First Week of April 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Those who predicted that because the beginning of March brought us a cold snap,
its closing hours would “let us have peace” have been slightly taken in. The roaring, rollicking storm of wind
which prevailed throughout last night and today, don’t resemble any breed of lambs with which we have any
acquaintance. But it is an excellent photograph of a full grown lion. We look for a spell of weather after this.
130 Years Ago (1879): The Mutual Improvement Literary Society of Evansville met in the room over C. H.
Spencer’s clothing store. A grand attendance was given, much beyond the real comfort and convenience
of the room. The subject of study was the poet Longfellow. Mr. Leander Hoskins gave a succinct and well
written paper upon the poet’s life and character, which was followed by a few criticisms, and other papers on
the same by Mr. Norris Adair. Mr. Barney Standish read a well composed paper upon Longfellow’s poem,
Hiawatha, which was followed with some pleasant criticisms.
120 Years Ago (1889): Wanted: 100 horses by Col. Geo. W. Hall for his show business to start out in about
30 days. Will buy and hire. Cheap horses that will stand the roads preferred.
110 Years Ago (1899): Dr. F. E. Colony has purchased what is known as the Peter Aller place in the grove,
of Mr. Wellington Smith, which will be the future home of the doctor, his wife, and mother-in-law, Mrs. Pratt.
[Note: Dr. Colony’s house was at 218 North Fourth Street.]
100 Years Ago (1909): During the month of March there were one thousand tickets sold from this station to
Janesville. That means that a lot of money was spent in that city that would much better have been paid out
to our businessmen in Evansville.
90 Years Ago (1919): About the 20th of this month a new show with new tents and newly painted cars start
from this city on its annual tour. The name on the wagons and on the cars will read “The Hall Shows.”
Mable, daughter of Col. George “Popcorn” Hall, married Mr. W. E. Campbell, proprietor of the Campbell
Minstrel Shows and inherited not only her father’s ability in the handling of animals, but also his love for the
business. Last fall the Campbell Brothers Minstrel shows were sold and since that time Mrs. Campbell and
her husband have been busy fitting and equipping a new railroad show that will be absolutely new in its
entirety. Tents will be lighted with electric lights produced by a Delco lighting plant which they carry with
them, something never carried before except by the very largest shows.
80 Years Ago (1929): The 4-H Club met at the Magnolia hall last Friday and decided to form regular
meetings every month. There was a large crowd of children present and officers and advisers were
elected. Mrs. Eva Ahara and Mrs. Nellie Klusmeyer were appointed leaders. R. T. Glassco, the county
agent attended the meeting.
70 Years Ago (1939): Wheaties may account for it, but Evansville has in its midst two robust Tarzans
whose durable physique even the cold waters of Lake Leota cannot faze. They are George Fritcher and
Tom Kennedy who made the first plunge in the lake here this season last Friday afternoon. Although they
swam into no icebergs, they reported the water anything but comfortable.
60 Years Ago (1949): With only two aldermanic contests in the city election Tuesday, a group of 394
citizens went to the polls to cast their ballots which is an exceptionally light vote for the spring election.
Ralph Bennett became the alderman in the third ward by defeating Harold E. Morrison, incumbent, Ralph
Brzezinski, Sr., and Perry Burnett all of whom aspired for the position. In the second ward, Leo Brunsell,
incumbent, received 93 and Howard A. Bruce, 58 for alderman. Henry Hogans, unopposed 115 for
supervisor. There was no opposition in the first ward and R. J. Antes got 81 votes for alderman and Lester
L. Thompson 82 for supervisor.
50 Years Ago (1959): Chuck Peterson and Dick Moore have recently been selected to the Madison
Suburban All-Conference basketball squad. This group is chosen by coaches of the 12 member teams.
40 Years Ago (1969): Business places will be closed from 12 o’clock noon until 3 p.m. tomorrow, Good
Friday, during the time that religious services are being held in local churches. Good Friday will be
observed by all local churches. A union service in the Baptist Church will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
with the pastors of the following churches participating: Baptist, United Methodist, Free Methodist, Magnolia
Advent and Congregational-United Church of Christ. The theme will be “Attitudes at the cross” and the
pastor of each participating church will give a sermonette. There will also be special music.
