From Our Early Files Sept. 20, 2023




September 24, 1998

Reigning over the Homecoming festivities being held this week at Whitehall Memorial High School are court members Mandy Gauger, Sarah Johnston, Jenny Paul, Andrea Hulett, Stephanie Ekern, Jess Holen, Cyrus Getts, Ryan Mickelson, Matt Loga and Chad Sosalla. 

The Trempealeau County board of supervisors Monday night took the first step toward upgrading or replacing the county’s 15-year-old jail, which could cost county taxpayers upwards of $15 million. The board, at its regular monthly meeting, heard a report on a six-month study of the jail, which is operating under a state Department of Corrections order requiring that the county increase capacity and make other improvements. The supervisors then voted unanimously to hire a Colorado firm to provide services during a “pre-architectural programming phase.”

Buddy Quinn, who had limited success in two tries at country and western recordings decades ago, recently went to Nashville, Tenn., studio to make a compact disc album. Quinn is better known locally as Quinton Affeldt, a rural Blair resident and sometimes logging truck driver. 

New teachers at Arcadia Public School are Tony Kowalski, Matthew Schultz, both first grade; Travis Ebner, Bob Siewert and Laurie Casselius, all special education. 

Arcadia’s Jill Patzner was named the best in the field of Miss America contestants last Thursday in the category of academic achievement. Patzner was named Miss America Scholar and received a $5,000 scholarship at the pageant held in Atlantic City. 

Hundreds of dedicated individuals from throughout Trempealeau County will participate in a two-mile walk to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. The walk begins at the Lions Pavilion in Arcadia’s Memorial Park at 3 p.m. this Saturday. 

Although the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board has yet to approve the use of their building, the Trempealeau Elementary Parent/Teacher organization (PTCC) has started an after school childcare program at the G-E-T Middle School library. According to PTCC president Deb Lakey, the group began organizing an after school childcare program this summer. They were unable to find a suitable location to house the program and asked the district if they could use the middle school library area. School board members agreed that the use of the building by a non-profit organization is allowed under the guidelines outlined in the district’s building use policy. 

Peter Ecker is no stranger to the patent process, but as of last week, Ecker has a new patent on a product he is very proud of. Ecker, the holder of the Queen’s Apple trademarked caramel delicacy, just received his exclusive rights to the production of a sorting machine for fruits and vegetables called the Pressure Sensitive Grader. “What’s unique about this is that it uses brushes and is gentle on the product,” Ecker said. With Ecker’s machine, brushes rotate the apples around as they are pushed down the conveyor. The brushes shine the apples up and when they reach the end of the conveyor, they are sorted by size. 


September 27, 1973

The Trempealeau County board of supervisors last week Tuesday temporarily tabled plans for the building of a new county jail and emergency center, while looking at ways to fund the proposed project. The new facility, and improvements to the existing jail, are expected to cost about $580,000.

Members of the new Pigeon Falls Development Corporation met Sept. 18 to work out the details of the organization. Officers elected were Frederic Berns, president; John Syndergaard, vice president; Reynolds Tomter, treasurer; Fred Pfeiffer, secretary; and Edwin Fremstad, Dale Hangartner, Ray Hagen, David Hauge and Nolan Morphew, directors.

The theme for the Arcadia High School Homecoming celebration is “Meet Me at the Goal Line.” Members of the court are Jane Sobotta, Mary Kay Kulig, Ann Sendelbach (queen), Kris Fernholz, Winnie Trowbridge, John Gamoke, John Klink, Bill Flury (king), Kim Reuter and Dennis Klonecki. 

Employees of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Nursing Home have undertaken the project of offering a $1,000 scholarship to a senior nursing student in exchange for her agreement to work at St. Joseph’s for the regular salary paid professional nurses for one full year following her registration as a professional nurse.

Members of the G-E-T High School Homecoming Court are Terry Smith, Vickie Rindahl, Jeff Hauser, Debbie Fisher, John Olson, Karn Johnson, Pat Scheller, Linda Lebakken, Dan Baer, Jane Erickson, Ron Aasland, Jodi Mlsna, Shawn Ofsdahl and Mike Johnson. 

There will be an organizational meeting of the music parents of the G-E-T school at the high school on Oct. 2. This organization includes parents of elementary students through high school. 

The youth groups at First United Presbyterian Church of Galesville will “Walk for Hunger” on Sept. 29. The young people are soliciting per mile pledges from friends, neighbors and relatives and the proceeds will be given to CROP, the Community Hunger Appeal of Church World Service, which has been fighting hunger since 1947. 


September 23, 1948

Trempealeau County gave its native son, Ralph Immell of Blair, strong endorsement for the Republican nomination for governor in last week Tuesday’s primary election. But Acting Gov. Oscar Rennebohm won by a majority of more than 80,000 votes statewide. H.M. Johnson narrowly defeated Everett Guse for the GOP nomination for county clerk; and Charles Keilholtz won a four-way Republican primary for sheriff, and will face Ralph Bautch of Independence, who received 108 votes on the Democratic ticket.

Oscar Nyberg, 53, a Fitch Coulee resident, was brought to the MacCornack Clinic Friday afternoon, suffering from injuries to his head and face sustained when a truck working on the Whitehall-Pigeon Falls highway project crashed into the back of his car while he was turning off Hwy. 53 onto the side road near the Daggett Coulee schoolhouse.

