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100 Years Ago

Glimpses of life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


JAN. 30, 1918

The stringent scarcity of all fuel throughout the country should be a fitting warning to every user to make, as far as possible, preparation for next season’s supply in advance of winter. Right now, every person having a wooded lot, and timber ought to be at the work of getting fuel cut for next year’s demands. If the war continues for twelve months longer fuel shortage is libel to be more acute than now.

Messers Fred P. Bean and Jacob Aberg, directors of the Retreat creamery company, were here yesterday, taking the train for different points to inspect model creameries, expecting to profit by others experience in building their new institution.

DeSoto Argus reports that Geo. Filek of Stoddard, a rock contractor, set off a blast which tore out a big chunk of rock from one of the bluffs below town. 500 pounds of dynamite was placed in a hole drilled 70 feet down into the rock and it was estimated that 2,000 yards of rock was loosened up with the blast.

WAR NOTES – Soldiers are compensated as follows: If you have neither wife nor living child, $30 per month. If you have wife but no child, $45; wife and one child, $55; wife and two children, $65; wife and three children or more, $75. If you have no wife, but one living child, $40. If you have a widowed mother, depended upon you for support, there is $10 additional monthly pay as stated above.

Considering the cold weather, the school attendance has been excellent.

Eilef Ellefson is acting as janitor of school during the winter months.


JAN. 23, 1918


The most drastic government order ever issued... is now in force until March 25. It is the edit of National Fuel Administrator Garfield... Briefly stated, its purpose is to conserve the fuel supply of the country by suspension of practically every business and industry each Monday... Theatres, moving pictures, shows, bowling alleys, billiard halls, dance halls may remain open on Monday, but MUST CLOSE on TUESDAYS.

In Viroqua and every town and place where business is carried on there was faithful compliance with the command. Penalties are severe for violations.

Stoddard section ships quite large quantities of cord wood to the LaCrosse and other markets.

Local ice houses are being stocked for the season. From Stoddard and Sparta the product comes by train.

Miss Sarah Dennis resigned her position in the city telephone central, where she has been an active force for some years.

Meatless, wheatless, sweetless days we have. And now one workless day is in order.

Joseph Brendel of Stoddard, died from diphtheria. So reports the local paper. He is the fourth person subject to government draft to die in the county since registration last June.

Local dealers ask the Censor to tell people in town and country that they expect very soon to have sufficient soft coal to supply the demands of all. Railroad congestion is becoming relieved and all kinds of traffic will move more freely.


1 lot wonen’s coats, formerly sold at $20 up, your choice $4.50; 1 lot women’s and misses’ suit values up to $22.50, while they last $4.50; Men’s all-worsted suits in brown, gray, mixtures $17.45. M.J. Felix – The Lindemann Store.


JAN. 16, 1918

Coal is scarce.

With war demanding every energy of private and public industry, the community and the individual must care for itself. The fuel shortage is alarming, and a continuation of the present severe weather (each day 10 to 22 below zero) suffering must follow. There has been much of it in the cities during the snow and railroad blockage of the past ten days.

The C.M. & St. Paul Railroad company has laid off 150 trains on it system, and other roads are following. They cannot secure coal to operate freight because of this. We are having one train on the Viroqua branch... We will have no Sunday trains. Up-to-date the Southeastern trains have operated as usual...

A number of citizens met with the city council, last evening, to discuss fuel shortage as it now exists. Dealers have no supply of coal on hand and it is very uncertain when they can be secured... It was determined to close the city library, get the churches to unite their services, close the electric light plant at such hours as are absolutely not necessary... The public schools are about the only place in town where a moderate supply of coal is on hand.

Warner Creek Cheese factory expects to operate all winter, notwithstanding heavy losses of milk during cold weather. Heaviest patron during November was J.N. Cawcutt, who received $105.70 for his product.

Between Genoa and DeSoto a team belonging to Alfred Latimer broke through the ice in the Mississippi channel and nearly drowned. By the efforts of several men the animals were rescued after being in the cold water for more than an hour.


JAN. 9, 1918

A prognosticator sizes up the weather conditions for the present month: Fifth to ninth cloudy spell. Fog and slush; 10th to 13th rain: sleet and snow over northwest; 14th to 18th cold wave, abrupt fall in temperature; 19th to 22nd windy spell; 23d to 27th storm period; general rain fall; 28th to 31st, cold spell, freezing weather as far south as Arizona, all states laying on the Canadian border snowbound and ice-locked at this time.

WAR NOTES – More than a million pounds of Christmas cheer were sent to our soldiers in France by parcel post by their friends at home. This does not include Christmas parcels sent by army transport through military service at the port of embarkation. This mail comprised 374,751 parcels, which filled 31,341 sacks and weighed 1,181,055 pounds.

Owing to the quantity buying direct from the factory, we are able to give the public large packages of Corn Flakes which formerly sold at from 10 to 13c at the low price of 6 1/2 c. “Hooverize” by eating plenty of Corn Flakes. ROMAN’S GROCERY.

William H. Slack was in from his Franklin home on Monday. He said the snow is so piled up that sleighing is not good.

The closing evening of the old year Frank Johnson was given a surprise on his 38th anniversary, his relatives marching in in full force.

Dr. Geo. W. Minshall, always a lover of a good brisk horse, purchased at a Chicago sale, a span of fine pacers, one a black and the other a bay, and he is taking not a little satisfaction in drawing the reins over them while we have this nice sleighing.


JAN. 2. 1918


Happy New Year.

Make it a hummer.

Draft 258 Monday.

School again next Monday.

Now for a year of cheerfulness, notwithstanding the cruelties of a world war.

Reuben Helgerson and wife were over from Red Mound to look after their tobacco crop.

A break in the pump put the well at the county asylum out of commission for several days during the late cold snap, and it was a handicap that made things disagreeable and dangerous, but Superintendent Neprud met the emergency by hauling water in tanks. For fire and other precaution a duplicate well and water supply system is a real necessity at the institution.

The private soldiers in the United States receive $30 a month or $360 a year. The soldiers of other countries receive all the way from one-ninetieth to one-fourth as much, England being the second in rank of pay with $89 per year, Italy with $70, Germany with $38 and France with $20.

The new marriage license law, requiring an interval of five days between the application for and granting of the license of the contracting parties went into effect on January 1, County Clerk Moore has received the new blanks to be used from the State Board of Health. The new law... provides the contracting parties appear before any officer capable of administering an oath and fill out an application for license. This must be done in the presence of two witnesses and the prospective groom must present a doctor’s certificate that he is free of venereal disease.

Marriage may take place immediately upon the granting of the license.


December, 1917