From Our Early Files May 10, 2023





May 14, 1998

Whitehall FFA members receiving Chapter or Greenhand degrees were Darby Oberlin, Melissa Leer, Andrea Hulett, LeAnn Hulett, Betsy Lyga, Leslie Back, Tasha Semb, Molly Oberlin, Alisa Johnson, Courtney Moe, Crystal Heath, Michael Johnson and Tim Skadahl. The Whitehall FFA chapter recently marked its first full year of renewed existence with a banquet. 

The city of Whitehall went another $273,118 in debt this week when the city council approved borrowing for a new fire station and pumper truck for the volunteer fire department. The council okayed taking out a 10-year-loan in that amount. The borrowing will pay the city’s share of the $195,000 fire truck, which was delivered earlier this spring and a new fire station that will be built in the Westside commercial park on Highway 121. 

When all the dancing and singing was completed last Saturday night, Lindsay Oelkers, daughter of Dave and JoAnn Oelkers, was crowned Miss Arcadia 1998. Maren Flynn, daughter of Jeffrey and Margo Flynn, was crowned first attendant. Sarah Bagniewski, daughter of David and Jan Bagniewski, was second attendant. 

Maren Flynn has been recognized as the valedictorian of the Arcadia High School Class of 1998, while Rebecca VanAcker, daughter of Mark and Kris VanAcker, is the salutatorian. 

Ernie and Phyllis Korpal have been owners and proprietors of the RKD Motel for almost four decades. However, the couple recently decided to sell the motel to Dave and Jeanne Waraxa, who also own and operate the Pleasant Knoll in Trempealeau. The Korpals said they have many fond memories over the past 38 years and agreed that working and residing in Arcadia has been a great pleasure. 

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board approved the spending of $150,000 for their portion of the planned Ettrick Community Center and expansion of the Ettrick Elementary School. The money will go toward the development of additional classrooms, a gymnasium and other space which will be included in a project to create an Ettrick Community Center building incorporated into the current school. 

About a dozen Trempealeau Elementary and G-E-T Middle School students and their teachers have been spotted spray painting the streets in Trempealeau. No, they students aren’t painting graffiti on the sidewalks. They are spending their time in a more useful manner painting “Dump No Waste, Drains To River” signs next to Trempealeau’s storm drains. 

The city of Galesville is continuing to discuss selling two dorms and some additional land on the Gale College Property to Pat and John Nickles. According to city attorney Rob Longwell, the council has not taken any official action to finalize the property sale to the Nickles while details are still being worked out. The item is on the council’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting agenda for Thursday night. 


May 24, 1973

The Whitehall district school board tightened its procedures for board members doing business with the district, as the result of an opinion provided by the district’s legal counsel. Arcadia attorney LaVerne Kostner ruled that Board President Arthur Gunderson’s Chevrolet dealership could not sell a vehicle to the district and buy it back a year later for substantially the same price, because the transaction exceeded the $2,000 limit.

The Norse golf team won the Dairyland Conference championship Friday, beating Osseo-Fairchild by three strokes in the 18-hole match played at Whitehall. Don Reck was the meet medalist with a 75.

Fire of undetermined origin damaged the office of the Wisconsin Motor Sales garage last week shortly after 8 p.m. The Arcadia volunteer fire department was summoned when Donald Kreibich, a passerby, noticed a small fire in the rear of the office. The glass door and bay window were blown out. The flames were quickly extinguished, but the rest of the building received smoke damage, according to fire chief Martin Rebhahn. The building is owned by Linus Wolfe. 

Six Arcadia area girls, all spring graduates of Arcadia High School, had entered the1973 Broiler-Dairy Festival queen competition by Tuesday morning. Entrants include Colleen Maloney, Jean Marie Meistad, Janet O’Brien, Mary Rose Persick, Barbara Jean Rebhahn and Cindy Trbovich. 

Tim Hauser received the G-E-T Gardner Memorial Trophy and the “W” Award as outstanding senior sportsman. 

On May 6, three classes from G-E-T High School painted the home of Arilla McCarty, 415 Main Street, Trempealeau. About 25 seniors, 10 freshmen and three faculty members along with Ed Schlesser in charge of the project work. The paint was donated. The project was part of a study of the older generation and an effort to connect the two generations. 

The vocational building trades students are currently putting the finishing touches on the three-bedroom home, which they have built as a class project. The students are seniors at G-E-T and Cochrane-Fountain City high schools and have spent two hours a day for the entire school year building the home under the direction of instructor Barry Nelson. The home is located two blocks north of Bob’s Drive-In in Trempealeau. 


May 20, 1948

The details of the all-county Centennial day in Whitehall to be held tomorrow in Whitehall have been ironed out, and thousands are expected to attend if the weatherman cooperates. A parade will open the morning activities at 10:15 a.m., and the afternoon program will begin with several numbers by a massed county chorus of 500 voices, under the direction of Philip Thomte.

Commencement exercises for the 35 students being graduated from Whitehall High this year will be held next week Wednesday in the school gymnasium. Speakers for the class, elected by the graduates, will be James Holtan, Solveig Sletteland and Hans Aleckson.

