From Our Early Files Aug. 18 2021


Aug. 22, 1996

Helped by near-perfect weather, a small army of volunteers and a bigger one of participants, Beef and Dairy Days 1996 was an unqualified success. That’s the word from Dave Anderson, president of Beef and Dairy Days, Inc., the nonprofit corporation that stages the annual affair. After only a preliminary review of receipts, Anderson said the festival appeared to be have done very well at its main function – raising funds for community betterment efforts. 

Trempealeau County Circuit Court judges seldom, if ever, dismiss criminal charges before a defendant has been ordered to stand trial on them. But Judge John Damon did just that Thursday, ruling that there was not probable cause to bind over for trial an Arcadia man charged with threatening a woman with a gun. Damon dismissed the charges of false imprisonment and reckless endangerment against 23-year-old Stephen Doerr. During a preliminary examination, the woman who said the defendant had pointed the gun at her changed her story. 

An Independence native, Mary Gunderson, was recently hired as the new principal at the Arcadia Catholic School. Other new staff members include Lori Pronschinske, Robert Sbraggia, Amy Degenhardt, Sister Fran Dotta and Karen Shinek. 

The Gold’n Plump Poultry plant in Arcadia had to be evacuated after a bomb threat was called in at 11:40 p.m. on Aug. 13. The building was searched by the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Department and no bomb was found. 

The Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board gave final approval Monday night to a new tax levy just over $2 million, down 27 percent from this year’s levy within the school district. 

An expanded 1996 Ettrick Fun Days will offer a horse pull at 1 p.m. Saturday and a car show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The new events will be in addition to such traditional favorites as the Sunday parade and live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If anyone is going to salvage the former Tranhaus restaurant and bowling lanes “they’ve got to do it within the next week to two weeks.” That’s the word from United Bank of Ettrick, which holds the mortgage. 

A public meeting to discuss planning for the future of the Blair-Taylor school buildings has been planned for Aug. 26 at the high school gymnasium. 

Norway’s Agriculture Minister Gunhild Oyangen was given an American welcome with a Norwegian touch last Saturday in Blair. The city was honored to be one of the few cities in western Wisconsin that Oyangen made a visit to on her nine-day trip to the United States. 

Welcome to the new electronic card catalog. This is the message that greets patrons of the Blair-Preston Public Library who are looking for the card catalog. Gone are the drawers of three-by-five cards giving information on books according to author, subject and title. In their place is a table with a computer screen and the welcome message. 


Aug. 26, 1971

Heidi Thompson was crowned Miss Whitehall 1971 during the opening ceremonies of Beef and Dairy Days Thursday evening. Her attendants are Sharon Isaacson and Marilyn Guse; Carol Ellison was picked as Miss Congeniality.

The city of Whitehall is attempting to bring down the cost of the proposed new swimming pool, bids for which came in at considerably higher than the $120,000 authorized by the city council.

Alphonse Rebarchek, 24, Whitehall, was listed in fair condition in a La Crosse hospital Monday, two days after he was injured in a two-car accident on Hwy. 93 between Arcadia and Independence. The driver of the other car, 17-year-old James Symitczek, is in good condition.

Swimming lessons have been completed at Arcadia’s Paetow Pool, reports Ken Theisen, pool manager. The pool will remain open, however, as long as warm weather permits. 

Cat Country Sales has been opened in Arcadia by Glenn Reit, an authorized Arctic Cat dealer. 

Airman Francis Klonecki, son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Klonecki, Arcadia, has received his first U.S. Air Force duty assignment after completing basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas. He will attend administration specialist technical school for 12 weeks at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. 

The inability of the Wisconsin State Legislature and Gov. Lucey to adopt a state budget including support for the elementary and secondary public schools made it impossible for the Gale-Ettrick School District to set the budget and mill rate for the coming year at the regular annual meeting on July 26.

At a recent meeting of the Trempealeau County Young Republicans the following officers were elected: Steve Kopp, Centerville, president; Andy Johnson, Whitehall, vice president; Anne Runkel, Independence, secretary; Betsy Finstad, Pigeon Falls, treasurer; Mike Erickson, Blair, Ron Turk, Blair, membership chairmen; Kim Evenson, Independence and Kathy Twesme, Galesville, special events chairmen; Bruce Lehman, Galesville, election coordinator. 


Aug. 22, 1946

With two precincts left to recount, G.M. Wiley leads C.E. Heath by two votes for the Republican nomination for State Assembly, the same margin he held following the primary election 10 days ago.

Moving pictures of Trempealeau County scenes in natural color will be shown at the Pix Theatre Sept. 3, 4 and 5. Colonel Larson filmed the scenes, which include many citizens of this area, in July. It will be interesting to see the home views on the screen, so keep the dates in mind.

