From Our Early Files Aug. 30, 2023




September 3, 1998

For the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department – and county taxpayers – it’s like déjà vu all over again. The state of Wisconsin is telling county government that its jail facilities are inadequate and threatening sanctions if the situation isn’t corrected. But this time, it’s not the 1970s and a jail built in the 1890s – it’s 1998 and a building that’s only 15 years old. But a recommendation to either expand or replace the present county jail and sheriff’s department building, completed in 1983, appears to be the likely outcome of a study process that began a couple years ago.

Mark Kanitz, 40, Markesan, escaped more serious – perhaps fatal – injuries when he was pinned under a tractor thanks to a couple of area men. Kanitz was working on a family property in the Jackson County town of Garden Valley before hitting a stump that caused the tractor to tip over. His cousins, Bob Henrickson and Dave Henrickson, arrived 10 minutes later and were able to lift the tractor enough to roll Kanitz out from underneath it. Kanitz was hospitalized, but could be released soon, his relatives said. 

Last Wednesday, Arcadia High School students entered a new educational facility. The $10 million high school is considered by many people throughout the community and area to be state-of-the-art. The new school has an ample amount of space and technology, which will usher in a new era of education in the community. It has a greenhouse, computer lab, commons area and library that has a lot of room for books and study aids for students. 

On Aug. 27, 1947, Celestine Peplinski, embarked on a journey with the lord. That was the day Sister Damian Peplinski, SSJ-TOSF left her family, friends and home in Pine Creek to join the St. Joseph Convent at Stevens Point. Now, more than 50 years later, her journey has brought her back to her roots as she is the director of religious education for St. Stanislaus and Our Lady of Perpetual Help churches in Arcadia, a position she has served in since 1996. 

Arcadia area 4-H youth captured top honors at the 1998 Wisconsin State Fair Junior Poultry Show. Kyle Taysom, 13, exhibited the Best in Show, a White Wyandotte Large Pullet. Brandon Sonsalla, 13, and Jennifer Sonsalla, 11, earned Class Championships in Bantam and Large Chickens. 

The pre-organizational committee of the Trempealeau Community Heritage Society will continue to pursue the preservation of the central control station at Lock and Dam No. 6. The Heritage Society committee met Thursday night to discuss the written response they have received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which stated the district was still planning on tearing the lock house down when a new station is built next spring. 

Nearly $100,000 was raised at a special meeting Thursday night to discuss the need for additional funds for the Ettrick Community Center. Bruce Pertzch, Ettrick Elementary principal and member of the community center committee, said the committee was pleased. The committee decided at a meeting on Aug. 31 to continue raising money and tell the contractor to start the project. 

Sheriff’s deputy Terrence Daffinson, 40, of Trempealeau hopes to unseat his boss, Sheriff Ralph Weisenberger, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. But first, Daffinson must face Stephen Doerr in the Republican primary on Sept. 8. 

Citizens State Bank, Trempealeau, has moved to its new location on the corner of Hwy. K and Hwy. 35. 

The village of Ettrick approved the establishment of a village library to be operated in conjunction with the existing Ettrick Elementary School library. 


September 6, 1973

Leonard and Rose Brantner are the new owners of the Venture Inn, a bar and restaurant in Pigeon Falls. The Brantners, who are from Mondovi, have remodeled the former Gordie and Lu’s bar.

The Norsemen won Ken Stellpflug’s first game as head football coach Friday, crushing Onalaska Luther 52-6. Tom Matchey rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns; the defense allowed Luther only 91 yards in total offense.

Robert Luethi, Waumandee, was one of 139 successful examinees of the 1973 Wisconsin Bar exam. He was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin and received his certificate to practice law at swearing-in ceremonies on Aug. 28 in the Supreme Court Chambers at the state capitol in Madison. 

Beginning with the Sept. 13 issue of the Arcadia News-Leader a new section will be added. It will be the Trempealeau County newspapers’ “County Tab” a tabloid-sized publication that will contain classified and display advertisements from each of the county’s six newspapers with the Whitehall Times, Blair Press, Independence News-Wave, Galesville Republican and Tri-County News all joining the News-Leader.

A 53-year-old Waumandee farmer was killed Tuesday evening last week when a tractor he was operating rolled over him. The victim, Orvan Sendelbach, died while being transported to the hospital by the Arcadia Ambulance Service. 

“The Boy Who Caught The Fish” cast will rehearse Saturday morning at Zion Lutheran Church. The musical will be videotaped on Sept. 12 and broadcast at WKBT-TV in La Crosse on Sept. 15. 


September 2, 1946

More than 100 local people will take part in “Fun for You,” the talent show that will be held next week Thursday and Friday by the Whitehall Lions Club as a benefit for a swimming pool fund. Besides the musical and other acts, the show will include the announcement of two outstanding “Good Neighbors” selected from among the local ladies, and the crowning of a Kiddie King and Queen, and Princes and Princesses, picked from a display of photographs of Whitehall’s younger set. The chorus line for the show, the “Roxy Rockettes,” will consist of the following local young women: Beatrice Engevold, Delores Foss, Verna Hamilton, Louise Kaas, Alice Klomsten, Betty Olson, Bonnie Olson, Zoe Ann Risberg, Hildegarde Sletteland, Anita Stuve, Grace Trende and Sharon Wood.

