From Our Early Files Oct. 20, 2021




Oct. 24, 1996

A teenager arrested for the theft of a vehicle from a Whitehall-area car dealership has been sentenced to jail fro the second time for violating the terms of his probation. David Fonstad, Taylor, appeared in Trempealeau County Circuit Court Friday for a revocation hearing. Fonstad was one of three 17-year-olds involved in a break-in and theft at Keenan’s, Inc., in April 1995.

The Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors, despite pleas by mining company representatives and landowners, Monday night approved a moratorium on prospecting and mining in the county. By an 11-8 vote, the board passed a resolution submitted by its zoning and land conservation committees. The measure calls for a moratorium both on prospecting for metallic mineral deposits and mining itself though April 1997. 

Bill Thoma, benefits specialist with the Trempealeau County Agency on Aging, has resigned his position rather than withdraw from the race for county register of deeds. Thoma resigned effective Friday, three weeks after the U.S. Office of Special Counsel informed him that he might have to choose between his job and his campaign. Thoma, a rural Independence resident, is the Republican candidate for the office being vacated by Janet Peterson, who is retiring. 

Steve Hanvold is supposed to be teaching Ukranians about modern agriculture this month and next, but he figures he’ll be doing a lot of learning too. The rural Whitehall native is visiting that eastern European country from Oct. 19 to Nov. 12, courtesy of an agricultural exchange program. Hanvold, a Wausau resident, is the son of Gloria Hanvold of Pigeon Falls and the late Kenneth Hanvold. 

The Trempealeau County Domestic Abuse Task Force celebrated Domestic Abuse Awareness Day by having a program at the Whitehall Community Center. There were approximately 100 people who attended the program. 

Approximately 100 people came to Arcadia on Saturday for the 11th annual meeting of the Shiitake Growers Association of Wisconsin. The group assembled at the Arcadia Country Club. Guess speaker was Dennis Lenz, who gave a presentation on his effort to start a part-time Shiitake Mushroom business. 

How Trempealeau residents picture their community became more clear Monday night as planning officials released results of one survey and conducted another. Disclosed publicly was the results of a survey when residents were asked to name their concerns about the village and rank the top seven. Administration and planning needs got the top ranking. 

First it was the Stoners, making improvements to their historic brick building on Main Street. Then it was the Strittmaters, buying – and improving the former Tranhaus on Highway 53. And, in between it was inquiries about the availability of two vacant buildings in the business district. Although those two inquiries have yet to result in new commercial activity, residents are stirred by what has happened so far, says Rose Rand, village president. “It’s exciting to be part of a re-growth,” she said. “People are just really excited.” 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has undertaken an environmental assessment of the Lake Henry dam and found no problems whatsoever. A public hearing on the matter was held in Blair on Oct. 7. The city council agreed to go ahead with a gate replacement and to include partial dewatering of Lake Henry to a three-foot level during the time of replacement. Work will commence in the spring.

The Blair-Taylor school board interviewed three firms for consideration of a district facilities survey or other alternatives to ascertain public support for a school referendum.  


Oct. 28, 1971

Dr. Dennis Strangstalien, general dentist, will move into his new quarters on the first floor of the new medical clinic in Whitehall this coming Monday. He had been conducting his practice in the Dr. S.B. Ivers building at the corner of Dodge and Ellis streets.

Odise Bennett of Racine and Linda Sendelbach of Whitehall will reign as king and queen at this year’s Eau Claire State University Homecoming.

Gary Larson carried 30 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns as the Norsemen defeated Osseo-Fairchild 36-19 Friday. Independence blocked an Alma Center Lincoln extra-point attempt to gain a 14-14 tie, and win the Dairyland Conference championship.

Arcadia High School’s symphonic band will help host a statewide event on Saturday. The second year of its kind in Wisconsin, the workshop is sponsored by the Wisconsin School Music Association. The AHS symphonic band, conducted by Gerald Gleason, and Onalaska High School chorus, conducted by Fred Brensel, will be the two large performing groups featured in the workshop. 

Members of the Arcadia Chapter No. 101, Order of Eastern Star, received 50-year pins at the special program. They are Mrs. Beatrice Cowie, Alhambra, Calif.; Mrs. Orphie Knopp of Winona, Minn., Mrs. Lillian Amundson and Miss Alta Kiekofer, both of Arcadia. The four are sisters who were initiated into the order in 1921 in Arcadia. 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brownlee left New York Sept. 1 for Kampala, Uganda, where he will spend a year on a research project on the Ugandan economy in preparation for writing his doctoral dissertation in the field of economic development and urban and regional economics. Brownlee is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Brownlee of Arcadia. 

Steven Peplinski, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Peplinski, Galesville, won first place award in the nine-year-old division of the Pass, Dribble and Shoot Contest held in La Crosse. 

