A candidate for public office who had a campaign sign defaced with a swastika isn’t planning to pursue charges, according to the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office.
Three signs endorsing the campaign of Derrick Van Orden were vandalized Aug. 1 in the Town of Holland. The signs belong to landowner Stan Richason and have since been replaced.
Van Orden is running as a Republican in the 3rd District Congressional race.
La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf said Tuesday his office has been advised by the Van Orden campaign “that they don’t wish to pursue charges.”
Van Orden blamed political opponents for the vandalism in a statement released Monday.
“This is just the latest in a series of attempts by the Left to censor and silence those who think differently than they do,” the statement read. “Vandalism like this and attempts to silence political speech are unacceptable, regardless of party affiliation. I am running to represent everyone in the 3rd District, including those who disagree with me.”
Wolf said it would be at the discretion of the La Crosse County District Attorney’s office to pursue hate crime charges if a suspect is apprehended. He said vandalized political signs haven’t been a widespread problem in the county.
“While it may occur, we have very few, if any, complaints of theft or vandalism,” Wolf said.
From Tribune files: Life in the La Crosse area in the 1950s
1951: La Crosse Central High School
Students and a Navy color guard unit gather outside La Crosse’s old Central High School, 16th and Cass streets, for a Memorial Day ceremony in 1951 to honor the school’s alumni who gave their lives in service of their country. Anyone who has additional information about this photo or wishes to donate other pictures of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1951: YMCA at Seventh and Main streets
A 1951 Tribune photo of the main lobby in the old YMCA building at 617 Main St. shows desk clerk Henry Sjolander visiting with Cletus Henry, who was then a resident of one of the many dormitory rooms there. The YMCA was at this location for 60 years, from 1909 to 1969, in a four-story building now occupied by Western Technical College’s Administrative Center. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1954: Triangle Cafe
The Triangle Cafe, which opened in 1951, was a popular breakfast spot in downtown La Crosse. Shown in this 1954 photo are, from left, owner H.F. (Herb) Troyer, Betty Troyer, Mary Kreutzer and Thomas Baldwin. The restaurant's building at 601 Main St. was demolished to make room for Gateway Terrace Condominiums.
1954: Estell Tall Fashions
Ester MacKenzie, left, and Eleanor Armstrong, were co-owners of Estel Tall Fashion, a women's clothing store at 720 Main St. The store's name, the women told the Tribune, was arrived at by combing the names of the two owners. The store, the women said, focuses on the fashion needs of taller women. "Tall girls," Armstrong said, "shouldn't be afraid to admit their height. After all, most top models are tall."
1954: Howards Clothes
Howards Clothes employees, from left, Raymond E. Wrobel (president, general manager and part owner), Rudolph Secky, James Wagner, John McCown and John D. Desmond Jr. (secretary, treasurer and part owner) are pictured in 1954 inside their store, which opened in 1926 at 112 S. Fourth St., which is now home to Deaf Ear Record Exchange.
1954: Crescent Jewelers
Manager of Crescent Jewelers Sam Horwitz, left, is shown here in this 1954 photo with, from left, Marion Horwitz, Robert Hurin and Ronald N. Boettcher. The building at 429 Main St. has housed a jewelry store since 1881 when it was Irvine Jewelers, The business was purchased by Isador Horwitz in 1950.
1954: Tom's Speedometer Shop
Tom's Speedometer Shop employees — from left, bookkeeper Mrs. Keenan, owner Tom Keenan, manager Floyd Tolley and technician Robert Olson — are shown in their store in this 1954 photo. Tom Keenan opened the speedometer repair business in 1928 in the back of a Second Street garage. It later moved to 614 Main St. In later years, the business mainly did locksmith work and lamp repair. It closed in 2008. Today, the location is home to resale shop.
