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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


MAY 29, 1918

Register next Wednesday, you young men who have gained your majority since last June 5th.

During a recent storm electricity penetrated the house of W.B. Hook, going through the roof to the living quarters, shocking Mrs. Hook, but otherwise doing no considerable damage.

25 cent bulk coffee, 5 pounds for $1.00 at Roman’s Grocery.

Notwithstanding bad weather and worse roads, the Vernon District Lutheran annual meeting held at Moen church last week, was a great success, every congregation being represented by pastors or lay members.

The Kaiser films [“The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin”] which were misshipped will now positively arrive Sunday, June 9 by special messenger. A bran new copy has been ordered for Viroqua and the Exchange service has done all in their power to give us the first possible showing.

C.M. Clark has installed a modern convenience at his Buick garage which will prove a very great help to motorists – a machine which furnishes water for the radiator and air for the tires. A “jitney” makes it do the work for you. Investigate it.

During the heavy storms Sunday forenoon lightning struck the residence of Wm. Bean. It entered every room of the house loosening the paper and knocking off a considerable amount of plaster. In one of the bedrooms it ran along a bed rail scorching the bedding in several places. It seems a miracle that the building was not fired. Luckily the members of the family were absent at the time the building was struck. – LaFarge Enterprise.

Felix has a large shipment of geraniums, foliage plants, cannas, etc. now on hand. See them.


MAY 22, 1918

Rain, rain, rain; and still it rains.

Married at Hillsboro, May 14, by Henry Shefton, Esq., Mr. Weneil Koba and Miss Betta Sebranek, both of Hillsboro section.

Married at Westby, at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Evan Nottestad, May 11, Mr. Ludvig C. Larson and Miss Constance Albertine Nottesad.

LOST – On the streets of Viroqua, some days since an automobile crank. Finder please leave at Clark’s garage.

Those thirst parlors in the vicinity of Yuba are said to be doing a great business with parties from dry territory towns of both Richland and Vernon counties. Recently one car from Viroqua took from one of these saloons four ten gallon milk cans filled with booze, supposedly to be sold to the thirsty hub of Vernon county. The cargo would fill a considerable number of half pint bottles and at present prices the driver had little business being filled up himself, for a tip into the ditch with so valuable a load would bankrupt the ordinary bootlegger. –Richland Democrat.

To comply with government orders, every one wanting coal for next season MUST fill out a blank form prepared for that purpose, with his dealer and sign the same... All coal must be cash. L.C. Boyle, The Coal Man.

Coon Valley – We are glad to note that our business men are doing a very satisfactory business notwithstanding the war.

Crossed telephone and electric light wires caused a fire alarm in the home of Josiah Latta, Tuesday afternoon. No damage except burning out of the phone and blackening of house wall.

Cut prices on all ladies pumps at the Farmers’ Store.


MAY 15, 1918

Graduation days.

Corn planting has commenced.

Save wheat, eat prunes at 12c per pound at Roman’s Grocery.

After a quarantine for ten days for a disease they did not have the families of Silas and Niram Foster again breathe the free air.

Old Jack Frost made visits to this section both Sunday and Monday nights, and there was fear for the fruit blossoms. Little damage, in this section at least.

Charley Honaker and George Hornby have leased the big Solverson garage in this city, and are entering actively into the automobile business with the Dodge cars, besides doing general repair work.

Don’t neglect to sign up for that cucumber acreage you have planned to take. The Glasser-Crandell Co., has already delivered salt here for the season’s packing. Help boost farm values here. Contracts at John Dawson & Co’s. office.

Tilmar Ottum reports a fine trout catch on Bishop Branch, the largest weighing two pounds.

Hardest rain of the season fell last Thursday afternoon and evening. Valley roads were badly washed, freshly plowed fields soils stripped off and fences were carried away... Throughout the county thousands of dollars of loss is reported... Service on the Kickapoo railroad was suspended because of high water. About Readstown tobacco sheds and other outbuildings were blown down... From different sections losses of cattle are reported, Dach Brothers of Franklin losing ten by drowning.

Viola has decided to re-establish racing for their fair, offering $1,125 in six purses. Their dates are September 24-26, the week following our fair.


MAY 8, 1918

The Vernon County Milling Co. at Hillsboro was ordered to sell 30 per cent of its output of flour for April and 40 per cent for May for the government.

Special at Roman’s Grocery while it lasts, bacon 35c per pound, picnic hams 25c per pound.

The new physician and family, Dr. Benson, have moved to the Devlin residence.

There are four things we would advise a motorist to look out for. They are: A woman driving a car, a boy riding a bicycle, a chicken and a Ford.

Mr. and Mrs. John Coleman of LaFarge are rejoicing over the arrival of a son. Mrs. Coleman was formerly Miss Esther Tuhus of this city.

Earl Unseth of Westby, successfully passed the state examination for registered pharmacist. He is also expecting to receive his diploma from the Illinois school of Pharmacy in June.

The county road committee and highway commissioner made an official visit to DeSoto section, recently. As a result the long Davis hill will be placed in better condition and Coldwell flats near DeSoto, made more passable. This road is on the county system and will be looked after more carefully in the future.

Construction work on the new training school building is being rapidly pushed. The concrete foundation walls are completed and brick mostly laid for the ground story pf the building. Contractors say that during their absence from work – mornings, evenings and Sundays – children congregate about the place and interfere with things. There is danger of their getting hurt. Parents are requested to caution their children to keep away from the premises.


MAY 1, 1918


Friday was the only warm day in April.

See “Wisconsin Troops at Camp McArthur” in six big reels at the Star, Sunday afternoon and evening.

Special Saturday, at Olson’s Variety store, 100 dozen gray enamel ware dish pans, wash basins, pudding pans, etc. at 19c each.

Because under age Burdette Barry was rejected for navy service. He went to Madison to enlist.

Attorney and former Assemblyman Lawrence Grimsrud of Westby, has returned to his first love, the farm, having purchased the place of Melvin Solberg in Spring Coulee.

Larson Brothers have installed a three-horse electric motor in their marble works, which furnishes power for driving engraver’s tools, cutting and polishing granite and other work.

Not until they received letters direct from their son in France were Mr. and Mrs. Burkhart, of this city, conscious of the fact that their son Chester was alive and well... The glad tidings came to them through two letters received last Saturday bearing date of March 28, written by the young man himself. They had supposed, as did the public, that Chester lost his life in the trenches on March first... In the letter to his parents protesting that he was “very much alive” young Burkhart said he wished them as good health and strength as he was enjoying.

The city fire department was called out on Tuesday and Wednesday on alarms from the home of Sterly May and Mrs. Hovde. In each case the incipient blazes were quenched before the ladies arrived on the scene.


April, 1918