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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


JAN. 30, 1924

The city of Viroqua will receive sealed proposals up to and including the 5th day of February, 1924 at 7:30 p.m. for 3 to 5 cars of road oil containing 50% asphaltum. The Council reserves the right to reject only or all bids. E.J. Older, City Clerk.

Since old winter clamped down in earnest the kiddies of this community have certainly been enjoying Eckhart Park to the full. The skating rink is in fine condition and filled to the brim with happy skaters most of the time, while the surrounding hills are alive with sleds, skis and toboggans... The mild weather of the past few days has rather softened the ice but we suppose that the weather will not be long so pleasant.

We sell Better-Bread Flour $1.75 per sack and every sack guaranteed. Sureson & Thompson, The Farmers Store.

The fire department was called out last Friday evening to subdue a hot chimney fire at the Eckhart Warehouse. No damage resulted.

In order that our school may be of greater service to the teachers in the schools, the Vernon County Normal will be in session on one Saturday of each month. You are cordially invited to visit our school on these days and confer with teachers in the school about your problems….The following are the days set for this work: -February 9, March 8, April 5, May 1. C.L. Hill, Prin. V.C.N.

Jefferson, January 28 – We welcome a little warmer winter as this month has been a hard one – cold and stormy, with blizzards and snow drifts galore. A little moderation in the weather is very welcome... There has been quite a deficiency in school attendance since holidays on account of colds among the children... The weather has been so unfavorable while the evangelist was there that the people could not attend as they wished to.

We still have a good line of four-buckle overshoes for women. Surenson & Thompson, The Farmers Store.


JAN. 23, 1924

Jacob Tewalt has been awarded the contract for putting up the crop of ice for the Milwaukee Company. Five hundred and fifty tons of congealed water will be put up and Jack says the job will take about eight days.

Due to the rather unusual cold spell that Old Man Winter has been handing out to the good folks of Viroqua and vicinity lately, presidential candidates have faded into oblivion in favor of the antics of the mercury column, as to the chief topic of conversation. Naturally, there has been much discussion as to the lowest point that the thermometers have registered on these cold days.

Westby, January 21 – Arvid Ramsland was shocked last week to see a tiny flame of fire in the ceiling of his store. He put it out immediately with a chemical fire extinguisher, and found the cause due to defective wiring. No damage whatever was done, because of the early discovery of the fire... The school board has been meeting with several architects during the past week who have submitted plans for the new school building.

DeSoto, January 21 – Ross Davis sustained a heavy loss last week when his grainary [sic] burned to the ground. About 26 bales of tobacco, all the oats, cream separator, and many other things were lost... Thieves were busy in this locality. Herbert Hanson had about $25 worth of baled tobacco stolen... One of Dr. Andrew’s horses kicked the other breaking his leg so badly the animal had to shot.

Many people in Vernon county, as well as other places, are enjoying the long cold winter evenings by sitting comfortably in their homes and listening in on the radio...


JAN. 16, 1924

Springville, January 15 – Vacation days are over and our boys and girls have resumed their studies in various schools. Mr. L. Shaw, who has spent his vacation at his home in Soldiers grove, is again wealding the rod in the Pioneer district... The revival meetings are progressing nicely and Evangelist W. C. Moorman is conducting a strenuous campaign to being about a higher ideal FOR Christ life.

Spring Coulee School January 14 – School opened after the holidays last Monday, but attendance has not been good, so far, due to the snow storm and cold snap which followed last week... The Pool tobacco samplers have been around sampling tobacco in this community. The warehouse at Coon Valley has opened... A robin was reported seen by Albert Tomtengen in his orchard New Year’s day.


When school opened here, following holiday vacation, teachers and pupils viewed chaotic class rooms. The piano was overturned typewriters were knocked to the floor, books, pictures and maps were strewn all around and phonograph records were smashed.

School authorities say that the school had been used by a party of young men as a place to hold their New Year’s eve revels. The damage resulting from the vandalism is said to be considerable.

Members of the school board are doing investigation in a determined effort to trace down those responsible for the tearing up of the class rooms.

WESTBY – The chief source of amusement for the Westby boys at the present time is an amateur ski slide, which was completed last week... Several boys are doing very well and there is competition to see who can make the farthest jump. A tournament will be held to see who will gain the championship.


JAN. 9, 1924

At the annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank, the bank control passed from outside parties, F.P. McIntosh, R.W. Rogerson and M.A. Smith, purchasing this interest. The stock is now entirely owned by local persons.

Committee and Highway Commissioner Ristow, met at the Court House and made selection of the men who will maintain Vernon county’s roads for the year 1924. Twenty-three of the sixty-three men are new to the work. The committee has never experienced quiet such keen discrimination or had better material to pick from...

Victory, December 30 – The good case weather enabled nearly everyone to get their tobacco down, and much of it is already stripped... It has been stated that the Mississippi river is a foot lower at this time of the year than has ever been known before... If the snow storm had not came just when it did, we surely would have had spring. While Fred Lawson and some other gentlemen were chopping wood on the island, they found some boxelder trees with new leaves on as large and some larger than squirrel’s ears. It was about the middle of December.


The Viroqua Telephone Central girls request the Censor to express for them the appreciation they feel toward the many persons who remembered them so kindly during the holidays. The telephone office resembled a candy shop for a week following Christmas.

Through a change ordered by the postal department, much better service is now in effect on Route 1... This change has been made and where formerly eleven families had to walk long distances to get their mail now only two families are discommoded.


JAN. 2, 1924


Dreams of establishing a winter summer resort in this section of the country were shattered last Saturday afternoon when Old Man Winter put in his appearance in earnest. Though somewhat belated, he made up in vigor what he lacked in promptness. An honest-to-goodness blizzard raged for two days, nearly a foot of the beautiful falling on the level – except that there was no level here on the ridge. The howling gale piled up the snow in huge drifts that paralyzed traffic of all kinds for a time. On the heels of the snow came a drop in temperature that sent the mercury down the tube until some thermometers registered as low as 26 below.

Our thanks are due to several of the Readstown boys who today sallied forth in cars armed with shovels and other implements for clearing away the snow, and opened the road from Readstown to this city. Only four bad places were encountered and they battled their way through. And Ford Dealer Baptie has a six-wheeled, or rather four-wheeled, two runner caterpillar treat doodle-bug breaking the roads in several directions, as well as exciting no end of comment as it passes by.

If the weather is favorable and the roads permit the country people to come in the Christmas Pageant will be repeated at the Christian church Sunday evening.

Soldiers Grove, December 31 – Work is progressing rapidly [on] the lines being erected by the Soldiers Grove Electric Company and it is planned to extend same for considerable distances through the surrounding community in order to give service to many famers...

Ball-Band rubber footweat at Ellefson & Johnson’s, Masonic Building.


December, 1923