From Our Early Files Feb. 16, 2022





February 20, 1997

The Trempealeau County Health Care Center and county University of Wisconsin-Extension have begun a yearlong study of proposals to drastically change the center’s farm operation. 

A proposal to spend more than $100,000 a year on a computer consultant for Trempealeau County ran into some opposition at Monday’s board of supervisors meeting. The board ended up approving a one-year contract with Castle Computers of Newport, Minn., on a 12-7 vote, but it appeared that some supervisors would have liked more information on the company’s services before deciding to spend the money. The company will have an employee onsite Mondays through Fridays and a service representative will be available by phone or pager for emergency services. 

Members of the Independence board of education and its building committee got a look at how the district’s planned new school will look Monday night. The board committee, at a special meeting, reviewed drawings of the preschool-through-12th-grade facility, which is to be ready for occupancy in the 1998-99 school term. The $7 million building project was approved by district voters during a referendum held last September. 

Residents in the towns and rural areas of Trempealeau County can expect to see lots of new faces this spring, summer and fall, if the Trempealeau County Tourism Council’s plan for the 1997 are successful. The tours include six-bus outings from the Twin Cities on both June 24 and 25, for one-day tours planned by the council and promoted by tour companies to introduce the county to visitors. 

The new house Scott Weaver had just moved into approximately two months ago caught fire on Tuesday morning. The fire destroyed much of the items inside the residence, located at N31825 Church Hill Road in Arcadia. It is believed the cause of the fire was a malfunction in the fireplace chimney liner. No one was injured in the fire. 

The new members of the Franciscan Skemp Healthcare-Arcadia Foundation are Joyce Woychik, Kitty Guyer, Jo Ann Oelkers and Lorraine Schmidtknecht. The foundation is a group that works in the community to raise money for the medical facility.

Country Road Estates has received permission for an expansion that will increase its lots by more than one-third. The Galesville city council gave new owner Buck Salsman conditional approval to add 13 to 15 new sites to the park, which currently has 37 lots.  

Galesville’s manufacturing plants turn out goods that are shipped around the world, yet local residents may never get to see them – everything from antique telephones to vehicle components – unless they help make them. That will change on March 16, the date of the first Showcase Galesville. The event was planned by the Galesville Area Chamber of Commerce as a showcase for what goes on in the city.

A wood stove was blamed for a house fire near Melrose that took the lives of two students attending classes in the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District. Deceased are Sara Osley, 10, a fifth-grader at Ettrick Elementary and her sister, Leyna, 14, an eighth grader at the G-E-T Middle School. A third person, Bruce Freeman, 36, also died in the fire. The girls’ mother, Patty, suffered burns and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Black River Falls. Four others escaped from the house, including Jeff Osley, 37; Timothy Osley, 32; Kara Osley, 12 and Jared Osley, 2.


February 24, 1972

The newly-organized Whitehall Home-Delivered Meals began deliver of hot noon meals to six households on Monday, for a six-month trial period. The cost to recipients is 95 cents per meal. If the need arises, the service will be expanded to the Blair, Independence and Pigeon Falls areas.

Dave Schroeder’s rebound basket with two seconds left gave the Norsemen a 59-58 win over Alma last week. It was the first time in more than three years that the Rivermen had been defeated on their home court.

A musical will be presented at the Arcadia High School for the first time in many years. “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be performed April 14 and 15 in the Arcadia High School gym. This endeavor is under the cooperative direction of Miss Carolee Johnson, Mrs. Michael Voelker, Miss Antoinette Johnson, Gerald Gleason and Jerry Johnson. 

The Trempealeau County Association of Cooperatives has been recently activated, reported Ed Ausderau, agricultural agent. Gordan Meistad of Arcadia is president of the organization, Gerhard Nilsestuen of Arcadia is vice president and Myron Johnson of Ettrick is secretary/treasurer. Other directors are Frank Pabst, Strum; Thomas Toraason, Whitehall; Arnold Hanson, Osseo and Edward Pientok, Independence. 

A rural Arcadia man appeared in Trempealeau County court before Judge A.L. Twesme Tuesday afternoon and pleaded no contest to a charge of stealing a calf from the Albert Woychik Jr. farm in rural Arcadia. Willis Mish, 20, was placed on probation for one year and ordered to make full restitution and pay attorney’s fees. He will serve a 30-day term in the Trempealeau County jail under the Huber Act. 

Len Amberg, Menomonie, governor of District 27-E, Lions International, addressed Ettrick Lions, their wives and guests at the annual “Governor’s Night” and Valentine party in fellowship Hall of Living Home Lutheran Church Thursday evening. Sixty people were in attendance. 

About 100 boy scouts of the Decorah District took part in the second annual Klondike Derby on Lake Marinuka in Galesville. The crowd numbered 300 including leaders, parents and spectators. 


