Today in Whitehall-area History

December 7, 1972

            Daniel Meilman, president of Whitehall Packing Company, this week confirmed that his company has tentatively agreed to purchase a slaughtering plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. Meilman said that the company’s Whitehall plant is “in a state of limbo.” The WPC president cited a number of “outside problems” with the local plant as reasons why a decision would have to be made about its future within 30 days.

December 7, 1958

            Officers will be elected at the Elk Creek Luther League meeting Sunday. Mrs. Arvin Christopherson will give a reading, and Connie and Diane Johnson will sing. A Christmas film will be shown by the Rev. Paul Fretheim.

December 7, 1935

            The American Legion Auxiliary will place containers in Whitehall’s stores Saturday where persons can deposit articles for distribution among the families of needy war veterans at Christmas time. Mrs. Palmer Hagen, rehabilitation chairman, assisted by Mrs. James Mason and Mrs. R.V. Larson, is in charge of the distribution.

December 7, 1925

            Ernest Engen came home Monday from Milwaukee, where he was employed in a packing plant, and will visit until after the holidays. He reports that many men are being laid off daily without promise of being called back to work until the latter part of January. A “job” in the city isn’t the most certain form of livelihood, although it has lured young folks from the country by the thousands the past few years.

December 7, 1911

            Very mild winter weather. Wheels taking the place of runners.

December 7, 1899

            Wood is getting to be a scarce article in town. Those having it to sell should bring it in now, while the price is good.

December 7, 1882

            The tax roll is in the hands of the town treasurer. Pay your taxes and be happy.

December 6, 1962

            An outdoor home lighting contest will be sponsored in Whitehall by the Lions Club again this year, with cash prizes of $15, $10 and $5 given to the residents who best carry out the religious theme of Christmas.

December 6, 1951

      The Yuletide season is again with us. Late last week, marshals Ben Mahle and Walter Bensend illuminated the permanent Christmas tree in the City Hall Square. At the same time, Electrician D.A. Bensend and his assistants were decorating the new white way posts for which the city has purchased permanent brackets. Evergreens entwine the poles from the tops down several feet, where the brackets are attached which hold small Christmas trees. Looking either up or down Main Street, the decorations present a beautiful sight, particularly at night.

December 6, 1920

            Frank Augustine shipped a fox hound to Kentucky Monday.

December 6, 1907

            About 150 members of rural school boards in the area attended the meeting here last Thursday and Friday, making it the biggest meeting of its kind ever held in the county.

December 6, 1888

            Our sister village of Arcadia is scourged with diptheria and scarlet fever. Five deaths have been reported this week, and great precautions should be exercised by our people to prevent the diseases from getting a foothold in Whitehall.

December 5, 1972

            Whitehall claimed its first Dairyland Conference win of the season Tuesday, rallying from a 12-point third-quarter deficit to beat Alma Center Lincoln 62-54. The Norsemen were led by Dave Pientok’s 15 points and 14 from John Peterson.

December 5, 1958

            Edward Ausderau, Whitehall, assistant Trempealeau County agent, will show- a film at the meeting of the Fuller Coulee Community Club Friday evening. Musical numbers will be given by Lawrence Hanson, Gary. Erickson, Charles Johnson and Roger Fremstad, and Kathy Hanson will entertain with a piano solo. Lunch will be served by the Mmes. Gerhard Fremstad and Arlow Schroeder.

December 5, 1933

            The Masonic lodge elected officers for the ensuing year at a meeting Tuesday night as follows: J. C. Southworth, Worshipful Master; John A. Markham, Senior Warden; Archie O. Torson, Junior Warden; John F. Hager, treasurer; W. O. Olson, secretary, and F. A. Caswell, trustee for three years.

December 5, 1921

            Pigeon Falls — Tom Fremstad motored to Eau Claire Monday for Miss Hazel Olson, who came home for a few weeks’ vacation.

December 5, 1912

            W.T. Cooley is doing carpenter work for Charley York in Hale, the latter having his barn repaired.

December 5, 1898

            Peter Christianson returned Monday from Necedah, where he has been visiting his son Ludwig, and while there purchased a farm for him.

December 4, 1972

            Fire destroyed the interior of an auto owned by Mrs. Wilbur Holtan while it was parked in front of the Whitehall Bake Shop Monday. Whitehall firemen arrived in time to rescue about $450 in somewhat-scorched bills and coins that Mrs. Holtan was taking to her family’s business, Club Midway in Independence.

December 4, 1958

            The Men’s Club at St. Paul’s Wisconsin Synod Lutheran Church of German Valley meets at the church Thursday at 8 p.m. to organize and elect officers. The Rev. Richard Buege will present devotions and a special topic. Ernest Langner and Edward Schaefer will serve lunch.

