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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


OCT. 30, 1918

Hallowe’en Thursday night.

The first genuinely rainy day we have been blessed with for months, came on Sunday, to which say amen. It is a splendid thing to put the ground in shape for winter snows.

The deer season will open next month. Hunters this year will not have to observe a one buck law, but are prohibited from shooting fawn. This feature of the law will be ridgedly [sic] enforced.

Howard Fleming sent home to his sister Ruth from France as souvenirs, a collection of money from Belgium and France. The paper denomination are real curiosities, but the silver differ little from our own coins except that they are cheaper.

Senator J. Henry Bennett and family have just taken possession of their newly rebuilt and modernly equipped home. A half-lot from Mrs. Thos. Gosling’s place was purchased and added to the Bennett premises. They have lived in one of N.D. McLee’s tenement houses for several months.

Central Powers Ask Wilson For End To War

Austria Asks For Separate Peace – Turkey To Do Same – Germany For Armistice.

Allied Troops Open Big Offensive on Italian Front Against Austria – Capture 15,000 Men and Many Guns.

Hillsboro Sentry reports that August Fanta, a well known resident of Dilly locality died very suddenly on October 18. He was walking on the road when taken sick and died before aid could reach him. Heart failure is said to be the cause of his death.

“KKK” herring two pounds for 25c at J. Omundson’s, Opera Block.

The great war has already claimed more than 40,000 U.S. soldiers as causalities. The list will constantly grow longer.


OCT. 23, 1918

The flour mills at Sealyburg are being put in shape for grinding, to be propelled by electricity, we learn, the same power that furnishes LaFarge lighting system.

J.W. Caldwell of DeSoto, route No. 2, reports the completion of another new concrete bridge on the state road near the E.N. Chase farm between West Prairie and Retreat. Foreman M.A. Devine and crew did the work, which the DeSoto carrier pronounces all right. Another commendable improvement on his route, Mr. Caldwell reports, is the insertion of a tube culvert at a point near Cassius Coleman premises in Cooley Valley. – DeSoto Argus.

Theodore Johnson of West prairie is clerking at Ostrem’s store.

Up to Wednesday the ban on church, school and public gatherings has not been raised.

Do you remember? That on October 9th, last year, there fell in this locality, ten inches of heavy snow? Fact, just the same, and some of it remained until the sunshine rays of spring. Then appreciate, you should, the favor that is bestowed upon us these glorious closing days of October – and doubly appreciate the fine weather that has been ours during the whole spring, summer and fall seasons.

On The Western Front

This has been a most spectacular week for the Allies. The Hun has loosed the hold he has held upon the coast of Belgium for four years and has beat a hasty retreat toward the Rhine... A considerable portion of noble Belgium has been redeemed from the invader.

South of the Flanders front, British and American troops have overrun a large part of the Lille salient.


OCT. 16, 1918

Do up the fall work.

Indian summer.

Soldiers Grove corn festival was indefinitely postponed.

The county at large is in the embrace of the epidemic known as the Spanish influenza. It has the prevalence of lagrippe that passed universal twenty years ago with such fatal results. From every state and section come reports of hundreds of thousands of cases with thousands of fatalities.

Wisconsin’s health department took early precautions, closing all schools, places of amusement, churches, preventing all public gatherings. That tells the complete take in Viroqua and throughout Vernon county. We have no cases in the city, but there are here and there cases in different sections of the county, but up to date no fatalities that we can positively report.

Workmen are engaged in tearing down one of Viroqua’s landmarks – one wing that composed the old North Star hotel, known to every early settler and traveler who visited Viroqua. It formerly stood where Hotel Fortney looms up. For some years it has been out of use and stood on north Main street, near the present Farmers’ Bank. Farewell old pioneer hostlary [sic].

The management of the local Light and Power Company is pleased to announce that, commencing next Sunday, a schedule will be arranged to accommodate the city churches which use power for their pipe organs. The service was discontinued some weeks ago because of the necessity to clean and repair boilers on the Sabbeth [sic]. The power will be on 10:30 to 12:00 p.m...

At a recent special election the town of Christiana voted to purchase a tractor for highway improvement purposes.


OCT. 9, 1918

To Hell With The Kaiser.

Merchant Steenburg and family drove over from Retreat on business and to call on relatives and old friends.

County Food Administrator Morterud says there is no change in food quotations except no price is fixed on butter and eggs.

The government will soon put a tax of from 5¢ to 10¢ a pound upon coffee. We have 5,000 pounds on hand which will be sold at the old prices. Don’t wait until it is gone; come in today. Roman’s Grocery.

County highways were never before in such fine condition for motoring and all kinds of traffic hauling, as at the present time. One can drive in any direction now and be assured of fine wheeling.

The county highway committee, Supervisors Dolan, Clark and Moore, accompanied by Commissioner Ristow, made official visits of inspection to the new road work done throughout the county. One of the largest and best pieces of construction accomplished during the season is that from the Black Bottom west to Sylvester Solverson farm, on the Readstown state trunk highway.

Mr. Chas, J. Kuebler, who for twenty-one years has conducted an extensive and successful hardware business in Viroqua makes known the fact that he intends to retire from trade because of impaired health, desiring to recuperate and pursue work that will not require so much indoor confinement. With this purpose in view Mr. Kuebler has scheduled a big going-out-of-business sale to open on Friday of this week.

Druggist and Mrs. C.F. Dahl, after making some repairs and betterments in their new First ward residence have moved in the same.


OCT. 2, 1918


Delightful weather.

At the Star soon, “To Hell With the Kaiser.”

Bring your empty cement sacks so that they may be used again, and thus conserve the cotton needed by the government. Nuzum Yard.

Dr. Minshall’s pacing horse won the 2:30 race at Viola fair. The animal is at Waukon, Iowa, fair this week. Dr. Minshall motored over to see him, going by way of LaCrosse.

Knitting worsteds of all kinds have been taken over by the government, but Rogers still has a small supply. Better get what you need now; there will be none to get later...

Some weeks since Captain Butters asked, through the Censor, children of his acquaintance to each send him a stick of gum for the poor children of France... hundreds of little tots enjoy the gifts from America.

Former Chairman of the county board, Mike Brody, was in town on business Monday. His son Lawrence, a Viroqua High school graduate, is now in Italy doing his bit for Uncle Sam. Another son is in an eastern cantonment preparing to go over.

Mr. Jacob Appleman of Webster, was a county seat business caller. His residence, Mr. Appleman declares is somewhat confusing since the government compelled him to receive his mail from LaFarge, making the world two days slow.

Mrs. Dug Harn of Viola, died from what is pronounced Spanish influenza. A daughter of Mrs. Harn visited her husband at Camp Grant, and it is thought that the contagion came home with her. Dr. Stormont of Viola, is reported afflicted with the disease.

A fine restaurant location is waiting for the right party. A sure money-maker. Inquire of Henry Running.


September, 1918