1954: YMCA basketball
Tip-off action during a 1954 boys basketball game in the gymnasium of the old YMCA building at 617 to 629 Main St. A La Crosse YMCA basketball team was among the first to play the sport when it was introduced here in 1894, at a time when there were 11 players to a team and scores of 5-0 were common, according to local history files. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1954: 5 and 10-cent Store fire
Ladders and hoses were plentiful as La Crosse firemen battled a blaze at the R.E. Osborne 5 and 10-cent Store on Dec. 13, 1954. The fire, which began in the basement of the Osborne store at 1201 Caledonia St., gutted the building and an adjoining business, the Haraldson Shoe Store at 1203 Caledonia St. (not shown). The Osborne building was later razed and replaced by a one-story building that was home to a Ben Franklin store for many years before being occupied by the building’s current tenant, Options Clinic. This view of the fire was taken from St. Paul Street and also shows the Buckhorn Tavern at 621 St. Paul St. This building remains standing today and is now home to Dewey’s Side Street Saloon. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may call the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1955: La Crosse Beauty School
From left (standing) student Dale Twedt, instructor Gene Harding, student Bea Anderson and instructor Ravenhall Stevens work on the hair of students, from left, Ardyth Eagon and Elizabeth Mezera, at the La Crosse Beauty School in this 1955 photo. The school opened at 718 Main St. in 1952. Today, the building is home to Treasures on Main.
1956: Christmas shoppers in downtown La Crosse
A circa 1956 view of Christmas shoppers in downtown La Crosse, with the camera looking east on Main Street from the northwest corner of Fourth and Main streets. The woman at left foreground is looking at a display window of the old Bob Cline Jewelry Store at 331 Main St., where that business operated from 1953 to 1958, according to city directory files. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1956: Central High School Memorial Day assembly
The school color guard marches past students during the 1956 Memorial Day assembly at Central High School, then located at 16th and Cass streets. This ceremony was part of an ongoing annual tradition at Central dating back to 1923 to honor the school’s war dead. The members of this color guard were Bill Cornell, Dick Matl, Jim Hamilton and Don Lintelman, according to Central yearbook files. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136 .
The La Crosse Tribune published this special section to mark the 1957 opening of a Kroger supermarket in the Village Shopping Center. The food store became a Quillin's supermarket in 1971. In 2011, the 35,000-square-foot building was razed to make way for a Festival Foods that opened later that year.
1957: Jackson Plaza
This is the cover a special section of the La Crosse Tribune marking the 1957 opening of Jackson Plaza on the South Side of La Crosse. Although the businesses have changed many times over the years, the strip mall remains at 19th and Jackson.
1957: Old Style newspaper advertisement
This advertisement for Old Style Lager appeared in the La Crosse Tribune in 1957.
1958: 1st National Bank
This page was part of a special section the La Crosse Tribune published in 1958 to mark the opening of the new 1st National Bank building in La Crosse. The financial institution saw several name changes — and the building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and King Street had several remodels — before it took on the Wells Fargo name in 2000.
1958: State Bank of La Crosse
This full-page advertisement, published in the May 23, 1958, La Crosse Tribune, announced an open house at the remodeled office of State Bank of La Crosse, located at the corner of Fourth and Main streets. A second renovation in 1997 included removing the granite panels that were installed on the south side of the building in 1958. The granite was replaced with limestone, creating a match to the original stone, which was quarried from Grandad Bluff. The institution, which today goes by the name State Bank Financial, was founded in 1879 and has occupied the building since 1913.
1958: Heat exchanger plant
Trane workers check over equipment in 1958 at the company's new $12 million, 76,800-square-foot heat exchanger plant near the corner of Ward Avenue and Losey Boulevard.
1958: American Legion parade
Spectators crowd the 400 block of Main Street on July 27, 1958, to watch a parade honoring the American Legion.
This parade capped off the Legion’s annual Wisconsin state convention then being held in La Crosse for the first time since 1932. An estimated 40,000 people turned out for the “mammoth parade,” which was nearly three hours long, according to Tribune files.
Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
La Crosse Tribune reporter Steve Rundio can be reached at
“This is just the latest in a series of attempts by the Left to censor and silence those who think differently than they do. Vandalism like this and attempts to silence political speech are unacceptable, regardless of party affiliation."
Van Orden campaign statement