annual Flower Show as well as “Wishing Well of Blooms.” The show will be held in the Isaac Clark Room of the Bank of Galesville. Flower growers of the area are urged to enter their choice blooms for the showing. Prize ribbons will be granted to any entries deserving them, but only club members are eligible for grand champions or trophies. 

Dr. C.O Rogne, Ettrick’s Octogenarian physician, has announced his retirement from the active practice. Dr. Rogne is 83 years old and after nearly 50 years as a physician until now, he has been in his office every day. 


Aug. 7, 1947

Kenneth Berdan of the Whitehall Floral and Nursery received the water color “Garden Flowers,” painted by Johns Hopkins, nationally known designer and artists, given away by the Lions Club in connection with its community auction Saturday. The club’s first community sale was a success, and almost everything that was brought in was disposed of.

This area will soon have the services of a rendering plant when F.H. Bly and his uncle, Glen Bly, formerly of Spring Valley, Minn., open for business in a few days. The plant, one of the largest in western Wisconsin, is located two and a half miles east of Whitehall and a half-mile south of No. 53. About 15 men will have employment at the plant, which will operated night and day and have a capacity of about 50 head per day.

Barbara, the five-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Rasmussen, received a cracked collarbone when she fell 18 feet recently from a second-story window in the Selon Thompson residence, where the Rasmussens have an apartment. Barbara was sitting on the windowsill and fell when she leaned on the screen, which somehow had become unhooked.

Albert Engen and crew have completed extending the elevator room at Community Hospital, raising the roof about three feet.

The filling in of the washout at the foot of Mirror Lake in Independence is progressing, and No. 93 will be partly open for traffic today. Crews have been hauling fill at the rate of 800 yards a day from a quarry near Independence.

Pigeon Falls — The house which Jens Berge purchased from the Mrs. Louise Tenseth farm is now on its foundation on the lot adjoining the Arthur Skumlien property. The stockholders of the lodge hall have put a full basement under that building.

Work at the new St. Joseph’s Hospital in Arcadia is going forward now at a good pace with no more interruptions from picketers of the striking Winona, Minn. workers. The strike was settled Monday night. During the eight-day strike, some 400 workers were off work. 

Allie Myers, proprietor of the Myers Nursery in Arcadia, was elected president of the Wisconsin Glad Growers Association at the organizational meeting held at the home of John Hoepner, owner of the Pinehurst Gardens in Eau Claire. 


Aug. 10, 1922

Senator Robert M. LaFollette and Herman L. Ekern will speak at Whitehall this coming Wednesday, at 8 p.m. at the Village Hall. Come to this meeting, the most important of the campaign.

School opens in Whitehall on Aug. 21. Barracks are now being built to accommodate the departments and also the kindergarten and domestic science. Additional rooms may be built for the high school, which will open Sept. 5. Tuition students should make their applications early and be prepared to continue their education in one of the best buildings in the county, which is now in process of erection.

The Manley Service Station will give a free pavement dance at their station on lower Main Street next Saturday night. The Whitehall Municipal Band will furnish the music. Mr. Steward has kindly given permission to the ladies of the Civic Club to use his premises for this occasion, and they will serve ice cream and cake during the concert and dance.

Attorney General William Morgan, Independent Progressive candidate for governor, renowned as “Fighting Bill the Trust-buster,” was in Whitehall on Wednesday. The Municipal Band greeted Mr. Morgan, and an audience of 200 listened to him and gave rapt attention, at times showing interest by applause.

Fire started in the wood shed at the T.H. Gage home Saturday night at about 9 o’clock. The alarm being turned in, the fire team was soon in action, and although the shed was practically destroyed, communication to the garage adjoining was prevented by a stream of water playing on the roof and sides.

Recent Ford deliveries have been made by the Auto Sales Co. to the following: roadsters — Mabbett Tobacco Co. and James Mason, Whitehall; M.P. Melzarek, Independence; R.L. McDonah, Centerville. Tourings — Henry Sandaker, Independence; Lyngen Bros., Blair; Ed Nelson, Hixton; and N.H. Nereng and Reuben Engen, Whitehall; Ole Lovelien and B.M. Gilbertson, Pigeon Falls. Coupes — H.J. Elstad, Whitehall; Melford Monson, Pigeon Falls. Fordson tractor — Roy Sonsalla, Whitehall.

The body of Emil Maier, 21, Winona, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Maier of Glencoe, was recovered from the Mississippi River where he had drowned while wading on a sandbar. 

Mike Mergener, fishing with Frank Rohn and G.W. Dopp at Trempealeau, landed the biggest catfish ever caught there, measuring three-feet, five inches and weighing 34 pounds. 


Aug. 5, 1897

M. English, the hustling insurance agent and real estate dealer of Arcadia, was in Whitehall yesterday. Mr. English was surprised to note the building boom in the village, and remarked upon the beauty of the place.

According to a news item from Strum, a confidence man reaped quite a harvest through the town of Unity about a month ago, by taking orders for binding twine. Some paid one dollar for their orders, and some who were after the five-percent discount paid the full amount for what twine they ordered. Now some of them are trying to buy their twine from honest dealers for a discount on time.

John O. Melby has purchased all the Kelly property in Whitehall. Mr. Melby will straight away put the lots on the market, and hereafter lands that heretofore, could not be bought for live nor money, will be disposed of reasonably. Whitehall real estate is rapidly enhancing in value, and those who desire to buy property here, either for speculation or for the purpose of getting a place to reside, should negotiate now. The longer one waits, the greater will the price to be paid.

H.A. Towner and son were caught in the storm returning home to Whitehall from Blair Saturday night, and had to remain all night at C.A. Letson’s place about two miles out of town.

Blair — Messrs. A. Thorbus and C.N. Haukhum launched their new stern-wheel pleasure boat Sunday. It carries easily 14 persons, moves like a top, and attracted a big crowd when it was put into the water. Charlie has his hands full just at the present. The young ladies all want to he his “best girl.”

Independence — A.T. Senneff made two trips to Whitehall the past week. He purchased two lots there and will soon commence the erection of a house. He expects to move up there in about two weeks.

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