From Our Early Files October 5, 2022





October 9, 1997

A judge is scheduled to hear more testimony on whether to sentence as a juvenile an Independence youth convicted in the shooting death of his mother’s boyfriend. Trempealeau County Circuit Judge John Damon heard a full day of testimony in the case of Ryan Bogdonovich. The 16-year-old was charged with first-degree homicide in the death of Gerald Bisek, but pleaded to a lesser charge last month. 

In preparing to deal with the failing Pigeon Creek mill dam, the village of Pigeon Falls is trying to call in the National Guard. No, the village board is not expecting the guard to sand-bag – or to hold off the state Department of Natural Resources. The board is hoping that the guard can help fix up the dam, which the DNR says is failing and needs extensive repair. That could save some money for the village board and the community, which have committed to raising at least half of the estimated $200,000 cost of the repairs through donations. 

Three days a week, late in the morning, Elizabeth Foltz leaves Whitehall High School and doesn’t come back. No, the WHS senior isn’t playing hooky. Foltz’s destination when she leaves is the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she is taking college courses. She started classes at UW-Eau Claire on Sept. 2 and is taking two classes this semester. 

The Arcadia-Glencoe Volunteer Fire Department recognized their retired firemen with an appreciation banquet held at the Arcadia Lions Pavilion on Sept. 27. 

Approximately 125 people turned out for the third annual Trempealeau County Alzheimer’s Memory Walk in Arcadia on Oct. 4. Memory walk coordinator Cyndi Schultz was very pleased with the number of individuals that participated in the event. 

Since Memorial Park was first developed in Arcadia, there has been a plan by Paul Halvorsen, a member of the Arcadia Lions Club, to create a barbecue pit system that would not only be useful to the city during the Arcadia Broiler-Dairy Days celebration, but would add to the overall look of the park. The pits will be 32 feet by 94 feet and will be located in a state-of-the-art building with 12 picnic tables and a ticket booth. 

When Gina Bonam looks at the quant old brick structure she just bought on Mill Road in Galesville, she doesn’t just see a shop where she’ll sell antiques, repair and reupholster furniture and offer seamstress services. The lifelong Galesville resident sees a much bigger picture. Two days after she and her husband, Ed, took possession of the former Teddy Bear Shop, Gina said her new shop will be one element in a revitalized area with a lot of unusual destinations for visitors. 

Two Galesville residents remain hospitalized as the result of a fiery crash Sunday morning when eight people were pulled to safety by two other Galesville residents. Hospital officials said Tuesday that Gary Roach remained in serious condition and Karen Roach was in fair condition. Three of the eight people were found outside the vehicle and five others were pulled from a van by Tom Rieple of Galesville. His companion in a car that came on the scene shortly after the van struck a power pole and burst into flames, Dave Wilchinski Jr., left to call emergency crews. He then returned and helped Rieple move all eight of the van occupants to a safe distance from the burning vehicle. 


October 12, 1972

The Whitehall Teachers Association has declared an impasse in its negotiations with the district school board. At a meeting Thursday, the first held in five weeks, teachers’ union representatives broke off negotiations. The two sides also dropped an agreement to make only joint statements to the press.

Thirty-two junior and senior boys have enrolled in the Bachelor Living class being taught this year at Whitehall High by home economics instructor Pat Brodacki.

The Norsemen defeated Blair 36-0 Friday, behind 180 yards rushing from Gary Larson. Whitehall now has a chance to win more Dairyland Conference games this season than it has in the past two.

Congressman Vernon Thompson has announced a $50,850 federal grant to the Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council in Whitehall. The grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity was provided for the administration and management for the Community Action agency. 

R.A. Kamla, adult education supervisor in Arcadia, reported that 106 adults are registered in courses currently being offered in Arcadia with conjunction with Western Wisconsin Technical Institute District 2 of La Crosse.

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Redmen will travel to Arcadia Friday night where they will play for the Coulee Conference title. G-E-T is coming off of a 12-8 victory over Cochrane-Fountain City, their 39th consecutive win. Arcadia defeated Holmen as both teams sit at 5-0 in Coulee Conference play. 

The Galesville Lions Club got squarely behind the local nursing home project this week with a motion to buy $500 in Nursing Home stocks. The club action is an indication of the support of the Galesville Lions as a club as well as the support of individual members of the club.


October 9, 1947

Friday was a fun time for Whitehall High School students. The initiation was the big event, with Bob DeBow as master of ceremonies. Several of the odd-looking creatures of the afternoon were none other than the new faculty members. Mr. Selness portrayed Pete the Tramp, Mr. Goodspeed was Little Miss Muffett, Miss Dunne was Indian Joe, Miss Johnson was Little Jack Horner, and Miss Meier, a bathing beauty from another era.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars post at Whitehall has at present one wheelchair available for the free, temporary use of anyone who may need it. A drive to purchase additional equipment is being launched this week, through the sale of popular farm publications.

County Agent T.C. Main announced today that arrangements have been made to conduct a county-wide war on rats. Rat bait distributors have been selected in every community, so that everyone can easily get the bait.