30 Years Ago (1979): With the arrival of spring comes the baseball season. The Evansville baseball team
has been practicing for opening day. The Devils will play their home opener April 5, 1979. The returning
seniors and lettermen are Mark Elmer, Jim Hyne, Ron Soetaert, Sam Gallman, Randy Hatlen, Mike Hilbelink,
Dean Fuchs, David Jeans, Todd Hipke and Marty Hull.
20 Years Ago (1989): The cast of the high school musical “Once Upon A Mattress” are Libby Kress,
George Diaz, Bethany Krake, Stephanie Ross, Jeff Gitchel, Jeff Fredendall, Aimee Krake, Jeff Updike, Jenny
Neuenschwander, Kim Spanton, Casey Bauer, Tara Bradley, Vicky Wonders, Dorothy Steensen, Heidi
Turner, DeeJay Redders, Amie Brickle, and Rachel Mackie
10 years ago (1999): In the combined Knights of Columbus and AWARE Easter basket program, the
volunteers working on the project were George Wollinger, Ron DeKelver, Mary Kuhlow, Gerald Magee,
Stephen Skotnicki, Tim Magee, Gaylen Reilly, Julie Hermanson, Mike Nicholson, Paul Welton, Bob
Braucher, and Rebecca Doverspike. The Knights worked quickly to fill 38 boxes with hams, potatoes, milk,
eggs, cake mixes, margarine, and various canned goods. Child size Easter baskets were provided by the
children attending Kids Korner Day Care. Each basket was filled with many candy-filled plastic eggs and
other various treats. A total of 94 children received these goodies on Easter morning.
Second Week of April 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): This vicinity was visited by a snow storm on the 10th, reminding us that winter is still
disposed to dispute the right of spring to reign over us. Snow fell to the depth of four or five inches, which
130 Years Ago (1879): J. Boyd Jones has left the birch rod to drive the quill editorial, having leased the
Evansville Review for one year. If he is as successful at that as he is in teaching he will honor the new
120 Years Ago (1889): We notice that Mr. C. E. Lee has commenced active movements towards his new
residence in the rear of the Congregational Church, having help employed in removing the old house and a
large quantity of stone delivered. (Note: Lee’s house was at 23 South First Street.)
110 Years Ago (1899): The Gollmar Bros., of Baraboo, have purchased the elephant, Palm, of Col. G. W.
Hall, as well as birds of rare plumage and some cages which will be shipped to them as soon as the weather
will permit. The Gollmar Bros. are making extensive alterations and adding much to the interest of their
100 Years Ago (1909): A team belonging to Delbert Jones made a lively run down Main street last Friday
morning about seven o’clock. As Mr. Jones, who carries mail on rural route No. 16, was on his way to the
post office, the bolt came out and let the tongue down, which frightened the horses and they started to run,
and just as Mr. Jones was getting them under control they met an automobile which frightened them still
more and they at once became unmanageable. When they reached the corner of Park and Main Streets,
the buggy struck the curbing with such force that the seat with the buggy top and Mr. Jones were thrown
into the road. The team ran at a terrific speed down Main Street and as they passed the blacksmith shop of
E. J. Reckord, one of the whiffletrees flew through the large glass in the show window of the carriage
department. When in front of Van Wart’s drugstore the team ran into a telephone pole and were stopped.
The buggy was a total wreck, but Mr. Jones escaped with only slight bruises and was able to make his route
as usual. [Note: Park Street in 1909 is today’s North Second Street. E. J. Reckord’s blacksmith shop was
at 26 West Main and Van Wart’s drug store at 7 West Main.]
