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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


APRIL 30, 1924

During the severe electrical storm last Thursday night, lightning struck the chimney on the Will Clark residence, but fortunately did no damage beyond wrecking the chimney. A telephone pole was also struck and a good many phones put out of commission.

Clinton Center, April 28 – Seeding is the order of the day... Measles and pneumonia are visitors to our community, but everybody is improving... Clinton Center school will be out the 9th of May and the children are planning a picnic... Some of the boys in our community are getting their fishing tackle ready...

DeSoto, April 28 – The village board are preparing a tourist camp site by the creamery on the south side of town. This is a very desirable location and is on the State Trunk Highway No.35... Mr. Loftus drove his big Six Studebaker from DeSoto on down the river to Prairie du Chien without any great obstacles in that part of the road between Lynxville and[s] this road in pretty good condition and with very little effort it can be made a part of the State Trunk Highway No.35.

April showers are plentiful.

One Motor Vehicle to Every Six People

There is today one motor vehicle for every six people in Wisconsin. This is based on the fact that in the year 1922, there were registered 361,062 passenger cars 26,788 trucks, 5,917 motorcycles, and 2,135 dealer’s licenses a total of 400,172... The population of the state by the last census was 2,500,000 people. In the year 1905 expenditures for highways amounted to $3,000,000. In 1922 it amounted to $37,000,000 including township roads...the motor vehicles are increasing far more rapidly than the expenditure on roads.


APRIL 23, 1924

John E. Nuzum’s tobacco shed on the Sticker farm and the brick chimneys on the Severt Larson and Richard Ellacott dwellings were all damaged by lightning in storms on the 16th.

Viola, April 21 – Some one was evidently hungry for smoked meat and yielding to temptation carried off the meat that was being smoked in a large box in the back yard of J.H. Schroeder’s house.

Spring Coulee News – Ole Olson of Coon Valley is shooting stumps for P.T. Lokken this week.

Readstown, April 21 – Last Wednesday afternoon this village and vicinity was visited by a most destructive rain and wind storm. With the coming of the storm it became as dark as night and people expected a worse storm than it really was... A heavy fall of hail accompanied a storm early in the after-noon... A large number of our citizens went to Soldiers Grove Wednesday morning to see if they could be of any assistance in controlling the fire that destroyed three store buildings.

The fire...which devastated three business places in Soldiers Grove last Wednesday, caused a loss of more than $50,000. The fire is presumed to have started either from lightning or defective electric wiring.

Darling’s fertilizer is good for your garden. Paulsen Bros.

Nyals Corn Remedy will sure relieve the pain. OP.E. Davis, Druggist.

We regret to learn that Pilot Bud Pulver met with a mishap on the flying field at LaCrosse... Mr. Lake and Mr. Pulver had gone to LaCrosse several days previous, where Bud could...perfect himself in landing and taking off... The accident is regrettable, not only because of damage to the plane...but because it gives the general public a wrong impression of the flying game.


APRIL 16, 1924


V.C.N. enrollment 1922-23 – Total enrollment 56; High school enrollment 25; boys enrolled 2; graduates 34; student with teaching experience 21; The total number of graduates of our school now teaching in the county is approximately 100. This means that from 2000 to 2500 rural children in Vernon county are now being taught by graduates of this school.

Workmen are engaged in remodeling Viroqua city hall. Our city hall has always been an eyesore because of the presence of the unsightly pumping station in the entrance. With the abandonment of the pumps, it is now possible to make the hall into a conveniently arranged headquarters for our city officials. The front is being bricked up differently and the interior redecorated, and rooms provided for the city clerk, treasurer and assessor.

Genoa April 14 – The Steamer Ellen was the first boat of the season to go up and down the river... George Flick is building a flat boat for Ray Huntington...

Heald Hollow, April 14 – The first gasoline wagon was seen bumping through Heald Hollow Sunday. We welcome them back but we are sorry the clay is yet a little sticky.

The local company of Engineers formed on the drill floor with about 60 men present for the annual inspection and made a good showing in engineer work.

There seems to be a good deal of confusion in the minds of local anglers concerning the fishing regulation. The state conservation commission issued orders for a closed season on all game fish but this does not apply to trout. The season opens May 1st, as usual and closes August 31st. There is no size limit and the bay [sic] limit is 25 per day.


APRIL 9, 1924

The Censor calls attention to...the removal sale of the Brenner Variety Sale, which opens Friday. Mr. Brenner has leased from Mrs. C.W. Nuzum the business block lately occupied by the Eat Shop. The same has been remodeled and renovated, the display windows improved, and the improvement and increased size give Mr. Brenner a very fine business plane indeed.

The fire siren summoned the truck to the new Bann & Fehlberg building Sunday afternoon. A mangler ironing machine had been left connected to the electric current in the Wisconsin-Minnesota Company office. Beyond completely ruining the machine, and smoking things up a little, no damage was done.

Trouble on the Wisconsin-Minnesota power line at a critical time – Wednesday afternoon – caused the Censor office to lay idle for over two hours, linotype, display type machine and presses all useless. The delay made it impossible for us to get to press Wednesday night.

Avalanche cheese factory is now getting so much milk the have to hire two cheese makers.

The school bell sang again lost Monday morning calling the youngsters together after a week of vacation. Many will be unable to attend school at the present however, as there is an epidemic of measles in town. La grippe and bad colds have been very prevalent also in the city, causing many to be absent from school before the vacation.

The Colman Lumber Co. office is being nicely remodeled. The nice appearance has been heightened by framed pictures of ducks and other birds on panels in the partitions.


APRIL 2, 1924

Spring seems to be delayed enroute, but the cyclone season has not been delayed. The wind that did so much damage in other states did not entirely miss Wisconsin. Vernon county farmers are reporting losses.

West Prairie, March 31 – The many high school students from here are at home this week for their spring vacation. The cheese factory here opened on April 1st, and DeWitt expects to make cheese every third day for a while.

Viola, March 29 – Most of the sugar camps in our valley have been opened and while March weather is doing it worst, the maple trees are doing their best and the syrup is of fine quality... It has been a most familiar sight for many years to see A.J. Anderson driving “Old Sek” on our streets. In fact, he was part of the landscape so used to seeing him had we become. He was a most trustworthy horse and a faithful friend. In all his twenty-nine years he never failed to do his best. As the Viola News states “He was of ‘Vernon’ stock, and a better horse would be hard to find or one which had traveled more miles.” He died Friday morning, March 14, after a short illness.

Several dogs in this city [Westby] have been poisoned.

Bud, March 25 – Farmers are busy hauling logs to the Hanson saw mill while the sleighing is good. A number of people have been out shoveling the roads so as not to travel over fields any longer.

If you are contemplating building a new house this season get a free plan book. It may help you to decide on what you want, at C.L. Colman Lumber Co.


March, 1924