December 4, 1933

            E.A. Sorenson of Whitehall assumed the duties of interviewer under the Civil Works Administration Monday. It is Sorenson’s duty to eliminate those who are not supposed to be included in civil works projects. There has been complaint in some cases, but Sorenson hopes to remove from the payrolls all those who have the means to otherwise support themselves.

December 4, 1913

            Hale — Wolves are numerous in this section. C.G. Johnson and brothers have had several sheep killed by them.

December 4, 1886

            Saturday was another gala day for the businessmen of Whitehall. Upwards of 2,000 bushels of grain were marketed here, and trade boomed to such an extent that few businessmen got an opportunity to partake of their noon meal.

December 3, 1970

            A “Green Thumb” beautification project has been underway in the city of Whitehall for about 10 weeks. An area along the Trempealeau River adjoining the Whitehall Country Club is being cleared as a possible site for a park.

Dec. 3, 1958

            C.A. Kuhn was elected president of the Chamber of Commerce, succeeding John Hegge, at a meeting held last week Wednesday noon.

December 3, 1936

            For several years, the churches of Whitehall have extended Thursday evening as a time for religious gatherings, but of late various organizations have overlooked this courtesy. Local pastors request that Thursday evenings be held open for church work.

December 3, 1925

            A.J. Schaefer, who has been employed at the Quackenbush barbershop since last spring, has resigned his position and opened a shop at Pleasantville. Mr. Schaefer will have a room in connection with the N. Gunderson and Sons store, which he has remodeled into a neat tonsorial parlor. The shop is equipped with modern fixtures, including electric lights and clippers.

December 3, 1914

            We are manufacturing cement silo blocks. Those contemplating building silos should confer with us. Finstad Brothers, Whitehall.

Thursday, December 3, 1903

            The typhoid fever patients in town are on the mend and no new cases have developed.

December 3, 1893

            Twenty below zero Sunday night, the coldest of the season.

December 2, 1968

            The Whitehall Chamber of Commerce held a kick-off meeting Monday for the pledge drive it is sponsoring for the new Tri-County Memorial Hospital nursing home. About 60 men have volunteered to solicit pledges from area residents for the $50,000 the drive is supposed to raise, before the Dec. 21 deadline.

December 2, 1957

            The Whitehall Lions Club Monday evening decided to again sponsor its annual Christmas home decorations contest. Prizes of $15, $10 and $5 will be offered. Decorations should be in place by Dec. 22.

December 2, 1935

            The Odd Fellows elected officers for 1936 at their annual meeting Monday night. The following officers were elected: Reuben Rasmussen, Noble Grand; Fred Guse, Vice-Grand; Henry Aleckson, secretary; Henry Fransen, financial secretary; and B.M. Engen, trustee.

December 2, 1926

            For the benefit of those students who cannot get home to a warm meal, the cooking class at Whitehall High School is preparing and serving one hot dish every noon. This is not a moneymaking proposition; hence the three cents a dish that will ordinarily be charged will just cover the cost and not allow for a profit.

December 2, 1913

            Miss Ruth Dean of Whitehall, principal of the schools of Courtland, Wis., and Ferdinand Bolte, superintendent of schools at Bellefield, N. Dak., were married last evening at the manse of the First Presbyterian Church, Winona. They left today for Whitehall, and from there will go to Bellefield to reside.

December 2, 1897

            E.J. Kidder has newly papered and otherwise improved the interior of his barbershop.

December 2, 1886

            The Whitehall hay companies are pressing hay by steam.

December 1, 1969

            As of Dec. 1, the Garden Motel in east Whitehall is under the ownership and management of Mr. and Mrs. William Mattka, who have purchased it from the Black River Savings and Loan Association. Eugene Bijold will manage the motel, and Mrs. Raymond Anderson continues as housekeeper.

December 1, 1950

            Mr. and Mrs. Einar Kildahl were thrilled Friday night when their son, Erling, who is in military service, called from Japan. Erling, who was formerly employed at the Pix Theatre and the men’s store here, is operating a moving picture projector over there.

December 1, 1925

            Albert M. Stalheim of Pigeon was at Whitehall Tuesday. Albert has worked the Mrs. Martin Johnson farm in that town, but will move from there next March to the Olson Bros. farm in Curran Valley, which he recently purchased. The farm consists of 148 acres and a good set of buildings.

December 1, 1910

            The Old Original Pickets, the world’s greatest character imitators and lightning sketch artists — minstrel entertainers — give one of their popular and laughable shows at Opera Hall tonight. They are immense. Give the troupe a big house. Price, 10, 15 and 25 cents.