February 20, 1947

The closing date for filing nominations for city offices was last week Monday. Incumbent Mayor T.O. Rice appeared to have opposition when papers were circulated for James R. Garaghan, but Mr. Garaghan has withdrawn his name from nomination. The candidates for aldermen are: First Ward, Tilman Haug, incumbent, and Eugene Harlow; Lester Brennom, incumbent and Ed Colliton; Third Ward, H. D. Briggs, incumbent, and Orin Hanson.

The school patrol in Whitehall is doing fine work. Members of the patrol are Jerome Jacobson, captain; Charles Jacobson, John Berg, Henry Sygulla and Joyce Herness, lieutenants; and Richard Rice, Joyce Nelson, Gavin Strand, David Wood, Dorothy Swanson, Rodney Thompson, Ardis Christianson, Clarice Engen and Joan Thoreson, privates; and Nancy Boll, Richard Hanson, Sheldon Ivers and Solveig Lund.

Miss Yvonne Olson, a senior at the Stout Institute at Menomonie, was chosen as the new Trempealeau County home demonstration agent at a meeting of the county board’s agricultural committee held recently.

Ski jumpers from Eau Claire, Galesville, Whitehall, Osseo and other area towns will gather Saturday on the Eid hill near Pigeon Falls to participate in a tournament. Several well-known rides will give exhibition rides, including Maynard Sinrud of La Crosse, Bennie Borreson of Pigeon, Joe and Vic Nelson of Hale and Jack DeBow of Whitehall.

Sheriff Basil Erickson was notified early Saturday afternoon that a 1939 Chevrolet Master coupe belonging to William C. Mason of Whitehall had been stolen from where it was parked.

When the Feb. 17 issue of Time magazine came out last week and the home folks found Gordy Monson’s picture displayed with the story “Life at Riley,” excitement spilled all over the place. The magazine passed from hand to hand at the U.L. Ladies Aid in Pigeon Falls, and the same is said to have occurred at Whitehall High School. The writer spent at day at Fort Riley, Kan., with Monson and others.

The William Nething farm home in the town of Glencoe was badly damaged by fire Tuesday afternoon. The blaze was discovered by Lawrence Obieglo and the Waumandee Fire Department. A defective chimney is believed to have been the cause of the fire. The entire second story of the house was ruined. No one was home when the blaze occurred.


February 23, 1922

One of the worst storms of the season came to this locality Tuesday night. It was not cold, but was accompanied by blinding sleet and lightning. The morning revealed everything covered with a coat of ice, and telephone and electric wires considerably hampered. A transmission wire near Alma Center broke and for a time light and power were cut off, the reserve power at the mill being turned on in the afternoon. During the storm, a bolt of lightning entered the Selon Thompson barn and killed two valuable heifers. Continued snowfall, heavy and damp, so blocked traffic that all trains are suspended today.

Ole Haugh’s barn burned early last Thursday afternoon All of the stock was saved, except for seven heifers. It was one of the finest barns in the county, and the insurance of $2,200 with the Pigeon Mutual is but a small part of the loss. The Whitehall fire department went to the scene but was powerless to save the property, as there was not water enough to combat a fire of that size, and the chemicals ere of little avail.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Erickson and his assistants made a second search of the premises of John Pogreba (the former Frank George farm), and located about one gallon of moonshine. No still was found. The sheriff then placed John Pogreba and his brother, Robert Pogreba, under arrest.

Even Finstad was injured this week by a falling brick which hit him on the head, cutting two gashes that had to be sewed up. He was working on a chimney at the Van Sickle tenement house on Scranton Street at the time of the accident.

An article in The Leader “Should the Creameries of Arcadia Come Together?” by George M. Briggs, explained his stand at a farmer’s institute in which he used forceful language to urge the two Arcadia creameries to come together and work for a more efficient manufacture of butter.

William Broeggemann, 71, who led the life of a hermit in his lone shack on the Waumandee Ridge, was found dead of an apparent heart attack, guarded by his faithful dog. 

Hard Times party was held by Galesville Colony of Beavers and drew an immense crowd. A feast was served with no hint of hard times. 

Galesville High school held a street parade Saturday afternoon to boost their team’s morale as it meets La Crosse. The Galesville team did just that, winning 29-12 in the city gym. There were no best individuals on the team, everyone played their best. 


February 18, 1897

A petition is circulating for a special meeting of the county board to convene Monday, March1, for the purpose of electing a new chairman to succeed the late J.C. Taylor of Independence.

O. Christianson has purchased of S.R. Sweet the county right to use his remedy for the cure of blood, bone or bog spavin, ring bone, splints, curb or sweeney, and guarantees a permanent cure.

Arnt C. Flagen of Fly Creek had a runaway in town yesterday. He had loaded up with doors and windows and had hitched on Main Street when the team took fright and ran turning the corner at G.O. Gilbertson’s. The load was upset, breaking nearly all the glass in the windows and destroying a sash door. No damage resulted to the team or sleigh.

An 11-year-old son of Knut Everson caught his finger in a sausage grinder Sunday, mangling it so badly as to make amputation necessary. Dr. Parker performed the amputation.

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