From Our Early Files Nov. 10, 2021




Nov. 14, 1996

What was advertised as the last of the “easy” city of Whitehall budgets won’t be as easy on the city property taxpayers as it could have been. The 1997 budget recommended for adoption last week by the city council’s finance committee would result in a 17 percent increase in the city-purpose tax levy. The spending-and-taxing package for the coming year is to go before a public hearing and a special council meeting at the city center on Nov. 27.

A Janesville man charged with stealing a rifle from a Whitehall store has been convicted of a lesser offense. David Wells pleaded no contest last week Tuesday in Trempealeau County Circuit Court to one count of disorderly conduct. Wells, 48, had been charged Aug. 9 with the theft of a firearm, a felony. Wells had been arrested the preceding day, after he allegedly took a gun and case from Holtan’s Jewelry and Gifts. Wells told a store employee that he had just purchased the gun and that it was jammed, but that he would take it home and bring it back only if he could not get it to work. It turns out that he hadn’t actually bought the gun. 

The downtown district in any city or town is traditionally the place where businesses have located throughout the history of our civilization. The importance of this fact has been realized by a group of business owners who are located on Main St. in Arcadia. The Business Improvement District (BID) has been in existence for the past five years. In that time they have tried to do their part in revitalizing the downtown district in the city. There are approximately 100 members of the BID in Arcadia. 

With the Christmas season around the corner and the busy schedules involved, the Arcadia Schools Band Boosters, a group of parents in support of the local band program, developed an event designed to help the community. The boosters will be taking orders for Christmas cookies, which will be made on Dec. 14 and available to be picked up at the junior high and high school concerts Dec. 15 and 16. 

The mayor’s advisory committee on Marynook appears to be on the verge of making its final recommendation to the city for use of the 30-acre tract. The committee met Nov. 6 and received several recommendations from advisors. Consideration of a vision statement wills tart at the group’s next meeting, said Ken Kopp, chairman of the committee. A draft may be ready that day. 

Hundreds of Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School students and their parents and friends paid final respects to Craig Brommerich, the 16-year-old varsity basketball player who collapsed on the court and died Nov. 9. Saturday afternoon’s death in Holmen, where preseason club basketball was being played, triggered the school district’s crisis response plan. 

After 20 years as district attorney in Trempealeau County, LaVerne Michalak is headed back to full-time private practice at his law office in Independence. Michalak, 48, lost his bid for reelection by 195 votes, a turn around from two years ago when he won by 147 votes. 

Nathan Kling, a member of the Blair-Taylor FFA chapter, will receive the American FFA Degree, the organizations highest award. Kling is a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-River Falls. 

Christmas in November? Well, even though this is not the official month of the much-awaited religious holiday, it will get one in the Christmas spirit with its festive music and décor. Oodles and oodles of gift purchasing can be done at the 10th annual Blair Christmas Shop this Saturday in both gymnasiums at Blair-Taylor High School.


Nov. 18, 1971

Wayne Holte of Strum, operator of the Farmer’s Union feed mill at Eleva, was appointed sheriff last week Wednesday by Gov. Patrick Lucey. Holte, a Democrat, succeeds Republican Stanley Amundson, who died Oct. 10. John Killian of Arcadia was named undersheriff, replacing Richard Ellingson of Whitehall.

Starting in November, the Whitehall Lions Club will have as its guest each month one outstanding boy from Whitehall High School. The club’s first guest will be Steve Stendahl, president of the student council.

Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council is coordinating community efforts to assist the Lester Steinke family, who Pleasantville-area home and personal belongings were destroyed by fire recently.

The three top soil and water conservation farmers for 1972 in Trempealeau County were Olin Winsand, Whitehall; Gerald Byom, Ettrick and Clement Pronschinske, Arcadia. 

A 1972 operating budget of $247,000 was adopted by the Arcadia city council Thursday night. No one appeared at the public hearing on the proposed budget as published and it was adopted without change. 

Eldon Berg was reappointed to a new three-year term on the Arcadia utility commission. At the same meeting, city councilmen voted to contact the state for approval to acquire lands from Prosper and Olivia Schank for park purposes. The property is east of St. Joseph Ave. and in the low area adjoining St. Stanislaus Church property. 

The highlight of the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders’ banquet held Nov. 9 was awarding the Friend of 4-H award to the Arcadia Veterinary Clinic. Receiving the award from Loren Wolfe, vice president of the 4-H Leaders Association, was Dr. Paul Dettloff. Others associated with the clinic are Drs. W.L. Burnap and T.K. Fetsch. 

Residents of the Gale-Ettrick Joint School District No. 1 did not approve a $1,250,000 bond issue t construct a new elementary school in a referendum Tuesday. The vote was 394 in favor and 753 against.

The 1971 gun deer season opens Saturday. Hunters must register each deer taken within the season zone where it was killed by 5 p.m. of the day following the close of the season in that zone. 

