TEN YEARS AGO

Thursday, July 31, 1975

            Peter Bieri was elected school board president at the district annual meeting Monday night. During the meeting, division of the district into sub-districts for board representation purposes was discussed, with town of Hale resident Harlan Void noting that his area is currently unrepresented. It was decided to name a committee to study the idea, with each board member nominating two persons. Last year, it was proposed that the district be divided into four representation areas.

            Whitehall welcomed another new business to the community last Friday when Bill and Connie Weiss opened the doors of their new Skogmo store, located in the former Coast to Coast building on Main Street.

            Barb Sacher of Ettrick was crowned queen of the Trempealeau County Fair Thursday, as the fair opened its four-day run. Natalie Sobotta of Arcadia was chosen as first attendant, and Patricia Trim of Galesville is the second attendant.

            Randy Symicek had two key hits as Independence knocked Whitehall out of the regional tournament with a 7-2 decision Thursday. Mike Lyga went two for three with a triple, and Barry Sosalla hit a long home run, but the Norse managed only two runs off winner Ron Knudtson.

            Four Keenan Ford players —  pitcher Buck Beirne, outfielders Les Foss and Duane Kokott and utility player Steve Nicolai — will represent Whitehall in the Dairyland Softball League All-Star game next week. Arnie and Rolfe Fremstad of the Pigeon Flyers have also been named to the Southern Division team.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO

Thursday, July 30, 1970

            A large-scale drug investigation is being continued by Whitehall city police and District Attorney William Mattka.

            John Monson, new principal at Whitehall Memorial High School, officially assumed his duties this week, succeeding Ernest Brickner, who has retired. Monson, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Milford Monson of Pigeon Falls, was a 1943 graduate of Whitehall High.

            The Trempealeau County board of supervisors, meeting last week Tuesday, adopted an ordinance prohibiting rock festivals in Trempealeau County.

            A budget calling for expenditures of just over $850,000 was approved by electors of the Whitehall school district at the annual meeting Monday night. Half of that amount is to be raised through local property taxes, an increase of about $80,000 from the previous year.

            Pleasantville defeated previously unbeaten Independence to win the championship game of the Osseo Little League tournament. Rollin Gjestvang had three hits, and Barry McCune had a double and a triple, to lead the winners.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO

Thursday, Aug. 4, 1960

            Several rural school districts in the county, at their annual meetings Monday night, voted on the question of integrating with high school districts. The town of Dodge voted to continue as a rural district until the state deadline for integration in 1962. The Daggett district voted to operate for at least one more year. Integration with a high school district was discussed at the Pike school meeting, but no action was taken because of the small attendance.

            A public hearing of the Trempealeau and Jackson county school committees will be held Aug. 17 in Whitehall on a proposal by the state superintendent of public instruction that the counties be combined for the purpose of hiring one joint county superintendent of schools.

            Teenage dances, sponsored by the county youth council, will be held at Independence High School Aug. 8 and 22. Girls are asked to attend in dresses.

            A fund drive conducted through the newspapers has allowed Rodney Barth, the Dodge lad stricken with polio a year ago, to be taken to Warm Springs, Ga., where he hopes to be able to regain the use of his paralyzed limbs.

            Herb Holte’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the tenth Sunday gave Whitehall its eighth-straight Skyline League win, a 9-8 victory over Hixton-Alma Center. Holte had four hits in six at-bats for the league leaders, while Ben Ringstad went two for four.

FIFTY YEARS AGO

Thursday, Aug. 1, 1935

            The heaviest fall of rain in several years, coming in three downpours between the morning and afternoon, struck the Trempealeau Valley Saturday. The flood came down the Pigeon Valley, washing out the dam at the York mill, and raising the Trempealeau River to within a few inches of the bridge north of Whitehall. Irvin Creek developed into a river, and Bennie Engen, recognized as one of the old timers in the village, says the water was the highest since the flood of 1888.

            The barn on the former William Schultz farm north of town was hit by lightning and destroyed by the resulting fire Saturday.

