From Our Early Files Oct. 26, 2022





October 30, 1997

The mayhem on Trempealeau County roads continued at an above average pace over the weekend. The death of a rural Galesville teenager east of Arcadia late Friday night pushed the county’s 1997 traffic fatality toll to seven, above the annual average. David Fanello Jr., 17, was killed when he was thrown from the car in which he was riding at about 9:45 p.m. on Friday. According to the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department, the car was driven by Jeffrey Grulkowski, of Arcadia. It was westbound on County Highway T when it crossed into the opposite ditch and overturned. Grulkowski and all three of his passengers were thrown from the car. Grulkowski and 20-year-old Jessica Grefe, also of Arcadia, were transported by ambulance to a hospital in Arcadia. Another passenger, 17-year-old Michael Bremer of Arcadia, was taken directly to La Crosse by helicopter. The crash is still under investigation. 

A Wisconsin State Patrol officer was injured in a two-car accident on Thursday. Trooper Scott Leonard, 36 of Arcadia, was hurt when his squad car was struck from behind by a pickup truck driven by 22-year-old Joseph Rotering of Onalaska. The mishap occurred on Hwy. 93, about three miles north of Centerville when the WSP officer slowed for a vehicle in front of him. Leonard was taken by ambulance to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse. Rotering received minor injuries. 

Whitehall School District property taxes will be a bit higher than anticipated when the levy was approved over two months ago. The district school board Monday night set the final levy for the 1997-98 fiscal year at just under $1.45 million, about $20,000 higher than the figure approved by citizens at the annual meeting in August. State law allows the board to change the levy as needed to meet anticipated spending. District administrator Jerry Freimark said that the revenue cap set by state law had been adjusted upward slightly because of increases in the local schools’ enrollment. But lower receipts in other areas resulted in the need for a higher tax levy. 

While more attention has been drawn to the problem of domestic violence, there is still a long way to go before it isn’t a problem in Trempealeau County and the rest of the nation. During 1996, there were 100 total arrest in relation to domestic abuse in Trempealeau County, including 79 males and 21 females. The number of cases has been up and down in recent years, according to the Trempealeau County District Attorney’s office. The number of cases may be up due to the awareness of domestic abuse within the county. 

The Arcadia High School volleyball team upset West Salem to win the school’s first-ever regional title in volleyball. Arcadia lost the first set 15-6, but won the next three by scores of 15-13, 15-1 and 15-8. 

Two students returning to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School Monday night were struck by a pickup truck as they crossed Main Street in front of the school. One of the teens — 14-year-old Kyle Brawner — was treated and released and the other — 17-year-old Kevin Wells — was listed in fair condition in a La Crosse hospital. Galesville police said the students were in a marked crosswalk and that traffic charges are pending against Ned Langhery, 36, of Holmen. A friend of one of the students was behind the other two as they crossed the street shortly before 6 p.m. “The other cars stopped, but that guy kept going,” Joey Thill said. 

Call it a contemporary “Romeo and Juliet,” or call it “Grease.” Either way, it’s a musical account of young love and its complications. And it’ll be staged at G-E-T High School Thursday-through-Saturday. Cast in the leads are Mark Meunier as Danny Zucko and Michelle Phillips as Sandy Drumbowski. 

Among cattle shows, the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., is one of the largest. And that’s where teenager Sarah Wegner, along with her March calf, Sassy, will be on Nov. 8. The G-E-T junior will be accompanied by her mother, Betty Wagner; Sassy’s mom, Cicilia, will have to stay home on the Wegner farm on Highway D, about four miles north of Ettrick. 


November 2, 1972

No widening of Hwy. 121 along Dewey Street in Whitehall is contemplated until 1975 or ’76, unless the city makes an urgent plea for one, a district engineer with the state Department of Transportation said this week. But L.G. Schneider said that when the work is done, it would require the removal of most of the trees along the street.

The Land O’ Lakes plant in Whitehall was one of 12 facilities in the state that completed their air-pollution abatement projects this year. The local plant converted its coal boiler to propane, which will reduce particulate emissions.

Clifford Nelson, manager of the Arcadia Cooperative Association, and chairman of the board of directors of Midland Cooperatives, Inc. out of Minneapolis, has been elected to the executive committee of the board of directors of the Cooperative League of the United States of America. He fills the vacancy created by the death of Midland President A.J. Smaby in September. 

Two Arcadia area families and an Independence partnership were among those honored at the 25th annual Trempealeau County Soil and Water Conservation District and Farmers Home Administration recognition banquet held at Ss. Peter and Paul School in Independence. Honored were the Ronald and Rosemary Weltzien family, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Twesme, Blair, and Pientok Bros, Independence. 

A fire of unknown origin totally destroyed the home and all contents of the Charles Noble family in rural Grant Coulee, Galesville, on Oct. 24. The family was gone at the time of the fire and did not have insurance. 

