From Our Early Files May 3, 2023 Edition





May 7, 1998

Members of the Whitehall High School small ensemble that received a first rating at Saturday’s state music contest were: Greg Van Sickle, Jerry Tiffany, Mandy Kampa, Leah Hanson, Matt Halama, Chris Manka, Todd Getts, Mandy Gauger, Ryan Mickelson, Eric Wilmeth, Alyssa Glanzman, Liz Hauser, Eric Moe and Stephanie Ekern.

So far, most Whitehall property owners don’t seem very upset about their new property assessments. City Clerk Lynn Johnson reported that there had been only a few phone calls about the new property values. The new assessments, the result of the first revaluation of property in the city in more than 15 years, were mailed out Friday. The total value of city residential property increased by 54 percent and most of the individual assessments sent out reflected that. 

The Pigeon Falls village board learned Monday that the village had cleared the next-to-last hurdle in its efforts to restore the failing Pigeon Creek mill dam. Village president Kermit Hanvold informed the trustees that the purchase of the former Falls Farm Service property, which includes the dam, had been completed. The village now has the proof of ownership required by the state Department of Natural Resources order, and necessary for a state grant that the board is applying for. 

 Rollin Possehl began serving in Arcadia government 31 years ago when he became a member of the Arcadia Utility Commission. He was first elected to the city council in 1972 and, in all, has served 15 years on the council, 12 on the Arcadia-Glencoe fire board and five on the utility commission. His time in public service came to an end this spring, however, when he retired from the city council. 

Members of the Arcadia High School Junior Prom Court are Dustin Waletzko, Todd Pronschinske, Lynn Patzner, Mandy Kupietz, Rich Kiekhoefer, Glen Pronschinske, Jessie Severinski, Queen Jessie Frahm, King Eric Losinski, and Crystal Slaby.

Kim Nelson received three awards at the Wisconsin Association of Meat Producers held in Madison recently. Representing Pat’s Country Market, Nelson received grand champion bone-in hams-heavyweight division; reserve grand champion bone-in hams-lightweight division and reserve grand champion semi-boneless hams. 

The Decora Lodge of Galesville has donated about 550 children’s identification kids called KID ID to Galesville and Ettrick elementary schools and Kindernook. The kits were sent home to parents as a way to help protect children in case of an emergency. The kit contains a fingerprinting strip and an area to record all pertinent information about the child. There is also an area for the child’s picture. 

The use of focus groups to collect information for the community assessment in the Ettrick area has been completed. The community assessment began in January with the help of Pat Malone of the Trempealeau County University Extension office. A total of 66 individuals participated in the focus group sessions. They were asked what makes Ettrick a good place to live and what would make Ettrick a better place to live. The development of the community center was a universal answer to the second question, Malone said. 


May 10, 1973

New, tougher federal guidelines covering sewage disposal are threatening the agreement between the city of Whitehall and the Whitehall Packing Co. to build a new wastewater treatment facility capable of handling the local plant’s heavy waste load.

There were some abstentions, but no opposing votes, Tuesday afternoon as the Whitehall Teachers Association voted to ratify the master contract negotiated with the district school board last month. Named as new WTA officers at Tuesday’s meeting were Elwood Maudal, president; Myron Rice, vice president; Mrs. William Risch, secretary; and Mrs. Larry Sosalla, treasurer.

At last week Monday’s Whitehall High athletic banquet, Brian Borreson was named the winner of the Norse Award, and the National “W” award was presented to Gary Larson.

Deanna Matchey took the only first for the Norse girls in their first track meet of the season at Osseo, winning the discus.

The Arcadia Ambulance Service received high praise this week from John Radcliffe, state highway safety coordinator who called the Arcadia News-Leader from Madison this week. Radcliffe observed that Arcadia now has two fully-equipped ambulances, whose operation is entrusted to police officers and trained volunteers, all of whom have had advanced first aid courses designed to keep emergency personnel abreast of the very latest knowledge of techniques for sustaining life for persons seriously hurt in accidents. 

Jesse Kreher, Arcadia, a 50-year member of the Arcadia Masonic Lodge, was presented with a 50-year certificate on behalf of the grand lodge by Victor Corsie, Seventh District deputy, at a recent meeting. 

Twenty-six solo and ensemble events involving more than 60 students from Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School traveled to Eau Claire to compete in the state solo-ensemble contest. The musicians returned with 15 firsts, eight seconds and three thirds. Soloists receiving firsts were: Sharyn Becker, clarinet; Gordie Jacobs, tuba; Ann Kribs, flute; Sheryl Becker, trombone; James Larson, baritone sax; Wendy Hilton, piano; Shawn Ofsdahl, piano; Lisa Steffes, piano and Bart Near, vocal. 

Three G-E-T students received “A” ratings in the state forensics meet in Madison. They were Debbie Lund in public address; Lynn Parkhurst, four-minute speech and Katy Twesme, oratory. 


May 6, 1948

A committee of the clerks or other appointed officers of the various school boards of this area was set up at a school reorganization meeting held at the courthouse Wednesday evening, called by the Trempealeau County school committee. This was the initial step taken in a project to form one school district of all the area served by the Whitehall High School. Such a school district, if finally organized, would have one school board, consisting of five members, two from the city of Whitehall and three from the surrounding rural districts.

