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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


DEC. 29, 1920

Current rumor for the past week has it that Viroqua’s train service was about to revert to primitive times – one train having been taken off the Milwaukee. We are happy to say that no such orders have been received, and the depot force think it improbable that they will be.

Troop D Dance was given by Viroqua’s new guard unit at the Opera House Monday night was a most creditable affair to the boys. In spite of severe weather over eighty couples were in attendance and a most enjoyable time was had by all attending. Incidentally it gave the boys a little nest-egg in the treasury and paved the way for future affairs of this kind.

At last night’s session of the Council, bids for the drilling of Viroqua’s new city well were opened and contract was awarded top B.I. Baley & Son of Hillsboro. An acre of land lying south of the Silas Foster home has been purchased as a site, and Mr. Baley will have his gas and steam drilling outfits moved there as soon as possible, expecting to have them in position within a month... Mr. Baley anticipates that plenty of water will be found at a depth of 400 feet which would bring the cost of drilling and casing to about $3800.

The plumbing firm of Clarke & Fehlberg has been dissolved and Mr. Fehlberg has united with John Bann in a similar business. Mr. Bann has been employed by the Smith Hardware for some time, has had long experience in plumbing work, and is an efficient workman and substantial citizen. Both are well liked and should succeed.


DEC. 22, 1920

The cause of water in the basement of the Farmers’ bank for the past few weeks was rudely discovered by a Ford driver who plunged through the frozen crust of earth into a young fountain above the water main in front of Brown’s shoe on Monday. A leaky water main was causing the trouble.

Saturday and Monday were the busiest days Viroqua has seen in many a week. Bad roads have held up the normal Christmas trade and a tremendous volume of buying must be condensed into a few days.

While filling the chemical tanks on the big truck following the city hall fire, Electrician Seiler had the misfortune of getting a shot of sulphuric acid in his eye. It was a close call for the optic and “Cy” is to be congratulated on retaining the sight of his right peeper.

Hillsboro experienced the most disastrous fire in many years when on December 9th the Thorpe & Vodak meat market, the carpenter shop of Frank Jafek and the Boston store were totally destroyed and adjacent buildings saved only by heroic work on the part of the fire ladies.

District Attorney Smith informs the censor that he has already prosecuted and convicted one party for the sale of Wine of Pepsin and more will follow if the sale of these liquor substitutes is not stopped.

The [Prohibition] commission has also ordered that all druggists who deal in liquor must get a state as well as a federal permit, and that all prescriptions must be filled out and filed with the city clerk exactly as under the old law.


DEC. 15, 1920

Just how sound was the judgement of our Mayor and council in purchasing Viroqua’s fine fire equipment was amply demonstrated Tuesday afternoon. Grease and oil around the city pumping engine became ignited from an overhead muffler exhaust and flames filled the engine room in a flash. Water is worse than useless on an oil fire, but the chemical apparatus on the big truck was put in action and subdued the flames in a few moments with practically no damage. Without the fire truck the city hall would probably have been consumed, destroying the pumping machinery and precipitating a water famine. The big red truck undoubtedly saved its purchase price at the first fire it was called to subdue.


We do not advertise any Special Sale Prices as our prices are always the lowest. Prices given below are just a few instances of how You can save by getting Your groceries from us.

Fancy Ohio Sweet Corn, per can 10¢; Yeast Foam, per package 7 1/2¢; Canned Milk, large size 12 1/2¢; Fancy Dried Apples 15¢; Hand-Picked Navy Beans, per pound 7 1/2¢; Best Blue Rose Rice, per lb 10¢; Salted Peanuts 20¢; Argo Corn Starch, per package 10¢; Tomatoes, reg. 25¢ size, per can 14¢; Florida Oranges, per doz 40¢; Coffee, our special, per lb 29¢; Sugar, Pure Cane, per lb 10¢; Peanut Butter, per lb 23¢. THE CASH STORE. Telephone 76 – Orignators and Maintainers of Lower Prices.

Patrolmen in Crawford and Grant counties were working the same as in the summer in consequence their roads are in splendid condition and a joy to travel over.

Jens Vigdahl is nursing a broken wrist, sustained when his Buick backfired on him. We thought that only the lowly Ford was capable of this mean and contemptable trick.


DEC. 8, 1920

I hereby give notice that the road north of Viroqua city has been temporarily closed. Anyone breaking down the barrier and using the road for traffic will be prosecuted. This will only be necessary during moderate weather. As soon as continued freezing weather arrives the road will be opened. ALEX RISTOW, Highway Com.

Rolland Felix fell from a trapeze [sic] last Thursday striking his head on a cement walk. He was unconscious for several hours and serious consequences were feared but he is now out again.

We don’t know whether or not he is getting paid for the job, but at least the unlimited thanks of the traveling public is extended to J.W. Norris for the valiant service rendered by him and his Fordson tractor in smoothing the road between Viroqua and Westby this week. He has made it the best road in the vicinity and give us a taste of how things will go when those motor driven graders authorized to be purchased by the county board, get into action. With the return of sunny days many farmers are out dragging the roads. In other sections none seem to be so enterprising. It is a fine service to perform to the community at large and will be necessary until some sort of a winter patrol measure is passed.

Major H.C. Dagley, of U.S.A. Cavalry, inspected and mustered into the Federalized National Guard Monday, Viroqua’s new unit – Troop D. 1st W.N.G. Cavalry – thus our city once more revives its past traditions.

Cashton has morning electric service.

C.G. Tenney of DeSoto is devoting just about all his time to the proposed Lansing-DeSoto bridge and highway.


DEC. 1, 1920

In spite of the lowering clouds and gloomy weather, the pulsing of thanksgiving hearts was not to be denied and Thanksgiving day maintained it reputation as a vital time in American life.

JEFFERSON – Bud- November 30 – Case weather galore, and tobacco stripping is in full swing, by the farmers of this community. The corn shredding is still humming on the ridge...

Crawford county board... Money was appropriated for the construction of a bridge within the village limits of DeSoto.

Brother Hage of Westby Times was hard put to it to issue his paper last week owing to the illness of his foreman. The Censor loaned the services of Blair R. Sherrick Friday and Saturday to “get the rag out” as printers say.

The shoe repairers of today are the nation’s greatest conservationists and are doing more to reduce the high cost of living than any individual agency.

Good old fashioned horehound candy in ten cent sacks at Johnson’s Drug Store. Get a sack.

Public Notice to bidders is hereby given that the city council of the city of Viroqua, will receive bids for doing all work and drilling a well for the City of Viroqua... said well must be 12 inches in diameter, and be approximately 300 to 500 feet deep... The work to commence on or before January 20th, 1921...

On the heels of what is probably the best collection of case periods this section has ever experienced, talk of warehouse opening is the all absorbing topic... The Eckhart house deems it advisable to open... and accordingly will open with a small crew next Monday, and it is felt that two other houses may open sooner than January 1st.


November, 1920