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100 Years Ago

Glimpses of life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


MARCH 22, 1918

Fine spring weather.

The common practice of riding bicycles on the sidewalks within the city is to be stopped by the mayor and his police officers. There is an ordinance prohibiting the same and it will now be enforced. The authorities desire to give ample time in making the command operative, but it will be strictly adhered to after the publication of the notice.

Our soldier boys are moving so rapidly from one point of the country to another, and many of them are going abroad, that it is difficult for friends and relatives to keep track of their movements. The Censor has many letters from them, but the congested condition of our columns prevents their publication just now.

The old Mississippi river is freed from ice, a few days earlier than usual.

The three saloon keepers of Stoddard were arraigned before Judge Mahoney on complaint of having violated the Sunday law in selling liquor. They all pleaded guilty and were given $15 and $20 fines and cost. District Attorney Smith made the complaint and prosecuted the case, having been instrumental in securing the proof through a Viroqua sleuth.

The large and modern residence of J. Ole Anderson on North Main street has been sold to Levi Eckhart of Sylvan, who expects to remove here with his family in a short time. For months Mr. Eckhart looked the state over for a place where he might educate his children and live in an up-to-date town where conditions are right and taxation not excessive, and he decided on Viroqua.


MARCH 20, 1918

First day of spring.

Hon. Chris Ellefson is able to be about and look after creamery duties following several weeks confinement at home with a fractured hip.

New neckware for Easter just received at The Blue Store, Ellefson & Johnson.

Mrs. A.O. Larson’s millinery shop which has been closed all winter, will be opened Wednesday, March 27th with an assortment of new spring and summer millinery.

Albert C. Anderson, who recently moved in from Pleasant ridge, has purchased from Earl Truesdale the modern cottage on South Main street now occupied by Hannah Jacobson.

Will Norris of Round Prairie has a good number of large type Poland China brood sows for sale at reasonable figures. Stock guaranteed first class. Address him at Viroqua, R1.

Elder J.C. Royer of Newton was a business caller in the city on Saturday, accompanied by his wife. The Censor had a pleasant call from him. Mr. Royer has one son enroute to France. He is intensely interested in war matters and a through loyalist.

A blinding snowstorm accompanied by high wind set in during the early hours of Thursday last, continuing for several hours, netting about a foot of heavy snow. Most of the snow has melted and gone, causing high waters and especially choice quality of mud. Consequently the highways are nigh impassable.

Employees at the Bekkedal warehouse were given a banquet on Monday evening after the work of sizing was completed. A variety of good things were served in generous measure and sociability occupied the remainder of the time.

Married Peter Vitre and Miss Evelyn Rutter, both of Wheatland town, March 18, by Rev. H.C. Smeby, at the home of Andrew Fortun in this city.


MARCH 13, 1918

VIROQUA PARENTS MOURN DEATH OF SON Who Died In The Trenches Fighting For World Humanity.

War has so soon brought great grief in one Viroqua home, as it must in the days to come in many others in our town and country. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Barkhardt are first parents to have their great grief and sorrow come to them. They are in receipt of a South Dakota paper informing them of the death of their son Chester, who lost his life in the trenches in France the first day of March. He was twenty-one years old, born here, enlisting from South Dakota last June. He was a member of a machine gun company, having been in France some time. His brother William was in the service and foreign country with him. No further particulars are at hand.

The Tuhus and other families in this city and section are in receipt of late telegrams or letters announcing arrival of their sons in France. In fact most of those from here who enlisted early are “somewhere in France.” None are permitted to give their location as to place. Many a mother, father, brother or sister have waited in great suspense announcement of safe arrival over the ocean of their kindred. The Tuscania sinking caused them fearful anguish and suspense.

Dated in France, February 18th, Fay Weavill wrote his parents of safe arrival and a pleasant journey with no seasickness. He states that weather is pleasant and grass green.

For a short time the Farmers’ Store will continue to sell men’s stripped overalls at $1.36 and plain blue overalls at $1.65.


MARCH 6, 1918


Get ready for spring.

Cornflakes 7 1/2 cents per package at Roman’s Grocery.

Weather conditions are conducive to sugar making and various sugar camps are open.

Mrs. T.B. Snell has been very busy caring for the afflicted at her home hospital. Eddie Buckles of West prairie has just been discharged after three weeks stay caused by an abcess [sic] on his neck. Nela Hium recovered from an attack of pneumonia, and Joe Boucks of Genoa is a late arrival for treatment. Levi Allen is out after a siege of the measles, and the place properly fumigated.

Asbury neighborhood turned out en masse at a surprise gathering on the Herman Dennis farm, Tuesday evening last week. It was a farewell to the Dennis family who move to this city, appropriate gifts being presented. Percy Eckhart and wife will occupy the farm.

The sales of War Savings Stamps have passed the $60,000,000 mark, and have been accumulating at the rate of $2,00,000 [sic] a day, is the gratifying news from Washington.

GENOA CREAMERY IS BURNED. On going to the creamery last Wednesday, the buttermaker discovered the building on fire with the flames bursting from the windows. The origin of the fire is unknown but is thought to have started in the ice chest or near it. Contents of the building... were completely destroyed. About 20 tons of coal... were also burned up, the shed had been recently filled... The fire means a loss of about $8,000 to the company... Butter will be made soon in a garage which can be fitted up until a building can be erected. – DeSoto Argus.


February, 1918