December 1, 1897

            Twenty-three below last night, the coldest this winter.

December 1, 1881

            A subscription is being circulated for the purpose of raising funds for the purchase of a bell for the Methodist Episcopal Church. This is a worthy scheme, gentlemen, and we trust your donations will be generous.

November 30, 1971

            The city council last week Tuesday night approved a $427,145 budget for 1972. The increase in spending for next year, about $140,000, is mostly for parks, recreation, the swimming pool and municipal improvement.

November 30, 1960

            Nearly complete returns from the Whitehall Community Chest drive total $2,400, about $600 less than the $3,000 goal, according to Reuben Magnuson, chairman.

November 30, 1933

            A few broken cement blocks and other debris are all that is left of the old cement block factory, Whitehall’s first manufacturing establishment. R.R. Langworthy recently razed the building and plans to rebuild it on land which he purchased on Hwy. 121 near the river bridge in the town of Lincoln. The Whitehall Cement Block Factory was erected about 30 years ago by O.C. Thorson, Richard Mattson and August Ringstad, about the time that cement came into general use in the construction of buildings in this area.

November 30, 1917

            A large crowd attended the Thanksgiving dance at the City Hall Thursday evening, given by the Pathea Orchestra. It was one of the pleasantest and liveliest of times, every person imbibing from the orchestra that jolly feeling, which made for happiness. The Pathea certainly are desirous of giving satisfaction, and succeed beyond the fondest of expectations.

November 30, 1906

            The season for hunting deer closed Friday, although several days are allowed for getting the meat out of the woods. The fatalities caused by careless shooting were considerably less than those of last season.

November 30, 1898

            A jolly party was out sleigh riding last evening, driving to Independence and back. They were Misses Iva Cliff, Maggie Buchholz, Gunda Olson, Myrtle Whitney, Carrie Vold, Mable Congdon and Nina Stanley, and Messrs. Albert Wing, Nels Stalheim and Lewis Weeks.

November 30, 1883

            We are one day late this week. The employees of the office had to take a rest after partaking of their Thanksgiving dinner.

November 29, 1968

            Whitehall Junior Legion Auxiliary officers are: Nancy Thompson, president; Arlo Granlund vice president; Joyce Lamborn, treasurer; Jane Windjue, secretary; Susan Mallum, chaplain; Carolym Hegge, historian; Susan Burkart and Sherri Jo Carlson, sergeants-at-arms; Susan Stendahl, lunch committee. There are 18 members in the group.

November 29, 1951

            The business section of Whitehall is a sightly area when the new mercury-vacuum streetlights are turned on each evening. There are 28 lights on 29-foot aluminum poles, with the bulbs suspended on a six-foot arm. The first two of the new lights was illuminated Sept. 18, and all the lights were turned on for the first time Nov. 3. The new nine-foot sidewalks are also finished, and with the “white way” installed, this makes for the most noticeable improvement in Whitehall history. When the project was begun, power and telephone lines were laid underground, eliminating the poles and thus adding a bit more to the appearance of the business section.

November 29, 1920

            Pigeon Falls — Miss Emma Rognlien resumed teaching again Monday in District No. 4, having had an operation for appendicitis at the Lutheran hospital in Eau Claire. Miss Esther Mortenson of Whitehall taught in her place the past five weeks.

November 29, 1907

            O. Stendahl of Pigeon finished threshing and pulled his outfit home last Friday.

November 29, 1894

            Blair — The game of polo played here between the Whitehall and Blair teams on Thanksgiving was enjoyed by participants and spectators, and resulted in a victory for our boys. The Whitehall boys play well.

November 29, 1881

            Uncle Ervin received two bloodhounds by express Tuesday, which animals he has secured at great expense to assist in a wolf chase. Tired of the medical treatment administered to the wolves last year, with no returns for services rendered, he plans to form a league to conduct a wolf chase with several of the huntsmen of the town one day a week.

November 28, 1972

            Tom Monson netted 25 points to lead Whitehall to a 72-68, overtime win over Black River Falls. John Peterson added 18 for the Norsemen, who also got 17 from Roger Johnson.

November 28, 1962

            Carsten Linnerud of Irvin Coulee lost three fingers on his right hand as the result of a corn picker accident last week Wednesday afternoon. Neighbors and townspeople have come to the aid of the Linneruds; Frank Coburn, manager of the WBI Farmers Union mill in Whitehall, has helped with the milking every night, and other cooperative employees have also helped.

November 28,1938

            The Holtan brothers started the operation of their locker plant Monday, when current was turned on in the freezing equipment. Lee Johnson and Ernest Davidson are employed by the Holtans at the plant.

