From Our Early Files Feb. 7, 2024




February 11, 1999

The city of Whitehall, which acquired a large public building for a dollar several years ago, may find itself on the other end of a similar transaction in the future. The city council Tuesday night reviewed an appraisal of the former City Hall building, which was replaced by the Whitehall City Center in 1995 and has sat mostly unused since then. The appraisal of the 86-year-old building covered such issues as the condition of the building, which needs significant repairs. It also was based on comparable public buildings that have sold in recent years, each which sold for the nominal $1 price – because the owners could not legally give them away. Those included the former Gale College in Galesville, a grade school in Black River Falls and the old Memorial High School, which the city purchased from the Whitehall School District and turned into the City Center. 

Community groups may be able to get seed money for projects that support strong families in Trempealeau County. Trempealeau County Promoting Safe and stable Families has a couple funding opportunities for groups interested in such projects. 

The Make A Splash capital campaign for the Arcadia Area Aquatic Center experienced another major shot in the arm with a $75,000 contribution from Glen and Jeanette Reit and family of Dairyland Laboratories. 

Franciscan Skemp Healthcare has decided to discontinue home health care in the Arcadia area. The move will affect 18 patients in Trempealeau and Buffalo counties, nine of which are in the immediate Arcadia area. 

About 500 boy and cub scouts of the Soaring Eagle District, Arcadia Explorer Post and Army National Guard participated in the annual Winter Klondike last Saturday at Pietrek Park. 

Voters will be asked on April 6 to approve a scaled down version of the original Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District referendum. Following a three-hour discussion of the proposal at Monday’s meeting, the board elected to exclude a preschool program and a school-to-work program while it beefed up two other parts of the proposal. The final cost to taxpayers would be about $389,000 or a $40 per year increase in property taxes on a $100,000 home. 

Sticking to their timeline, the Trempealeau County jail study committee last week announced four potential sites for a new $15 million jail. Five sites were discussed at the meeting. The preferred site, located in the west industrial area near the fire station in Whitehall has two possible parcels of land. Second choice is the Whitehall City center, which would require complete demolition and new construction, but could be connected to the existing court system. Another option is a selection of county-owned sites at the health care center. Also discussed was the east industrial area in Whitehall where 120 acres are available east of Schanberg Road, but that was knocked out of the running because it is in a residential area. 

Despite feelings on the part of some school board members that the district was putting kids at the mercy of corporate greed, the G-E-T school board agreed on a split vote Monday to sign a five-year contract with Pepsi Cola. In exchange for the right to an exclusive market, Pepsi will pay the school district a total of $35,000 over the next five years. In the first year of the contract, the district will get $25,000 from Pepsi. 


February 14, 1974

All 125 production workers at the Whitehall Packing Co. plant returned to work Monday, after being idled four days last week by a nationwide truckers’ strike.

The Whitehall Chamber of Commerce Monday night learned that Whitehall had a good chance of landing one of the regional agricultural services centers that may replace county U.S. Department of Agriculture offices.

Persons attending a public meeting last week learned that a $1 million federal loan is being sought to fund the first phase of development of the new Western Wisconsin Communications Cooperative cable television system.

Norse 132-pounder Tom Ritland, who finished the regular season last week with a perfect 15-0 record, lost twice in Saturday’s regional tournament. The only WHS wrestler to advance to the sectional was 185-pounder Roy Semb.

Lori Byom, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Byom, Arcadia, was crowned University of Wisconsin-Stout’s 1974 Winter Carnival Queen. 

Janice Kreher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. La Vern Kreher, has been named Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizenship award recipient for 1973-74 at the Arcadia High School. 

Arcadia’s Sunshine Trail Ride will be held Sunday. The first group of snowmobilers will leave at 10:30 a.m. The ride is sponsored by the Arcadia Sno-Riders, members of the club will serve as guides during the course of the ride. The ride will cover a distance cross-country of approximately 25 miles in the area surrounding Arcadia. 

New officers of the Galesville Business Association for 1974 are: President Robert Longwell of Longwell Drug Store; vice president Dean Hanson of the Hanson Drug Store; secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Howard Chalsma, a holdover. A favorable report was given on the background music in the downtown area. 

G-E-T guard Bill Stephan, who plays wing in the Redmen 1-4 offense, broke loose for 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and was credited with seven assists in leading G-E-T to an important 66-56 decision over third-place Onalaska last Friday. G-E-T is second in the Coulee Conference with a 9-2 record, behind only Melrose-Mindoro’s 10-1 mark. 

Robert Modahl will give helpful information about “Hot Beds” at the Feb. 12 meeting of the Garden of Eden Club. 


February 10, 1949

Whitehall’s “Queen of the Ice” will be crowned at the grand ball Saturday that will open the second-annual winter carnival sponsored by the Lions Club. The event will conclude with the gala ice show under the lights at Melby Park Sunday, during which 80 costumed skaters from the Eau Claire Figure Skating Club will perform.

Einar Kildahl, mechanic at Briggs Motor Sales, received a serious injury Saturday when a truck body fell onto his hand, crushing two fingers. Doctors hope he will regain full use of his fingers when the wounds are healed.