Galesville Lions Club President Troy Stellrecht, announced that the club will again sponsor their annual Christmas home decorating contest. Judging will be done in two categories, religious theme and general, with three cash prizes to be awarded in each class. 

A new 40-bed addition is being constructed at Grand View Home in Blair at a cost of $280,000.

A large loose calf barn to house 128 calves was built on the Raymond Smith farm, north of Ettrick.


Nov. 14, 1946

The price control board at Whitehall, serving Trempealeau and two other counties, closed last week Monday after five years of service.

Richard Shea of Eau Claire has purchased the Snack Shop in Whitehall from Lester Hanson, who erected his restaurant last spring. Mr. Hanson sold out because he is too busy buying furs at this season of the year.

While en route to the Omer Thompson home in Fuller Coulee Sunday, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Johnson and son Odin of Curran Valley collided with another car on a narrow bridge, and had to be driven home by Mr. Thompson. The other car involved was occupied by seven boys.

Moving pictures taken by Colonel of the Whitehall-Arcadia football game Nov. 1, which ended in a scoreless tie, settle beyond dispute that the Norsemen actually scored a touchdown. The film shows Herbert Johnson catching a pass from Dave Larson inches above the ground in the end zone, although the referee ruled it was not a score.

A 10-point buck ran into a car being driven by Leo Fernholz coming toward Arcadia from Galesville last week Tuesday evening at about 8:15 p.m. The accident occurred near the Ed Gilbertson store on Highway 93 in Tamarack. The car, a Chevrolet Coach, was ditched by the impact and about $50 damage was done to the vehicle. The deer received broken legs and had to be destroyed. 

Clayton Kolve, 32, farmer in the Chimney Rock community, was seriously injured in an accident on Highway 121 between Independence and Whitehall about 4:45 p.m. Friday afternoon near Rasmussen farm. Driving a Model A sedan, he ran squarely into an Oshkosh four-wheel drive truck with trailer hauling a bulldozer, owned by the county. A door had to be removed before Kolve could be extracted from the car by his brother and wife. He has a dislocated hip, fractured arm, facial cuts and body bruises as a result of the crash. He is listed in fair condition. The driver of the truck, Everett Blaha, was not injured. 

The Fischer Well Drilling of Durand completed drilling a new 220 foot well for the Blair Packing Corp.

The Blair Legion Club will put on a Thanksgiving dance at the Blair Village Hall.


Nov. 17, 1921

A meeting of the representatives of the Bell Telephone Co. with the officers of the Lincoln Farmers Telephone Co. was held Friday evening. These meetings have been held with nearly all the farmer companies in the county, and a report will be made to the Bell people, which it is hoped will ultimately result in giving the local farmer companies long distance service.

The Whitehall village board, at its meeting Monday night, aside from routine business, employed M.T. Elstad has night watch. There were 15 bids for this position, running from $45 to $100 a month. Mr. Peterson of the board of education appeared before the board asking for the use of the Village Hall for basketball practice, which request was granted; practice will be held there each day from 4 to 6 p.m. The board also authorized purchase from Wm. Mason of two lots, known as the Jodahlen property, for public square and hitching purposes.

On Nov. 6, as Mrs. Ed Scott was about to prepare her Sunday meal, the door of her cottage was thrown open and in rolled chicken pies, hot mashed potatoes, escalloped potatoes, pickles, mince and pumpkin pies, bread, baked beans, cake and everything good to eat. About 25 friends and relatives had gathered to remind Mr. and Mrs. Scott that is was their wedding anniversary.

George Bohnstedt advertised horse shoeing. 

The first basketball game of the season, Alma vs. Company A was scheduled at the Armory Hall in Arcadia, with a dance following. 


Nov. 12, 1896

The village board has passed an ordinance that practically shuts out transient merchants from doing business in Whitehall. Another gives the marshal authority to care for teams left on the streets in inclement weather by thoughtless and inconsiderate owners. A word to the wise is sufficient.

An eight-inch snowfall this week, and we now have pretty fair sleighing.

The sparring match between Joe Donovan and John Maber at Opera Hall last night drew 17 men, two women and a kid. Donovan knocked out Maber in two rounds.

C.W. Van Horn closed his meat market here last week, and departed for New London, where he will embark in the same line of business. We are sorry to lose Mr. Van Horn, who is a good citizen, and made many friends while a residence of Whitehall. John Nowitski resigned his position with Simon Olson and Co. Monday, and will leave to take a position with Mr. Van Horn’s new business. John is a first-class butcher and a genial fellow.

Liver and Torgerson’s hardware store at Independence caught fire in the basement of the building late Tuesday night, but the fire was quickly extinguished by the fire company.

Blair — A fracas occurred at a dance in Bear Creek Valley the other night, and one of the participants in the revelry was pummeled up considerably. He caused the arrest of his antagonist, who was made to pay a fine and costs of $10 by Justice Sly.

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