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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


DEC. 25, 1918

Merry Christmas.

One week more of 1918.

It is rumored that Ole T. Ostrem has purchased the farm of Robert Zube in Jefferson township.

Dr. C.D. Mead, osteopathic physician, is now located over Johnson & Vigdal’s store, and invites old and new patients to consult him.

People are warned not to cut small trees or mutilate others on the beautiful mound known as Dinsdale Heights. Violators will be arrested and punished.

The towns of Greenwood and Forest have been placed under strict quarantine. No public gathering of any nature can be held, all homes where influenza exists are placed under quarantine.

It is incumbent on parents to have home Christmas trees, now that public entertainments are not permitted.

The Censor closes this last issue in the year 1918 with the greatest number of readers it has ever greeted on a Christmas – a regular issue of 3,500.

County Committee for relocation of a new road in the town of Christiana and Coon, west of Westby, adjourned their session from last Saturday to Saturday of this week.

After two weeks of soft weather, broken roads and other unfavorable conditions Christmas comes with a freeze-up storm that approaches a blizzard. But the winter is pretty near half gone, and we have had light symptoms of an old-fashioned winter.

Influenza is abating in Viroqua. There are a number of cases but non critical. Westby and Hillsboro where the scourge has been most severe report improvement. There is a good deal of the disease throughout the country districts and physicians are daily and nightly worked to their limit.


DEC. 18, 1918

Christmas only a week away.

A new front is replacing the old one in Sandwick’s clothing store. The prism top lights give a very fine effect.

Fancy hockey and aviator caps in assorted colors. The Blue Front Store. Ellefson & Johnson.

Chas. A Parker and one of his workmen are at Retreat doing plumbing in the new creamery there.

Arthur Perkins, late of this city, has opened a blacksmith shop at Genoa. The shop has been closed since early this season.

Viroqua shop and store windows glisten with fine and attractive displays of holiday goods. The city has a number of tasty window dressers.

Mechanics ready to uncrate and place a large plate glass in the front of Johnson’s drug store discovered that the large and expensive plate had been broken into small pieces in transit. Probably the transportation company will be assessed for the worth of the destroyed property.

Kodaks and their supplies at Towner’s.

The long late period of damp weather has brought all tobacco well in case. Pretty much everything must now be off the poles and bundling will soon be over. Then everybody will want to deliver. And again we say don’t be stampeded.

We are told some crops have been sold and delivered at Westby for two-thirds the amount that buyers offered in this section last July.

The boys are arriving home from different U.S. cantonments, daily, some with holiday furloughs, others with honorable discharges.

Geo. Pennell is making repairs on the front at his place of business.


DEC. 11, 1918

Sleighbells jingle.

Do early holiday shopping.

Mr. George Bush is pleased to receive $43.25 compensation from the Woodman accident association of disability claim.

The past week, was one for an immense amount of teaming in this section. People enjoy and use advantageously periods of sleighing.

Gristing operation became so congested at the city mills that another addition was found necessary to accommodate patrons. There has been a perfect bedlum [sic] there since the sleighing came.

After the first of the year no more narrow bob sleighs can be sold. The law states that all new sleighs must be the width of automobiles and wagons. It will be some years before we can see many of the bobs and cutters.

The Weistenberg hotel and restaurant is for sale. A good business and excellent location.

In this county the influenza epidemic still has full sway in communities where they have had little of it, now are many cases. Hillsboro and Westby are probably the worst afflicted. There are reported to be 300 cases at the latter place, and numerous deaths. In our city the ban against public gatherings has been so long maintained that it apparently has had a salutary effect. Every country community has its affliction of disease and death.

Wednesday afternoon, last, annual meeting of the Vernon County Agricultural Society was held, a big crowd present, 16 new members having joined the association. It was evident from the outset that a change of program was the fixed purpose; that a return to horse racing was desired, and the meeting so voted, appropriating $2,000 for race purse at next fall’s fair.


DEC. 4, 1918


Last month in 1918 – the historic war year.

The sleighing is being enjoyed.

Mitchell D. Brown has sold his stock of merchandise in the village of Avalanche to Jos. Parker of this city. Mr. Brown has been in business little more than a year. He will hark back to his first love, the soil.

In compliance with war regulations the Hillsboro brewery will cease making beer on December 1st, and its machinery will remain idle until after the army is demobilized. The supply of beer on hand, however, will last for some time. – Sentry.

Parties from West Prairie well the Censor that they have heard and seen as they pass the areoplanes [sic] that carry the mails between LaCrosse and Chicago.

The ban on Christmas buying is raised, and government officials advocate old-time holidays – without extravagance.

Viroqua flouring mills are the busiest place in three states. Gristing is brought here from one to thirty miles in all directions.

Trappers are reaping a harvest this season on account of the high prices of all kinds of furs. Fur bearing animals are plenty this season and the fur generally good.

Very little tobacco has been delivered to our houses. Buyer Gary shipped four car loads from Westby.

Bring your battery and have us take care of it during the winter, it will pay you well. M.O. Larsen’s garage.

SPECIAL PRICE ON BIG 3 Vacuum Washers and Wingers. Worth $18.00; Regular Price $15.00 Special Price NOW $13.85. Smith Hardware Co.


November, 1918