This year G-E-T High School will experiment with an intramural program for boys and girls. It will consist mainly of basketball and possibly volleyball. An intramural program is extra-curricular activity for students not taking part in extra curricular sports and is also a follow-up to the physical education program. 


October 30, 1947

The day of our county Rat Banquet is close at hand, notes county Club Agent Ray Shanklin. Bait will be in the hands of distributors tomorrow, and should be picked up that day, as it is fresh meat bait, and the effectiveness of the campaign depends on having the entire county baited at the same time.

Morris Scow, 31, Arcadia, has been engaged as county traffic officer by the highway committee and will begin his work Nov. 1. He succeeds H.F. Theurer, who will retire Jan. 1 after 20 years of service.

The Whitehall school bus tipped over on its side near the Edwin Moe farm due to slippery roads Monday evening. None of the eight passengers in the bus was injured. The bus was slightly damaged, but was able to continue after it was righted.

An inquest into an accident near Galesville on Oct. 19 which has resulted in the death of three people got underway at Whitehall Tuesday afternoon. Six individuals from the county were selected to serve on the coroner’s jury. Coroner Martin Wiemer also participated in the investigation. 

Little Joseph Malesytcki, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Malesytcki, died at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Oct. 28. He was born the previous Sunday, weighing eight pounds, 12 ounces. 

Galesville’s first war casualty has arrived for burial. The body of William McBride reached the New York Harbor from overseas, under Army escort. It had been interred in a cemetery in Belgium, but has now been returned home. His wife, the former Arlyss Stewart McBride, requested it. 

The sophomore class of the Galesville High School mailed gifts to Germany to a boy’s club. They hope they will help to keep these children warm at Christmas. 


November 2, 1922

The women interested in the building of the log cabin in the Whitehall park, desire to make known to the public their plans for erecting and financing of the same. The cement foundation is already in, and the logs on the ground, in readiness for work during the winter months. They hope to have it ready for use in the spring, and trust it will be used freely. Their plans also include the children, for it is hoped that a story and play hour may be arranged during the summer months, under the supervision of ad older person.

Three of Whitehall’s townspeople were victims of the fool behind the wheel this week. Janitor Haugh of the courthouse was brushed off the crossing as he collided with the fender of a motor vehicle. A.M. Dake and wife, being blinded by the terrible glare of a head light, and through the recklessness of a driver, were struck by an auto, and his machine is now undergoing repairs. Judge Anderson, while on the road near Galesville, was also forced off the highway by a demon of the road. They are simply fortunate, that’s all, that their lives were spared. Hundreds are being hurled to death each month by drivers who should be prohibited from ever driving a motor car.

E.A. Sorenson was successful in securing one of the government air motors, and he has improvised a machine, combining it with a Ford chassis, which makes great speed. The large propeller gives it the appearance of a flying machine, but Gene’s machine keeps to the ground, which it covers with great velocity.

Professor A.B. Hall of the University of Wisconsin was announced as the main speaker at the Armistice Day program sponsored by the American Legion at Arcadia High School.

Jos. W. Haines of Cortland sold more than 11,000 pounds of honey to the W.P. Massuere Company. 

J.O. Halderson has retired after 28 years in the furniture and undertaking business in Galesville. W.F. Plummer and Arthur Lien are the new owners.

Mayor Witherbee is in correspondence with the state railway commission concerning the restoration of the evening train on the Galesville-Trempealeau branch. This was removed during the coal shortage and the strike. 

Galesville’s Swedish Church, erected 40 years ago, has been torn down. A residence will be built by Nels Hammer. This church was organized in 1881. The Lutherans found a home in this church. The first Christmas tree and program in the city was held there. 


October 28, 1897

W.G. Fuller and Co. run a delivery wagon anywhere within one mile of Whitehall.

The musical and literary entertainment given at the Whitehall Opera Hall Friday by Misses Borghild Larson and Kathryn Melby was a fine literary and musical treat and drew a large audience. Then proceeds of the event were very encouraging to the talented young ladies.

The Whitehall village board opened the sealed bids for running the electric light plant on the evening of the 21st, and Frank Porter was found to be the low bidder, he agreeing to do the work for $24 per month. There were three other bids, one by O.E. Stevens for $28, H.A. Towner for $29.50, and the other by H.L. De Bow for $32.

John O. Gilbertson and Co.’s store was closed last Saturday noon on an execution issued out of the circuit court in Milwaukee on a judgment note for $3,800 held by Friends Bros., a Milwaukee clothing firm that had sold a large invoice of goods to Gilbertson’s last spring. to be paid for on weekly installments. It is our understanding that they performed their part of the agreement strictly according to the verbal understanding, but for some reason their creditors appeared Saturday and closed their establishment, without giving them any opportunity to satisfy the claim. The members of Gilbertson and Co. are honest, straightforward businessmen and are numbered among our best citizens, and their misfortune is keenly felt by the whole community.

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