From Our Early Files Dec. 8, 2021




December 12, 1996

Facing a number of major expenditures over the next couple of years, the Whitehall city council wasn’t in a rush to take on a $1 million water-reservoir and –main project. But the rules imposed by the federal agency that will pay for about two-thirds of the cost of that project, apparently, will force the city to go ahead sooner rather than later. So the city council gave clerk Lynn Johnson the okay to go ahead with the project’s preliminaries. 

The renovation and remodeling project at the Trempealeau County Courthouse got its first item-by-item inspection last week and, for the most part, it passed the test. Still, some of the work done during the year-long $3.5 million project came up short of specifications and will have to be redone. Other parts of the work remain to be reviewed. 

The hunting tradition will forever be tarnished for members of a neighborhood near Independence, a landowner and a hunter because of a hunting mishap which occurred during the past deer season. A carpenter from Milwaukee, Phil Bowey, shot and killed a white deer near Square Bluff. Bowey was hunting on land he leased from a local farmer, Charlie Wicka. Wicka believes that the whole incident has been blown out of proportion. “It is ridiculous, they’re making such a big fuss over a stupid deer,” Wicka said. “There are more important things in life to worry about.” Wicka said the deer Bowey shot was a legal deer. Albino deer are protected under law, but the deer in question was considered a legal deer by the Department of Natural Resources standards because it had brown on its head and nose. 

A mining company has signed three exploration agreements and one mining lease/purchase contract with landowners in Trempealeau County. At least one exploration hole has been drilled. 

Four months after a severe thunderstorm demolished their mobile home near Taylor, Mike and Nancy Klobucar are starting over in Trempealeau where things finally seem to be going their way. The older house their apartment is in has two basements, Mike notes. That promise of a safe spot in a storm is comforting after the devastation last August. 

A fire that apparently started in ashes that had been removed from a wood-burning stove and stored in a cardboard box in a garage caused smoke and fire damage to a residence on Cottage Drive in Galesville Sunday morning. No personal injuries were reported. 

The Gale Area Fire Department responded to 32 calls in the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, fire chief Harold “Butch” Vaughn said in his annual report. 

Ten people have been selected to serve on Blair’s flood mitigation planning committee. Members are Richard Johnson, Allyn Johnson, Gary Olson, Ardell Knutson, Dale Olson, Roald Berg, Randy Everson, Michael Kittleson, Greg Mathson and Mayor Stanley Marthaler. 


December 16, 1971

Whitehall Memorial High School ended its first 12 weeks, and began the second, of the new modified trimester class scheduling system the day before Thanksgiving vacation. Dubbed the “Third Tri” by its innovators, Neosha Duffield, Eugenia Hangartner, Pat Brodacki and Sheridan Johnson, the system has drawn both praise and criticism from faculty and students.

The fund for the new swimming pool has received $2,170 in donations during 1971, including $2,000 from the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce, $130 from the Whitehall Happy Homemakers, $25 from the Pleasantville Lions Club, and $15 from the Virginia Everson memorial.

Brothers Ron and Roger Berg, Whitehall High graduates, were honored recently for their efforts on the University of Wisconsin-Stout football team this past season. Ron was named the best blocker on the team, and Roger earned a football letter.

Arcadia city attorney William Koslo was instructed to prepare a snowmobile ordinance with the cooperation of the Arcadia Snowmobile Club by action of the city council. 

A program on snowmobile safety and regulations, a joint venture of city and civil defense coordinators, Edward Kaiser and Arnold Thorpe, and the Arcadia Snowmobile Club, was held at the Arcadia Country Club last week. The program was the first of its kind presented in Trempealeau County. 

A-G Cooperatives will hold an open house at its new office building on Main St. in Arcadia. 

All officers of the Ettrick Fire Department were reelected with the exception of Albert Gunderson, who resigned as chief at the 42nd annual meeting Tuesday night. Gunderson will be succeeded as chief by Lyle Krackow. Henry Knutson is captain; Ronald Terpening, secretary; John Sorenson, assistant secretary and Robert Ofsdahl, assistant chief and treasurer. 

Agnus Olson was reelected to the fire chief post in Blair.

An October accident claimed its third victim on Dec. 12 with the death of Gary Pientok, 16, of Whitehall. 

The Blair Cardinals remain tied for the Dairyland Conference lead with Alma until Friday when the two teams will meet. 


December 12, 1946

Fifty-eight dairy plant operators, directors and field men met at the courthouse in Whitehall Thursday afternoon to discuss minimum requirements and price differentiation for a quality milk program in this area. John J. Taylor of Osseo, state fieldman for this area, and County Agent T.C. Main led the meeting.

It might have been a premonition that prompted Electrician Leonard Gruntzel and Marshal Ben Mahle to proceed with decorating the permanent Christmas tree and Main Street with colored lighting fixtures for the holiday season. While the work was progressing, the dim-out order was in force, and all outside lighting was restricted. Whether or not Leonard and Ben had advance information from John L. that the soft coal strike was soon to end, we know not, but Monday evening the colored lights were turned on.

