From Our Early Files June 16, 2021




June 20, 1996

The Independence School District will get a new preschool though high school building, if the school board and district voters accept the recommendation of a special committee. The long-range facilities planning committee met last week Monday and voted unanimously to recommend construction of a new school on a 40-acre site. The board and district administration are making preparations to hold a referendum on financing the project sometime this fall.

Trempealeau County needs to be prepared for the possibility that a mining company could want to dig for precious metals in the county. That was the warning given to the county board of supervisors by one of its members Monday night. Supervisor Dave Anderson of Whitehall said that the board’s zoning committee had been looking into reports that the company was buying mining leases from property owners in the town of Hale.

Hoping to boost participation in stream bank improvement projects, Trempealeau County will pick up part of the cost of the conservation work. The county board of supervisors approved paying 10 percent of the costs of some stream bank improvements done as part of the Upper and Middle Trempealeau River Priority Watershed Projects.

New City Antiques and Refinishings opened May 17 on Main St. in Independence. The store is owned by Arcadia native Terrence Sobotta and managed by Geraldine Wronske.

The Arcadia city council passed a motion to purchase a new street sweeper for the city. The council approved a bid of $74,800 from Polk and Diesel out of Madison over a $71,200 bid from Bruce Municipal Equipment, Inc., out of Menominee Falls. The higher bid was accepted because members of the city street department thought the maintenance on the sweeper would be much easier.

The Galesville Area Chamber of Commerce has pledged to raise half the projected $391,000 cost of improving and upgrading Main Street, the Square and some adjoining streets. It turn, it wants the city to pick up the balance, starting with $43,100 next year. That’s half the estimated cost of adding grated trees, decorative brick sidewalk borders and decorative lighting.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes two villages, plus a city and lots of folks in between to raise, or at least revise, the planned Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Kindernook Center. That’s why a citizen’s task force helping turn St. Mary’s Hall into Kindernook is also turning the conversion into a community project. It’s “Hands Helping Hands — for people of all ages and communities,” said Scott Strommen, a member of the task force. The group hopes to harness “volunteer power” of folks throughout the school district.

Eighty-three residents were evacuated from Grand View Care Center last Friday afternoon following a bomb threat. No one was injured as everyone was transferred from the home to the school and back again, safely. The threat turned out to be a prank.

Dennis Stephenson and Carl Axness, new owners of the Union Bank of Blair, served root beer floats in the bank lobby in conjunction with June Dairy Month and Father’s Day.

Camping enthusiasts may have a new place to go in Trempealeau County. Development of a campground area at Pietrek Park in rural Arcadia was proposed to the Trempealeau County Parks Committee. Park planners got permission from the county board to do a feasibility and cost study of having campsites opened at the park. Grants may be available to help pay for camping and recreational improvements at the park, supporters said.


June 24, 1971

A storm of tornadic proportions lashed the immediate Whitehall area for about a half hour last week Wednesday. Strong winds were accompanied by golf ball-sized hail in some places, and a downpour that stopped traffic at times.

An open house and retirement party will be held this Saturday for Alfred Gunderson, who established the Gunderson Chevrolet dealership in Pleasantville 48 years ago. The business was incorporated earlier this year under the ownership of his son, Arthur, and Ralph Rasmuson of Whitehall.

Bill and John Giebel of Tremplo Cablevision are currently installing a system that will make cable television available to Whitehall residents.

Larry Sonsalla, son of Mr. and Mrs. LaVern Sonsalla, rural Arcadia, was elected a state officer and Jerome Waldera, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Waldera, also of rural Arcadia, was honored with the Wisconsin Farmer Degree at the state FFA convention held in Green Lake June 14 to 16. Thomas Tisthammer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Merton Tisthammer, Galesville, was also awarded the Wisconsin Farmer Degree.

The old River Street bridge crossing the Trempealeau River went down with a crash shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday. It had been closed to traffic for the past two weeks because of structural damage and tornado-like winds during a severe storm about 6 p.m. Saturday are believed to have weakened the structure further and caused its collapse.

Dr. Eldon Lamprecht will join the staff of Drs. W.L. Burnap, P.W. Dettloff and T.K. Fetsch of the Arcadia Veterinary Clinic on June 1.

The Gale-Ettrick Board of Education discussed a number of issues facing the district as it prepares for expansion, including the distribution of students between Trempealeau and Galesville.

About 30 residents of the G-E-T area met in the Galesville municipal building to discuss the need for a nursing home in southern Trempealeau County.


June 20, 1946

Bids on two jobs of the $100,000 improvement program planned for the Trempealeau County Asylum were let last week by the combined board of trustees and county board property committee. The bids totaled nearly $45,000, and included a $3,224 job let to D.A. Bensend, Whitehall electrician.

