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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


MAY 28, 1919

Memorial Day this year of 1919 takes on a new significance, glows with a new luster... It is then, eminently fitting that all veterans of the World War should unite with the fading ranks of the blue on Friday afternoon and do honor not only to the memory of their fathers but to their comrades in France who sleep...

Canned peas 13¢ per can at Roman’s Grocery.

Otto Ruud has moved his family into rooms above the bakery recently purchased by him.

As narrow an escape from death as has happened in this city for some time came to St. Elmo Legler Thursday when the little four-year old lad tried to catch a ride on a moving truck. He sustained a broken limb and many severe and painful injuries, but will recover.

Flowers in bloom for memorial day at Felixs’.

At least 500 people gathered at Otto Otteson’s store Thursday afternoon, the occasion being the giving away of a Free sewing machine. Geo. Getter received the machine, and he in turn presented it to his nephew, Fred Getter, who recently married.

The fine Christenson herd of Guernsey cattle were brought up from the West Prairie farm Thursday, and shipped to the sale at Waukesha. Many are the pangs of regret among Vernon county farmers over the loss of these fine blooded animals.

Last week several petitions were circulated in Viroqua and signed by all who were approached, asking for a Sunday train on the Milwaukee branch. There appears to be no reason why the convenience of years past should be withheld now that the war is over.


MAY 21, 1919

Assessors are on their tasks.

Weather conditions to be cold and unseasonable.

One week after this and Viroqua schools close for the year.

A fine new awning has been placed across Brown Music company’s fine front.

Rumor has it that the Southeastern road has ordered another “scooter” – the new one to hold forty passengers and luggage.

The Times says that masons are getting $6 per day for work in Westby this season: carpenters $5, common labors $3.50.

Last Friday evening the Viroqua Advancement association met and discussed the proposition of paving streets... Tuesday evening after a general discussion by the council and committee a motion was made and carried to compel property owners to install cement curb and four-foot gutters on any streets designated for permanent work... An engineer from Madison [is] to survey the water and sewerage situation, with a view of paving the three business blocks of Main street this summer.

THE FAMOUS 32ND DIVISION IS HOME AGAIN. Viroqua Boys of the Barred Arrow Division Are Back in the Old Town.

The first contingent of boys came Sunday morning, totally surprising everyone.

The Hillsboro Village marshal is instructed to strictly enforce the law and ordinances on auto speeding in that village.

“More dwelling houses needed” is the cry from most of the surrounding villages and cities. Natural growth and retired farmers moving to town are the principal reasons.

Probably the first farmer in Vernon county to buy a four-wheel drive truck is Ed Solem of Greenwood town.


MAY 14, 1919

After a long silence, lasting since its valiant vocal efforts on peace day, the city siren fire alarm has once more been placed in commission by our electricians.

R.C. Worman came up from DeSoto with his truck Friday, taking back a load of flour. He picked up C.E. Sallander and a batch of grist on the way up.

Fred W. Meyers came from Mt. Tabor to take examination for rural carrier on Saturday. Five others wrote at the same time. Rural carriers will be easier to procure when Uncle Samuel puts the wages high enough so a family and a team can be maintained at the same time without slighting either.

Plans for the big soldier welcome are going forward smoothly, all of the committees working out their schedules with an eye single to making it the event of Vernon county. It now seems certain that the event will not take place until the early part of June.

HOSPITAL SITE SELECTED After careful considerations of all sites and propositions offered, the City Commission finally decided upon the Moore property north of the Eckhart Park as a site for the new hospital. Due to the subjects, the commission decided to refer the location to the council. At the meeting last evening the body unanimously confirmed the decision... Construction of the new hospital will be pushed as rapidly as possible.

After years of round about service between this community and the county seat our people now have the benefit of a daily pouch between LaFarge and Viroqua... – LaFarge Enterprise.


MAY 7, 1919

Crouse’s razzy jazzy orchestra of LaCrosse will furnish music for a dance at the opera house, Wednesday, May 14th. Don’t fail to hear these peppy ragadoura featuring the largest equipment on the road.

By the breaking on one of the pipes at the lower pumping station, about 30 feet of water were lost from the standpipe in an incredibly short time before being discovered. A shock valve was closed and the upper pumps worked overtime in order to avert the threatened water famine.

Our boys of the 32nd Division had landed in New York on Monday.

The first units of the famous 32nd division came on the ex-German liner George Washington... Undoubtly the rest of the division will soon arrive and proceed in a body to demobilization points – Michigan men to Camp Custer, Wisconsin men to Camp Grant... New York greeted them as befitted the reputation they have earned – that of being the crack troops of the nation, standing shoulder to shoulder with the Rainbow division and the Marines... The 32nd sustained 16,000 casualties, fourth highest of all American troops. It is possible our boys will be with us by the 15th.

The new “silent policeman” ordered by the city council have arrived and been placed in position on the four business corners of Main street. And for the guidance of short-sighted drivers it can be said that they are mounted on very sturdy concrete bases calculated to give the policemen a fighting chance with any chance that may dispute its authority.

Cheese 31¢ per pound for one week only at Roman’s grocery.


April, 1919