Patricia Hegge, eighth-grader at the Whitehall school and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S.N. Hegge, received first place in the Helen Mears art contest sponsored by the L.A.M.P.C. club of Whitehall.

A total of 156 eighth-graders from 61 rural and state-graded schools in Trempealeau County are receiving their diplomas in a series of group commencement exercises that began Monday evening and will continue through this coming Tuesday.

With swollen streams, trout fishing wasn’t ideal on opening day Saturday, Jack Johnson and Richard Mattson each landed four-pound German brown trout. Lee Johnson brought home 10 brook trout, and Mrs. C. Andrew Kuhn, fishing by the Pleasantville bridge Monday evening, landed a 14-inch trout.

Pentecost Sunday, May 18, marked a red-letter day for the U.L. congregation at Pigeon Falls, when members who had packed the church for the confirmation of 12 young people adjourned to the site of the new church for the formal ground-breaking ceremonies. Already a low mound of limestone, quarried from the Herman Pape farm near Arcadia, extends for several rods along the building site. Volunteer crews appeared Monday to haul the pews, baptismal font and organ to the parish hall, and will later give time to the wrecking of the old building, so that the materials can be used in construction wherever possible.

Most Reverend John Patrick Treacy, STD is scheduled to officiate the dedication of the new St. Stanislaus Church in Arcadia. 


May 24, 1923

The law in regards to speeding in the village of Whitehall and past school grounds must be enforced to the letter without regard to the violator, if the safety of human life is worthy of protection. It has become a pleasant pastime for many to make South Main and Dewey streets a race track for speed demons, and the practice will continue as long as the law is not rigidly enforced, or until a human life pays the price for the recklessness, and public sentiment demands the enforcement of the law.

Five young ladies completed their training and were granted diplomas by the Community Hospital Friday evening, the commencement exercises being held at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Those who received certificates of graduation were the Misses Magda Ekern, Clara Sveum, Levea Andrews, Pelchie Jelen and Clara Refsnes.

A deal was closed this week whereby Dr. E.A. MacCornack disposed of his practice and interest in the clinic to Dr. H.C. Koch of Taylor. Dr. and Mrs. MacCornack, who came here in 1915, and son Laddie left today for Chicago, to meet with the foreign board of missions and complete the arrangements for entering into missionary work.

Miss Stella Sylfest of Blair has accepted a position as stenographer in the O.J. Eggum law office. She entered upon her duties Monday.

Ever Anderson is building a 30- by 70-foot tobacco shed on his farm in Irvin Coulee. Clark expects to have the shed well filled with his favorite weed next fall, as he is preparing to set out five acres of tobacco plants.

Roy Sonsolla purchased six high-grade heifers from Ole Erickson to add to his herd of dairy cattle. A few years ago, Roy purchased a pure-bred Holstein sire as a foundation for a profitable dairy herd, and is started in the right direction to be the owner of a herd of high-grade cattle, which will repay him liberally for the time and money he devoted to better breeding.

J.I. Dewey received a commission as land appraiser for the Federal Land Bank; his territory comprises of the southwestern counties in the state. 

“The Headless Horseman,” featuring Will Rogers as Ichabod Crane, was playing at the Unique in Arcadia. Orchestra music was a nightly feature.

Obituaries included Joseph McWeeny, three-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed McWeeny. 


May 19, 1898

J.C. Southworth has moved his jewelry outfit and now has quarters in Ed Romander’s harness shop.

Rogan is taking some fine stereoscopic views of Whitehall. Every resident should secure a number of them.

James Maloney of Hale, while calling Monday to renew his subscription, informed us that he has 315 ewes and 360 lambs. The gentleman is the largest sheep raiser in Trempealeau County.

The Women’s Relief Corps served an excellent chicken-pie dinner and supper at Scott’s Hall yesterday, proceeds of which are to go toward the suffering occasioned by the present war. The means were well patronized, and netted the corps about $15.

Fire in the Whitehall cemetery Monday forenoon did much irreparable damage to several lots. Many of the evergreen trees and much of the shrubbery suffered terribly, if it was not killed. The fire is supposed to have been set by children playing in the cemetery. This should be a warning to parents not to allow their children to make a playground of those premises.

Principal C.F. Huleatt has been engaged by the Whitehall school board to preside over out school for another year, also Miss Myrtle Whitney in the primary department. Our people appreciate the services of excellent teachers.

Ole C. Lee, of Square Bluff vicinity, was taken in by Marshal Abbot and lodged in the village lockup, where he remained over Sunday. Monday morning he was fined by Police Justice Scott $4 and costs for drunkenness and disorderly conduct, and in default if payment he was committed to the county jail for 20 days. Lee tried to cut himself out of the calaboose, but the method adopted did not succeed.

Mesdames W.J. Webb and J.B. Beach are circulating a subscription to raise funds with which to clean up, improve and beautify the village cemetery, and we are pleased to note that their effort is meeting with words of hearty commendation and flattering financial encouragement.

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