From Our Early Files Dec. 29, 2021




January 2, 1997

The man convicted of causing the deaths of two area residents in an alcohol-related traffic accident has been charged with drunken driving. Michel Seibel, 30, of Trempealeau was arrested in the Centerville area Nov. 23 by a Wisconsin State Patrol officer and issued a citation for first-offense operating while intoxicated. The arrest came a little more than seven years after Seibel was charged with 12 counts of causing injury and death by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. The charges were filed as the result of an October 1989 accident that claimed the lives of Oscar and Olga Lovelien and injured four other area residents. The case against Seibel raised objections by his attorney concerning how evidence against him was collected and processed and was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1992, Seibel pleaded to the amended complaint of causing death and injury by the negligent use of a motor vehicle. 

The Pigeon Falls village board may look into a proposal from Northfield to provide wastewater treatment services to that Jackson County community. Village president Kermit Hanvold informed the board at a meeting that an engineering firm retained by the town of Northfield had contacted him concerning the proposition. 

The faces are the same, but the name has changed: Richter Plumbing and Pump Service of Whitehall became Lindberg’s Plumbing and Pumps as of Jan. 1 when Randall Lindberg purchased the business from Tom Richter. 

The Chief Executive Officer of the State Bank of Arcadia, James W. Schultz, was killed in a hiking accident while traveling with his son in New Zealand. Schultz, 49, had been on vacation with his son, Matthew, 23, in Fiorland National Park, according to New Zealand police officials. He was climbing down a crevice, using a tree branch for support when it gave away. Schultz fell 80 feet down a rock face at Loch Maree on the Dusky Track on the South Island. Matthew walked for nearly 24 hours before he was able to find other hikers with a radio. He contacted authorities and Jim Schultz’ body was recovered by helicopter at a later time. He leaves behind his wife, Vicky, and three children, Stacy, Matthew and Jon. 

Chapter two of the state junior curling championships was a lot like chapter one. The Laura Delaney rink from Centerville retained its state junior women’s title. The Ryan Quinn rink from Galesville lost a heartbreaker to Medford, to retain its runner-up status among state junior men’s curling teams. 

Bids will be opened Jan. 21 for a concrete bridge to be replace the Galesville’s south Beaver Creek span. Unlike the existing metal structure, built in 1931, its replacement will have no substructure of metal support beams. The new bridge should last 50 to 75 years, which is considered the “useful life” of most spans, engineers say. 

“I’m looking forward to it – I think it’ll be very interesting,” Lynda Byrne said after her appointment to the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors. The Ettrick woman replaced John Beirne, who resigned his District 16 post last fall. 

One of the key steps in development of a long-range plan for Trempealeau will be to tap the thinking of residents. Within the next month or so, a survey will be mailed to each household and to some residents living outside the village. Their views will be asked on community needs, problems and goals. 


January 6, 1972

The Pigeon Falls State Bank will hold an open house at its new bank building this Saturday, Jan. 8. The new bank, which cost $120,000, was completed in November and dedicated by U.S. Rep. Vernon Thomson.

An Onalaska man killed when his car struck a bridge on Hwy. 53 north of Pigeon Falls last week Tuesday was the 12th Trempealeau County traffic fatality of 1972.

Joyce Lamborn, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Lamborn, is the 1971 Whitehall High School recipient of the Good Citizen Award presented by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Arcadia city voters will elect a mayor, three aldermen, supervisors to the county and – new this year – two school board members in the April 4 election. City offices expiring are those of Mayor Eugene Killian and aldermen Joseph Snow, LeRoy Woychik and Edward Sonsalla. 

Thespian Troupe 2546 of Arcadia High School will present its annual three one-act plays on Feb. 5 and 6. This year the plays are “Five in Judgment,” a drama; Egad, What a Cad,” an old-fashioned melodrama under the direction of Miss Carolee Johnson, and “The Charleston Craze,” a comedy under the direction of Miss Antoinette Johnson. The comedy will be choreographed by Mrs. Jane Voelker. 

Funeral services were held for Alexander Reitz, 52, owner and editor of the Blair Press, who died Saturday evening of a heart attack following a major surgery at Wood Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee.

The Decorah District of the Gateway Area Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America installed its 1972 officers on Dec. 6 at Sunset School in Whitehall. John Quinn, Galesville, was elected the district chairman. Gary Schlosstein, Cochrane; Gary Pahl, Arcadia and Nelson Lent, Black River Falls, will serve as vice chairmen.

The Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau male chorus will start rehearsals in the chorus room of the high school on Jan. 17. 


January 2, 1947

Paul Erickson of Whitehall, driving a Land O’ Lakes milk truck en route to the plant here, suffered a crushed hand when the vehicle skidded off the road on the Montana Ridge Friday and tipped over, pinning his hand between a tree and the cab.

