From Our Early Files March 16, 2022




March 20, 1997

Only a few years ago, the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors imposed a hiring freeze on county government and battled over just about every new position created. Keeping a lid on county government hiring is apparently a thing of the past, though. Monday night, the board approved two new positions, one of them full time, and talked about adding at least one other. The full-time job created Monday was an administrative secretary position that will be shared between the county corporation counsel and the personnel director/assistant administrative coordinator. The other board action created a full-time position out of the assistant zoning administrator’s job, as part of a reorganization of the zoning department.

Every retirement marks the end of an era, at least a personal one. But when Fred Staff retired from the Wisconsin State Patrol, a career ended that saw some major changes in the state law enforcement organization. Staff, an area native and longtime Whitehall resident, was the first county liaison officer assigned to Trempealeau County by the state. 

The Independence city council and district school board have formally approved an agreement on development of the site for a new preschool through high school building that will be constructed starting this spring. 

Approximately 50 to 60 senior citizens were at the Arcadia Country Club last Tuesday afternoon to attend the Senior Info-Show, which was sponsored by the State Bank of Arcadia. 

Thirteen students will represent Arcadia High School at the state forensics competition held April 11 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

A Wisconsin-organized diary farm group seeking what it calls “a fair price” for its raw milk is coming to south Trempealeau County. The American Raw Milk Producer Pricing Association has called an informational meeting for dairy producers on March 29 in Blair. 

The closing of Highway 53 through Galesville and start of demolition on the south Beaver Creek bridge were delayed until Wednesday with last week’s heavy snowfall blamed for the setback. 

An April 10 trial date has been set in Trempealeau County court for a 37-year-old Ettrick man accused of escaping from his home while under electric monitoring in connection with a previous crime. Kerry Severson appeared before Judge John Damon on the charge after state prison officials said he had left his residence, where he had been transferred under the state’s Intensive Sanctions Program. 


March 23, 1972

Burglars entered the WBI Farmers Union Cooperative sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning and took about $1,800 in cash, using an acetylene torch found on the premises to cut open the safe.

Garland Green of Cadott has been hired as a Whitehall city police officer under the Emergency Employment Act. Green formerly was employed as Cadott chief of police.

Leonard Anderson has been appointed chairman of the town of Pigeon, filling out the term of Melvin Anaas, who died last month.

Tri-City Sanitation has purchased Howard Olson’s garbage pickup service in Pigeon Falls.

Ann O’Brien, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur O’Brien, Arcadia, is valedictorian at Arcadia High School with a four-year average of 95.19. Ricky Reuter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Reuter, Cochrane, is salutatorian with an average of 94.95.

It was the first day of May, 36 years ago, that three nuns of the Germany order of Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Angels arrived in Arcadia to establish the first St. Josephs Hospital. Two of the three original nuns and two who joined them soon after are still members of the hospital staff and together have provided more than 125 years of hospital care in Arcadia. They are Sister Mary Laetitia, Sister Mary Theodosia, Sister Mary Adelphia and Sister Mary Renatis. 

Members of the Trempealeau Electric Cooperative Saturday elected one new director to their board and were told that their electric rates will be increased on May 1. The new director is William Lehmann, Galesville, who defeated incumbent B.R. Kopp. 

Trempealeau-Jackson County Farm Bureau co-sponsored a legislative meeting at Green Meadows Supper Club, outside of Blair, that brought nearly 100 people to discuss the issues with Bill Kasa Kaitas, farm bureau legislative counsel in Madison. 


March 20, 1947

A report was released this week by City Clerk H.J. Elstad on a new census of the city, which he has taken at the request of the city council. The present population of Whitehall is 1,370, having increased to that figure from the 1,035 listed in the 1940 census.

Eleanor Vesta, a senior at Whitehall High School, has been selected as this year’s representative as a candidate for the free pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., that is given annually by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The merger of the Trempealeau County Breeders Cooperative into a new organization to be called the Tri-State Breeders Cooperative, will be voted on at the annual meeting to be held this coming Tuesday at the City Hall in Whitehall.

Mr. and Mrs. Raleigh Gatton, who are associated with his brother, Kenneth Berdan, in the Whitehall Floral and Nursery Co., have opened a flower shop in the Zeller building in Arcadia.

That a big crop of tobacco was harvested in this area last summer was indicated by the large quantity which was received at Whitehall last week by Carl Thomte, who is buying for the Westby branch of the General Cigar Co. Five carloads were received, which brought growers upwards of $90,000.