Andrew Pientok of Independence was one of three Trempealeau County farmers honored for their outstanding soil conservation work at a banquet held in Madison last week.

Merlin Johnson, a 13-year-old Blair student, was brought to the Whitehall Community Hospital Friday by Dr. O.M. Schneider for observation for possible internal injuries which he may have received while playing football.

Twenty-two young people will be confirmed at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church this Sunday. They are Solveig Ambli, Jacqueline Bautch, John Berg, Ardis Christianson, Lona Engen, Shirley Halvorson, James Hanson, Roger Hanson, Patricia Hegge, Anne Holtan, Elaine Jacobson, Charles Keilholtz, Richard Kildahl, Bonnie Klomsten, Helen Lockman, Shirley Lockman, Beverly Moen, Oliver Nordby, Gerald Olson, Yvonne Teigen, Audrey Thompson and Barbara Wivelstad.

The first annual Sportsmen’s Festival sponsored by the Associated Conservation Club of Trempealeau County, Inc., will be held in Arcadia three days this week. Funds received will go for the benefit of a countywide pheasant-raising project. Featured will be baseball games, sporting and children’s contests, a children’s parade, amateur entertainment and Skerbeck’s carnival. 

The 14th annual rural school and community fair is being planned for Oct. 1 and 2. Schools in the Arcadia trade area have responded splendidly in past years and it is expected that the majority will take part in the 1948 fair. The air is a community enterprise and people are urged to begin now to get their exhibits in shape for the two-day event. 


September 27, 1923

Miss Lydia Kremers, who for many years was a leading educator of Trempealeau County, and who officiated as instructor in the Whitehall schools for several years, died suddenly at her home Sunday, at the age of 55. She had been engaged as teacher for the West Lincoln school for the coming year, and was to begin her duties Monday.

The girls’ indoor baseball teams at the Whitehall school, consisting of between 50 and 60 students, have been practicing for the past week. Indoor baseball is a part of the physical training program, and it tends to build up and develop the muscles. This training is to be carried on outside as long as the weather permits, and students are required to be on the playground from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

T.O. Rice continues to place the Ford products variously. During the past week, he delivered the following orders: Maurice Amundson, Whitehall, four-door sedan; Juel Zittel, Gilmanton, coupe; Martin Herbranson, Eleva, Ed Everson, Whitehall, and Ed Erickson, Arcadia, touring cars; Lawrence Renning, Whitehall, George Abrahamson, Independence and Trempealeau County Asylum, tractors.

Every available man in the Whitehall school district is asked to be present at the school grounds next week Wednesday to assist in fixing up the lawn. Teams and scrapers as well as men are also wanted at this time. The committee will have all the preliminary work done by Wednesday, and this will be the final effort in placing the grounds in fine condition.

Little Lorraine DeBow is ill with a mild case of infantile paralysis. The children are under quarantine, and none of the others have contracted the disease.

Carl McKeeth, local distributor, announces the new price list of Willys, Knight 5 passenger touring car. During early spring, they sold for $1,525 and are now priced at $1,235.

Losses amounting to thousands of dollars resulted from Friday night’s electrical storm mostly in the Centerville area. A large barn on the farm of R.A. Rosenow was struck by lightning and burned. Cattle on the Louis Severson and Martin Rhodes farms were killed. 

Three wolves were taken by Sacia Brothers, four dogs were used in the chase. There are a number of these sheep killers in the hills. 


September 22, 1898

W.J. Webb presented his wife with a $100 Haviland china set Friday as a birthday present.

W.H. Towner departed Monday for Glenwood to take charge of his newly purchased newspaper plant.

Theodore Moe has traded his interest in the crops on the Melby property for Shirley Sherwood’s residence property.

Shubal Breed and Charley Rumsey visited the latter’s brother and family at City Point the past week. They took their guns along for a chicken hunt, but report no luck.

Richard Mattson has purchased of Adams and Taylor a lot on the corner of Dodge and Ellis streets. The lot contains a building which will be converted into a workshop by Mr. Mattson.

Charles Sielaff, a farmer residing just outside the Whitehall village limits on the north, pitched head-foremost to the ground from a load of hay on which he was attempting to fasten a binder Monday, striking on his left shoulder blade and cracking several ribs and breaking one of them. Mr. Sielaff is a heavy man, weighing 300 pounds, and it is a wonder that he was not killed. Dr. Parker attended him and reduced the fractured members.

A meeting was held Friday at the W.J. Webb to consider the question the question of establishing a village library. An offer has been made by Mr. Webb to donate the necessary lumber for a building of a sufficient size for the library, and a committee, consisting of Messrs. H.A. Anderson, L.D. Parsons and C.F. Huleatt, was appointed to look into the advisability of building, and the selection of a site if it is decided to build.

Independence — A.J. Bautch has the plans and specifications for the system of waterworks to be put in at Spring Valley, Pierce County, bids to be opened Oct. 4. Mr. Bautch has been appointed engineer and will superintend the work.

Blair — On hearing the report Monday morning that a large bear had been seen that morning crossing the fields near the McKivergin homestead, a party of our crack rifle shots thoroughly examined the territory where the animal had been sighted, without success.

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