From Our Early Files November 16, 2022





November 20, 1997

What used to be Whitehall’s City Hall might end up being the property of Trempealeau County. The city will offer to give the building – replaced two years ago by the former Memorial High School building, now called the City Center – to the county, anyway. The city council voted last week to make that offer in response to a request from the county government.

A man who kept a runaway 15-year-old girl at the Osseo motel that he managed has been charged with felony sexual assault. Richard Morris apparently kept notes, and may have taken photographs, of his sexual encounters with the girl. Morris, 47, made his initial appearance on one count of second-degree sexual assault on Oct. 29, the day after the teen was found in his room at the motel. In that room, investigators found notes and a diary, both describing his sexual encounters, with the 15-year-old and other females, and eight rolls of undeveloped film.

The new main entrance at Whitehall’s Tri-County Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home, located near the corner of Lincoln and Park streets, should be ready for business early next week. 

The Arcadia city council heard a presentation by David Burbach, director of aquatic services for Burbach Aquatics Architects & Engineers, regarding a new city aquatic center last week. The council is seriously considering trying to build a family aquatic center at Memorial Park. 

Construction workers placed cement slabs in the Trempealeau River last week for the new canoe landing located just off River Street in Arcadia. The plans to construct the canoe landing were created by Roy Forsyth to fulfill requirements for the Eagle Scout Award, the highest award that can be obtained by a boy scout. 

Officially, it’s called a “semi-automatic external defibrillator.” To folks on the street, including someone who may have keeled over with a heart attack, that’s another way of saying a device that may save lives. In the simplest terms, the electronic device measures heart activity, then tells the operator whether to shock the heart, possibly restoring a beat. The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau First Responders are training with three of the devices. About 40 of the group’s members are completing nine hours of training leading to a Jan. 1 introduction of the device on calls where a heart condition is reported or suspected. 

A key city councilman has given his backing to a proposal for an overhead light and flashing signals at both ends of a crosswalk where a G-E-T high school student was injured on Oct. 20. The streetlight would cost an estimated $1,600, said Gary Redsten, who chairs the Galesville city council streets and sidewalks committee. The flashing lights would need state approval because the crosswalk is on Highway 53. 

The board of directors of the Bank of Galesville has announced the promotion of Scott Kopp to be the president and chief executive officer. 


November 23, 1972

Mrs. Thurman Fremstad of Pigeon Falls was appointed to the Whitehall district school board Monday night, replacing the late Mrs. Livia Sletteland. After she was appointed by unanimous vote, Mrs. Fremstad was reached by telephone at a church meeting and asked to come to the remainder of the school board meeting.

The Whitehall city council delayed until its Dec. 11 meeting a decision on whether local taverns and liquor stores will be allowed to stay open part of the day of Christmas Eve, which this year falls on a Sunday.

Augusta defeated Whitehall 60-52 in Friday’s Dairyland Conference opener for both teams, the first time in nine seasons that the Beavers have beaten a Ken Stellpflug-coached Norse team. John Peterson had 12 points to lead Whitehall.

A full-page color photograph of the Morris Jensen farm, located on Highway 93 just south of Arcadia, was used as the cover for the 1972 summer edition of “Wisconsin Trails” magazine. The photo was taken from the highway and looks across fields of green and gold to the farm buildings in the background. 

A new one-million gallon water storage facility for the city of Arcadia was nearing completion on the hillside just east of the city limits. Final inspection of the huge reservoir was made by engineers from Owen Ayres and Associates, city engineers, and Fred Gillmore, Whitehall, head of the farmers Home Administration office. 

Ricky Wakeen, 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wakeen of Onalaska, was shot in the head in a deer hunting accident near Trempealeau Saturday. 


November 20, 1947

In compliance with a petition presented by the statutory number of veterans in Trempealeau County, the board of supervisors, at the closing session of its annual meeting on Friday, created a veterans’ housing authority to investigate the need for veterans’ housing and what can be done about easing the shortage.

Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Anderson of Black River Falls, who purchased the stock of merchandise from Mrs. Marian Garaghan, announce the opening of their gents’ clothing store in Whitehall this Saturday.

Three Whitehall musicians will perform with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra when it gives the first of three concerts for the season this coming Tuesday. They are Whitehall High School students Hans Aleckson and Marie Rice, and Norman Selsness, instrumental music teacher at the local school.

More than 100 citizens from the rural community and Whitehall attended the Whitehall-Pigeon Rod and Gun Club party held at the City Hall last Wednesday.

A quarter-century at the switchboard of the Farmers Telephone Co. in Pigeon Falls is the record achieved by Mrs. Henry Jacobson. She served as night operator for six years, and chief operator for 19, this in addition to rearing a family of six children and doing her own housework.

Thompson’s Groceries in York will observe their fifth anniversary in business Friday, and will serve coffee to all who visit there store that day.

Eight $1 prizes have been awarded by the Pix Theatre to children up through eighth grade who competed in a coloring contest in which they colored a poster advertising “The Red Stallion,” the movie that will be shown at the local theatre Nov. 23-25. The prizes went to Gerald Osgood and Stanley Johnson, Carpenter School; Marie Smieja and Delores Christianson, Cripps School; Marie Phillipson, Coral City School; Betty Lou Sluga, Elk Creek School; and Carol Rene and Henry Sygulla, Whitehall School.