Three members of the Whitehall chapter of the Future Farmers of America will receive the state farmer degree at the annual state FFA convention to be held at Green Lake this weekend. They are Gerald Myren, Ardell Linnerud and Heinrich Vohs.

Toby Marsh, Arthur Hanson, Rolf Ambli, Gary Johnson, Robert Ovre and Roger Erickson, members of Cub Den No. 2, accompanied by their den mother, Mrs. Basil Erickson, went on a marshmallow and wiener roast at Round Peak in the town of Arcadia Friday evening. The youngsters got a good hike, as Round Peak is one of the highest hills in the Arcadia area.

“I wouldn’t spend another year on Guam for $50,000,” declares Anton Thompson, Whitehall electrician, who just returned from a year’s labor there for the U.S. government. But he would go back to Alaska, where he worked for many months during the recent war.

Clarence Mathson announces that a committee, including Ralph Schansberg and Irving Tweeten, has drawn up a petition for a public hearing on the proposed new elementary school district for Pigeon Falls, and that the county school committee will be in attendance. The meeting will be held at the United Lutheran Hall, and all citizens are urged to be present.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Johnson and sons have moved to Whitehall from York and are occupying the second-story rooms in the Jacob Engevold residence. Mr. Johnson is employed at the Land O’ Lakes plant.

Mrs. George Schmidt, Arcadia, was elected president of the Bi-County Federation of Women’s Clubs at the annual Neighborhood Day program held in Whitehall last week. She succeeds Mr. J.E. Rhode of Whitehall. 


May 10, 1923

The band boys gave an excellent recital at the hall Friday evening, and the receipts of the gate will add to their well-nigh-depleted treasury, the sum of about $20. It was really too bad that their splendid efforts were not better remunerated. In addition to the band recital, Attorney Eggum gave a splendid talk, Mrs. C.B. Melby rendered two fine solos, Rev. and Mrs. Hofstad favored the audience with a couple choice duets, and the Rive orchestra played some pleasing numbers.

Judge E.C. Higbee was in Whitehall yesterday hearing applications for citizenship. Lars Gjerde of Trempealeau and Amos E. Nehring of Preston were admitted as citizens.

For the purposes of raising funds for park improvements, a two-part program will be given at the Village Hall next week Wednesday, consisting of the attractive operetta, “Let’s Go Traveling,” given by the children, and a humorous sketch, “Those Husbands of Ours,” given by seven local women.

Joseph Johnson and Henry Jacobson of Pigeon Falls motored to Whitehall Sunday to see John Skoyen, who is sick at the hospital, and on the way down, a stray bullet came whizzing across the road and hi the windshield of Mr. Johnson’s car, breaking the glass, which cut up the latter’s hands and face, also one of Mr. Jacobson’s hands.

Barnyard golf was in order with our local fans until our eighth winter of the year, which arrived in splendor Monday, intercepted the sport. We have several who are quite accurate at the tossing of the horseshoes, and will no doubt be looking for outside worlds to conquer.

A.E. Van Sickle moved his family and household goods to Merrillan yesterday, where he will be associated with his son Clair in the meat market. The Van Sickle people have been very highly-respected citizens of our community for over 40 years, and we regret their departure.

AHS alumni elected Rudolph N. Pahl, president; Miss Helen Berg, vice president; Mrs. Ed Fernholz, secretary and Miss Celia Hohmann, treasurer. 


May 5, 1898

A.E. Wood began Nels Hammerstad’s new building on Scranton Street yesterday.

Solsrud, Kidder and Co. shipped 91 cases of eggs Tuesday. This firm does a large and successful business.

The closing hop of the Whitehall dancing club will be given this Friday night. Everybody invited.

W.H. Stallings has reshingled the American house barn, and now masons are underpinning it with a solid stone wall.

Whitehall citizens are patriotic. Flags are floating from many of our public buildings and private residences, while “Old Glory” floats daily over Main Street.

W.H. Stallings has begun excavating for a 28- by 50-foot, two-story addition to the American House. The entire old part of the building is to be remodeled, and the hostelry steam-heated and electric-lighted.

N.L. Fredrickson has graded his residence grounds, set out evergreen and shade trees, and otherwise improved the premises. Lou has one of the pleasantest and most desirable properties in town.

James Wood left last Friday for St. Paul to enlist in the Minnesota National Guard. This young man is the first Whitehall citizen to offer his services to the government, but there are others who will go to the front in case Uncle Sam should need their help.

Andrew Bensend had the misfortune to have his right leg broken between the knee and hip this morning, while witnessing the removal of the Fuller building by James Mattison. The limb was struck by the sweep of the capstan, which knocked him down and just missed his head, barely saving his life.

The purchase by Ed Romander of the front portion of the old Adams and Taylor building on Main Street and the lot, 20 feet front and extending back to Ellis Street, was one of the important real estate deals of the past week. Mr. Romander is fitting the property up for his harness shop, giving him one of the best locations for business on the street. The rear portion of the building has been bought and moved by W.G. Fuller.

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