The men can clean the barn in their Sunday clothes on the A.E. Nehring and Sons farm in the town of Preston, and do the job in 12 to 15 minutes, since the installation of a Crown Barn Cleaner recently. This was the last addition needed to make the 90-foot barn, housing 40 Guernseys, strictly modern.

The business building of Adolph Hanson, situated between the P.M. Paulson implement store and the Harlow egg station, is completed, and Mr. Hanson and son Orin have moved their insurance agency and stock of electrical supplies there. The structure, 16 by 40 feet, one story, was completed in less than 60 days, in spite of material shortages and the scarcity of labor.

The soft coal strike, which had paralyzed the nation for 17 days was brought to an end Saturday afternoon with an order from John L. Lewis to his men to get back to work at least until March 31. Lewis and his men were found guilty of contempt of court and the union was fined $3.5 million and Lewis was fined $10,000. The Supreme Court will now decide on the validity of the contempt conviction. 

Surveying and staking has been completed by an engineer for the new roadway at the Albert Rohn corner on Washington Street to go east to the hospital site on the hill in Arcadia. 

A dry cleaning plan was opened in the Oscar Frederixon building in Blair by Dexter Onstad and Ed Gardner of Black River Falls. 

Dissmore Studio, Blair, moved to their house on 3rd, west of the Preston creamery. 


December 15, 1921

Trempealeau County is credited with 46 students at the state university. Every county in the state is represented at this great educational institute.

Henry Fransen and family are occupying rooms in the Mrs. K.A. Knutson residence, formerly occupied by N.H. Nereng.

Miss Hagen, the basketball instructor at the high school in Whitehall, has selected the following girls as possible members of the regular team: Hazel Arneson, Beatrice Oerke, Agnes Hauge, Julia Anderson, Beatrice Knaggs, Norma Staff, Arleen Steig, Selma Steig, Anna Mattson, Myrtle Jacobson, Sophia Vosseteig and Dorothy Solsrud. After the regular team has been formed, the remaining girls will comprise what will be known as the second team. No decision will be reached, however, until the girls are given several more trials.

The local legion gave a rabbit supper at the auditorium in Arcadia. 

The Arcadia school board ordered that the high school gymnasium be open to the public one night a week for volleyball, indoor baseball, handball, etc. 

A series of break-ins at Felsheim’s Cigar Store, W.P. Massuere Company and the Leader office were reported. A. C. Kiekhoefer also reported that one of his automobile tires was stolen and a report was received from John Rumpel that he was shy about 100 chickens. That all led the Leader editor to observe that it was time the city organize a vigilance committee and take some action to protect citizens’ property. 

The Trempealeau Red Cross has appointed a special committee on budget; $300 is expected to be needed each month.


December 10, 1896

A half-dozen exchanges are saying: It is a fact that many good items are lost to newspapers every day by the modesty of people who hesitate to tell the editor matters concerning themselves. The right thing to do is to stop the newspaper man on the street, or any other place you may happen to meet him, and tell him that you were away on a visit; that you entertained friends; that you have done good. If you have done anything mean, of course, keep that to yourself, for there are others who will tell that.

The Modern Woodmen masque ball at Opera Hall on Friday, Dec. 10, will be the event in terpsichorean circles next week. The hall is likely to be crowded. Secure your seats early and avoid the rush.

Ettrick -- Groups of excited businessmen could be seen talking together Monday morning. The trouble all arose the previous evening, when the youthful and more energetic portion of millers, merchants and cashiers were said to have been prospecting at French Creek with the purpose of founding a rival city, and thus seal the doom of our prosperous village. But the sun shone through the overhanging cloud when one of their number spoke, saying that when they secure the treasure for which they seek, they will return and work with renewed vigor for our village.

Blair -- Martin Tormoen had debated the idea of renting his farm and becoming a resident of the village, but has given up the project because his good wife will not consent to the proposition. Mrs. Tormoen prefers moving farther away from, rather than into, the village, to escape the society of some of the bad boys who live here. And all because some of our naughty boys, while passing her home some weeks ago on a gunning jaunt, enticed her valuable dog into the highway and ruthlessly shot and killed the inoffensive animal. Mrs. Tormoen’s decision is commendable.

The new water system has been making rapid progress, ditching is moving along toward Gale College. 

The first real sleighing of the winter came with a storm on Friday. Roads are snow covered and icy. Mail carriers made the rounds on runners. Snow is so deep in the woods, wood cutters are out in the woods with snowshoes. 

The Peach Blossom City Basketball team surprised the strong American legion team at Arcadia to the tune of 29-21. Barlow was the high man for Arcadia. Carl Klanrud was the main point-getter for Galesville.

Special Sections

Trempealeau County Times

36435 Main St.
P.O. Box 95
Whitehall, WI 54773

715-538-4765 (phone)

715-538-4540 (fax)

Comment Here