November 28, 1925

            Theodore Engen was overcome by carbon monoxide gas Saturday while on his way to Black River Falls with a truckload of poultry for L. Hammerstad. The truck stalled when it struck a mailbox as it crossed the cement road near the fairgrounds. Ben Lanning gave aid and took him to Dr. Krohn’s office, where he was revived.

November 28, 1912

            Several home gatherings, regular New England occasions, were enjoyed by a number of Whitehall families and friends Thanksgiving Day.

November 28, 1899

            The firm of Everson and Vold, machinery dealers, was dissolved by mutual consent Tuesday.

November 27, 1962

            Donald Estenson of Whitehall will be among the farmers honored at the annual county soil conservation banquet, to be held Nov. 27 at the French Creek Lutheran Church.

November 27, 1937

            The first heavy snow of the season visited the Trempealeau Valley Saturday, accumulating to a depth of four inches by evening. It appears that winter has begun in earnest, as the thermometer registered five below zero by Monday morning.

November 27, 1924

            Thanksgiving evening was joyfully brought to a close by a party at B.B. Olson’s home, where the eighth-grade class of 1922 gathered to help Miss Nora celebrate her 16th birthday.

November 27, 1913

            Weather in Wisconsin is ideal. Roads are fine and automobiles are running with scarcely a jar.

November 27, 1899

            The village board, at its session Monday night, formally opened Hobson Street, an extension of Marsh Street, running east and west south of the courthouse and paralleling Dewey Street. A cross street was also opened intersecting Hobson, being an extension of West Street.

November 27, 1888

            If the chap who took the axe from M. Ingalls’s barn Tuesday night will put it back, it will be all right. If not, he will be prosecuted. He is known.

November 26, 1970

            A new eight-unit apartment building currently under construction on the city’s west side is expected to be ready for occupancy by April 1. Maynard Clipper, Harold Everson, Norman Friske and Leonard Ellison, all of Whitehall, have formed CEFE, Inc., to undertake the project.

November 26, 1951

            Forty-four young men from Trempealeau County went to Minneapolis Monday to take their pre-induction physicals for Army service, among them Eugene Sosalla and James Ackley of Whitehall. Those from Independence were James Marsolek, Everett Sluga, John Senty and Richard Smieja.

November 26, 1926

            Albert T. Hagen of Pigeon is among the successful poultrymen of this vicinity. He has a flock of Western Leghorn pullets, and last Friday when he was in town told us that he had been gathering 24 dozen eggs a day for the last several days. With eggs bringing better than 40 cents a dozen on the local market, the return from a flock of layers like Albert’s is a profitable sideline for a farmer to engage in.

November 26, 1912

            Tuesday’s electric light ironing service was discontinued this week.

November 26, 1900

            F.W. Porter got the job Monday for running the electric light and pumping plants for the village for another year. Mr. Porter gives Whitehall excellent service as her electrician, and he had no opposition in bidding on the job this year.

November 26, 1888

            Hon. P. Ekem of Pigeon Falls has purchased from B.F. Wing the hay press which the latter has operated in his hay barn in this village. The machine was moved to Pigeon Falls Monday, where Mr. Ekern will press hay in connection with his extensive business carried on at that place.

November 25, 1971

            An eight-inch blanket of snow arrived for Thanksgiving, and as of this week is still here. Hazardous driving over the holiday weekend curtailed traveling.

November 25, 1959

            Mike Bergerson, assistant herdsman at the Trempealeau County farm west of Whitehall, reported to Sheriff Eugene Bijold Wednesday evening that a car with a red light pulled up beside him, and its driver said “Stick ’em up!” Bergerson, having his car in gear, speeded ahead and lost what he thought was a hold-up man.

November 25, 1935

            Mark Golden of Hale was brought to Community Hospital Monday evening, after a tree which his son was felling struck him a glancing blow on the head, inflicting a severe gash in the scalp. Although his condition was considered very serious for a time, he is somewhat improved today.

November 25, 1921

            Pleasantville — Albert Johnson and Nels Gunderson were at Independence Friday getting repairs for the mill. Sever Williamson repaired a windmill for Hans Maug last week.

November 25, 1908

            There will be a basketball game at the opera house next Wednesday evening at eight o’clock between the high school girls and the town girls. Admission is 15 cents.

November 25, 1896

            Our village school took a recess yesterday, so our teachers could partake of the Thanksgiving meal at home. School will not re-open until Monday, to allow the teachers to attend the association meeting at Independence tomorrow and Saturday.

November 25, 1886

            Deputy Sheriff Elstad is moving his family into the new jail building this week, and will soon be ready to sweep down on offenders of the law.