From Our Early Files Sept. 8, 2021




Sept. 12, 1996

The Whitehall Lions Club will mark its 50th anniversary Saturday at Club Midway in Independence. The club was formally organized Sept. 5, 1946 when about 150 people attended a charter night dinner and program held at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. 

Trempealeau County government agencies were to be moving again this week, as the county’s $3 million-plus courthouse remodeling project moves into its final phase. 

About 35 students, parents and school staff attended the organizational meeting held Monday for the reconstituted Whitehall Memorial High School FFA chapter. Officers of the new chapter include Tabitha Lyon, vice president; Gregg Johnson, sentinel; Jamie Hulett, vice president; Melinda Bohlinger, chapter advisor; Darby Oberlin, treasurer, Alissa Johnson, secretary and Andrea Hulett, reporter. 

The Independence School District will get a new $7 million preschool-through-12th grade facility. District voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a referendum calling for the issuance of $6.3 million in general obligation bonds to finance most of the cost of the new school. They also okayed allowing the district school board to exceed state revenue limits in order to pay a 10-year capital lease, which would cover the rest of the building’s cost.

They say that music can tame the wildest of beasts. If that statement is correct, Wilmer and Erna Putz, Arcadia, have wooed enough creatures in 60-plus years of performing to start their own zoo. Wilmer, 85, and Erna, 79, have been playing in bands together since 1933. Wilmer, a farmer, began his career in the Putz Brothers Band. 

The Arcadia Referendum Committee has scheduled a live talk show for Oct. 18 on TCCTV. The majority of the Arcadia School District voters have access to the channel and will be able to view the presentation and call in with questions.

Paul Ellis, son of Jim and Jenny Ellis, Waumandee, recently took first and third place in two national mountain bike-racing competitions. Ellis is a student at Arcadia High School. 

“It’s beautiful…well maintained… I’m surprised at the size,” Phyllis Lalonde said after her first look at Perrot State Park in Trempealeau. The Massachusetts woman said she is the great granddaughter of the sixth degree of pioneer French explorer Nicholas Perrot, for whom the park is named. 

Suddenly, the $150,000 fundraising goal to improve the Square and historic Main Street area in Galesville is a little lower. A $12,000 donation made Friday by Co-op Credit Union assures that the gazebo in the square will get the upgrade that the Galesville Area Chamber of Commerce says it needs. 

A state Department of Natural Resources official said Tuesday that the owner of Hillside mobile home park had failed to provide residents with bottled water as directed and that the agency will seek remedial action through the state attorney general’s office. The noncompliance ruling was made by Larry Schaefer, of the DNR’s Eau Claire office, after he visited Hillside and talked to some of its 63 residents. 

Contestants in the 1996 Miss Blair pageant are Alyssa Bents, Krystal Eid, Beth Mathson, Angie McConnell, Jenny Olson, Angela Shay, Denise Sosalla, Mandy Sveen and Amanda Thompson. 

Whether it will be flipping flapjacks, serving up a boat of batter-fried cheese curds, distributing fee milk along the parade route or pulling farm tractors, you can be sure Vernon Back has had a hand in it. Back was selected as this year’s Blair Cheese Festival Parade Marshal. 

Trempealeau County Sheriff Ralph Weisenberger has been advised that D.A.R.E. officer Timothy Hovell has been elected to a position on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin D.A.R.E. Officers Association. 

Donald Parr, 60, Arcadia, was killed along Highway 93 when he was struck by a car driven by George Drouches, 40, of Winona, Minn. at Sept. 7. Parr was walking west toward Blaschko Avenue before being hit by Drouches’ southbound vehicle. 


Sept. 16, 1971

Three break-ins were reported in the Pleasantville area Friday morning, at the Kleven Feed and Seed Co., Gunderson Chevrolet and Willard’s Building Center.

Hassan Mansour of Tunisia, North Africa, is Whitehall High School’s fourth foreign exchange student, and is making his home with the Sverre Aasen family.

Congressman Vermon Thompson was guest of honor at a Monday luncheon in the Willie Wiredhand Room of the Trempealeau Electric building. Forty-five Arcadia business and professional people attended the meeting. 

King Ron Pronschinske and queen Lori Byom will reign over the annual Arcadia school fair this weekend. Ron is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alois Pronschinske of the Waumandee area and Lori is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Byom, Arcadia. 

Teachers and employees in the Arcadia Public Schools will not receive salary and wage increases granted to them in their 1971-72 contracts for the duration of the wage-price freeze, according to a bulleting issued to all school employees Friday by W.B. Gautsch, superintendent. 

A fired up Redmen squad turned back a tough Arcadia Raiders team before a huge homecoming crowd. The Redmen have now won 29 games in a row without a loss and are 4-0 on the season after defeating Arcadia 6-0.

