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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


MARCH 17, 1920

Caucus days approach.

“Eats” at the Methodist church Thursday evening from five o’clock on for 20¢. There will be a crowd.

Neither sleighing or wheeling – just about the worst getting around that can be imagined.

Ten pound kegs of New Holland herring at a special price of $1.45 per keg for one week only at Roman’s Grocery.

Sugar season is with us again. Reports are that the juice ran a little Sunday, and a big crop of the conjealed [sic] sweetener is hoped for.


The long-looked for period of moist weather descended upon Vernon county last Wednesday evening and continued until the following night, thick murky fog which permeated the sheds in good shape except at the tops, and made possible the taking down of about 90 per cent of the crop. Every available worker in the county is now busy stripping and bundling the weed and if roads are at all passable next week will see the commencement in earnest of a long procession of bundled goods to the different sorting houses... There is every prospect of the crop not being finally wound up until July.

March weather, indeed – and then some – aptly describes the playful zephyr which started Sunday afternoon and developed into a gale of cyclone violence by Monday night... Monday night was a terror for the timid. Everything of a movable nature took wings into the next township... The loss was further aggravated by the fact that many of the sheds were wholly or partially filled with the weed.


MARCH 10, 1920

Henry Wise has taken the management of Luther M. Roseland’s lumber yard at Viola.

On several mornings the past week mercury ranged from five to twelve below zero. Now we have the first pleasant weather of the winter.

The farm dwelling of Charles Johnson of West Prairie, was destroyed by fire a week ago Monday, involving a large loss to the owner.

Men have your measure taken for a Royal Tailor suit at $35.00 to $65.00 at M.J. Felix.

The state highway commission has given instructions that the snow drifts of the state trunk highways be removed as soon as possible after warm enough weather comes, thus affording good passable roads for spring.

Last Sunday, February 29, was something of an orphan in the calculation of time. For the first time in forty years there was an extra Sunday in the year. Not until 1948 – twenty-eight years hence – will February again have five Sundays.

The village of Genoa, famed as a fishing center, hung up another record when last Friday a car containing 30,000 pounds of rough fish was shipped to eastern markets... Present prices f.o.b. are about $8 per cwt. The fish are kept alive in the car until they arrive at their destination... Most of the fish are carp, with some dog fish. – DeSoto Argus.

Umberger Brothers contractors, who have been engaged in construction of dams for the government near Lynxville, the past winter, have completed their work, disbanded their crew and return to Stoddard. In all 5 dams were built... The effect of the dams will be to deepen the main channel, thus greatly aiding navigation – DeSoto Argus.


MARCH 3, 1920

Viroqua and community are practice ally free of flu, and the first dance since the epidemic will be held at the Opera House Friday night. Fine orchestra music. You should attend.

Thomas S. Lem will reopen for business in the rear of John Henry’s grocery, where he hopes to meet the old patrons and all who need shoe repairing.

Modern machinery works wonders in reducing labor, promoting efficiency and improving quality. Otto M. Lund & Son have added the equivalent of a new man to their shop by purchasing and installing a steam pressing machine. This modern betterment and its fittings will cost in the neighborhood of $500, and constitutes an addition that spells increased service to their customers. Drop in and see it.

The much dreaded suspension of tobacco sorting is now the distressing fact, case weather failing to materialize. One hundred days without a drop of rain and only two periods of “near” case is surely a record for this community, and one we do not soon wish to see duplicated. The Eckhart and Hazen warehouses are closed; the Bekkedal house closes this week. The McIntosh house has enough weed for a two week’s run. Normal business activity of all kinds is hung up high and dry waiting on the weather to bring us fog and damp – and about three-fourths of one of Vernon’s finest harvests peacefully reposes on the poles.

One lot of work shoes $3.38; Pillsbury’s Best flour, $3.75; one lot boy’s two-piece underwear, special, at 38¢ at C.H. Ostrem’s.

Wm. F. Lindemann purchased from Mrs. C.A. Hendrickson her harness repair shop building opposite the Goodell barn.


February, 1920