Riverview Lanes, Arcadia’s new recreation center, will celebrate its grand opening on Nov. 22. Although the lanes has been in use for a few weeks, the formal opening was postponed until all of the equipment was installed and the work on the building completed. 

In compliance with a petition presented by the statutory number of war veterans in Trempealeau County, the county board of supervisors created a veterans housing authority on a countywide basis to investigate the need for veterans’ housing and see what needs to be done about easing the situation. 

Three Galesville men have returned from a 3,200-mile western trip in quest of big game. In the group were Arnold French, Ted Dusseau and Hugh Ellison. Snow impeded the hunt, many animals were sighted, but none taken. In order to return home, they were forced to go through the western gate of Yellowstone Park, through Idaho. 

A fire on the Norman Oines farm destroyed the 36-by-72 barn. All the 38 head of cattle and a team of horses were saved by neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Oines were not at home. The blaze was noticed by Mrs. Josie Peterson who called the fire department. 


November 23, 1922

Marshal Thompson had a busy day Sunday, and as a result, two booze fighters were occupying cots at the village lockup that night. Oscar Olson, a Jackson County farmer, ran into a telephone pole at the corner of Dewey and West streets. The pole was broken and the car had just life enough to get to the Auto Sales Co., which is where the marshal found Olson. A bottle of liquor with more than Volstead percentage was found on his person, and a charge of intoxication and transportation of liquor was lodged against him. The Lincoln Farmers Telephone Co. have a claim against Olson for breaking the pole.

Carl Jahr of Whitehall and Julius Jahr of Independence have some very valuable oil stock, according to an article in the Great Falls, Mont., paper. They have an interest in the Fifty-Six Petroleum Corp., which has eight producing wells in Cat Creek, and recently paid a 60 percent dividend.

Chairman Gus Thomley of Northfield had a rough time of attending the Jackson County board session two weeks ago. Before going to Black River Falls, he fell a dozen feet or more at his barn, but stayed through the meeting and attended the banquet Friday evening.

Several minor accidents were reported Friday night, mostly due to the heavy rain and bad roads. Two cars hit in a head-on collision just outside the Whitehall village limits. Both parties escaped unhurt, but both cars were badly damaged. Some of the people who left for Osseo for a basketball game had car trouble, and couldn’t return until Saturday.

The Jule Theater Co. changed their bill at the Opera House last night, presenting “The Call of the Wild.” The vaudeville between acts was especially good.

Miss Elsie Wood, formerly of Whitehall, assumed her duties in the office of Gov. John J. Blaine last Thursday, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Herman Zastrow of Eagle Valley had a narrow escape from serious injury when his finger tips were caught in the rollers of a corn shredder. 

“Queen of Sheba,” the picture the whole nation was talking about, was a special Thanksgiving Day feature at the Unique in Arcadia. The feature was billed as having a cast of 10,000 people, 3,000 camels and 400 horses, plus 600 monster scenes, 3,000 special costumes and 31 chariots. 

The Galesville Public Library received a gift from F.M. Symonds – an Encyclopedia Britannica – a complete 29 volume set. 

Dr. J. Barber, resident and doctor in Galesville 25 years ago, is senator-elect from the 25th district in the upper house of the state legislature. 

W.D. Young heads the Trempealeau County Fair, W. R. Hewitt, vice president; Willis Suttie, secretary and George Trimm, treasurer. 

Farmers are reminded to blanket their horses tied to the public square. 

Lake Marinuka froze over on Nov. 24. 


November 2, 1897

Sheriff Jensen took Andrew Nelson to reform school Monday.

By request of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, there will be a temperance sermon at the Baptist church, and a temperance Sunday school lesson, next Sunday forenoon.

The electric plant wires are rapidly going up. The dynamo and waterwheel are expected today. In a few weeks, Whitehall will be lit with electricity.

Peter Husom, the Independence section foreman, returned home last week from near Green Bay, where he had been for three months in charge of a large surfacing crew. Mr. Husom is considered one of the most competent and reliable track men on the Green Bay line.

The old Eau Claire state road, beginning a mile west of Trempealeau, has been discontinued by the town authorities on account of the lack of travel and the expense incurred in repairing bridges that were washed out at every freshet by water pouring down off the surrounding bluffs. A new road around the base of the bluffs at Trempealeau bay will probably be laid out. This road would be a good scenic route to Winona.

John Sylvester of Ettrick had the ends of the first and second fingers on his right hand lacerated on the teeth of a clover huller while threshing for Ole Thompson.

Blair — C. Anderson of Wonewoc bought a carload of new milch cows in this vicinity and shipped it to the mining regions of northern Michigan Tuesday. He paid big prices for the cows, from $25 to $45, and in one instance offered $50 for an extra good one, not getting her at that figure.

Elk Creek —M.J. Warner claims to have the best piece of corn in the town. From 25 acres he raised 1,875 baskets. Who can beat it?

Elk Creek —  A number of our young people have organized a society known as the Home Study Circle

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