Seventy-five new members were admitted to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church during ceremonies conducted by the Rev. O.G. Birkeland following Sunday’s services.

Thirteen of the 14 members of the Whitehall-Independence Hunting Club, Inc., gathered at the golf clubhouse here Saturday evening for their annual, and final, venison dinner until next season’s kill. The Independence men present were Dr. A.O. Torson, Frank Jelen, Mort Dusenberry, Lory Halverson and Lyle Pavek, and the local members were Henry Schaefer, Dr. Anton Vold, Dr. N.S. Simons, Dr. R.L. MacCornack, Lester Brennom, P.M. Paulson, G.C. Boll and John Gilbertson. The only member missing was A.L. Schmidt of Mason City, Iowa.

During the electrical storm Monday morning, lightning struck on the Peter Simenson farm east of town and killed three milk cows and a bull.

Memorial services will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church Monday for Sgt. Milton Haines, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Haines of Arcadia. Sgt. Haines, a gunner on a B-29 Superfortress, has been missing since May 24, 1945 when he went on a mission over Tokyo and it is presumed that he was killed in action at that time.

A city of Arcadia ordinance expressly forbids shooting of firearms within the city limits. It has been called to my attention that there has been some violation of this ruling recently. Citizens are hereby warned that such violations will not be tolerated and violators will be prosecuted. — Albert Rohn, night marshal.

Blair experienced a small building boom: Four new homes, a pasteurizing plant, a dental office and two apartments.

Keith Hardie, Franklin, was confined at home having torn ligaments and sprained left ankle after falling doing carpentry work.


June 23, 1921

Judge E.F. Hensel has made preparations for the organization of a class in citizenship, to assist applicants to become familiar with the government of this country. The class will meet at 8 p.m. each Saturday evening in the judge’s office in the courthouse, from now until circuit court convenes in the fall, except for harvest time. Other classes will be held at Independence, with Attorney Kulig as instructor; at Arcadia, with E.E. Barlow as teacher; and at Galesville, with W.S. Wadleigh presiding.

The trial of Myrtle Larson before Judge Higbee in circuit court here ended Tuesday night when the jury returned their verdict of not guilty, because insane at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, the murder of her newborn child in an outhouse at Strum.

J.E. Wilken, owner of the abandoned Dewey Street church, has wrecked the cupola on the building and will convert the main structure into a residence. Congregations everywhere intending to build a small church will find an opportunity to buy church windows here at a bargain, the design of the windows being inappropriate for a residence.

Eddie Kuka of Independence was arrested last week by Sheriff Erickson, on complaint of Paul Van Horn of Elk Creek, charging the passing of forged checks. Several of our businessmen were also victims of this crooked financial game.

J.P. Keller just completed his new undertaking parlor.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help congregation was arranging an elaborate July 4 picnic and bazaar on the church grounds. Arcadia Knights of Columbus were planning a grand ball the same evening, with dancing in the afternoon from 1 to 5 on the “jitney” plan and in the evening from 8 to 1.

The Galesville market quotes oats at 30 cents; corn, 55 cents and hogs, $7.25.

The Galesville Concert Band and Galesville Colony of Beavers have organized to bring the residents of the Galesville area a full day of entertainment for the July 4 holiday.

When Bernard Coyne, 18, of Anthon, Iowa, died the other day, it marked the passing of the tallest man in the world. He was eight feet, two inches tall. It was necessary for a coffin company to make a special coffin.

Charles Pierce lost a large, fat hog last week from the heat on his South Prairie farm.


June 28, 1896

C.G. Beach has made and won a hard fight against the noxious weeds on the Kelly property this week.

Gilbert Paulson, who went to Norway last fall, returned Friday, bringing his three children with him.

The Arcadia Telephone Co. have a petition on file with the village clerk for their line into the village.

D. Wood is moving his hay barn from the center of Adams Street, where it has stood unmolested for a half score of years or more, to his lots to the west, the preliminary steps toward the opening of this thoroughfare. W.J. Webb will move his lumber office to a position facing the west on this street, constructing a sidewalk to the Getts corner, and build a new 200-foot lumber shed. He will immediately commence the erection of his large, brick residence on the grounds to the north of the yard.

Chas. Sherwood, the local horticulturist, placed a quart box of large strawberries, the Bubach variety, on our table Tuesday. It took just 10 berries to cover the bottom of the box.

Prof. Birdsell of Ettrick has been employed to instruct the Whitehall cornet band. He was present Tuesday night and gave them their first lesson.

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