90 Years Ago (1919): The members of the High School were both electrified and pleased last Thursday
morning when Superintendent Waddell presented, with a nice talk, a silver loving cup to the basketball team
of the school—inscribed with the names of the players, coach, etc., and the inscription that it was given in
honor of the fact that at the recent tournament, they had been honored as being the cleanest and fairest
players in all the teams that contested at the tournament. The cup is of silver, lined with gold, and stands
about eighteen inches high, being presented to the team by Mr. C. J. Pearsall, who is spending the winter
and spring in California. It will be placed in the window of Ballard’s jewelry store for exhibition. Mr. Pearsall
in his gift has not only rewarded real merit but has set a goal that all future ball teams will probably try to
reach—that the record of the team of 1919 may not be dimmed in comparison.
80 Years Ago (1929): Reconstruction of telephone lines which were destroyed by the severe sleet storm
here Easter Sunday was completed Friday and the some 150 phones which were put out of service were all
in working order Saturday morning. More than 100 poles were down in the rural communities south of the
city with 250 wire breaks leaving the Magnolia township practically isolated from its neighboring
communities. Sleet and rain freezing onto the wires until they were nearly an inch in diameter, caused them
to sag almost to the ground. Whipped by a strong wind, the heavy weight of ice-covered wires, acting like
giant swings, soon pulled the poles to the ground.
70 Years Ago (1939): Miss Belle Rankin Green, Madison, former Evansville resident, became the bride of
Stanley Perry, prominent local dairyman and ice cream manufacturer at a ceremony performed at 3 p.m.
Tuesday in the bride’s summer home at Eagle by the Rev. Mr. Petherick, pastor of the Burlington church,
who at one time served the Eagle parish. The attendants at the wedding were the groom’s parents, Mr. and
Mr. O. H. Perry, this city.
60 Years Ago (1949): The approach of spring and warmer weather has reminded street commissioner,
Braden Wolff, to warn Evansville residents against dumping garbage in the city pit on South Second Street.
The practice is against the law and is strictly forbidden by the city authorities. A violater of the law may be
prosecuted. Those who take tin cans, leaves, and other rubbish to the pit are asked not to dump it by the
roadside but to take it to the dumping ground.
50 Years Ago (1959): In the Spring election here Tuesday voters named Rose Ehle to serve on the school
board for a three year term. Rose led the three candidates with 151 votes. M. L. Palmer received 96 and
Sally Eager 75. This fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Al Gill. In the City election, Richard
Eager received 108 votes for first ward alderman; Bob Brunsell received 96 votes for supervisor; Alderman
Ida Conroy received 102 and Albert Winn 112 votes for supervisor of the second ward. Alderman Bennett
was reelected with 45 votes and Reinhold Gallman received 47 for supervisor for the third ward.
40 Years Ago (1969): City Council actions: Harry Inman and Robert Larsen have asked to be annexed to
the city. Rich Hamacher will again manage the swimming pool this coming summer. Gary Grossman will be
the playground director and John Willoughby will return to be in charge of the park store. Approval was
given Mayor Conroy and Clerk May to enter into a contract to purchase a new fire truck at the cost of
$31,260. The townships involved will pay half of the amount.
30 Years Ago (1979): Mr. and Mrs. William Harvey of Evansville celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary
with their children on April 7 at a family dinner. Bill and Shirley were married on April 10, 1954 at the
Mondovi Central Lutheran Church.
20 Years Ago (1989): Leonard Krueger was approved as a part-time seasonal employee in the park
maintenance department, as the foreman and Robert Pendell, Jr. was also hired for the same department
as assistant foreman. Hired also for the park maintenance were Randy Schroeder, Dan Smith, Sheyenne
Brown, Dan Courtier, and Pat Adams, all seasonal part-time.
10 years ago (1999): Jane and Mark Rowley of Fort Atkinson have returned from an eight-day visit with
Jane’s brother and family, Jeff, Heidi, Jesse and Sarah Deininger in Aiea, Hawaii on the island of Oahu.
Their children, Daniel, Ryne, Makayla, and Michael spent the week in Albany, with their aunt and uncle,
Mona and Les Schulz and their children Meagan and Kaitlyn. They spent Easter weekend with their
grandparents, Gary and Sue Deininger in Evansville.
