From Our Early Files Oct. 13, 2021




Oct. 17, 1996

The products for sale that make up the name of Whitehall’s newest business cover a lot of ground. But there’s more to Carpets, Computers and Crafts than, well, carpets, computers and crafts. Bob Cooke and Mike Demulling also sell satellite “dish” receivers for televisions. 

The Stout Hearted Men, a choral group comprised of Whitehall area residents, will perform at the Wisconsin State Music Conference in Madison. The 22-voice group was one of two acts selected based on audition tapes to perform the Friday session of the two-day conference. 

Putting together a city budget is never really easy, but it has been relatively painless the past couple of decades for Whitehall. Over that period, city officials have been able to stay on top of the needs for programs and equipment while holding the line on taxes. But the city council is starting work this week on what very likely will be the last of such “easy” budgets — and may have to make this one a little more difficult so the future ones aren’t as painful. 

Citizens who make their homes within the Arcadia School District voted Saturday to pass a referendum permitting the district to build a new high school in the city. In all, more than 1,600 people went to the polls in the special election. In the first part of the referendum, voters decided if they authorized bonds for a new school at a cost of $8.35 million, there were 1,165 in favor of that measure. In the second part, 1,046 voters approved spending an additional $1.1 million for an assembly hall. 

Preserving the land for future generations is something Roger and Terry Sobotta take very seriously. So much so that they were selected as recipients of the 1996 Buffalo County Conservation Farmers of the Year awards. They own three farms and utilize about 420 acres of tillable land. 

County supervisors John Beirne has resigned his seat, effective Sept. 26, board chairman John Killian said Monday. Beirne cited “personal commitments” in his letter.

Galesville Mayor Terry Collins has injected himself into an ongoing residential fence dispute, agreeing to show up with city officials to see if a backyard enclosure meets setback requirements. The mayor took the unusual step after another appearance before the city council by Dan McCluskey. The South Eighth Street resident contends that he has been hassled for more than a year by city officials who only belatedly gave him instructions for getting a permit for a split rail fence along part of one property line. 

A citizens group working to improve Lake Marinuka said it’s interested in establishing a lakeside park and turning it over to the city — if the city is willing to maintain it. Yes, said the Galesville city council at its October meeting. 

Blair-Taylor School District students toured the Blair-Preston Fire Department as well as a Taylor Fire Department fire engine and each student was presented with smoke alarms, pencil and candy treat, courtesy of the two departments.


Oct. 21, 1971

The new Sunset Memorial school building will be dedicated at an open house to be held this Sunday afternoon. The new building culminates many years of planning, and accommodate business education, industrial arts, agriculture and music classes, and a 510-seat auditorium.

The Whitehall Lions Club voted at its meeting Monday night to build a 16-by-16-foot warming house for ice skaters at Melby Park. The building will be constructed with cement blocks salvaged from the old bathhouse that was torn down this summer to make way for the new swimming pool.

Second and third graded classes of Arcadia Public Schools experienced firsthand how business and industry are indispensable to the life of Arcadia. Students toured the A-G broiler plant, guided by Rufus Filla; State Bank of Arcadia, guided by Helen Bautch and Ervin Erickson; Arcadia Furniture Corporation, guided by Richard Glowcheski and will also visit the A-G hatchery.

A total of 126 girls registered for the Arcadia Girl Scout program at a meeting held recently.

The Arcadia senior class play, “Night of January 16th” will be held Nov. 12 and 13 under the direction of Miss Carolee Johnson. 

The Arcadia city council voted to purchase two radar machines for $1,830, which includes the antenna and battery booster. 

Melvin Piontowski replaced L.S. Montgomery as the general manager of the Gale Packing Company in Galesville. 

At the Oct. 11 meeting, the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau board of education passed a resolution calling for a special referendum on Nov. 16. The referendum shall be for the purpose of whether or not bonds should be sold for construction of a new elementary school in Galesville. The resolution calls for bonds not to exceed $1,250,000.


Oct. 17, 1946

Whitehall High’s Homecoming this week will be the biggest ever. It will start with the traditional bonfire, which will be followed once the fire has gone out by a snake dance. A dance will be held at the City Hall at 9 p.m. The Norsemen, who are undefeated, will play the unbeaten Durand 11 Friday at Melby Park.

Norman Friske of Greenwood, who has been associated with the Neillsville branch of the Production Credit Association, has replaced E.R. Christianson at the Mondovi branch, which also services Trempealeau County. Mr. Friske plans to move his family here soon.

The new Whitehall Lions Club will give two Halloween parties for the young people at the City Hall on Thursday, Oct. 31, announces Alfred Mattson, chairman of the arrangements. A costume party will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, and the high school youth are invited to a masquerade ball from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Briggs Motor Sales has a new electric sign in front of their Main Street garage. “Kaiser-Frazier” is illuminated nightly in an L-shaped sign approximately eight by 10 feet. A new Kaiser car is expected to arrive here this week, says Manager Ralph Rasmuson.