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Redmen finished its season last Friday with a 35-0 romp over Melrose-Mindoro, claiming undisputed first place in the final Coulee Conference standings. The Redmen finished 8-0 on the season and 7-0 in the Coulee Conference. They have now won 33 consecutive games. 


Oct. 24, 1946

Whitehall has a new business institution, a Coast to Coast store which will be opened to the public Saturday morning. C. Andrew Kuhn, the proprietor, has leased the former Schaefer building, now owned by Harold Lindstrom of Minneapolis, Minn.

That there is strong interest among taxpayers for extending modern highways in Trempealeau County is expressed by action taken at a recent meeting of the Town Club of Pigeon Falls, which has a large membership in and surrounding that village. The supporters of modern highways have expressed their views in a resolution favoring approval of the bond issue to be voted on at the Nov. 5 election.

The Whitehall Norsemen won the Homecoming game Friday afternoon, conquering the unbeaten Durand Panthers, 12 to 6, and now stand a good chance of winning the Mississippi Valley Conference title. Bob Bensend, who had passed to Bob Nichols for the first Whitehall score, ran for the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. After the touchdown, the emotions of the spectators let loose and they jumped over the fence, ran out on the field, and kissed the players. At the end of the game, several men carried Bensend off the field on their shoulders.

A blaze broke out at St. Michael’s Church in North Creek on Monday afternoon. The fire was put out before much damage was done. The fire was caused by the explosion of an acetylene torch in the hands of workmen engaged inputting on a new roof and gutters. 

Work has begun on the approximately $82,000 improvement project on 12.7 miles of Highway 95. The Trempealeau County Highway Department has the responsibility of sanding, grading and paving the stretch of highway. 


Oct. 27, 1921

Mrs. Robert M. La Follette, who has made a thorough study of the subject of disarmament, will speak on that world problem at the Village Hall next week Friday. Mrs. John J. Blaine of Madison will also speak at the program, which is being held under the auspices of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Whitehall Improvement Association.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has just handed down a decision sustaining the claim of Lloyd Lamberson, based on a land contract date 1901, to the Dowd-Daggett farm located one mile south of Whitehall. In his will, John C. Lamberson gave this farm to George Lamberson, who contended that the contract had never been executed, and was not in force at any time. Lloyd Lamberson is now entitled to possession, upon complying with the terms of the land contract.

At the close of the annual hunter’s reunion at Galesville last week, Clarence Augustine of Whitehall was awarded first honor for the best fox dogs.

Frank Kubis, living between Independence and Arcadia, was arrested last week by Sheriff Erickson, charged with violating the liquor laws. A still, some mash and a few gallons of liquor were confiscated.

Conrad Hulberg purchased the Arcadia Motor & Supply Company garage from O.A. Hohmann.

Hild’s Drug Store, Arcadia, became affiliated with the United (Rexall) Drug Company, an organization of 10,000 of the foremost druggists in the United States.

A burglar gained entrance to the Carl Hertzfeldt Shoe store Tuesday night by prying off the screen of the rear window. He took $12.40 from the till, which seemed to be all that was missing. The combination of the safe was also tampered with “but the culprit did not have ingenuity enough to open it,” The Leader reported.


Oct. 22, 1896

Last Friday, a snow flurry was noticeable, just a premonition of the approaching winter.

P.A. Van Horn returned home Friday, having completed the laying of steel on the Green Bay and Western Railroad. The entire line is now equipped with the best steel.

The band boys are negotiating with Prof. Berdsell for a year’s instruction. The boys made fine progress under him before the fair, and he assures them that they won’t take a back seat to any band if they continue a year. But if they engage him, it will be necessary for our citizens to contribute a small sum monthly towards his salary. Keep your eyes open for a list asking how much you’re interested in having a band in Whitehall.

P. Ekern has lately erected a building at Northfield to be used for a feed mill. In connection with this is also built rooms for a creamery. For some time yet, the milk will only be separated there, as before, and the cream taken to Pigeon Falls to be churned. For running this, a 20-horsepower boiler and an 18-horsepower engine have been put in.

Pigeon Falls -- Mr. and Mrs. John Agneberg met with a serious accident some time ago, returning home from a ride in a two-wheeled cart. When Mrs. A stepped down from the vehicle to the ground, her dress became caught in the cart, and the horse getting frightened ran off, one wheel running over the old lady’s chest and throat. Mr. Agneberg fell from the seat after a short distance. Both were hurt seriously, and lingered between life and death for a few days, but are not out of danger. Dr. Krohn attended.

Blair -- The Blair Trading Association has commenced the foundation for their new creamery, to take the place of the one recently destroyed by fire. Work on the building will be pushed as rapidly as possible, so that the institution can be operated before cold weather sets in.

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