Third Week of April 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): The farmers who have waited so long for the snow to leave and mud to dry up have
just commenced their seeding and think it no use to grumble when the fences just begin to peep out of the
130 Years Ago (1879): Miss Lizzie Van Patten commenced her first school at the Eagle school house last
Monday. We wish her good success.
120 Years Ago (1889): D. E. Stevens never fails an opportunity to acquire more property or improve what
he already has. He has Mr. Brink putting in a foundation for a two-story bay window on the East side of his
house, involving two of the four windows on that side leaving the other two to be supplied by a large plate
glass. It will improve the First Street front of his house immeasurably although attended with several
hundred dollars expense. (Note: D. E. Stevens lived in the house at 103 West Main Street, today’s Allen-
Meredith Funeral Home.)
110 Years Ago (1899): Mr. Geo. S. Plaisted, who has been a resident of this city for many years past, was
called away from all earthly cares on Tuesday, April 18, 1899, of cancer, aged 76 years. Mr. Plaisted has
suffered much from that terrible and much dreaded human ailment, but with all his suffering and knowing
that death would be the ultimate result, he bore it bravely until death ended his suffering. The funeral
services were held at the house today at 2 o’clock p.m. Rev. Short officiating. The Masonic order of which
the deceased was a member for many years, took charge of the services at the grave.
100 Years Ago (1909): The Janesville Gazette has started an innovation here by having its papers
delivered to subscribers in this city instead of going through the post office in the usual way. The Gazette is
up-to-date in all its departments, and especially so in the business office.
90 Years Ago (1919): Miss Wilma O’Brien and Lowell Mason were married Monday, April 21, 1919, at
Evansville, in St. Paul’s Church, by the Rev. Father McDermott. Mendelssohn’s wedding march was
rendered by Miss Pauline Geary, organist of the church. The young couple was attended by Mayme Medlar
and Francis Mahar, cousins of the bride. The bride was beautifully attired in a gown of georgette crepe
over white silk and carried a bridal bouquet of white rosebuds. The bridesmaid’s gown was a handsome
creation of French blue and carried a bouquet of pink rosebuds. The groom recently released from the
Navy was dressed in his blue uniform, while the groomsman, another war hero, was similarly dressed in
Uncle Sam’s khaki uniform.
80 Years Ago (1929): Dean George was elected president and Donald Rowald vice president at a meeting
of the Magnolia 4-H club held last Thursday night in the Dougherty hall. Other officers were names as
follows; Elizabeth Howard, secretary; Evelyn George, treasurer; and Dorothy Gransee, reporter.
70 Years Ago (1939): In an effort to close the city public schools here a week earlier for summer recess
and thereby provide the contracting firm additional time to complete the erection of the new high school
building, the annual spring vacation period was abandoned, according to Supt. J. C. McKenna. In
shortening the school year, the contractors will be able to start razing the science building a week earlier
than had been anticipated. The structure will butt into the old building making its razing necessary.
60 Years Ago (1949): After calling the city council organization meeting to order Tuesday night in the city
hall, Mayor A. M. Winn proceeded to name committees for the ensuing year. Alderman E. J. Gibbs was
unanimously chosen president of the council. Ralph Bennett, third ward, was the new alderman seated.
The appointment of D. F. Gallagher as city attorney was confirmed by the council. The group decided to
dispense with the office of comptroller and the duties of that office will here after be performed by the
finance committee. The board of public works is also dispensed with and the street and alley committee will
act as the board. The Evansville Review was designated as the official newspaper.
50 Years Ago (1959): Potter Porter recently retired from chairmanship of Union Township and 34 years of
service on the Rock County Board. Officers of the township and their wives entertained Mr. and Mrs. Porter
Thursday evening at a dinner party at Idlehour near Monroe. Present besides Mr. and Mrs. Porter were
Assessor and Mrs. George Krajeck, Treasurer and Mrs. Charles Maas, Clerk and Mrs. Stanley Perry,
Supervisor and Mrs. Kenneth Gilbertson, Supervisor and Mrs. Dean George, and the town chairman who
will succeed Mr. Porter, Harold Robinson and Mrs. Robinson.
