From Our Early Files March 8, 2023





March 12, 1998

Trempealeau County’s groundbreaking program to train new farmers is set to get underway in less than three weeks. The county University of Wisconsin-Extension office is currently taking applications for the Beginning Farmer Incubator Program, which will be operated at the Trempealeau County Health Care Center farm. The first program will begin April 1, when the first two candidates selected will take over operation of the TCHCC farm. 

Four Trempealeau County residents were among the 100-plus persons promoting Wisconsin tourism at a suburban-Chicago travel exposition. La Vern Gullicksrud of Strum, La Vern and Charlene Saxe of Ettrick and Terry Sobotta of Whitehall manned a Trempealeau County booth at the Discover Wisconsin Vacation Planning Show. Billed as “The Ultimate Vacation Planning Event,” the show was held Feb. 20-22 at the Inland Meeting and Exposition Center in Westmont, Ill. 

Ashley Furniture officials announced Thursday morning that they had finalized a deal on March 2 to purchase Evans and Sons furniture from Bob Evans. The store is located on Highway 93. After the purchase was announced, Ashley officials said they would be creating a HomeStore at that location. “We want the HomeStore in Arcadia to be our flagship store. The prototype store, which can be utilized by our company to show retailers across the nation what our HomeStore concept is all about,” Ashley Chief Executive Officer, Ron Wanek, said. 

The Arcadia Police Department recently issued a statement warning citizens about thefts from vehicles throughout the community. Arcadia Police Chief Pat Grzadzielewski said that a spree of thefts from vehicles has occurred in recent weeks. The chief stated that it is important for citizens in the community to remember that it isn’t safe to leave valuable items in their vehicles when they travel to town for shopping or athletic events. 

The Arcadia girls basketball team advanced to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Tournament with a 51-48 win over Cuba City on Saturday. Leading the way for the Raiders was Amy Soppa, who drained 15 points. 

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board approved the hiring of an additional high school science teacher and the layoff of two positions for the 1998-99 school year at their Monday night meeting. The district will be looking for a science teacher with a physical science and chemistry background, according to high school principal Craig Gerlach. 

The process of building assets among the youth of the community is continuing through new monthly meetings. The Power of Assets group is now meeting the third Monday of the monthly at the G-E-T High School cafeteria at 7 p.m. parents, community members and young people are encouraged to attend and continue the process of developing the 40 assets in G-E-T youth, according to group organizer Pastor Arnold Flater. 

Joe Mahutga and Einar Daffinson are interested in the two dorms of Gale College, “but after the preliminary review of the dorms with an architect, some things have changed,” they said. Mahutga told the Gale College Historic Advisory Board Wednesday night that “We ran into some stumbling blocks.” An architect from HSR Associates, Inc., La Crosse, reviewed the dorms and found some structural problems. 


March 15, 1972

More than 500 persons packed Sunset Memorial Auditorium Monday for a meeting called by the Whitehall Teachers Association to discuss discipline in the schools, the trimester system and the teacher’s union’s negotiations with the district school board.

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Black River Falls has received approval to open a branch office in Whitehall. The branch will be located in the building on Scranton Street now occupied by the driver’s license examiners; Gerhard Lovlien will be managing officer of the branch.

Junior John Peterson of Whitehall has been named to the Dairyland All-Conference basketball first team. Tom Monson was a second-team choice, and Roger Johnson, Dave Pientok and Mark Risberg were honorable mentions.

The Arcadia High School forensics team won the four-school Coulee Conference sub-district contest held at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School Saturday. The team earned 11 A’s and six B’s in the competition, earning 45 points. 

Four area farmers and one community leader were honored at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce annual awards night at the Arcadia Country Club. Those honored with outstanding community farmer awards were Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Haines Sr.; Mr and Mrs. Apolinary Slaby; Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Sobotta and Mr. and Mrs. Ken Sonsalla. A.C. Schultz, general manager of A-G Cooperative Creamery, received the outstanding citizen award. 

The Arcadia city council, in regular session Thursday night, approved remodeling of the second floor of the city hall to accommodate a Western Wisconsin Technical Institute career center. 

Contrary to some reports, the local Galesville city postmark is still available to anyone who wants it. The new system of “area mail processing” has eliminated the local postmark, and mail, if not separated by the mailer for “Galesville” or a request for a local postmark, goes to the La Crosse Sectional Center Post Office, where it is postmarked and processed.

Several groups of students from Gale Elementary visited the Galesville Republican offices last Friday. 


March 11, 1948

The packing house workers’ anticipated strike will have no effect at the Whitehall Packing Co. normal operations will continue as usual, according to an interview with officials at the plant. The Whitehall packers are affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.

