From Our Early Files June 8, 2022



June 12, 1997

The Trempealeau County Jail and operations are getting a thorough overview this week by representatives of a federal agency. No, this isn’t quite like the state inspections that eventually compelled the county to build the existing jail 15 years ago. But the final result would be somewhat of the same: expansion of the county’s detention facilities for criminal offenders. Two staff members from the National Institute of Corrections began their evaluation of the county facilities Monday morning, with a tour of the jail. The NIC, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, provides such evaluation services free of charge to counties and municipalities. 

Area residents trying to raise money for an Independence teenager charged with murder were turned down by the city of Whitehall. Supporters of 16-year-old Ryan Bogdonovich, accused of fatally shooting his mother’s boyfriend, contacted Whitehall city clerk Lynn Johnson about going door-to-door in the city. But Johnson, after consulting with the city legal firm, said that solicitation by individuals would not be allowed. “We just weren’t comfortable with it,” Johnson said, citing the city’s “Green River” ordinance, which requires peddlers and solicitors to obtain permits. 

About 20 area residents who want to preserve the Pigeon Creek mill dam and pond in Pigeon Falls held a meeting last Tuesday. The gathering did not result in the formation of an organization, as was the original intent, but participants did get a better idea of what they are up against. The village last month was notified by the state Department of Natural Resources that it had until mid-1998 to make needed repairs to the dam. It is estimated that those repairs could exceed $100,000. For a municipality with an annual budget of less than $150,000, that would be a tall order. 

Whitehall’s Larry Paul won two of three events in Division Three at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Track and Field Meet. Paul won the 100 and the 400 and took second in the 200 as the Norse scored 38 points, good for fourth place. 

A champion of children, education and business expansion is how people describe Eugene Killian. The former Arcadia Mayor died at 73 years old last Saturday at Gundersen Lutheran Medical center in La Crosse. 

The Arcadia Sportsmens Club is currently constructing a multipurpose building near their shooting ranges. 

Freshman Lisa Wozney was the only Raider to win an individual state title, winning the 300 hurdles at the state meet last weekend. As a team, the Arcadia girls finished third. 

T.J. Wagner finished second and Andy Kiedrowski third to give Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau two of the top three spots in the discus throw at the state track and field meet. 

The G-E-T school board approved a two-year contract for Ron Jones, who succeeds Bruce Pertzsch as the Galesville Elementary School principal. Pertzsch shifts to Ettrick Elementary School as principal and district administrator. 

Members of the just-graduated senior class at G-E-T High school missed an average of 20.5 days of school last year and that’s “way too high,” according to school board member Harold Olson. Olson told other board members Monday night that he had reviewed absences of all types. While some students missed only one or two days, he said, others missed 60 or 70 days. Many were excused absences, but excused or not, he warned, with the high school moving to block scheduling in the fall, it’ll be doubly important to attend class. 


June 15, 1972

Four men have announced their candidacies against incumbent Trempealeau County Sheriff Wayne Holte of Strum, who was appointed to the post last November following the death Stanley Amundson. Opposing Holte on the Democratic ballot will be Ernest Vold and Charles Jolaneck, both of Osseo; the Republican hopefuls are John Sikora and Peter Speerstra Jr. of Whitehall.

Mrs. Evelyn Maldonado of Whitehall was sworn in as Trempealeau County clerk of court last week, succeeding the late Basil Erickson. Mrs. Maldonado has served as deputy clerk of courts since 1964.

Mrs. Flora Diffie of Whitehall was bound over for trial last week as an accomplice in the March 8 kidnapping of an Eau Claire teenager. Mrs. Diffie’s husband, Joseph Diffie Sr., and three Independence area residents have already been convicted of the kidnapping.

Ann Sendelbach, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Sendelbach of Waumandee, was elected to the state office at the 26th annual Wisconsin Association of the Future Homemakers of America convention at Green Lake. 

By a decision of 5-1 last Tuesday, members of the school committee of Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 11 (CESA), at a public hearing in the Arcadia Elementary School, denied the petition of Alfred Maciosek and Roman Knosalla to detach from the Independence School District and attach to the Arcadia district. Maciosek said his farm was formerly a part of the Arcadia district until it was absorbed by the Independence district in 1954. He said his family attends church in Arcadia, belongs to the Arcadia trade area and do most of their business in Arcadia. They have a daughter who attends Arcadia Catholic School. The Independence board of education strongly opposed the petition. 

A petition with 128 signatures of west side Arcadia city residents was presented to the city council last Thursday night, asking council action in preventing feathers from being strewn on private property in the area. The petitioners also expressed objection to foul odors emitting from the A-G Broiler Plant at certain times. 

About 80 people attended the Founder’s Day program held at Marynook, the former Gale College, on Sunday. 

Peggy Dahl, 12-year-old daughter of Mr and Mrs. Clifford Dahl, Trempealeau, drowned Monday afternoon while swimming with friends in the Mississippi River near Lock & Dam No. 6 near Trempealeau. 