40 Years Ago (1969): Thirty persons were in attendance at the annual Magnolia Township meeting held at
the town hall. Much concern was expressed over the increased property tax burden. There was
considerable discussion over a bill totaling $541.50 for the labor from the Evansville Fire Department. This
bill was for one fire call to a barn in Magnolia Township. One of the main topics of the meeting was in
regard to the new County Library fund, which Magnolia was asked to pay an amount of $2,600 for the 1st
year. It was speculated that this amount would probably not get any smaller. This $2,600 was compared to
an amount of $641 (sometimes less) paid to the Evansville library in previous years. Under the new library
plan, a Magnolia resident may borrow books from any library in Rock County, where before they were
permitted use of Evansville library books only.
30 Years Ago (1979): It was standing room only at the city hall council chambers as some 60 persons
attended the Public Hearing on sidewalk assessments. John Willoughby stated his sidewalk had been put in
in the early 1900’s and had lasted these past 70 years. He asked what Mr. Morgan, the sidewalk man, had
used as a process to make the sidewalks last so long, when those put in later years are cracking up in a
year to five years. Francis Cook spoke up to answer the question and advised the group that in those
days, Morgan put in a mix like it should be, absolutely as dry as possible, tamped, and ½ to ¾ inches of
sand layer on the top. Today, Cook stated, the contractors slop it on too wet and they don’t put a foot of
gravel in first.
20 Years Ago (1989): The Tree Reforestation Program, planned for each year, began in earnest this past
week when Mayor Chris Eager turned the first spade of dirt. The first of 50 trees was planted on N.
Madison Street. Annually 50 trees will be planted. Business people also chose to plant several of them on
Main Street. These were being done this week and they are the responsibility of these individuals. Grates
will be set around the base of the trees here and should provide aesthetic beauty to the city. Reforestation
is one of Mayor Eager’s concerns, mentioned at the re-organization meeting in his thoughts on the city.
10 years ago (1999): Evansville Lions Club members were busy all morning this past Saturday with their
annual Rose Day. Approximately 380 dozen flowers were delivered in the Evansville, Brooklyn and Albany
Fourth Week of April 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Married. April 20, 1869, at the home of the bride’s father, Harvey Prentice, Esq., in
Evansville, Wis., by Rev. W. H. Sampson, Mr. Justin A. Pettigrew, and Miss Levelia S. Prentice, all of
130 Years Ago (1879): The barn on the premises owned by Mr. L. T. Pullen, in Cooksville and occupied by
Mr. Phillip Ulius, was found to be on fire. Mr. Ulius had barely time to turn out his cow and horse before the
roof fell in. A wagon and sleigh, some hogs, hay and grain, and a few farming tools were burned. The
entire loss is about $300. Insurance on building $75.
120 Years Ago (1889): T. F. Shurrum has just begun to lay the stone in C. E. Lee’s cellar. B. S. Hoxie will
push the daily plane as master mechanic. Mr. Lee is superintendent and architect, himself. (C. E. Lee’s
home was at 23 South First Street.)
110 Years Ago (1899): Mr. J. W. Blanchard and Barney left Tuesday evening with cars containing
household goods and ten cows. Mrs. Blanchard and other children will visit friends in Belvidere and
Chicago and go on to their new home in Buckles, Oklahoma in a few days. It is Mr. Blanchard’s intention to
locate some farms for his sons.
100 Years Ago (1909): The Lake Leota project seems not to be materializing very fast. It’s a pity too, as it
would be one of the best and nicest things that could be done for the city, and future generations will “cuss”
the present one for losing the opportunity, if it is passed up.
90 Years Ago (1919): The new cars for the Hall show arrived the last of the week from Chicago, where they
have been rebuilt and fitted with the new electric lighting system. They are of the large size built, being
seventy-two feet in length. One of these cars is fitted with a kitchen and restaurant counter where the
employees will be fed while in transit, as well as a lavatory and office. One thing admirable about the cars is
the absence of the usual large lettering that most shows use. The cars being marked simple with the
initials, M. L. H. and the number of the car. These cars will start their summer trip immediately and the Hall
shows close their date in this city, May 3rd. (Note: The initials M. L. H. are for Mary Louise Hall.)