A.B. Hanson of Hale, who was in town last Friday on business, stated that he bought his farm house 30 years ago. Although he purchased the place before the inflation following World War I, he did not have the place well-stocked or equipped, and he remembers how difficult it was to meet obligations during the low prices following the 1929 crash.

Earl Haralson plans to move onto his 40-acre farm in Larkin Valley, the former Grotem place, the first of April. Mr. Haralson will continue his employment at the P.M. Paulson implement store and drive back and forth daily from his farm.

The Pigeon Falls Boy Scouts had a great time on their long hike Sunday afternoon. Scoutmaster Harry Galstad reports great strides in hiking and observing, as well as in eating.

The movie “Lure of the Islands,” starring Gail Storm with a musical cast, will be shown at the York hall tomorrow evening.

County highway commissioner Jens Klavestad received delivery last week of a new Pontiac two-door sedan, which the highway department purchased for his use from Ben Bautch of Arcadia. The county car he was driving, which had been in use for several years and was secondhand at the time of purchase, was used as a trade in.  

The Arcadia American Legion post will entertain the county legion meeting to be held March 27, announced George Abts, commander. Emil Wingad, 10th district commander and Jack Hopkins, 10th district adjutant, will be present at the meeting. The name of the post will be officially changed to Tickfer and Erickson to include both wars. 


March 20, 1922

On Monday evening, the Whitehall Municipal Band was organized, with the following officers: L.C. Larson, president and business manager; R.A. Fortun, secretary and treasurer; and Chas. G. Beach, director. Regular band practices will be held on Monday evenings, and Fridays will be devoted to sectional and individual instruction. This organization aims not only to utilize the men who have played before, but to also furnish instruction to any who wish to join, especially juveniles.

The village caucus held at the Village Hall Friday evening had the usual large attendance. Candidates nominated were: president  —  Ludvig Hammerstad; trustees (three to be elected)  —  E.C. Getts and Dr Simons, William Mason and N.L. Fredrickson, Adolph Gilbertson and L.J. Schansberg; treasurer  —  Tracy Rice and O.W. Elstad; clerk  —  F.N. Larson and P.M. Paulson; assessor  —  Henry Hundt; supervisor  —  C.B. Melby and S.N. Hegge; justice of the peace  —  F.N. Larson and Mart Swenson; constable  —  J. Orin Gilbertson and John Wagstad; and police justice  —  A.W. Wright.

Pleasantville  —  Fred Schaefer has sold his farm to Nels Gunderson of Whitehall.

Influenza was especially prevalent in the  northern and northwestern sections of the state and appearing in other localities, the state board of health in Madison, reported. 

G.W. Austin and family arrived in Arcadia to go into housekeeping in the A.G. Heuser residence. Austin was a sales agent for the Dodge Brothers Motor Cars and planned to handle sales in the Arcadia vicinity. 

William Olsen, Stanleight Gaveney and Florence Muir were candidates for the Arcadia postmanship.


March 18, 1897

A contest of the high and graded schools of the county in oratory is being arranged in which it is expected students of the Arcadia, Blair, Galesville, Independence, Trempealeau and Whitehall schools will compete. The Arcadia jeweler, B.H. Doty, will give the winner of the contest a beautiful gold medal, and the student taking second honors will receive a silver medal. Three students from each school will compete at contests between two schools to be held at three sites, with the two highest ranking from each of those competitions to compete for the medals

S. Hammervik, the famous Norwegian violinist, assisted by the band boys, will give a concert at Opera Hall tomorrow evening. A free dance will be given after the concert.

W.G. Fuller and Grant Winner have just received letters patent on a scraper. This implement is intended to reduce the labor of the farmer in keeping his stables clean, and seems destined to become a source of wealth for the inventors.

Elk Creek  —  A move is being made to have a telephone put up this spring between Independence and this place. It has been a long-felt want, and we wish the party success.

Elk Creek  —  Albert Olson has taken an apprenticeship in Halvor Melsness’ blacksmith shop, and ere long hopes to be a full-fledged blacksmith.

Pigeon Falls  —  John J. Moe returned yesterday from the head of the Pigeon valley, where he moved a schoolhouse, a distance of about one mile.

Pigeon Falls  —  Ed. M. Sjuggerud had a hand smashed by the kick of a course some days ago, according to a report.

Blair  —  The monstrosity in the shape of a calf, with two heads, two tails and five legs, spoken of last week as being the property of F.M. Immell, was sold for $15 to Oscar Gilbert, who has it the hands of taxidermist Lambert at Taylor for mounting.

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