June 12, 1947

At the Class Day exercises held Tuesday at Whitehall Memorial High School, Irene MacCornack and Edward Larson were awarded the medals given each year to the two outstanding seniors in all activities. Irene and Kenneth Fremstad received the medals awarded annually by the Odd Fellows to the seniors boy and girl outstanding in general citizenship.

Raymond Shanklin, recently of Badger Village near Madison, assumed his new duties as Trempealeau County 4-H agent early this month, after receiving his degree from the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife and four-month-old son Garth have moved to Whitehall.

Sixteen young people will receive their diplomas as graduates of the high school Bible department at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church this Sunday. They are Everett Berg, Sylvia Davidson, Thomas Elstad, Shirley Grotem, Byron Hagen, Verna Hamilton, Betty Hanson, John Hegge, Mildred Kildahl, Alyn Larson, Edward Larson, Thomas Larson, Betty Lehrke, Irene MacCornack, Warren Pederson and Seth Speerstra.

The annual Mjoesen Laget was enjoyed by the Pigeon Falls community Saturday and Sunday, when delegations from North and South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin gathered at the Synod church. There were 30 out-of-state guests registered.

It is reported that Peeping Tom is active in Whitehall. Monday evening, the marauder was frightened away from the Alton Berg home in east Whitehall.

John Roseland received the Wolf badge, Richard Duebbert the Lion, Sheldon Ivers the Bear and Bruce Thoreson, Benjamin Ringstad, Gary Larson and Robert Ovre the Bobcat badges at the last meeting of the Cub Scouts.

Agatha Maule, 14, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ignatz Maule of Irvin Coulee, an eighth-grade student at Sunnyside School, received a certificate of award recently for outstanding work which she did in a study of the United Nations and essay contest. Participants in the contest were all high school students, Agatha being the only eighth-grader.

The new 75-patient bed St. Joseph’s Hospital, currently under construction, will be equipped to give complete hospital care to the people of the Arcadia area. It will replace the present hospital, which was established 11 years ago, and provide facilities, which are needed in this community.

Carol Fernholz of Arcadia was one of 20 members of the Future Homemakers Association selected as candidates for state Dairy Queen at the state convention of the association to he held in Wisconsin Dells. Candidates from 59 counties were entered in the contest. 


June 15, 1922

Harold McWain and William Harris of Trempealeau and Ed Tracy and Frank Miller were in court here Monday, accused of entering the Rhodes cottages at Trempealeau on May 31 and demanding wine of the caretaker, Peter Reinhard. He refused and they are alleged to have forced him into bed at gun point and made him drink that which Reinhard claimed was doped. They took 10 gallons of wine, and were arrested in Winona when they attempted to sell some of the wine.

The Pigeon Falls Chautauqua boosters were in Whitehall Tuesday in the interest of their four-day entertainment, which begins next Sunday. The Pigeon Falls band, under the direction of T.J. Thorson, enlivened the trip.

The Arcadia boosters for the Fourth of July celebration in that city were in Whitehall this morning. There was a long string of cars filled with a band and a male quartet which filled the air with music the few moments they remained. From advance programs, it would appear that our sister city to the southwest is going to put on some celebration.

Gilkerson’s Union Giants will play baseball at Whitehall again next week Thursday. This is a fast aggregation and the coaching is more fun than a circus. They made a record for the season of 1921 of 97 wins, 23 loses and one tie. One of the games lost was the contest here in Whitehall, where we shut them out 2 to 0, and they are coming back to try and retrieve what they lost at that time.

Pigeon Falls — A.P. Waldin’s cow was struck by lightning and killed last Friday night, also two head of cattle of Mrs. John Fremstad.

Retiring Arcadia postmaster Albert Hess was presented with a gold chain and knife by his staff on the last day of his service. 

An entertainment program, “The Fairy’s Gift” was presented by pupils of St. Aloysius School. 

“Tillie’s Punctured Romance,” starring Charlie Chaplin was appearing at the Unique Theatre in Arcadia. 


June 10, 1897

The Lutheran church yard in Whitehall is being enclosed with a neat picket fence.

W.H. Stallings has begun the foundation for another tenement house on West Main Street.

W.H. Polleys of Melrose has been here some time, introducing his fire- and water-proof paint, of which he is the patentee, and is meeting with success.

Some farmers of this section report that the army worm is sitting on the fence waiting for the crops to come along. If the weather of the past week continues much longer, the worms will starve to death before a square meal gets in sight.

The promotion exercises by the children of the intermediate and primary departments of our school Friday afternoon at the Methodist church were very interesting and greatly enjoyed by the parents and many others crowded the church to its fullest capacity.

H.A. Anderson will shortly commence the erection of a two-story addition to his residence, 26 by 35 feet. Mr. Anderson is a progressive man, with modern ideas and, possessing considerable means, is sure to convert his dwelling into a residence which will be highly creditable to Whitehall.

The town board of supervisors have done an excellent piece of work on what is known as the Breed hill east of Whitehall. They have reduced the height of the hill and widened the highway, besides lowering the grade of the approach to it. The cost of the work was about $80.

Pigeon Falls — P. Ekern is erecting a cheese factory, connected with the creamery. The same power will be used for both.

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