“Roundy” Coughlin, Wisconsin State Journal sports writer and Milwaukee Sentinel columnist, made a big hit at the second-annual Lions Club athletic banquet. About 200 attended the banquet, which was held at the Whitehall High School gymnasium and catered by Firpo’s Cafe.

Miss Helen Simonson, who has been employed by the U.S. State Department in occupied Germany the past couple years or more, is expected home in May by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Simonson.

The purchasing committee of the volunteer fire company of Pigeon Falls has announced that a deal has been closed with the Minnesota Fire Equipment Co., and that Pigeon Falls will have a fire truck as soon as the installation of equipment is completed. Thurman Fremstad, treasurer of the fire company, urges all who are interested in fire protection to see him at their earliest convenience to sign up for same.

Weather permitting, volunteer workers will rush completion of the 40-by-70 Quonset building at Centerville that will house the newly organized Centerville Curling Club in order to get it ready for next fall when the club will begin its activities. Some 90 men, largely of the Centerville area, have taken membership in the new curling organization. 

Wisconsin farmers this summer will be warned of crop diseases the moment they attack, says R.E. Vaughan, plant disease specialist at the University of Wisconsin. A nationwide crop disease forecasting service has been working out in cooperation with Research and Marketing Act of the USDA and the various state extension services. 


March 15, 1923

Owing to an erroneous impression that has gotten out, the Whitehall Women’s Civic Club wishes to announces that, as an organization, it intends to take no part in village politics, and no stand for or against baseball.

Foreman Beaty had a hair-lifting experience last Thursday, when a freight engine backing east encountered him on the speeder near the Munson crossing. He and his helper, Tim Thompson, jumped and the speeder was struck and put out of commission. It was one of those escapes that railroad men frequently experience, and which places them in the extra-hazard class with life insurance companies.

District Attorney Markham has inaugurated a campaign tending to make life unpleasant for those violating the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act. Since March 1, Joe Sidlow, August Smieja and John Klink were found guilty and fined $100 and sentenced to 32 days in the county jail. These infractions were all at Independence. The district attorney has a fertile field in which to show his aggressiveness.

Mrs. Ida F. Canuteson is a candidate for treasurer of the village of Galesville. There is no reason why women should not come into their own, now that equal suffrage has been given them.

Dr. Frank T. Weber began a permanent practice in Arcadia as an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist after returning from school in Chicago.

Mrs. O.B. Strouse, clerk at the Arcadia school board, was elected a director of the Wisconsin School Board Association at the meeting in Madison. 

Newcomb Valley is busy being sick and taking care of those who are sick. Hope to be on the map again in the near future. 

Advertisement: “Lost twenty-dollar bill. Frank Breyer.” 

The Merry May Carnival of the Galesville Conservation Club was held. Officers were elected: Esther Bjoland, chairman; Mrs. W.S. Wadleigh, secretary and treasurer; Mrs. Albert Scarseth heads the flower committee and Mrs. Bert Gipple is chairman of the carnival arrangements. 

An auxiliary light plant will be installed to take care of the overload of electricity at the Davis Mill. 

John Perkins narrowly escaped loss of his eyesight from an enraged hen which put him in the hospital for two weeks.

Rural mail carriers declare the dirt roads on their routes are in the worst condition they have been in many years. 


March 10, 1898

The foreign war spirit is subsiding.

C.D. Letson is out after a spell of lung fever.

The masquerade ball given by Mrs. Ole Larson at Opera Hall Friday night drew a big crowd, and all enjoyed a good time.

Whitehall may not erect as large a number of new buildings as she did in 1897, but there promises to be considerable of a boom in this direction next season nevertheless.

President C.W. Harnden transacted business at Merrillan Saturday, going up on the forenoon train and intending to return on the afternoon train, but he missed the latter. Obtaining a ride to York, he telephoned to his wife to meet him there with a team, which she did, and they reached home about 10 o’clock in the evening. Charlie says the telephone is a good thing.

B.F. Wing has sold his hotel property, the American House, to W.H. Stallings. Mr. Stallings is one of Whitehall’s moneyed men, and we are pleased to have the property pass into the gentleman’s possession. He will shortly make material improvements in the building and convert it into a commodious and inviting hostelry, second to no property of its kind in any county seat town in the state, outside of the large cities. Mr. Stallings owns considerable property in the village, is an enterprising and public spirited man, manifesting much interest in the progress of his hometown.

Independence — James Carlton has engaged in the saloon business in the building known as Weier’s opera house. The license was transferred to him by Mrs. Weier, and he took possession about a week ago.

Pigeon Falls — H.P. Fremstad, who has taken the agency for the McCormick machinery this season, has been exerting his persuasive power in selling his goods lately. Henry Hanson has also hustled considerably for the Plano machine, assisted by his brother Pete.

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