The state highway department has appropriated a sum to make a wayside park in the triangle just west of the John Deere implement building on the east end of town, fronting Hwy. 53, according to county Highway Commissioner Jens Klavestad.

Elland Berg has sold his 160-acre farm on Hwy. 53 between Whitehall and Blair to Alfred Julson of Buffalo County. Eddie Hermanson, who has operated the place for the many years, will hold a sale of his personal property the latter part of this month.

The historic old Synod church at Pigeon Falls, which has stood intact since it was built in 1876, is undergoing major repairs, including a complete basement, a remodeled front entrance, a mother’s room, new basement steps and roof, and new floor and ceiling for the interior.

Trempealeau County’s school buses were under scrutiny this week when State Traffic Officer Herman Sense of Arcadia and Miss Dorris Sander, county school superintendent, had them assembled by their drivers at four centers for safety tests. At Whitehall, the local, Independence, Blair, Pigeon Falls, Cripps and Lower Plum Creek buses were examined. The rural buses named are operated by districts that have closed their schools and transport their children to other districts.

Thomas John O’Reilly is now a 90-day guest at the county jail after being picked up in Arcadia Saturday night on a larceny charge. He was taken into custody by Trempealeau County Sheriff Basil Erickson after he was arrested. 

Eli Maule returned from Salem, S.D., to assume the position of superintendent of the Buffalo Electric Cooperative on Nov. 1. He succeeded William Kilmer, former superintendent, who had resigned. Maule formerly worked three years for the Trempealeau Electric Cooperative before taking a position in Salem, S.D. 


October 12, 1922

Over 500 school board members, teachers and patrons interested in the schools of the county were in attendance at the annual school board convention held in the courthouse at Whitehall on Friday.

Do not burn leaves or rubbish on macadam streets or in the gutters, as heat destroys the oil in the street and cracks the concrete gutters.

Last Thursday afternoon and evening, the Whitehall school faculty were entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. S.N. Hegge. A feature of the entertainment was an indoor baseball game played on Mr. Hegge’s spacious lawn, between the high school and grade teachers, won by the latter 11 to 7.

Complaint has been made that a number of boys of the village have air rifles and slingshots. Attention is called to the village ordinances banning the use of those items by minors in public places, which will be enforced.

Work is not going very fast on the school building, the steel manufacturers being responsible for the delay. Steel is expected to arrive this week.

Sam Stone and Curnell Stone of Chimney Rock were committed to the county jail Monday, for four and three months, respectively, for violation of the Severson law. They were convicted by a jury at the September term of circuit court, but the sentence was deferred to give them time to harvest their tobacco.

If one may judge from the use already made of them, they are not only popular, but almost a necessity. Few towns are favored with such splendid gifts as out beautiful little park, and the women not only feel that Whitehall has been greatly honored by such a gift, but that we should take pride in making it one of “God’s Garden Spots” for the weary traveler and the pleasure-seeking public., thus fulfilling the wishes of its donor, John O. Melby.

Last Thursday, while Ethel, Howard, James and Gordon Everson were playing near the stock-watering tank at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Everson, little Gordon, aged 17 months, climbed up and, unnoticed by his brothers and sister, fell headlong into the tank and drowned.

Several members of the Arcadia KC council took exemplification of the fourth degree in La Crosse. They were Rev. J.L. Hauck, Rev. J. Andrzejewski, Rev. James Gara, Mike Mergener, William Haines, George Felsheim, George Kostner, Peter Kronschnable, Dr. F. Weber and Aymarr Nelson. 

Arcadia defeated Black River Falls 20-13 in football at Black River Falls. The Arcadia lineup was Rohn, Mergener, Herbert, Marking, Doenier, Stencil, Foster, Gasser, Pahl, Kronschnable and Jackson. 


October 7, 1897

The Whitehall village election Saturday to vote upon the question of issuing bonds in the sum of $2,000 for the erection, equipment and maintenance of an electric light plant, was carried almost unanimously in favor of the project. It is evident therefore that, almost to a man, the citizens of Whitehall are favorable to putting in an up-to-date artificial light for our streets, public buildings and private residences.

John O. Melby is having 25 acres east of Ervin Creek, which is part of the Kelly property he recently purchased, grubbed and broken and put into shape for platting. It is a fine location for residences, and at no distant day will form an integral part of our flourishing village.

Whitehall Village President Harnden has ordered a general rebuilding of the sidewalks in the village. This is a step in the right direction, and all should immediately avail themselves of this pleasant weather to put their walks in good condition, in advance of the slippery time of year, which will be soon upon us.

Grant Winner moved his family last week to Sechlerville, where he owns a hardware store. Mr. Winner still holds his position has chief buttermaker at the Whitehall and Pigeon Trading Association creamery.

President Harnden ought to make use of the waterworks to wet down the streets. If is better to spend a little of the village’s lucre in such direction, than to have stifling dust daily crammed down the throats of our citizens.

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