80 Years Ago (1929): A deal was closed Saturday where by Harry Roderick purchased W. F. Biglow’s
interest in the Biglow and Roderick furniture and undertaking business. The partnership had been in
existence since Sept. 1, 1920 when Mr. Biglow, then the sole owner, sold half interest of the business to Mr.
Roderick. In view of expanding the furniture business here, Mr. Roderick has leased the Cram building on
Maple avenue for a warehouse and show room and has laid an attractive cork linoleum floor covering in the
store at 10 East Main Street. Mr. Biglow has been in the furniture and undertaking business here for the
past 38 years.
70 Years Ago (1939): Four score and five years ago the pioneer settlers of Magnolia township, who had
taken up homesteads in the area south of Evansville, erected their house of worship, the Magnolia Advent
Christian church. Ten years ago the descendents of those early settlers combined forces to remodel and
repair the structure, and today, through untiring efforts, the local Adventists will burn the church mortgage
60 Years Ago (1949): The Wisconsin Telephone Company has extended an invitation to all its Evansville
subscribers and their families and friends to attend an open house at the local telephone central office, 8
South Madison Street, on Tuesday, May 3. Visiting hours designed are from 2 to 5 in the afternoon and 7 to
9:30 in the evening. Manager G. A. Howden, and his co-workers will be hosts to the visitors. Guests will be
conducted on a “behind the scenes” tour of the telephone office where they will see just how their telephone
calls are put through and have explained to them the operation of the equipment required to handle these
50 Years Ago (1959): King Rodney Carlson and Queen Ann Baker will reign over the annual junior prom
Friday evening in the high school gym, with the following court of honor: Ken Wood and Jeanie Golz, Sheila
Sorkin and Alan Fick, Diane Propst and Tom Tiede, Norman Fuglestad and Connie Hatlen. The Top
Hatters will provide music for dancing. Admission tot his outstanding social event of the year will be $2.50
per couple and 75 cents for spectators.
40 Years Ago (1969): The class of 1970 cordially invites the public to attend the annual junior prom,
beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the Evansville High School gym. King Daryl Fuchs and
Queen Karen Marenes will reign. The Prom court is Bill Sumner, Jerry Jorgensen, Mike McElroy, Stephen
Kundert, Debra Starks, Eloise Eager, Debbie Higgenbotham and Vicki Brunsell.
30 Years Ago (1979): In looking at the proposed athletic complex there is a lot more to consider than just
the track and football field. Other components of the package are also very important and very much
needed according to the complex’s backers. The other main components of the package are four asphalt
tennis courts, a baseball diamond and lighting. School Superintendent George Knuckles questioned Bob
Berezowitz, one of the men who helped draw up the referendum proposal, if he was sure $289,000 was
enough to pay for the whole thing. Berezowitz replied it was to the best of his knowledge with the data he
was able to get. The cost to the taxpayer will be 24 cents per $1,000 valuation based on 1978 valuation.
20 Years Ago (1989): On Saturday, April 22, three Evansville wrestlers have the chance to compete at the
Wisconsin Wrestling Federation State Tournament at Wisconsin Rapids. Ed Whitt, sixth grade, placed first;
Kevin Brown, fourth grade, second place; and Nate Katzenmeyer, eighth grade, third at the regular level
held Saturday, April 8th in Oregon.
10 years ago (1999): Louisa Havlik, has been chosen as the new principal of the Levi Leonard Elementary
School. The Evansville Board of Education approved her two-year contract at a special meeting on
Monday. Mrs. Havlik earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Edgewood College in 1976
and completed her Master’s Degree in educational psychology at UW-Madison in 1989. She is currently
working toward a PhD degree in educational administration at UW-Madison. Mrs. Havlik has served as
principal of the Alto and Amity Elementary Schools in the Waupun School District. She was ultimately
selected from a list of 22 candidates.