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100 Years Ago

Life in Viroqua from the Vernon County Censor:


MARCH 23, 1921

Fire caught between the ceiling and floor around the stove pipe from the stove in the insurance office of Smith & Slack at the Star Theatre Building, Tuesday noon. It had a promising start when discovered, but was put out in short order by the chemical department of the truck... The chemical worked perfectly and its use prevented a water damage which would have far outweighed the little damage done by the fire.

Work on Viroqua’s sewer system has been resumed. The ditcher is working on Washington avenue, and Contractor Connolly, disposal station man, arrived today.

S.J. Sauer is having his warehouse moved from the Masonic lot to the W.R. Aikin lot just behind his hardware stbre [sic] for store room.

Viroqua city is in the market for the purchase of a tractor for street work, and different tractor salesmen have been demonstrating the virtues of their machines the past few days, pulling the heavy three-section drag. Our streets are much improved in consequence.

Viroqua fire engine was put to a novel use Friday – that of cleaning the boilers at the Wisconsin-Minnesota light plant. The heavy pressure generated by the machine is ideal for this kind of work. For the first time the uncollapsible suction hose was used, and it proved highly successful.

UTICA – Heald Hollow, March 19 – Quite a number of people delivered tobacco to the American Tobacco Company at Ferryville and DeSoto last week.

WHEATLAND – Central, March 19 – Mrs. West has purchased an incubator and will soon be busy with little chicks.

Bulk oat meal at 4¢ a pound at Roman’s Grocery.


MARCH 16, 1921

A crew of ten men are now at work rebuilding Viroqua’s entire distribution system of juice from the Wisconsin-Minnesota plant. A great many poles are to be replaced – four carloads to be exact-and none will be less than forty feet high. Nearly every inch of wire will be replaced, none of the new wire to be smaller than No. 6. This will require an entire carload of wire. New standard cross arms are to be installed on all poles.

The improvements will cost more than $30,000 and it will require more than 60 days to complete the work.

Viroqua will hereafter be marked on the State Highway Commissioner’s map as having an auto tourist camp. The park board has ordered a brick or tile building built west of the ball diamond at the park, where water and other conveniences for tourists will be installed.

When Was Standpipe Built?

Considerable discussion resulted last week over the question of when Viroqua’s standpipe was built. Treasurer Minshall looked up the matter and found it was erected in 1896 at a cost of $4100. A banquet was held in January 1897 to celebrate the event.

Harry Parker and Bert Crume have purchased from James Standiford his barber shop and are now running the same.

The Viroqua High School has received a fine silver cup won by our boys in the state corn judging contest at LaCrosse...

The Southeastern depot caught fire from the furnace in some manner last Thursday morning at about six o’clock and before being subdued wrought a loss of about $2500 to the interior of the station.


MARCH 9, 1921

Notice is hereby given that the ordinance against riding bicycles on the sidewalks will be strictly enforced. The recent injury of two children makes this action absolutely imperative. L.M.ROSELAND, Mayor.

Judge Mahoney was called to Madison on business and had the good fortune of being present at the capitol when the legislature handed a body blow to the brewers by killing a motion to reconsider the drastic prohibition enforcement bill.

Henry Seiler has slicked up his electrical shop with paint, wall paper and other betterments.

Temple Site Purchased

Transfer of the old Tate site to the Masonic lodge was officially made on Tuesday of this week, and cleaning up of the same will commence shortly.

The directors of the Viroqua Crystal Ice Company have been doing some tall hustling the past week and in consequences plans for the new plant are taking form.

The building will be 25x50 feet, of cement block construction, located on railroad ground just south of the creamery, the directors having entered into a lease with the Southeastern R.R. company. They also contracted with the Berge Machine Co. of Chicago for an ice machine which will be capable of turning our six tons a day in a pinch.

Workmen will break ground for the building net Monday and construction will be pushed with all possible speed. It is hoped to have the plant in operation by May 15th.

Spring is on the way! Time to dress up. Nothing adds such a finishing touch to a dainty spring costume as a ring, pin, string of beads or other pieces of jewelry. Let Carl C. Coe show you.


MARCH 2, 1921


At a meeting at the library rest room this morning the Viroqua Crystal Ice Co., was officially formed... The company is capitalized at $10,000, and $7,300 of the stock has already been taken.

Elmer Haugen has sold his store at Bud to Vincent Rabbitt and Albert Barath, taking Mr. Rabbitt’s residence property in the deal.

Miss Mahony took her Civics class to the Court House on Tuesday to give the students an opportunity to get some first hand knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of the county offices.

A singular thing happened in Potts’ barber shop Monday morning when three members of the old Viroqua base ball team of thirty years ago were in the chairs at one time – Otto Brown, Dr. Chase and Dr. Butt.

Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Snearley have leased from O.G. Munson his room in the Opera House block now occupied by Favor’s harness shop and will put in a restaurant there as soon as Mr. Favor’s stock is closed out, which will be the early part of April. Mrs. Snearley has been a popular caterer to the hungry folks for many years.

A new shipment of aprons and house dresses in both lights and darks have just been received at the Farmers Store. They are sure to please you.

Commissioner Ristow was out in Jefferson Monday surveying for a relocation of the road through the Clarence Hanson farm to the Bangsberg place.

In a few days the big tanks for the storage oil will be erected at Viroqua, Westby, Coon Valley and Stoddard.

The new 10-ton steam roller purchased from Dane county was unloaded Monday.


February, 1921