First Week of April 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): If such disgraceful scenes are repeated as what were witnessed Sunday upon our
streets, we are afraid Evansville will tarnish of her temperance fame. The least said about it the better, for the
reputation of the young man, but he ought to have more respect for himself than to be seen lying in the gutter,
while people are returning from church, and abusing ladies with his maudlin sensualities.
130 Years Ago (1885): Mr. Bert Denny, having sold his residence to Mr. Chet Janes will commence the
erection of a new one at once. Mr. Janes will be a welcome addition to the residents of this place, although he
has been familiar to most of our citizens for many years, living on a farm in Magnolia township and making this
his trading point.
120 Years Ago (1895): Last week on the bank steps the Hiram Bullard farm was sold at auction. Mr. D. E.
Stevens was the highest bidder and had it knocked off at $9,500 at the rate of $59 an acre.
110 Years Ago (1905): Evansville has organized a baseball team with Slauson as captain. The prospects are
fine for a speedy team with promising material in the freshman class and LeBaron, Churm, Winter, Hubbard and
Meinke from last year’s team. The first game of the season will be played in this city April 22nd with the college
team of Madison. Remember the date, all you enthusiastic of baseball.
100 Years Ago (1915): In the town of Porter there was no contest, the old officers being re-elected. C. D.
McCarthy is the chairman of the town board, Edward Fox and F. F. Miller are supervisors. C. C. Hoague is town
clerk, James Norum is secretary; C. W. Raymond is treasurer. The justices of the peace are James Barrett and
Owen Boyle. The constables are W. W. Ely and Harold Brunsell.
90 Years Ago (1925): Again the supremacy of Wisconsin bred cattle was demonstrated when Mr. Hap Little of
the state of Nebraska was in and around Evansville buying a few carloads of purebred and grade cattle. Mr.
Little states that when the demands for the best in Holstein cattle comes, that he always comes to Wisconsin
and to Rock County, for he knows that he will receive a hearty welcome and a fair deal, and last but not least,
the cows will stand the test. Mr. Little was assisted by F. B. Green and sons, and Fred Luchsinger in the
purchasing of the cattle
80 Years Ago (1935): An army of 55 enthusiastic aspirants to Evansville High’s 1935 baseball squad reported
to Coach P. A. Finstad for drill last week of which number six were lettermen. From the showing at the plate in
batting practice this year’s team will be one of the best balanced hitting aggregations in the history of the
school. The lettermen reporting for drill were Harold Robinson, Alvin Golz, Don Montgomery, Clayton Sperry,
Robert Hungerford and Roland Lewis.
70 Years Ago (1945): Francis J. Kelly, AMM2c, USNR, formerly employed by Inmans Standard Service, is
spending a 20 day leave with his parents at 459 Almeron St. He has been aboard one of the navy’s Fast
carriers as a machinist in the air Department during all of the third and fifth Fleet operations from the Wake
Island Raid in October 1943 to the strikes on Tokyo in February of this year. During this period he experienced
many aerial attacks and took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle for Leyte Gulf.
60 Years Ago (1955): Pft. Jack Leeder is now stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. Jack is with Co. C, 6th QM
Bn. 3rd Plt., 6th Armored Div.
50 Years Ago (1965): Gro Rolfsrud, AFS student from Norway, who is spending this year here with Mr. and
Mrs. Alvin Helgesen and family and is a student in the Evansville High School, will be the guest speaker at the
guest night meeting of the Evansville Business women on Monday night. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.
in Norm’s Hi-Way Inn.
40 Years Ago (1975): Evansville High School students received the Meat Animals judging Trophy at the UW-
Platteville Agricultural Skills Day on April 5. The Evansville team was Terry Buttchen, Ron Hatlen, