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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


AUG. 28, 1918

Attend the primary election.

Get into the work game. Help some other hard pressed fellow if you can. Everybody should work, and labor intensely this busy harvest time.

A trunk is received today containing the civilian clothes of Miss Amy Gott, so she is in the uniform of the over seas service and on the way across to France.

Mrs. Butters received a cablegram from her husband dated August 21, telling that he and the Viroqua contingent in France were well, but danger surrounded them in the new section where they have moved.

Another Vernon county soldier has fallen in the trenches... The dispatches report the death of Paul Gelfi, killed in action in France on a late date... He has always lived in Genoa. He enlisted a year ago and entered the service.

Ladies’ house dresses or aprons, special at $1.00 at M.J. Felix’.

Another sorrow and suspense comes to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Hamilton. Two weeks ago one of their four soldier sons was stricken and died at Jefferson Barracks. A dispatch just received tells that their son Ole, was reported absent since August first, either killed or taken prisoner. With another brother Ole has been in France for some time.

On or after August 29, the following prices will be paid to pickers at the Advancement Association pickle farm: For all 4-inch and under 35c per bushel; nubs and all marketable big pickles 15 c per bushel. Some children have made $3 a day at former prices. This raise should attract adult help. It is good money, prompt pay.


AUG. 21, 1918

Weather commences to feel rather fall like.

Alex Morrison and crew of three helpers have been at the home of Albert J. Broadhead near Retreat, putting basement walls under a large barn, and making other improvements about the farm premises.

“Berlin via America” at the Star Saturday and Sunday. The up to the minute picture.

Base ball is pretty much a lost art this season, in the county districts, because of the absence of the young men in the army and other more important things which engross attention of the people. However, A Kickapoo aggregation of old players from LaFarge, Viola and other points staged a good game with Richland Center. Result 5 for Center and 4 for the boys headed by “Big Ben” of Viola.

George Pennell and Martin Keegan, have installed in their restaurants blow gas lighting and heating systems.

The Censor is issued today under great difficulty. The wretched electrical service has us pretty much stranded. Soldier letters, political announcements and many important matters could not be placed in type because of lack of electric power.

The remains of young soldier, Warren Hamilton arrived at Viola last Saturday morning accompanied by an army sergeant, and the funeral in the Methodist church, Sunday... The meagre particulars are that the young man, while marching from the barracks to the train in St. Louis, a short distance, experienced a sunstroke and died suddenly.

The opening of Viroqua public schools has been postponed to Monday, September 9th. This has been done because of labor shortage and demand for help to harvest the crops.


AUG. 14, 1918

Threshing has commenced.

Atwood’s big jewelry sale!!

People who make trips to the Mississippi report some good catches of bass and other fish.

With the departure of young Warren Hamilton to the front with last Thursday’s squad of soldiers, gave the fourth son from the family of Lewis Hamilton of Liberty town. And it is said Mr. Hamilton will have two other sons subject to military duty when the new registration law is in effect. This is the fifth family in Vernon County that we know of having given four sons to the present great world war.

County Food Administrator Morterud was in from Bloomingdale on Monday. He told the Censor that all restrictions on the use of beef have been removed. That means, we suppose, that an individual or a family can have a “fill-up” providing they have the price. City Clerk Older has been appointed deputy food administrator to issue sugar certificates.

Damage to Crops, Buildings and Other Things in Our County – Retreat Church struck and Burned... C.C. Bishop told the Censor of the calamity that came to Retreat section in the destruction of the Congregational church building. During the storm last Wednesday afternoon, the structure was struck by lightning and burned to the ground….Not a scrap of paper or an article of furniture could be rescued, so quick and fierce was the spread of electrical flame. The church was erected 35 years ago.

A company of Viroqua gentlemen went out and assisted Albert Larson clear away his wrecked tobacco shed. Others have been helped who have sustained similar wrecks.


AUG. 7, 1918

Primary election falls on September 3.

Commence to think about the fair. Third week in September.

John W. Thayer was home from the northern timber camps. He reports crops and general conditions good in the north.

A bright new city flag gloats over Main street, hanging midway between the Williams block and the First National Bank. Thank you, Mr. City Council.

Mrs. Wm. O’Leary of Franklin, mother of Mrs. Garin, has five grandsons in the service, and all are in France. Mrs. Garin has two sons and eight cousins serving Uncle Sam.

Chester Brye, who has been buttermaker at the Enterprise creamery for the past year, has quit the job. His plans for the future are not known. The director of the creamery hired Cecil Allen to take his place. Cecil is familiar with the place, having spent some seven years there. – Cashton Record.

This Wednesday evening a heavy rain fell, covering all surrounding country, accompanied by a wind that brought damage to growing crops, blew down a few tobacco sheds and other farm buildings. Possibly in some places there may have been hail but not hereabouts.

The Pickle Growers’ Association needs pickers. They pay 25 cents per bushel of 50 pounds. Apply at pickle farm on Hall-Carmichael land adjoining city limits at the southeast. Go provided with basket or pail and one large sack and your noon lunch.

Viroqua pickle farm needs to gather 500 bushels of cucumbers each day to keep up with growth. Make money for yourself by helping save the big crop.


July, 1918