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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


JUNE 25, 1919

A much-needed overhauling and renovation of the seat of our county government is commencing to take form. The addition erected for the county judge about fifteen years ago, and which has not been cleaned up since being built, has been scrubbed and Mr. Keoppe is adorning the same with a coat of paint. Eventually this will be done to the entire building.

It is a pleasure to live in a county that is first in something. Vernon county is first in the state in having the largest number of Jersey breeders. There are 60 farmers in Vernon county at the present time... Our county is large, rich, fertile and prosperous enough to be first in many more things.

During this hot weather, get your ice cream, sundaes, sodas, phosphates, clarets and soft drinks at the Optima.

John Devlin put an extensive addition on the second story of his building occupied by the meat market. Three new rooms and a large rear porch will give them far more comfortable living quarters.

All business places in the city of Viroqua will be closed all day on the Fourth.

An abundance of ladies’ rest rooms will be placed at the service of the women and children. For this purpose, the Farmers’ Bank rest room, the office of the Ford garage, the Library rest room, and all of the club rooms in the city have been secured.

A complete line of summer underwear for men; union suits in both long and athletic style. The Blue Front Store, Ellefson & Johnson.


JUNE 18, 1919


Program for the big Fourth of July soldier welcome is taking form and the day is surely going to be a hummer.

Some time ago I published a list of Vernon County’s dead and wounded soldiers... we have probably at least 23 dead from battle wounds, 15 dead from disease in Europe, 15 dead from disease in U.S.A., 66 wounded and gassed, and that is not all. We are trying to get a complete list of the Vernon county boys and girls who were engaged in this world war.

Save your little chicks by using Avicol. O.E. Davis, druggist.

People in the western section of the county take much pleasure in going on steam boat excursions on the Mississippi.

Liquor dealers in all the license points of the county are making applications for saloon permits on the assumption, we presume, that war-time prohibition will not be a reality on July first.

Reports of awful conditions in state and county patrol highways come from all directions. It is the first duty of the town and county authorities to fill up mud holes. Bad recommendation, it is, for any community to retain roads sinks that necessitate extraction of vehicles from quagmires.

Manager Ben Brown has just spent more than $500 in bringing his moving picture house up to the most modern standard.

The last two weeks have been marked by excessively hot weather, punctuated by terrific rains nearly every day. And how the stuff does grow! But weeds are bothering the corn quite badly.


JUNE 11, 1919

After quite a little difficulty in getting passports and passage arranged for, because of these times when space on ocean going vessels is at a premium, L.L. Stromland and Ole Thompson are on their way to pay a visit to the fatherland, Norway. Mr. Stromland said that his passage coming over cost him $34. He will have to pay $150 to get back, but he is considerably more able to pay the larger amount now than the smaller sum then.

The last published official statement of Vernon County’s fifteen banking institutions... exhibits a financial standing for our county that is truly gratifying... Every bank in the county showed a substantial gain, some of them in a remarkable degree.

Beginning Friday, June 13, and commencing for ten days, we will sell ten pounds best cane sugar for one dollar. Good patent flour at $3.29 per sack. Surenson & Dahl.

Certain people in Retreat-West Prairie community are much interested just now in a proposition involving the re-location of the highway as part of the county trunk line between West Prairie and the old Chase grave yard. The trunk line as designated and established turns southward at West Prairie and with many twists and turns penetrates the village of Retreat, thence passing on by the Albert Broadhead residence to the Chase corner.

Advocates... want... a direct straight drive from the West Prairie store to the old Chase cemetery... it is a much shorter route, at least two and a half miles. DeSoto Argus.

The violet club is giving a party at Dyson’s Mapledale cottage today in honor of Mrs. Arthur Hubbard and Mrs. Edith Lindemann.


JUNE 4, 1919

Last week brought summer heat almost every day. Mercury went to 85.

John Denning, barber, under Lindemann bank. Clean towels and linen.

Nearly the entire quota of city teachers, on Monday, departed for the several homes elsewhere.

City siren will hereafter blow at 7, 12, 1 and 6 o’clock, at no other time except in case of fire.

WANTED – Teamsters and laborers, $3.50 per day. Board $7.00. Frank J. McCaughay, Contractor, Readstown, Wis.

An ice cream social will be held in the town hall at Newton, Saturday, June 7, and Sunday for the benefit of the Methodist church. Everybody invited.


A few evenings ago, parties took a car from Viroqua and ran it until the gasoline tank ran dry. It was found on a side street.

A little later, two young men took a car, drive it to Cashton, and tanked up with a load which made Milwuakee famous, drove back to Viroqua, and ran it through Senator Bennett’s premises; where it stalled and they abandoned it. One received $20 and costs; the other is out on probation.

Captain and Mrs. Butters unobtrusively slipped in from Camp Grant Saturday morning... a large part of his service [in France] was the responsible and exacting position of being in charge of the headquarters companies of the 32nd division, feeding 17,000 men.

The physicians of the city met with the city commission and Architect Dockendorff of LaCrosse Monday evening to recommend plans for the hospital.


May, 1919