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Pages from the Past

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The Vernon County Censor

Jan. 14, 1920

100 years ago

Fair and warmer – Saturday and Sunday.

Attend the big January clearance sale at Felix’ and save money.

Sterling has the honor of the largest single tax payer in a township in the county, or would be had he survived, the late Dr. Christenson, whose estate will pay $1,279.94.

An incipid[sic] and short-lived strike was inaugurated at the Bekkedal warehouse in this city, last Wednesday, result of a misunderstanding regarding pay for sizing. Management state that practically all of the desirable help has returned to their positions, and things are moving on as usual.

Mrs. Virgil Grubb is now employed as a saleslady at Towner’s store.

You can purchase a new winter coat for $12.75, sizes 43 to 51. Suttle & Tate.

While driving to this city from West Prairie, on a late day, Sam Erickson and son killed a wolf in Sidie hollow. Poor Raynor was handicapped by having a trap hung to him and the Ericksons had no trouble to overtake and slay him in the road.

BUD – January 4 – Christmas fools were seen out nearly every night….Students of Bud vicinity have returned to Viroqua to resume school work, after two week vacation….small pox seems to be spreading….Gather your nerve young ladies and take advantage of leap year, as this is 1920.

ROUND PRAIRIE, January 12 – Well, we are much like the rest of the county in having cold weather and fine sleighing.

Will Norris’ new hog house looms up like a bright spot on the moon, and he’s proud of the sty and the fine line of Poland Chinas he breeds.

The Vernon County Censor

Jan. 11, 1945

75 years ago

Restaurant and café owners in Viroqua selected Tuesday as the first meatless day to be observed here, during the present emergency, it was revealed. Art Peterson is president of the Viroqua Restaurant Association and Mrs. I. E. Casperson is secretary. Its action is in keeping with a nation-wide movement by all hotel and restaurant proprietors, and it is hoped that patrons of local eating places will accept the meatless days without complaint.

The following letter, written on December 7 by Dr. R.S. Hirsch, says so concisely what many of our boys are thinking, that we are sure he will pardon us for printing it, although it was not written for publication: I am waiting impatiently for this damnable war to end. Then I hope to confine myself happily to Viroqua for the rest of my days. There is no place on earth that can compare with it! I have never seen such devastation as France has undergone. It is tragic to see the local French peasant returning after we have taken one of their villages. They rummage around in the rubble that was once “home sweet home,” hoping to salvage a few of their meager belongings. Then they struggle back along the highway tugging a tiny cart full of things, picked up mostly for sentimental reasons. There’s nothing glorious about war and I would fight a dozen of them here rather than have anything like this happen to our own beautiful America. We must never permit ourselves again to be caught in such an abject state of unpreparedness. The tremendous sacrifices we are all making now will be worthwhile only if we can profit by the lessons this war has taught us.

The Vernon County


Jan. 8, 1970

50 years ago

Olga Bennett was sworn in as Vernon County Judge in ceremonies Monday afternoon. A Circuit Court room packed with people saw and heard the first woman judge in Vernon take her oath of office as the second woman judge in Wisconsin.

Deaths: Minnie Alma (Hanson) Ostrem, 81; Mary Elizabeth (Erickson) Olson, 63; Ella (Hanson) Vold, 73; Edwin John Riley, 73; Cleo G. Ranger, 67; Louis Sisbach, 71; Albert O. Anderson, 92; Mabel (Miller) Green, 79.

A three-month trial of once-a-week garbage pickup in Viroqua begins Monday February 2. Reduced collection days merit opportunity to save money. The trial can be extended for an additional three months.

New adult education has these new classes for second semester: ground school aviation, income tax accounting, and figure skating, according to Western Wisconsin Institute Coordinators Howard Olson and Kenneth Arnetveit. Twelve students must sign up for a class to run.

The Vernon County


Jan. 12, 1995

25 years ago

The Viroqua School Board tabled two proposals after long discussions at its last meeting. The issues were the sale of city elementary school buildings and a proposed all day/everyday kindergarten option. The buildings and grounds committee planned to meet with the two bidders, Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School and LanBar before the next board meeting. For the new kindergarten, parents would be able to select the half-day or whole-day option for their child, but this option needed more study on all aspects of this proposal.

Members of the local advisory committee from Viroqua and Westby for the Department of Transportation (DOT) study of the possibility of a highway bypass around both cities expressed their opposition to the bypass for different reasons. The two major areas of concern were that the bypass would limit the number of people that would come to town and patronize local businesses and the four-lane highway on the Main Street in each city. Fred Nelson, President of the Viroqua Chamber/VRA said that the four-lane highway would destroy the ambiance of both cities. I addition, it was noted that neither city’s Main Street could expand to four lanes without affecting store fronts.

Stoddard faced a unique election situation. The fate of the recall campaign against some of the Village officers was still in limbo but some of the recall targets will be running for re-election. The State Elections Board will be issuing a final ruling on the validity of signatures on the original recall petition in about a week.

The Viroqua City Council votes unanimously to change the city’s zoning ordinance. The amended ordinance will now allow development on lots with direct access to streets.

Ralph Swadley of Readstown was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and hunting deer with a license or approval. Swadley, if convicted, faced two years in prison and an $11,000 fine.

The Vernon County


Jan. 21, 2010

10 years ago

Kickapoo Area School District Band Director Bill Doolan was recognized by Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation with an award as an outstanding music instructor.

The Viroqua City Council voted last week to sell a small portion of city owned land to the WI Dept of Transportation for the four-lane expansion of Highways 14/61/27 between Westby and Viroqua.

The first ever Cold Hands Warm Hearts Snow Softball Tournament will be held at the Stoddard village park on Feb. 6. The tournament is a fundraiser for Gundersen Lutheran’s Heart Institute.

Vernon County Historical Society — by Bonnie Sterling, Donna Halverson, Peg O’Rourke, Irving Leif and Denise Kirchoff


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