From Our Early Files Nov. 17, 2021



Nov. 21, 1996

One of the arguments made against Trempealeau County’s one-half percent sales tax when the question was being debated in 1995 was that the new levy would be used as a way for county government to get around a state-imposed tax limit. After the first full budget cycle using the sales tax is complete, it’s a fair question to raise again. The answer is a qualified “no” – not so far, but not without debate. 

For a while there Friday, it looked like local teenagers would be safer if they stayed home. But the weather for the first “Safe Night” events to be held turned out to be not as nasty as predicted. More than 200 Whitehall Middle and High school students turned out for get-togethers, which were a part of a statewide campaign to provide a safe recreational outing for teens. 

The Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors last week Tuesday gave county property owners a bit of a break – not by spending less money in the coming year, but by taxing less than proposed. The board, during the annual budget session held that day, approved the 1997 budget as proposed, containing a total of not quite $29.5 million in spending. Most of that money is state and federal funds that pass through the county government, but nearly $4.5 million of it comes from the county levy on real estate. 

One way which the rural communities of Trempealeau County will be able to improve the quality of education their children receive is by having each family connected to the internet. Up to now, only the Western Wisconsin Communications Cooperative, has been the only entity which could provide access to the internet and the world wide web. This past week, Dodge native John Tuschner has set up a way in which people in remote rural areas will be able to be connected to the internet while not having to pay a long distance charge to be connected to the service. 

The Arcadia city council is proposing a tentative budget with a tax levy of $465,361.51, the same as it was a year ago. 

Winners of the 1996 Western Wisconsin Area Land Conservation speaking contest were Amy Halama, Whitehall; Elizabeth Rindahl, Arcadia and Katy Bice, Galesville. 

Who’s having the easier time of it? Larry Moore the teacher quit last July or the 17-year-old high school senior who’s been smoking since she was 14 and said she’s going to kick the habit Thursday, the day of the Great American Smokeout. Moore, the teacher, had been lighting up since he was 16. It wasn’t the Great American Smokeout campaign that helped him, he said, it was a combination of factors. The student, who asked that her name not be used, said it helps that her boyfriend doesn’t smoke. He hasn’t asked her to quit, though, and it wouldn’t make any difference because “It’s up to me, no matter what anybody else says to me…Thursday will be my last day.” 

City spending in 1997 will be virtually unchanged from 1996, but an increase in aids from other governmental units coupled with an increase in the tax base, will allow a 10 percent drop in the new tax levy. The budget approved by the Galesville city council shows a levy on local property of $277,132, that’s down by $31,167 from this year.

The Bank of Galesville is contributing $15,000 and one of its officers is donating $5,000 more for the design and construction of a unique clock on the Square, as part of an upgrade to Galesville’s historic central business district. 

The 10 school buses providing transportation services for the Blair-Taylor School District will soon be equipped with a video box component and camera. The reason for installing the bus camera system is to curb the behavior issues, giving the bus driver an “extra set of eyes.” 

Erica Strasburg, a senior at Blair-Taylor High School, has been selected to receive the 1997 Award of Excellence from the Women’s Sports Advocates of Wisconsin, Inc. 


Nov. 25, 1971

Congressman Vernon Thomson has advised Tri-County Memorial Hospital that it has received an increase in its Hill-Burton grant. The $2,402.22 is in addition to the amount already awarded for the new long-term care facility.

The city council Thursday awarded the bid for a $315,000 general obligation bond issue to the John O. Melby and Co. Bank and First National Bank of Minneapolis. The bond issue consolidates the city’s borrowing needs, including $110,000 for a new swimming pool, $65, 000 for acquisition and development of the new park, and $65,000 for acquisition of an industrial park site.

A total of 283 deer, three more than last year, were registered at the Duane Foss Mobil station over the opening weekend of the gun season.

At long last, the Arcadia schools will have available for their use educational television programs. The state legislature recently authorized the installation of television equipment near the site of the present state FM radio network between West Salem and Holmen. Scheduled for completion in late summer of 1972, it is expected that education programs will start in the fall. 

Bank debits in Arcadia during October 1971 showed an increase of nine percent from the same period a year ago, according to statistics released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. 

Deer registration at Rebhahn’s Service Station, the Arcadia check point, stood at 370 Monday afternoon, 878 less than the 457 registered on the opening weekend a year ago. 

“Too many rural tax dollars are going to urban communities,” Rep. Vernon Thomson said in Galesville Monday morning. Thomson spoke informally with several local people at the Bank of Galesville and visited around town. He said of $24 million spent for pollution control, $22 million went to urban areas. 