Advance sale of tickets for the banquet to be held Monday, sponsored by the Whitehall Lions Club, honoring the championship Whitehall High School football team is going well. A novel feature of the event will be the broadcast of the 6:30 p.m. news and sports program of radio station WEAU by Jack Kelly, who will also serve as master of ceremonies of the banquet. It is believed to be the first time ever that a radio program has been broadcast live from Whitehall, and a special wire is being strung from the high school to the Community Telephone office for the purpose.

Thorvald Franson is engaged as operator at the Green Bay and Western Railroad station here, replacing Sherman Erickson, who has gone to Seymour to be employed in the railroad office there for a couple months.

The sons of Mrs. Tom Brekke, Irvin Coulee, killed and dressed 140 turkeys for the Christmas market.

PFC George Fromm, who was on his way home from Fort Lewis, Wash., to spend Christmas with his father, Albert Fromm, was in the wreck of the Milwaukee Road train the Olympian at Waubay, S.D., Monday, but was not among the injured.

PFC Arnold Davidson, who had spent a year in Germany with the occupation forces, walked in on his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Davidson, on Christmas Eve, arriving unexpectedly.

At a recent class meeting two seniors in Arcadia High School were honored by their fellow students when they were selected to compete with seniors from other high schools throughout the United States and territories for the 121 four-year college scholarships and more than 600 certificates of merit being offered again this year by Pepsi-Cola Scholarship Board. (Editor’s note: The Arcadia News-Leader did not name the two seniors who were honored) 

The Trempealeau Electric Cooperative has made noticeable progress the past year. The cooperative has added 138 new members. The number of members in the TEC is currently at 2,245. The number of miles now energized is now 873, a gain of 38 miles per year. 


January 5, 1922

Some weeks ago a petition, signed by 52 taxpayers of the village of Whitehall, was presented to the village board asking for an extension of the time for the payment of taxes to March 1, without penalty. This is not an unreasonable request. Other villages and cities in the state are on record with a similar appear, which has been granted.

Patrons of the Lincoln Farmers Telephone Co. are now enjoying long-distance service, connection having been made by the Bell people and service established at midnight on Saturday, ushering in the New Year.

Saturday the Alve Van Sickle residence on Blair Street, occupied By the Chas. Beach and Will Densmore families, caught fire from the chimney. The fire department did excellent work in a wind that threatened to spread the flames to adjoining property, and there was very little damage except from water.

A snow plow propelled by a horse did excellent service this morning in opening up walks and crosswalks, taking a considerable burden off the ordinary hand snow shovel and its operator.

The application for a re-hearing of the Lamberson vs. Lamberson case has been denied by the state Supreme Court, and costs added. The action by our highest court firmly establishes the title of Lloyd H. Lamberson to the land, and is the third consecutive decision in his favor.

Clarence Swaim was in Tuesday with his father, Lars Swaim, with six fox scalps for which he received the state bounty of $4 each.

A fine two-seated cutter is advertised for sale b y F.M. Symonds of Galesville. 

A.A. Beck and son are in the midst of their annual ice harvest.

Galesville passengers to Whitehall and other points along the Green Bay road will take notice that a change has been made. The afternoon train going east will leave Winona at 2 p.m. and arrive in Whitehall at 4:10 p.m. 

An epidemic of whooping cough has been reported. 

Rowles Legion Post gave a surprise to Rear Admiral F.M. Symonds. More than 20 members of the post went to the house to greet the admiral and the evening was one each will remember. The home was turned over to the soldiers and sailors of World War I. Refreshments were brought and served, a smoke followed. Commander Vilas Kellman presented the honored guest a beautiful ring as an expression of appreciation given by the Admiral in establishing a Post of the Legion in Galesville. He had been in service for 40 years. 


December 31, 1896

Ever Sine accidentally shot off a portion of his hand the past week while hunting rabbits.

This is unhealthy weather. There is considerable sickness in this vicinity, especially among children.

Between five and six o’clock Thursday afternoon, Francis, alias “John Doe,” who is awaiting trial in circuit court for burglarizing a store at Centerville some months since, dug his way out of the jail through the same place where Lowery, the Trempealeau chap, did when he secured his liberty. The “tools” with which he did the job were an old case knife and a bit of iron. After he obtained his liberty, he peeked through the hole and invited his three companions, the Winona “fishermen,” to follow him, but they declined his generous invitation. He was captured the following day near the Fagernes church by Sheriff Durisch, apparently having got lost on the coulee roads.

Independence — The Heilman Brewing Co. of La Crosse have established an agency here, and talking of erecting a cold storage.

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