From Our Early Files Jan. 12, 2022


January 16, 1997

A Chicago man who allegedly stole a firearm from an area residence was in Trempealeau County Circuit Court last week on that and a couple other charges. George Tompoe III made his initial appearance Thursday on two counts, theft of a firearm and uttering a forged bank check. He was arrested Jan. 2 at an Osseo motel, at which time a vehicle was seized that had been missing from a Coon Rapids, Minn., car dealership. 

Intern teachers at Whitehall High School this semester are Eric Songer, Megan Johnson, Sara Schuh and Mark Ambrose. 

Most people who drive Hwy. 53 between Pigeon Falls and Osseo have seen, and remember, the barn on the Martin and Mava Laursen farm. At least those who see pictures or paintings of the barn recognize it immediately. But paintings and photographs of the rare round barn will have to do from now on – it collapsed a couple of weeks ago, the victim of a rough winter, but also of nearly a century of the elements. 

Laura Rippley gave birth to Anna Laura Rippley on Jan. 10 at 2:20 a.m., the first baby born at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare-Arcadia Campus in 1997. Ed Rippley is the proud father with sisters Ella and Andrea. 

For the fourth straight year, students from Arcadia High School adopted a resident at the Franciscan Skemp Healthcare-Arcadia nursing home. It is a program that has been designed to bridge the gap between senior citizens and young people in the community. 

Adult crossing guards will be posted on Galesville Elementary School’s major access routes during this year’s bridge-replacement detour. The city will be responsible for a guard on West Ridge and Hwy. T, Mayor Terry Collins told the city council. 

You can say icy, snow-packed streets are a pain in your fender. Well, Ron Solberg can’t get enough of them. What a better way to teach aspiring teenaged drivers about the hazards of winter than to put them behind the wheel on a January street for some carefully staged exercises. An experienced driver educator at G-E-T High school, through a cooperative effort of area schools, Solberg lets his student drivers experience the real thing during winter. 


January 20, 1972

Fire of unknown origin destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Rose in Sjuggerud Coulee early Saturday morning.

Due to complaints from area residents, the Whitehall city council has barred operation of snowmobiles in the city park at the corner of Lou Boulevard and Lee Street, and on the hills around St. John’s Catholic Church.

Eugene McDevitt, owner of Geno’s Restaurant and Geno’s Pub, has purchased the 53 Bar and bowling alley from Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Pavek, and took over management Monday.

A letter of resignation from W.B. Gautsch, Arcadia superintendent of schools, was submitted to the Arcadia board of education and accepted at the regular monthly meeting Monday. In the letter, Gautsch said he intended to retire at the end of the school year.

The Mental Health Association of Buffalo, Trempealeau and Jackson counties and the Tri-County Citizens Committee of Alcohol and Other Drugs are jointly sponsoring an open meeting on Jan. 25. The purpose of the meeting is to develop further community awareness on the need to develop alcoholism programs in the three-county area. 

Funeral services for Dr. Elizabeth Comstock, 96, a general practitioner, physician and surgeon for 65 years, were held Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church. The Rev. Gary L. Clark officiated and burial was in the Arcadia Public Cemetery. 

An Arcadia city administrator will be hired under the Federal Emergency Employment Act. Salary for the new city officer will be paid entirely from funds provided by the federal program. Preference must be given to Vietnam War veterans and a person who is currently underemployed. Duties of the office were not defined. 

A hog house on the Richard Gorka farm in French Creek was destroyed by fire Friday afternoon. Also destroyed was one sow and a litter of eight pigs. The Ettrick Fire Department was able to save the nearby corncrib and barn.

The G-E-T school has announced that free passes will be issued to any senior citizen wishing to attend school activities. 


January 16, 1947

Einar Kildahl was elected chief of the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Department during the annual meeting held Friday at the Legion Rooms of City Hall. He succeeds Henry Fransen, who resigned. Albert Maule was elected secretary in place of Rudolph Hagen, who also resigned, and Ben Mahle was chosen as assistant chief, succeeding Mr. Kildahl.

County Traffic Officer H.F. Theurer of Arcadia has prepared a summary of the work he has accomplished during 1946, in cooperation with the sheriff’s department and all other law enforcement officers active in this county and area. The report shows that 144 traffic arrests were made by his department during the past year, including 15 for drunken driving and 28 for speeding, of which 139 were convicted. Fines for those violations totaled $2,075.

The year 1946 was a banner year for marriages in Trempealeau County, as the county clerk’s office issued 213, compared to 149 the previous year and 143 during 1944.

The first meeting of the York Community Club was held at the York hall Saturday evening, for the purpose of reviving the old club. It was decided that the annual membership fee will be $1 per family, and monthly meetings are to be held, the night to be chosen by the committee, which will be chaired by Vernon Rogstad.

The Whitehall city basketball team made it tough for the invincible CYO team of Independence Sunday, but lost by 55 to 48. Butch Sobotta led Independence with 15, and La Verne Nelson of Whitehall was the game’s high scorer with 20.

