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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


JUNE 6, 1923

Quite a little excitement transpired on the Mullin Grocery store corner Sunday afternoon when a Campbell Construction Co. Truck crashed into light pole and the gasoline pump, shattering them to bits and scattering the fragments many feet along the walk. The driver...rounded the silent policeman at a good rate of speed and could not make the turn.

Westby – Our schools closed last Friday with 45 graduates, and Our Savior’s church was packed to capacity for the exercises. The decorations were beautiful.

Martin Berg is having a nice machine shed erected on his farm northeast of Viroqua. Noting remarkable about that, of course, but when you consider who the carpenters are, it is most remarkable. John F. Berg, aged 89, and Lars Gilbertson, aged 90, are the two kids that are doing the work.

Readstown – June 3 – Thursday was picnic day for the Readstown schools, 1st and 2nd grades going to McSherry; the other grades to the picnic grounds near the W. Phillips camp home and the High school to Eckhart Park in Viroqua. Commencement exercises of the Readstown schools were held at the Opera House Tuesday evening, May 29, when eight young people were graduated... Diplomas were also given to [11] 8th grade pupils... Nature indeed handed us a most ideal day for the observance of Memorial day last Wednesday and an unusually large crowd was in attendance to witness the exercises….the fire company...sprinkled the streets, eliminating the dust...

The uniform fund for the band is slowing down, and the amount subscribed is far insufficient to defray the cost of suits for the boys.


MAY 30, 1923


Thursday morning when the Bank of Gays Mills was opened it was discovered that burglars had entered thru the back door, dug the bricks out in the back of the vault and broken open every one of the safety deposit boxes taking everything of value and scattering papers that could not be turned into cash all over the floor of the vault... The job was done with a hand axe and a heavy hammer... The telephone wires were cut... Opinion seem to be divided as to who did the job, some claiming that it looks like home talent work while other think that it is the work of a gang who have been robbing banks all over the state... It is estimated that about $15,000 worth of bands money and jewelry were stolen. There were 102 deposit boxes and every one of them were broken open. – Gays Mills Independent.

Seldom indeed has nature smiled so kindly upon Memorial day as on Wednesday of this week, and the perfect cloudless day, delightfully warm and pleasant brought out a large crowd to witness the parade and the solemn observance at the cemetery.

DeSoto – May 27 – Joe Wilson entertained the crowed last Tuesday in the role of snake charmer, having captured two live rattlesnakes which he handled fearlessly. About 100 rattle snakes have been killed along the river in this vicinity in the last ten days. Mr. Wilson and others have been trying to clean-up these reptiles.

The Farmers Store has a fine line of straw hats for men and boys. You’ll need one this summer. Drop in and see what we have. Surenson & Thompson.