From Our Early Files Nov. 23, 2022





November 27, 1997

Whitehall district school board members got their first look at the district policy that eventually will govern local participation in the state’s new “school choice” program for public schools. At its November regular meeting, the board conducted its first official reading of the policy covering the state program, which is officially known as “open enrollment.” The board has until the end of the year to approve a policy, and will take final action at its Dec. 18 meeting. 

The first full year of Trempealeau County’s effort to turn itself into a destination for out-of-state motor coach tours was a success, according to organizers. The 1997 bus-tour program, which began in late May and concluded last week, drew a total of 22 tours, most of those in the last two months. Nearly 1,000 visitors toured various areas of the county on the 25 buses that came here, and were operated by two different Minneapolis, Minn.-area companies. 

Construction of the new Whitehall Family Aquatic Center is progressing as employees of Wapasha Construction Co. began pouring the concrete walls of the diving well last week. The new swimming pool and related recreational facilities are expected to be completed in time for the opening of the swimming season next spring.

During the recent National FFA Convention held in Kansas City, Julie Giemza showed the rest of the nation that she is one of the best showmen of dairy cattle. Giemza, daughter of Joseph and Jane Giemza, Arcadia, was one of nine dairy showmen in the national convention to be recognized with a gold ranking. This ranking means that Giemza is one of the best dairy showmen in the nation. 

Becky Rotering, Arcadia, received the American FFA degree, the highest degree awarded by the National FFA organization. This honor recognized demonstrated abilities and outstanding achievements in agriculture business, production, processing and service programs. Rotering, daughter of Jerry and Bernadette, is one of 1,711 members who received the degree at the National FFA Convention. Each recipient receives a gold American FFA key and a certificate. 

Brittney Lynn Dascher, the 1997-98 Miss Wisconsin Petite Princess, daughter of Tim and Julie Dascher of Independence, will be traveling to Orlando, Fla. To represent Wisconsin at the Miss American Petite Princess Pageant. 

By a margin of nearly three to one, voters in Galesville and the town of Gale said they want part of a growing silt delta removed and adjoining boat channels deepened. The advisory vote was 148 in favor of lake dredging and 59 opposed. Last week’s vote gives the Lake Marinuka Protection and Rehabilitation board a green light to proceed with dredging plans estimated at $300,000. 

At area tagging stations, the word from hunters of the opening weekend was “they didn’t see a while lot.” That’s what they told Bev Troppmann at Centerville Stop & Shop, where the 274 deer tags issued this year was down from the 332 issues in 1996. John’s 1 Stop in Ettrick saw tags fall from 812 to 547, Express Mart in Galesville went from 600 to 502 and Gil’s Sportsman’s Bar in Trempealeau fell from 75 to 42. 


November 30, 1972

The local chapter of the American Field Service, headed by Ed Ausderau, and the junior class voted recently to have an AFS student at Whitehall High. The juniors requested that the exchange student be a boy, and come from a Western European country.

The John O. Melby and Co. Bank and Pigeon Falls State Bank, along with the other members of the Trempealeau-Jackson Bankers Association and the American National Bank of Eau Claire, are offering a $2,000 reward for information in the Aug. 16 robbery of the Alma Center branch of the Jackson County Bank. Bank teller Claire Enerson was murdered during the robbery.

Barbara Berg is the 1972-73 recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award at Whitehall High School.

Officers and directors of the Arcadia Community Chest met last week to consider dispersal of funds collected in this year’s drive among the 11 participating organizations. Total receipts collected in the recently completed drive amounted to $4,338.05. 

Mr. and Mrs. B.W. Fetting were honored at a family gathering on Thanksgiving Day, celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary at the Parkarilla in Arcadia. Mr. Fetting, 92, and the former Hannah Korder, 87, were united in marriage in Fountain City. 

Those who have pledged to become stockholders in the nursing home met and elected a nine-member board of directors. They also authorized the board to enter a contract with Continental Manors Corp., which will provide guidance in architectural, financial, site selection and operating matters. Those elected to the board include Hazel Alvarez, Ray G. Anderson, Arild Engelien, Robert Longwell, Dr. C.B. Moen, Fred Nelson, John C. Quinn, Robert Ristow and Wm. A. Thomas. 

At a special meeting of the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District Monday evening, electors of the district voted to ask for a referendum to build a new elementary school in Galesville. The vote was 140 for and 117 against the proposal. 


November 27, 1947

Commencing tomorrow, the Green Bay and Western Railroad Co. has discontinued its contract with the Western Union Telegraph Co., according to Reuben Magnuson, station agent. Hereafter, any telegrams sent from Whitehall may be delivered to the Whitehall depot, where they will telephoned by the station agent to Western Union at Winona.