State and national departments of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service have approved four sites for first-year construction and two others for later construction in the French-Beaver Creek Watershed in Trempealeau and Jackson counties. All sites are east of Ettrick. There are also plans for dikes in Ettrick and Galesville.


Nov. 21, 1946

Whitehall will have a new gents’ furnishing store as of Nov. 23. The proprietor is James R. Garaghan, who purchased the former Thompson building, on the corner east of the Model building, following his discharge from military service. While present market conditions cannot supply all the merchandise that a dealer would like to have, Mr. Garaghan was fortunate in securing a nearly complete line.

Two Whitehall boys, Richard Matson and John Speerstra, were among the seven Scouts who received First Class awards at the Court of Honor held Monday in Galesville. Jerome Jacobson and Richard Rice received Second Class awards.

The first amateur program was held at the Pix Theatre in Whitehall Saturday afternoon, in conjunction with a matinee of the regular Saturday feature. This is a new program planned by Colonel Larson, Pix manager, as Saturday matinees have not been offered here previously. Carolyn Mattson and Jacqueline Main, respectively, won the first and second prizes with their singing, and Gary Larson was third with a rope-spinning stunt.

Three automobile accidents were reported in the area last week. One of those accidents involved Jacob Jick, Fox Coulee, who pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after his car and one driven by Melvin Arnold, Arcadia, collided at 6:30 p.m. on Highway 93. There was $50 damage to one vehicle and $10 to the other.

Lester Thompson, 25, Blair, died from gunshot wounds at the home of his mother, Mrs. Minnie Thompson, three miles out of that village at 3 a.m. Sunday. Authorities who are investigating have not decided whether it was an accident or a suicide. The fatal shooting occurred in Thompson’s bedroom and the full charge from a 12-gauge shotgun hit the young man in the midsection. It is believed that Thompson could have been getting his weapon ready for the upcoming deer hunt and it discharged. 

A Sadie Hawkins party, sponsored by the Blair FHA girls, will be held in the school. So girls, grab your man and come. 


Nov. 24, 1921

On Nov. 9, the Guernsey breeders of the community gathered at the Village Hall and organized the Whitehall Guernsey Cattle Club. Officers elected were Peter Speerstra, president; Geo. Lebakken, vice president; and A.E. Nehring, secretary-treasurer.

Winter sports are ushered in by the continued cold, which appears to have set in for an old-fashioned winter. The mill pond is frozen and skating is being indulged in, C.E. Long, high school athletic director, is getting his boys in trim for hockey, and the sport bids fair to rival that of former seasons. Coasting and skiing are also attracting the young folks.

The windows at the Village Hall have been barricaded and the baskets are in place for the popular game of basketball.

York — We understand that there are 10 sick on one family with typhoid fever. We hope this dreadful disease does not spread any farther.

A night fire threatened Water Street in Galesville at 10 p.m. Monday night.  Danger of a sweep along the street was prevented. It was believed a spark from electric motor ignited oil scraps about the work floor of the Ole Jorgenson blacksmith shop was the start of the blaze. 

A marked change has taken place in the Gilbertson-Myhre Co. building, a three story building on the southeast of Main and Allen Streets in Galesville. A row of one story frame stores and shops has passed on and a basement and foundation are laid for a modern block, but not yet completed. From 1884 the two-story building was a landmark. The store started in 1873 has been made over many times. When completed, this store will be one of the finest and best-equipped establishments in western Wisconsin. 

Members of the fromer sewing club met at the home of Mrs. Cyril Nelson, Ettrick. Those attending were Mrs. Edward Anderson, Mrs. Grace Johnson, Misses Ruby Purple, Alice Feton, Edith Bartlett, Violet Kenyon, Millie Sagen and Elsie Uhl. 


Nov. 19, 1896

A.H. Rogers of Independence put 61 hives of bees into winter quarters this week.

George Birdsell helped the Ettrick cornet band out with music for the Republican ratification meeting at Galesville Saturday night.

Miss Ethel Ferguson is sick at her home in Sumner. Miss Emma Solsrud has charge of the intermediate department of the village school during the former’s indisposition.

It is an interesting sight to look at the fine display of apples in John Gilbertson and Co.’s cellar, which the firm received last week in bulk — a car-load. It reminds us of our younger days, when as a boy we were won to visit the large cider mills in the Green Mountain State, where were stored in bins thousands of bushels of all kinds of apples, in waiting for the press.

Solsrud and Kidder and Co. and Adams and Taylor put in bids to supply the district school board with 50 cords of wood, each making propositions to contract for the amount of $2.19 per cord. Contracts were let to both parties to furnish 25 cords each.

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