This Friday night, everyone is invited to enjoy the facilities at Viking Valley north of Whitehall free of charge. Whitehall Winter Sports is doing this in appreciation of the splendid work done by many during the recent ski tournament.

Leonard Ellison of Blair has sold his Coast-to-Coast store in that village and purchased the Erickson store residence on Dewey Street. Mr. Ellison will erect a building just north of the Walgert Hotel to house bowling alleys and a complete recreational facility, which he plans to open next fall.

Sixty-five riders will compete at the Flying Pigeons Ski Club annual tournament that will be held Sunday at the Eid Bros. farms, located one mile southeast of Pigeon Falls on Co. W. New roads and parking accommodations have been made at the foot of the slide, warming fires will be ready and a large concession stand will be in operation.

Sheldon Ivers, 12-year-old son of Dr. and Mrs. S.B. Ivers, fell while skiing on the Rasmussen Brothers farm Saturday and suffered a spiral fracture on the left leg below the knee.

The program for the Daggett Community Club Friday evening will include vocal solos by James Hagen and Lorraine Nelson, readings by Mrs. Torval Moe and Charlotte Johnson, a piano solo by Clarence Mathson and a vocal duet by Delores Hanson and Shirley Kastad. A valentine social will follow.

Conference-leading Arcadia defeated the Whitehall High Norsemen another defeat Friday, 54 to 18. 

Arcadia has had high school basketball for 41 years and Bill Cashen has been coach for 23 years of that time, a most unusual record in the coaching professional. The Minneapolis Tribune paid tribute to this record in its sports section recently.

A contest to determine the top speller in the Arcadia School District will be held in the high school auditorium Tuesday evening. The actual contest will begin earlier with participants competing in a written spelling test. This part of the contest will not be open to the public. The oral spelling contest will begin at 8 p.m., to which people of the district are invited. 


February 14, 1924

Arnold Voight, husband of Mrs. Winifred (Lamberson) Voight, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. A.J. Lamberson of Whitehall, and six of his news boys were killed then a Northwestern passenger train struck a Milwaukee Journal company truck at a cross south of Milwaukee.

H.H. Engen, O.C. Skumlien and John Engen of Fuller Coulee were at Whitehall Tuesday after cement blocks at the Whitehall block factory for a basement which will be built under the schoolhouse in their district this spring. While here, they also gave W.J. Webb the contract to supply the building material for remodeling the present structure.

Anton Johnson, Olaf Berget, John Gilbertson and Olof Hagen of Schimmerhorn Valley were at Whitehall for building material at Webb’s lumber yard for a barn, 30 by 40 feet, for Rev. Christopherson at Pigeon Falls.

Northfield — Dr. Leasum of Osseo was seen on our streets one day last week with his snowmobile. A couple of the boys in town became quite interested, and have been rather busy at the “junk pile.” The new invention made its first appearance last Monday, but like the groundhog did not see his shadow, so returned to its den for the time being, but there are hopes of seeing it again soon.

Ole Foss recently disposed of his tobacco crop, receiving 20 cents per pound for the tobacco and five cents for fillers. He raised about 7,000 pounds on his farm at Whitehall and at Sechlerville.

The Buffalo Co. Republikaner, published in the German language at Fountain City for the past 15 years, had to change its language in order to comply with present day demands. The latest issue arrived at The Leader desk under the caption “Buffalo Co. Republican” and in the English language. 

Arcadia defeated Galesville, 20-15, in high school basketball.

Massuere’s grocery specials included California naval oranges, 12 cents a dozen; iceberg lettuce, 10 cents a head; cookies, plain or frosted, 15 cents a pound; shelled walnut halves, 28 cents a half pound; Peaberry coffee, 28 cents a pound and Martha Wash., corn flakes, four packages for 25 cents. 


February 9, 1899

Samuel T. Berge is preparing to put up a large residence and also a barn, and George Dale, a large barn. Both are thrifty farmers of Pigeon. They procure their material from W.J. Webb, the Whitehall lumberman.

County Clerk Johnson received two bids for furnishing the county with 25 cords of green oak wood, one from G.S. Rice at $2 per cord, and one from Everson and Vold at $1.93 per cord. The contract was awarded to the latter firm.

Last Thursday afternoon, Julius Jacobson was stabbed in the stomach by Andrew Dahl while engaged in a quarrel in Zinsli’s saloon, in our neighboring village of Independence. Jacobson’s wound was dangerous but not necessarily fatal. Dahl was arrested on Saturday and brought before Justice E. Hotchkiss to answer to a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon with the intent to kill. Both Jacobson and Dahl are residents of the town of Hale.

At a meeting of the village board Monday night for the purpose of considering the bids for the extension of water main on Scranton and Abrams streets, the bid was awarded to Fetter and Crosby of La Crosse, in the amount of $495, the work to be done as soon as weather will permit.

County Clerk Johnson opened the bids Friday for doing the county job printing for 1899, and the Times-Banner was awarded the contract. The bids were so low as not to be worth mentioning. The county is reaping the benefit of the merry war between newspapers in the county. The “boys” ought to get together and turn the tables on the county. Wonder if they ever will do it?

Elk Creek — A load of our young people attended the literary society in Borst Valley Friday night. Although the weather was very cold, all seemed to enjoy themselves.

Special Sections

Comment Here