Norman Smith was elected temporary commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post that was organized at Whitehall Friday evening. Eugene Smith, his brother, was elected quartermaster.

A wind and rain storm that did a little damage here Friday evening struck harder in Blair. A dozen trees were uprooted and obstructed Hwy. 95 between Blair and Taylor such that traffic had to be re-routed.

Clarence Davidson, who is employed on the Green Bay and Western section crew out of Whitehall, is taking an enforced vacation. Clarence has an infection in his right hand, caused by a piece of steel which pierced his hand.

Henry Feltes, 64, a resident of Arcadia and Glencoe all his life, died at St. Joseph Hospital Monday afternoon following injuries he received from a fall Friday morning. He fell while he was working on a building on Cleveland Street. 

Five sons of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kleppen, Blair, have been in the service of their country. 

The Green Bay and Western railroad has a crew of 65 men engaged in laying 90 pound steel from Merrillan to Blair. 

A new five horsepower siren purchased by the town board will be placed atop the Ettrick community hall. 

During an electrical storm, lightning struck the chicken coop on the Henry Nelson farm near Fagernes church and completely destroyed the building. 


Aug. 25, 1921

The ever-threatening disease of tuberculosis in cattle made its appearance last week when the state veterinarian tested the herd on the Geo. Libakken farm, owned by John Hager, Dr. Vold and Mr. Libakken, and 50 of the 54 animals tested were found to be infected. Five years had been spent building up this herd of registered and grade Guernseys, which was a source of pride to its owners.

The issue of whether a union free high school district shall be established in the village of Whitehall and the towns of Lincoln, Pigeon and Preston, will be decided by the voters at a special election to be held tomorrow. Good citizenship requires a vote of “Yes.”

The Whitehall Bakery has moved into the Foss Meat Market building, and begin baking in their new place today.

Any resident of Whitehall who wishes to board non-resident high school students should kindly notify Mr. S.N. Hegge at the People’s State Bank. Also, anyone who wishes a student to work for room and board. Any student who wishes such accommodations is requested to call or write to Mr. Hegge.

Arrangements were made for the Union Giants, a “colored” ball team, to play Arcadia’s fast team on the local diamond. 

Manager Frank Ross of the Arcadia branch of the Pepin Pickle Company said that 150,000 pounds of cucumbers had been marketed at the local station to date. 

Leslie Herreid is carrying an arm in a sling. He cranked a Ford, result, a broken arm. His place in the cornet section of the Galesville Concert Band will be filled by another man at the county fair. 

A.C. Abraham will succeed Guilford M. Wiley as a supervising principal of the Galesville Public Schools. Prior to coming to Galesville, Mr. Abraham was a high school principal at Vermilion, S.D.  and Havre, Mont.

Alex Toppen, Gale farmer, may be seen most of the day out back of his barn wielding a baserball bat. Alex was in Chicago recently and saw Babe Ruth swat a home run at Comisky Park. He says it looked easy, but to this time, he hasn’t been able to drive the ball over the barnyard fence. 

The Galesville Fire Department wants new equipment. It should have it. Galesville has made some progress since 30 years ago. The equipment of its fire department hasn’t. A good water pressure needs a well-equipped fighting force to make it effective. 


Aug. 20, 1896

J.C. Gaveney of Arcadia put up the telephone instrument in Solsrud, Kidder and Co.’s store last Friday, and on that day and Saturday our people were given the opportunity to talk with friends at Blair, Independence and Arcadia gratis, many availing themselves of the chance to converse through this new medium. The line works well.

A dance is to be given at Opera Hall in Whitehall next Friday night, half the proceeds of which are to go toward the benefit of the band. There will be good music and an enjoyable time. The band needs help, and if you don’t dance, a cash donation gratuitously given will be acceptable and thankfully received. Dance tickets are 50 cents.

Whitehall people attending  the Arcadia fair must not fail to attend the annual fair ball at Berg’s hall. Hill’s complete orchestra, of Winona, will furnish the music. Tickets, including supper, are $1.25.

Pigeon Falls — A large number of people from this vicinity attended church at Northfield Sunday, where the cornerstone was laid for the new church to be built by the United Lutheran congregation at that place. Rev. M. Gulbrandson of Westby, who formerly served the congregation in conjunction with the one at Pigeon Falls, preached. Rev. Orke, pastor of the congregation, led the proceedings. Dinner was served by the people of the church, and a collection of about $70 was secured.

Elk Creek — It has been noticed that Peter Pederson never oversleeps when he makes his weekly visits to Pigeon.

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