The biggest stream bank erosion control project in the history of Trempealeau County Soil and Water Conservation District is currently underway. Ten farmers along Elk Creek, north of Independence, have combined efforts to control erosion along Elk Creek and restore fish and wildlife habitat. The farmers involved are H.C. Halama, Wm. Halama, Ed Schlesser, Robert Sylla, Gene Marsolek, George Halama, Donald Halama, Robert Halama, Ray Halama and Gerald Sylla. 


Sept. 12, 1946

Damage of about $1,000 was done to the Oscar Olson residence on Dewey Street, occupied by the Elmer Holden family, as a result of being struck by lightning Thursday afternoon, during the hardest electrical storm to strike Whitehall this season. In addition, the Holdens and their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Mallum, lost several hundred dollars worth of personal property.

A crowd of 150 Lions, including visitors from Black River Falls, Galesville and Marshfield, witnessed the presentation of a charter to the new Whitehall Lions Club during the banquet held Thursday at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.

A record enrollment of 29 children is attending kindergarten at the Whitehall schools this year. Mrs. Belle Sutton is their teacher.

One rural school that was closed last year, in Dodge, was re-opened this year, according to Miss Dorris Sander, Trempealeau County school superintendent. Five others have been closed, Lower Plum Creek in the town of Lincoln, including Towner in Caledonia, Norway Valley and American Valley in Arcadia, and Oak Grove in Sumner. The closing of Lower Plum Creek leaves no rural schools open in the town of Lincoln.

The long anticipated return of lights for Arcadia’s side streets became an accomplished fact Saturday night, after exactly 10 months of darkness. The transformer, which had been sent for repairs, arrived that day and was immediately installed for operation. Lights were turned on that night and Arcadia took its place with modern cities which are electrically illuminated.


Sept. 15, 1921

The county court has been occupied most of the week in hearing the moonshine cases. John Pogreba, Louis Pullman, Andrew Marsolek and Tom Stone each pleaded guilty to the illegal manufacture of spirituous liquors, and each was fined $100 and costs. A similar case against Paul Pampuch was dismissed, and one against John Kloss was continued over the term. District Attorney Eggum is to be congratulated for his energy in bringing a number of liquor violators to trial. J.A. Markham and Cowie and Hale defended in these cases, and are gratified that their clients got off with the fine usually meted out to first offenders, but the court intimated that further violations would in all probability result in more severe penalties.

President L.K. Strand and Secretary Sam Hanson of the Tamarack Telephone Co. were in town Tuesday. There are outlining a plan for a combination telephone directory of all the farmer’s telephone companies in this section of the state. This is a much-needed convenience and should have the cooperation of all lines.

Lightning struck the former John Bichsel farm home, now owned by Emil Wolfe, in Glencoe, damaging part of the roof and some framework before the fire was put out. Oluf Moe of Newcomb Valley lost a horse by lightning in the same storm. 

Irvin Raeder of Galesville, as guardian for his stepdaughter, won a $3,000 settlement in a court case growing out of an accident in which his stepdaughter was injured when the car in which she was riding collided with a telephone pole. The plaintiff had contended that the pole was too close to the road. 

Ed Gardner Sr. and Ed Gardner Jr. enjoyed a prairie chicken hunt near Cutler. Each got their five birds. Other Galesville hunters were Lon Kitman, William Dick, Jake Salsman, William Barenthin, Cleve and Percy Sacia, Carl McKeeth, Philip Uhl and Shirley Grover. 

Dr. S.D Conk is now nicely situated in his new quarters on East Ridge Street in Galesville. His office quarters occupy the ground floor and include laboratory and operating room.


Sept. 10, 1896

The Grand Army of the Republic boys returned from the encampment Saturday, feeling good and reporting a fine time.

The 12-year-old son of Wallace Cummings was severely bitten on the calf Thursday while playing with his pet dog. Dr. Parker was called immediately, and is in hopes to bring the lad out all right.

The Whitehall village school opened with a good attendance Monday, and the following teachers in charge: C.F. Huleatt, principal; Miss Mabel Graves, assistant principal; Miss Edith Ferguson, grammar department; Miss Myrtle Whitney, primary.

The Whitehall fair of 1896 closed Friday, with a drizzling rain settling in shortly after noon and interfering with and putting a stop to the afternoon program. The receipts of the fair averaged up fairly well, and it is safe to say that the society came out nearly, if not quite, even. Which is encouraging and satisfactory to the stockholders, when they take into consideration the hard times and many other features that tended to distract from the exhibition this year.

The Rev. Geo. E. Plant speaks on prohibition here next Saturday and Sunday evenings. The reverend gentleman travels in a wagon fitted up especially for the purpose, and is accompanied by a male quartette, which is said to provide excellent music.

Pigeon Falls — The dwelling house on what is called the Kolstad farm, adjoining this village, was consumed by fire yesterday, the cause being a defective stovepipe. The building was occupied by Herman Wivelstad and family, who are working the farm on shares, and who lost considerable personal possessions by the fire.

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