From Our Early Files Sept. 29, 2021




Oct. 3, 1996

Trevor Hanson was awarded the Eagle rank, the highest honor given in scouting, during a ceremony held at the Pigeon Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church. Hanson, the son of Owen Hanson of rural Hixton and the late Joyce Hanson, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 43, sponsored by the Pigeon Falls Lions Club. 

Whitehall, usually off the beaten path politically, got a taste of the national debate on abortion Monday. The occasion was a press conference given by Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group. Lyons was in Whitehall at the invitation of the WRL’s Trempealeau County chapter, which was organized only a couple years ago. 

Tri-County Memorial Hospital personnel don’t have to look far for a convincing argument for carbon-monoxide detectors. Less than nine months ago, the hospital’s ambulance service was called to a carbon-monoxide incident htat claimed the lives of two people at a rural Blair residence. Because of that tragic incident, the hospital will devote its required annual “table-top” disaster drill to a carbon-monoxide emergency. Personnel from all hospital departments will simulate how they would handle such a situation. 

Independence’s J.J. Killian ran for 101 yards as the Indees defeated Whitehall 27-0 to move into sole possession of first place in the Dairyland Conference at 3-1 in DC play, while Whitehall fell to 2-2. 

Arcadia’s Matt Flynn and Joy Ziegeweid were recently selected as semifinalists in the Merit Scholarship Competition. The students are two of 15,000 semifinalists from the entire country who will be vying for one of 2,000 scholarships. 

Arcadia Elementary School Principal Gary Pahl started his teaching career 30 years ago and was recently awarded the Administrator of the Year Award from the Midwest Reading Council in La Crosse. The Arcadia native was nominated for the award by teachers Linda Backer, Kathy Lockington and Mary Andress. 

The Arcadia Referendum Committee will sponsor a “Rally for Education” at the Arcadia Public School elementary gym on Oct. 7.

“I’ve always admired that farm since I was a child,” said area artist Andrea Remus. Framed paintings she did of the Eastside house and barn will be on display on the Square during Apple Affair.

When the call came, Richie Niederkorn was changing the oil in his car as he recalls. It was a weekend afternoon about two weeks ago and sheriff’s deputy Richie Anderson stopped by. Anderson was on his way to the Mississippi River to look for an angler whose doctors had found him a new kidney. But the man’s relatives couldn’t reach the man on his beeper. Would Niederkorn be willing to fly the man back to Milwaukee for the transplant when they found him, Anderson asked. Sure, agreed the Galesville man who is licensed to pilot both trucks and planes. When they found the man, they rushed him to Holland Air Park, where Niederkorn had a twin-engine plane prepared for flight. While flying, Niederkorn learned the man had been waiting two years for a kidney and had turned off his beeper thinking it was unlikely a new kidney would come in. Only later, when he read an account in the Milwaukee Journal did he learn that his passenger was Vatroslav Kolega, a 49-year-old escapee from Communist Yogslavia some 30 years ago. 

For Apple Affair visitors who can’t get enough apple pie, a fairly new tradition is providing them pie to take home. Not everyone will get one, though, because the 200 pies baked is far short of the number of visitors who flock to the Square the first Saturday of October. 

Main Street bridge construction is scheduled to begin in about a week in Blair. Main Street, from Second Street to Fourth Street, will be closed for about two months. 

In 1997, 10 gates on the Lake Henry Mill Dam will be replaced with new electronic gates. That is part of the storm water mitigation project that will decrease flood damage. The dam is a low flow dam, approximately six feet high above a concrete sill. 

Larry Collins has retired as manager of Olson’s LP Gas in Blair. He was hired as the manager in 1964. Allan Bradley, a Blair native, has been hired as his replacement. 


Oct. 7, 1971

King Mike Hestekin and Queen Natalie Anderson are reigning over Homecoming activities this week at Whitehall High. The other members of the court are Jay Risberg and Mary Lou Fremstad, Rick Frei and Barb Bensend, and Gary Holen and Debbie Humphrey.

Mrs. Ray Shanklin of Whitehall sustained a broken leg as the result of a traffic accident that occurred in heavy fog on Hwy. 53 near Ettrick last week Wednesday.

Gary Larson scored on a six-yard touchdown run to give Whitehall a 6-0 win over Blair Friday, in the battle of previously-winless Dairyland Conference teams.

King Bernard Hesch and Queen Joan Schmidtknecht will reign over 1971 Arcadia High School homecoming festivities which begin Thursday. Other members of the court include Larry Ruff, Theresa Slaby, Gabriel Pehler, Lori Byom, Rudy Wozney, Judy Pientok, Gary Kulig and Sue Pronschinske. 

A 10-inch pipe was pulled under the Trempealeau River Friday afternoon to complete a second water main crossing under the river. Interconnection with city mains will be made at a later date, according to Dave Krett, Arcadia water utility superintendent. 

Orville Knutson and son, Gary, have purchased the trailer court in Taylor from the Lions and Commerce Club.

Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Olson, Ettrick, have sold their farm to Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Bailey of Ohio. 


Oct. 3, 1946

Willis Sielaff, 18, a senior at Osseo High, died Saturday morning at the home of his brother, Roderick Sielaff, in Pleasantville, apparently as the result of a head injury he suffered while playing in the football game against Whitehall at Melby Park Friday evening. A meeting of the officials of the Mississippi Valley Conference was held Monday afternoon to consider continuing the football season, but as the Sielaff family felt that football was not entirely responsible, voted to continue according to the regular schedule.

