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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


SEPT. 28, 1921


The above caption is part of a road sign on a public highway and is advantageous as an inspiration. The sign reads: “Caution; many curves; you might meet a fool.” The mind that conceived the wording of that sign is a genius.

Mayor A.E. Smith, Aldermen Helgeson and Larson, and Well Driller B.I. Baley drove to southern Grant county last week inspecting mine pumps in that section, preparatory to fitting out Viroqua’s new well. On the return trip they found the Kickapoo on a rampage from heavy rains and crossed the flat above Soldiers Grove with water over the running board of the car.

VIOLA NEWSLETTER – The users of electric service are being discommoded somewhat this week because of repairs which are being made at the dam which necessitates the shutting off of the power each afternoon. A new concrete apron is being put in.

Unusually heavy rains have visited this section of the county the past week and the old Kickapoo river has been out of its banks most of the time. Some bridges were washed out and roads were also washed out in places.

While Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kellicut were attending the movie on Sunday evening their home was entered by burglars and a number of valuable pieces of jewelry stolen. A dollar in money was also taken... Muddy tracks were discovered on the back porch and were of different size, which proves two people were implicated in the rummage of the house... The work is thought to be that of local parties operating during fair week...


SEPT. 21, 1921

Next week occurs the 65th annual exhibition of the Vernon County Agricultural Society. Every indication points to it with the promise of being the best fair of the 65.

Continued downpours of rain nearly every day or night for two weeks have raised hob with the big construction works in Viroqua... the cement machine is just about where it was two weeks ago, while Contractor Rink has regraded the North Main Street hill no less than six times.

Work on the Masonic temple has gone along very well in spite of the rain. The side walls for the temple are up to the second story and the floor support for the theatre is all in place with tile and steel reinforcing in place ready for the pouring the concrete.

The bogy man will get you if you don’t watch out, is the warning which might well be given to those who are thinking of violating the state’s game and fish laws... 53 full time wardens... over 200 special wardens.

Cashton Records – Part of a still, two barrels of mash and two containers partly filled with moonshine were confiscated in a raid Saturday afternoon... upon the Huber saloon on St. Joseph’s Ridge.

W.F. Lindemann is erecting a building 22x50 feet in dimension on his land just east of the Enggaard harness shop. It will be of tile and pebbledash construction and will be occupied by George Griffin with his Swift cream station and the Plumber Frank Wintz.

Urma Hard Wheat Flour, Best Patent, $2.40 at Johnson & Vigdahl’s

Boy’s 2-piece knee pants suits, $8.50, $1.00, and $12.00. M.J.Felix.

The Retreat fair was a great success this year even though the roads were a trifle slippery.


SEPT. 14, 1921

Torger Fortney has purchased of Mrs. Wyman, her land lying just north of Eckhart Park and is converting it into lots making 12 very desirable lots. One on the corner has been contracted for by Carl Enggaard, who will erect a modern home in the near future.

Two Clippings from Kansas papers telling of the death of Thomas J. Decker. Mr. Decker was the last member of the first family which braved the unbroken wilderness at an early date to settle on the site of this city.

The Censor office today stands upon the spot where the first rude log cabin was erected by the Deckers, and in the basement of the office is the old Decker well at the bottom of which once flowed a stream of pure water which supplied the early settlers.

Last Monday several of our small boys had a lot of fun that netted them some financial gain as well. The flood water over the cement was so deep that automobiles going through would get stalled. The boys were stationed nearby and naturally the drivers called upon them to push them through the water. This the boys did after getting promises of pay for their trouble. The nickles [sic] and dimes rolled in so rapidly that a total of nearly five dollars was collected by the youngsters.

Just received another lot of our men’s work shoes at $2.75. Anton Olson’s Basement Shoe Store.

The editor went over the Viola hill Sunday for the first time since Stub Morrison and his crew commenced the relocation. You sure have got to hand it to Stub when it comes to road building. When completed the new road will very materially cut down the awful on that last pitch over the top, not to mention the safety and convenience of a wider road.


SEPT. 7, 1921

Sunday was a wild day in Vernon County. Storm after storm passed over, accompanied by severe wind, torrents of rain and hail in some localities... The most severe rainfall seemed to center over the territory drained by the Coon river, and it went on a rampage... The rain raised hob with the paving on Main street, undermining some of the old and new cub and washing considerable dirt off the hill. On the east side of the three business blocks the water found the soft laterals and followed into the basements.

O.G. Lewis of DeSoto... reports that several sheds full of tobacco were blown down on Genoa ridge.

The Censor is genuinely happy to report that Mr. Eckhardt cleaned up most everything in sight with his fine showing of horses at the State fair last week in Milwaukee. He secured eight firsts and 14 seconds.

The big steam shovel in its march up Main street tore the white way light cables in two, and our Main street is in darkness. New cables of the everlasting variety have been ordered and will be laid in the concrete pavement.

Next week the Gays Mills fair will be held, following the Richland County fair will be held and then comes the Viola fair. It is only three weeks off...

One of the local physicians reports that a case of small pox has developed two miles south of town. An epidemic of this disease would be most unfortunate just at the opening of school and it is hoped that all proper steps will be taken to prevent its spread.

We enjoy doctoring watches. If yours has gone on strike, come in and let us put it in running order. Ed Harrington, Jeweler.


August, 1921