There are thousands of ways to earn “pin money” to supplement regular income, but one of the unique ones is trapping gophers. Frank Reck, 70-year-old retired farmer living in Independence, has hit upon this means of picking up a few extra dollars. In addition to the 10-cent bounty paid by the state, most farmers pay him 25 cents per gopher. Reck trapped nearly 200 gophers on the Andrew Pientok farm this fall, 135 on the Albert Hoff place nearby, and was engaged by a number of other farmers as well.

The Whitehall Gospel Tabernacle has purchased the residence on the southwest corner of Scranton and Ellis streets, owned by Mrs. William Remington of Osseo, as a parsonage. The Rev. A.D. Rowan, wife and son, who have been residing in the Frank Augustine farm home north of town, plan to move in sometime this week.

Ground was broken in Pigeon Falls Saturday for the skating rink which is to be located just north of the school grounds. The rink is the fourth major project organized by the Town Club since it was organized two years ago. The committee named to arrange for the work consisted of Wilhelm Ringlien, Curtis Kaas and Edwin Fremstad. Allen Edmundson, operating the town snow plow, built the earth wall that will contain the water, which will come from the creamery.

Harold Dettinger of York shipped 300 turkeys by truck to Albert Lea, Minn., Sunday evening, where he will market them through Land O’ Lakes. Arnold Haugen of Northfield took them there, and Mr. Dettinger accompanied them.

Ignatz Sonsalla, town of Arcadia farmer, living about three miles southwest of Independence, has recently completed a soil saving dam to carry away the excess water which has been causing serious damage to two of his best fields. Sonsalla, who owns a 200-acre farm is a cooperator with the Trempealeau County Soil Conservation District. 

Mrs. Paul Theis has been elected president of the Zion Lutheran Mothers Club. 

Guy Hagen has sold his restaurant to Ralph Kopp. Hagen has been commissioned second lieutenant and mustered out after five years of service. Future plans are to again don a soldier’s uniform. 


November 30, 1922

Mrs. E.C. Getts of Whitehall met instant death Saturday evening when the automobile she was driving left the road two miles this side of Independence and crashed into a guard rail, part of which passed through the windshield and pierced her chest. Her children, Kathryn and Allen, were riding with her but were not injured.

George and John Peterson dropped off the Rognlien bridge near Strum Monday, following an effort to avoid an approaching car. John was badly cut about the head, George was uninjured, and the truck they were riding in suffered some damage.

The Lincoln Farmers’ Telephone Co. has placed a metallic line between Whitehall and Blair, and Lineman Schilke says there will be no more trouble from the high line on this circuit.

The Whitehall High School girls who are interested in basketball elected their officers the past week. Beatrice Oerke was elected manager, and Norma Staff, captain. Owing to the occupation of the Village Hall for other purposes, the girls had no regular practice this week.

“Mikado” an opera representing Japanese court life of bygone days was scheduled to play at the auditorium in Arcadia.

The Leader reported: “That the coming winter will be short and mild is indicated by the number of birds that are still in the region. Robins have been seen here, dandelions are in bloom, strawberry blossoms have been seen and new leaf buds are forming on trees. Muskrats are not preparing homes for the winter, which also suggests that the winter will be mild.” 

Santa Claus visited the public schools and entertained the children. The temperature dropped to eight below. 

Beck and son are all ready for an excellent ice crop from Lake Marinuka. 

The Gilbertson Myhre Co. of Galesville has announced that the store will conduct only on a cash basis. They feel this is the only right way. Even the families of the Gilbertson Myhre can’t obtain anything on credit.

The Galesville Music Study Club will present a beautiful Christmas program in the city auditorium free to the public. Herberg’s Orchestra will provide musical numbers. 


November 25, 1897

There is a report that a pure white deer in Jackson County near Black River Falls was seen. The second time one has been seen since the coming of the white man. Years ago, it is said Old Chief Saw Somnie killed a white deer and tradition has it that misfortune followed the Chief ever after. No one wanted to try and kill this one. 

The J.O. Gilbertson and Co. bankrupt stock of general merchandise was sold for $9,000 at a sheriff sale Saturday, to S.H. Van Gorden and Son, merchants of Hixton and Taylor. The sale was made to satisfy the levy of Friends Bros. of Milwaukee against Gilbertson for $3,800, but Sheriff Jensen was restrained by a Milwaukee circuit court order from turning the money over to Friend Bros., and there promises to be considerable litigation before the leading claims are satisfied.

The water wheel and dynamo for the electric light plant have arrived and are being placed in position. Before many moons, we shall be able to touch the button and there will be light.

The New London Press says that the old reliable Green Bay and Western Railroad will supply the line with 150 new box cars, a number of new passenger coaches and several engines. This road is rapidly coming to the front in railroad circles, and merit the increased business they are now enjoying. The management from the head down are good fellows.

Pigeon Falls — The ice on the pond is in fine condition. Only the bright moon is wanting to make the sport perfect these evenings.

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