A new residential area adjacent to Whitehall has prospects of developing on a plot of land formerly owned by Clarence Schaefer north of town. Mr. Schaefer has sold lots to Gaylord Jacobson, H.J. Iverson, Mrs. Betty Haralson, the Misses Gladys and Elsie Rasmussen and Roy Matson. The lots are directly west of the Schaefer farm residence and have a beautiful view to the south, overlooking the Trempealeau valley and the city of Whitehall.

Three price clerks were added this week to the personnel of the Price Control Board at Whitehall, which is now serving Trempealeau, Buffalo and Jackson counties. The consolidation of the local boards, formerly known as war price and rationing boards, has been done on a national level.

Selmer Johnson of this city, who is employed as a carpenter on Albert Engen’s crew, received first-degree burns to his face Monday when hot tar spattered onto him while he was helping to repair the roof at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.

Fred Gardner, Trempealeau County’s new game warden, wan on the job Oct 1, when he assumed his new duties. He formerly was at Wausau.

Two Arcadia youths suffered injuries in a car accident that occurred on the Fountain City ridge Monday evening, about nine miles south of Arcadia. Richard Hanson received cuts and bruises and was released from St. Joseph’s Hospital. Ben Kolstad, driver of the vehicle, was also treated and released. 

Approval of a highway bond issue will provide 50 miles of Class A roads in Trempealeau County. 


Oct. 6, 1921

About 2,500 gathered to witness the laying of the cornerstone and to hear the ceremony of dedication for the new Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church building Sunday morning. An offering of $429 was received at the close of the service for the church building fund. The church, which has been in use since March, cost $46,732, of which amount there remains unpaid $9,839.

Ferdinand Witt, his wife and two daughters, and Mrs. Mat. Fryslie, while driving home from town Monday evening, were hit by a careless auto driver at the north end of the Whitehall bridge. It was pure carelessness on the part of the driver, as there is a light at the north end of the bridge. The machine hit Mr. Witt’s buggy on the side, throwing the occupants to the ground.

The Ettrick railroad case was on trial in county court this week, Judge O’Neill presiding for Judge Hensel. This is an action to restrain the Ettrick town board from issuing bonds to the Ettrick and Northern Railroad under the election of July 2, when the town voted a bond issue of $50,000.

The following citizens were naturalized at a special session of the circuit court Monday: Ernest Pahl, Ernest Kube, Frank Kube, Mike Herrick, August Guenther, John Kiehl, John Rucinski, August John Pahl, Julius William Kube, John Anderson Westberg, Henry Kloth, John Nerison, Oskar Nelson, Anton Jacobson Solie, Lars Orean, Jacob Hangartner, John Lisowski, Joseph Hoblitzel, Ludvig Lee, John Haugen, Ferdinand Witt, Ole Baglien, Karl Halama, John Dejno, Nels Nelson, Peter Dahl and Trom Thorson.

Fire of unknown origin destroyed the Hulberg Garage and a barn belonging to Fugina Bros. Fertig Co. on River Street in Arcadia Saturday morning. Loss was approximately $10,000.

Tamarack news: School opened in the Norway Valley school with Nora Drangstveit as teacher. The annual meeting of the coffee social will be held at the home or Mr. and Mrs. G.P Gilbertson Sunday afternoon. 

Newcomb Valley News: Ernest Axness has been on the sick list a few days, but is better. 


Oct. 1, 1896

We inadvertently forgot to report last week the result of the race between Frank Hotchkiss’s and H.C. Carpenter’s horses at the fairgrounds the Saturday before. Hotchkiss’ won easily, taking the last three heats after losing the first. Time, 3:10.

At the meeting of the local Republican club last Friday evening, A.J. McNaughton made a lively and effective speech that was considerably applauded by a good-sized audience. The male chorus also rendered a few taking vocal selections.

One of the most unfortunate results of the present depressed condition of trade to this village and vicinity was the forced assignment of H.E. Getts and Son, and also Mr. Getts individually, last Monday afternoon, owing to the inability to meet maturing paper. These failures also necessitated the assignment of the general merchandise business of Mr. Getts and P.M. Lambert at Independence. It has been known for some time that they were hard up, but despite their most energetic efforts, they could not weather these times, and they have the sympathy of the public in their misfortune.

The Democrats and Populists fused and nominated the following ticket at their county conventions in Independence last Friday: A.J. Bautch, Burnside, member of the Assembly; L.H. Whitney, Lincoln, county clerk; W.P. De Bow, Preston, register of deeds; F.C. Richmond, Arcadia, district attorney; Frank Tubbs, Burnside, sheriff; Frank Bunn, Galesville, clerk of court; L.L. Solsrud, Lincoln, treasurer; George Schmidt, Arcadia, superintendent of schools; J.C. Taylor, Burnside, coroner; and H.B. Raa, Pigeon, surveyor. The ticket is a good one, but stands the same show of being elected as Bryan does.

Ettrick -- At the last meeting of the literary society, to of our debaters were appointed to meet two of the silverites of Ettrick who had extended a challenge to any two debaters of the gold party in the town of Ettrick.

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