An x-ray clinic, which takes large 14-by-17 films, will determine whether tuberculosis infections are present in the lungs of Arcadia residents. The clinic is part of a three-week project in Western Wisconsin to discover as many tuberculosis cases as possible. 

A Farmall tractor drawing a Wood Brothers corn picker figured in a collision with a Chevrolet pickup truck on Highway 93. The tractor was owned and driven by Germaine Puchalla and the corn picker, recently purchased, is owned by Roman Giemza. Ed Wolf was the driver of the pickup involved in the accident. 

Blair man Myron Thompson, 35, suffered a severe stab wound near the heart during a fracas at Westby. He is hospitalized in Viroqua.


Oct. 20, 1921

Bernice, the 21-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Briggs, was struck by the engine of No. 6 Saturday night and narrowly escaped death. The child’s brother and sister had crossed the track moments before, and were not aware that little Bernice had followed them. The pilot of the engine pushed her clear of the tracks, and she lay just at the end of the tie, unconscious but living. Examination at the hospital disclosed no serious injuries and but a few scratches. Conductor Closuit says he has experienced the unpleasant task of removing men’s remains from wrecks, but never has his nerves been so jangled as at the thought of picking up the mangled form of a little child.

A great deal of interest has been shown this summer in Melby Park, the gift of John O. Melby to the village some years ago, and preparations are underway for the laying of sidewalks and other improvements. A committee of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Whitehall Improvement Association is asking village residents to save all their ashes and cinders for use in improving the park drive.

Landlord Mathson of the Hotel Whitehall is feeling elated over the prospects of his becoming an oil king. Mr. Mathson owns a quarter section of land about 24 miles from the site at Lemmon, S.D., where an oil well is being drilled; prospects are good that a substantial area there is oil-producing land.

Joe Wnuk Sr. lost his left arm in a corn shredder on his farm. 

E. A. Paetow of La Crosse opened a bakery in the J.J. Feltes building on Washington St. 

Two separate automobile accidents were reported at Dodge Sunday. A car driven by P. Adel went out of control while passing another car and went over an embankment, seriously injuring Miss Celia Ostrowski. Three other girls and the driver received minor injuries. The second accident involved an automobile driven by Mr. Cisewski, which collided with one driven by John Gliszenski and then went over a six-foot embankment and were turned bottom side up. The occupants were shaken, but no one was hurt.  

A 10-pound son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Casper Toppen on Sunday. 

Thomas Hermanson is the new owner of the Scandinavian Hotel, Galesville, and it has been renovated and reopened as a rooming place. 

Pure homegrown sorghum is advertised at $1 a gallon.

The Galesville-La Crosse road will appreciate the stretch of macadam from Decora Hill to Hunters bridge. Every spring cars were stalling in the clay near the Hunters farm and beyond Butmans Corner.

Potatoes are scarce, H.N. Tobey of South Prairie says he has vines and no potatoes, some didn’t even have vines.  

A big wolf hunt was on in the state park, some 100 men with dogs and guns are in the dense woods of the park, which includes Trempealeau Mountain. Gene Cleveland’s call brought quick results. It is expected the pests will be cleaned out quickly. 


Oct. 15, 1896

H.O. Vold has bought a farm of 80 acres near the village of Strum from Will Hurlburt, which he took possession of and moved his family thereon last week. Ole is a good man and we regret to have him depart from Lincoln.

The only opposition Congressman Griffin has in his campaign for reelection is C.M. Hilliard of Durand, which is comparatively no opposition at all.

The State Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Independence Creamery Co., plaintiff and respondent, vs. M.O. Lockway, defendant and appellant. This action was brought originally in Trempealeau County Circuit Court to recover $200 on account of stock subscribed in the plaintiff company by the defendant, and judgment was rendered for $60 and interest and costs. The case was afterwards certified to the Supreme Court for decision on the question of whether the plaintiff is legally a corporation, and if not so legally, whether or not the defendant is estopped from denying it is a corporation. The appeal was dismissed.

Blair — A.D. Campbell, a Winona statesman, talked free silver to our people Tuesday evening. But instead of converting anybody to Popucratism, he made his hearers more steadfast than ever in their Republicanism. It may be truly said that, if the managers of the opposition want to swell the Republican majority in the county above the 1,200 mark, they should keep Mr. Campbell everlasting on the stump, until the curtain falls on the eve of the election.

Arcadia — Arcadia witnessed its greatest of political demonstrations Thursday night, and it has left the free silver minority wondering “where they are at.” The Independence McKinley and Hobart club came 70 in number and entered the town with their colors flying, under the glare of the familiar torches. Berg’s hall was filled to overflowing, and the crowd was estimated at between 700 and 800 people.

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