One of the most serious airplane accidents ever in western Wisconsin occurred late Sunday afternoon, when a Northwest Airliner carrying 37 persons was wrecked on a bluff about three miles south of Fountain City. Many citizens from this area drove to the scene of the accident to view the wreckage, and Colonel Larson and Lee Johnson sent there early Monday morning to take pictures and newsreels.

Circuit Judge Clarence Rinehard of Chippewa Falls presided at a special term of circuit court in the Trempealeau County last week, to hear the actions brought by six rural schools districts and one individual taxpayer of Arcadia township against the joint Buffalo and Trempealeau county school committees. The plaintiffs petitioned the court to review the committees’ creation of a new common school district based in Arcadia.

The York school will open Sept. 6, with Lorraine Fleming as teacher. The first four grades will be transported to Schimmerhorn, where Marian Eid will teach, and the upper four grades will got to York. Clifford Beede will drive the school bus.

School will begin Monday, Sept. 6, in Pigeon Falls, with Everett Guse and Miss Thelma Hagen as teachers. Benard Olson, janitor and bus driver, has been at work getting the building in readiness.

William Petrek, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roman Petrek, Arcadia, will leave Sept. 14 for Rome, Italy. He is expected to land at Naples after being aboard an Italian ship. He will be studying at North American College. He plans to study theology, Petrek is planning to become a member of the clergy after completing his studies. 

Sixty-one members of the Grulkowski family gathered for a reunion at the Anton Grulkowski residence in Waumandee. It is also a farewell for Elaine Grulkowski who left for St. Joseph’s Convent in Milwaukee and for Sr. M. Michaelene of Dorchester, who had spent a week here with relatives. 


September 6, 1923

A special invitation is extended to all graduates of eighth grade in the outlying districts to take advantage of the opportunity offered in Whitehall for a well-rounded education in high school studies. Aside from the purely academic side, each student will be given opportunity to develop any special lines in which he may be interested, such as athletic of all kinds, music, declamation, debate and literary activities of all kinds. Suitable rooming places are available for a great number of out-of-town students, and some opportunity is afforded to work at spare times to assist in paying for board and room.

If anyone had any doubt about the interest taken in good roads by the people of this county, they should have been at the meeting of the state highway committee at the courthouse last night. Never was the audience larger at a murder trial than the one that packed the hall at that time.

Sever Simonson, popular block man at the Martin Simonson meat market, provided himself with a generous substitute for his product by landing 18 large suckers at the river Sunday. Sever is some clever boy with the hook and line.

Louis Rasmussen was attacked by a bull last Sunday morning while he was in the yard feeding the cattle, and was knocked down and trampled upon. His son Reuben happened to be going to the barn and saw the attack, and found an iron bar, with which he struck the bull a heavy blow upon the head. The animal was dazed, and Reuben was able to assist his father. The deaths in Wisconsin from gentle bulls perhaps passes the hundred mark every year, and the practice of letting these animals run with the herd is altogether too dangerous to risk.

The United States Post Office issued a new two-cent postage stamp bearing the portrait of Warren G. Harding, to be known as the Harding Memorial Stamp. 

Dodge defeated Tamarack, 11-4, in softball, the eighth victory for Dodge in nine games. 


September 1, 1898

The stone foundations for C.E. Scott’s and F.J. Best’s new buildings on Main Street have been commenced.

Miss Borghild Larson and her scholars gave a very pleasant musicale at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Larson, last Saturday evening.

C.A. Wustum of Racine arrived in Whitehall Monday, looking after another carload of milch cows.. The gentleman buys a large number of cows here during the year, which are used to supply milk for his malted milk factory.

The Whitehall Modern Woodmen of America and their families enjoyed an outing and picnic in the Stratton grove north of the village Saturday. About 50 were present. Ice cream, lemonade and other delicacies were served, and all report a fine time.

The bid delegations from the county seat that attended the Arcadia fair last week report a pleasant and profitable time. The popular and indefatigable secretary, F.C. Richmond, knows how to draw good exhibits, get exciting horse races, and furnish plenty of all around amusements.

The Osseo creamery burned Tuesday morning, the fire supposed to have been set by sparks from a threshing engine by which the plant was being operated.

Brother Wheeler’s paper, the Arcadia Arcadian, reached us last week with a change of front politically. The Arcadian gets off the fence by noting that, while it attempted to publish an independent paper, many of its readers believed it to be Democratic in principal. “We therefore give up the idea of an independent paper and in future will endeavor to publish a good, clean Republican paper,” last week’s issue states.

Miss Emma Solsrud returned to the normal school at Oshkosh Tuesday.

Independence — Emil Graul finished a new water wheel this week, which he will place in the creek on his farm, and with which run his feed and ensilage cutter and wood sawing machine.

Blair — Stutlien Bros. tipped their threshing separator into the stream by the highway near the McKivergin homestead Friday. No great damage was done to the machine, and the accident put the boys out but a day’s work.

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