Ervin Scharlau has purchased the Eckel Implement business and building on River Street from C.W. Covington of Minneapolis, who had owned it since last September. Scharlau took immediate possession last week. He had been manager of the company during Covington’s ownership tenure. He will now assume full authority in the company. The same personnel will be retained under the new ownership. 

John Keller, furniture dealer in Arcadia for nearly 33 years, retired from the business this week. In a sale effective Tuesday, Earn Henley, Coast-to-Coast store owner, purchased the Keller furniture stock and leased the building where he will carry a line of Coast-to-Coast furniture and electrical appliances. His son-in-law, Emil Rogo of Superior, will manage the store. 


January 19, 1922

Last week, District Attorney Eggum caused the arrest of Harry Schneider, John Wiemer, Julius Jahr, Henry Gunem, Peter Sabotta, Sam Klimek, John Klink and Anton Sabotta for violations of the liquor laws of this state. George Waldera and John Sobotta of Arcadia have also been brought before Justice Larson. The district attorney has been following the opinion of the state attorney general by bringing persons who have been intoxicated before the justice and examining them under oath, and in that way obtaining information that he otherwise he was unable to get.

Messrs. A.R. Manley and A.B. Sibbet of the Developed Oil Properties of Eau Claire, were here this week and definitely decided the location of a filling station in Whitehall. The Caswell corner at Blair and Main streets has been chosen, and construction work will commence as soon was weather conditions permit. Kins Bros. will have charge of the business.

Last Sunday several truckloads of skiing enthusiasts from Whitehall and Pigeon went to the Stuve farm and enjoyed the afternoon on skis. Carl Tingvald of Pigeon was first with a 65-foot standing jump, followed be Reuben Rasmussen and Hilman Arneson, both 54 feet, and Wesley Senneff at 49 feet. There were many 50-foot jumps made, but no in the standing class.

Adolph Olson has installed the Farmers telephone, and parties wanting wood sawed can now call him by phone.

Chas. Schilke has taken on added responsibilities, this week becoming lineman for the Independence Telephone Co. He does not surrender a like position with the Lincoln Farmers Telephone Co., by will perform the duties for both companies. No better man can be found for this class of work, which the Independence people discovered in his work for the Lincoln company.

“The heavy snowfall the past week has given us fine sleighing and, in turn, farmers are busy hauling wood,” The Leader reported. The village power house held open market for wood and about 500 cords were delivered in the first four days of sleighing. The ice harvest was also in full swing with both Braun & Sons and P. Kronschnabl putting up a good supply of the crystal blocks, which were of excellent quality and about 18 inches thick. 

Adam Geretzek was injured by a falling tree as he and his sons were out in the woods cutting trees. 

The Bank of Galesville had a capital of $50,000; surplus of $25,000 with assets over one million dollars.

Olaf Klanrud is still the champion ice skater in La Crosse. 

Galesville Colony of Beavers will install officers Jan. 19. A special program and supper will be included in the ceremonies. 

Sleighing still holds good. Tuesday more than 40 sleighs were around the public square. A sight like this hasn’t been seen in recent years.

Last Thursday brought more than a foot of heavy snow, followed by a drop in temperature from 24 degrees to 25 below zero. 


January 14, 1897

Superintendent Salt was in town Tuesday, on his way to the southern part of the county, visiting schools.

County Clerk Johnson’s family arrived in town Friday, and they have commenced housekeeping in the John Taylor rooms in the rear of Rogan’s art gallery.

The school board has employed Miss Emma Solsrud in the intermediate department, in the place of Miss Ethel Ferguson, resigned.

C.A. Ecker is selling tickets for a dance to be given at Opera Hall on Feb. 22. The tickets are 50 cents, and purchasers will have the opportunity, besides tripping the light fantastic, of securing a present. Two gold-plated watches, a silver-plated water pitcher, four boxes of cigars and a nickel, 32-caliber revolver will be given away during the evening.

Rev. Coburn, an evangelist from Wausau, is assisting Rev. Sweet in a series of revival meetings at the Baptist church this week.

At the state teachers’ examination held at Madison recently, the state board of examiners recommended that the state superintendent grant certificates to a number of applicants, including Charles Peterson of Independence.

Grant Winner returned from Sechlerville yesterday, where he has purchased Mr. Fuller’s interest in the hardware business of Winner and Fuller and will conduct the business hereafter.

Miss Marcia Staples, who is holding an important and lucrative government position at Washington, arrived Thursday for a visit with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Augustine.

Pigeon Falls -- Harry Hanson and assistant have been kept very busy blacksmithing lately, and apparently have enjoyed a prosperous winter.

Pigeon Falls -- The popular dressmaker of the village, Miss Rena Haugen, was united in marriage during the holidays to Ludvick Melbye, a prominent young man of this place, at the bride’s parents’ home near Osseo.

Elk Creek -- Some of our athletic young men have purchased a set of boxing gloves. Every evening the merry click of the gloves can be heard. No broken bones are reported yet.

Blair -- Hollister De Bow returned the first of the week from Port Edwards, where he has accepted employment at a paper mill.

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