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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


JAN. 28, 1920

Send your items of news when they are fresh. The editor does not like to publish a birth after a child is weaned, a marriage after the honeymoon is over, a death after the widow is married again.

We hope that the fellow who stole the editor’s snow shovel the other day is well satisfied with it and making good use of it – Westby Times. The fellow who will do that to an editor won’t have any use for a snow shovel later on, Brother Hage.

City census enumerators have closed their work and their records are ready to be deposited with District Supervisor Cannon at Merrillian. We have no knowledge on which to base a definite belief, yet we predict that we will show 2,600 souls as residents of this county seat town, a gain of about 700 in ten years. We had been hoping that the 3000 mark might be reached, but opine that we shall be mistaken and disappointed.

Steady and consistent increase in the number of phones has so tested capacity of our local exchange that a new keyboard and ringing out fit and other replacements and betterments to the tune of $1300 have been found necessary, and are now being installed.

Viroqua city now has 550 phones which represents far above the average development for cites of our size.

Friday night the local High school basket ball team will meet the Westby five at the Opera House, Admission students 20¢, all others 25¢.

Westby congregation, United Lutheran church, at its late annual meeting, voted to proceed with the erection of a new church with the opening of spring. Subscription lists exhibited revealed that $40,000 had been pledged.


JAN. 21, 1920

They say there never was anything more popular than those two cent lunches the Domestic Science Department is serving each noon to the school children. The patrons average about one hundred.

Dr. R.M. Sathe wishes to inform the public that he has secured the services of Miss Olga Theige, graduate nurse of LaCrosse Lutheran hospital to assist him in his office. Miss Theige spent last year in the Mayo hospital at Rochester.

The band needs money, you need the good time. Let’s all get together, old and young at the M.W.A. and band halls next Wednesday night, January 28th.

Lemon and other extracts are the only beverages for thirsty souls.

Varigated [sic] weather, this – snow one hour, sunshine the next, ten below zero, ten above – sleighing galore, too deep in the woods, roads badly drifted. But from every standpoint the thing most desired, if but for two days, is case weather. Then things would hum as they have not for years.

Frank Wintz was in Cashton Saturday adjusting the fire damage to the furnace in the Pine Hollow Catholic church, an overheated smoke pipe caused the fire on December 14, entailing a loss of about $300.

After having been head of the Vernon county training school since its founding thirteenth years ago, Prin. A.E. Smith has offered his resignation to the training school board, giving insufficient renumeration [sic] as his reason.

The board could not see its way clear to vote Mr. Smith an increase in salary... [but] voted a $500 raise to take affect next year. After due consideration he declined to accept.


JAN. 14, 1920

Fair and warmer – Saturday and Sunday.

Attend the big January clearance sale at Felix’ and save money.

Sterling has the honor of the largest single tax payer in a township in the county, or would be had he survived, the late Dr. Christenson, whose estate will pay $1,279.94.

An incipid [sic] and short-lived strike was inaugurated at the Bekkedal warehouse in this city, last Wednesday, result of a misunderstanding regarding pay for sizing. Management state that practically all of the desirable help has returned to their positions, and things are moving on as usual.

Mrs. Virgil Grubb is now employed as a saleslady at Towner’s store.

You can purchase a new winter coat for $12.75, sizes 43 to 51. Suttle & Tate.

While driving to this city from West Prairie, on a late day, Sam Erickson and son killed a wolf in Sidie hollow. Poor Raynor was handicapped by having a trap hung to him and the Ericksons had no trouble to overtake and slay him in the road.

BUD – January 4 – Christmas fools were seen out nearly every night... Students of Bud vicinity have returned to Viroqua to resume school work, after two week vacation... small pox seems to be spreading... Gather your nerve young ladies and take advantage of leap year, as this is 1920.

ROUND PRAIRIE, January 12 – Well, we are much like the rest of the county in having cold weather and fine sleighing.

Will Norris’ new hog house looms up like a bright spot on the moon, and he’s proud of the sty and the fine line of Poland Chinas he breeds.


JAN. 7, 1920

We have a dry nation today.

Under a new law passed by the last legislature all real estate agents in Wisconsin will do business under favor of a state license.

Jeweler J.W. Lucas now sports the real accurate time, having purchased a ship chronometer, mounted on a swivel – a fine piece of workmanship that cost $150 and is the most current type of instrument in the timepiece line.

The glorious leapyear, 1920, was born in a refrigerator, it would seem. The New Year was ushered in Thursday with twelve degrees low in the thermometer tube, and mind you, it has to this writing, scarcely been above zero for an hour at a time, standing at five to eight below throughout the days and colder nights. We see no possible reason for this, except that the first month of this new year is attempting to out-rival in severity the last month of the deceased year.

The change in name at the head of the editorial column of the Censor, today, tells the brief story of transfer of interest in the thing that is almost as dear as life itself, to the undersigned... To cast aside the working tools of a life occupation... is done with a reluctance that brings pangs of bitter sadness... I have loved my calling and cherished the friendships... during the past thirty-five years... To avoid possible recurrence of a physical disorder that came to me a year since, because of overwork... The true reason for my retirement at this time... My successor in the work [is] Mr. Goldsmith. Good bye, but not farewell. OLIVER G. MUNSON.

Talk freely to the census enumerator when he calls on you.


December, 1919