            Broney, the 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Kowahl, drowned while swimming in Plum Creek Wednesday evening.

            Elk Creek and Newcomb Valley played an interesting Hill Country League game, unmarred by arguments, Sunday, the former shutting out the latter. Bar- neson for Elk Creek allowed just two hits, and led his team with a double and a single. Myron Scow, a high school sophomore, pitched for Newcomb Valley and gave up just six hits while striking out 10. Their battery mates were Maule and Maurice Scow, respectively.

            Whitehall took over second place in the Western Wisconsin League, defeating Ettrick 10-5; Erickson had three hits for the winners. Strum held on to the league lead by beating Pigeon Falls 4-2, despite Neperud and M. Fremstad both getting two singles and a double each.

SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO

Thursday, Aug. 4, 1910

            The village library shows the effects of Tuesday’s rain, which broke the long drought. A bolt of lightning started a fire where telephone lines enter the building, Dr. Storey and Fred Lunstad spotting the flames and turning in the alarm. The fire company extinguished the blaze in short order, but the walls and floor were pretty well soaked; fortunately, the books did not get very wet. Village citizens turned out en masse, and the crowd was equal to handling a conflagration of much larger proportions.

            Anton Fremstad of Pigeon went to La Crosse Friday with Inga Overby, who dislocated her shoulder recently by a fall in the barn.

            Thor Thorson of Pigeon is the first to report harvesting tobacco. He cut and shedded some this week.

            Judge Cowie has purchased another automobile, a Chalmers-Detroit 36.

            The Onalaska Pickle Co. has opened its salting station here, with Ed Ward in charge.

            Elias Larson of Pigeon is through with haying, harvesting and stacking, finishing with the latter July 26, the earliest in many years. He says the crops are pretty fair.

            Potatoes are a scarce article.

            Lightning set fire to a setting of grain on the farm of Mrs. John Schroeder in Hale Sunday night, burning one of the stacks. The other two were miraculously saved, the neighbors turning out and working heroically.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

Thursday, July 30, 1885

            The death of General Grant casts a pall over the village, although it had been expected. Immediately upon receipt of the telegram announcing the death of the great man, flags draped in mourning were half-mast, and many buildings in town were creped, indicative of the general sorrow.

            How the ice cream men do smile this hot weather, and wish it was 20 degrees warmer for their business.

            There are some in town who tried to shut themselves up jackknife fashion after eating cucumbers this week.

            Last Monday, Peter, son of Simon Solberg, a lad of about 10 years old, during the absence of his father, got Lute Quackenbush, a boy of the same age, and together they started up the feed run at the mill and proceeded to do business on their own hook. It was dangerous sport for the boys and it is fortunate that no accident happened to them while they were working the belt. Such mischievous urchins ought to be tied to the bedpost. It would take a pretty good knot to hold Lute, as he is as slippery as an eel and limber as a dishrag.

            The Galesville postmaster has been removed for “offensive partisanship.” The administration is doing up the Republican postmasters and laying them away on the shelf.

            It is now alleged by the Pall Mall Gazette that the scandalous crimes it had unearthed were fostered by the roller skating rink. The rink has been forced to bear up under a great many allegations, but this is the sort of blithing, withering charge that is calculated to crush out an institution, however deeply rooted its popularity.

            Pigeon — On Friday eve there was a “free fight" at the Falls. One of the parties, at least, was the worse for liquor; so it was the whiskey, not the man, one said. They first warmed up to their work at the shoemaker and jeweler shop, then exhibited at the blacksmith shop, and finished up at the village store. So you see we are getting to be some in Pigeon. Guess those prohibition workers in your town had better start a club up here, if they could find sufficient material.

            Galesville — It is reported that a premium of from $50 to $100 will be offered for the best cornet band at the county fair. This will doubtless subtract from the purse for horse-trotting, and may add something to the honor of the fair. A square trial of speed is creditable, and should be encouraged, but when two horses are combined to tire the third out in starting, using most of the afternoon for that purpose, that part of the program ought to be ruled out under the law prohibiting “gambling at county fairs.”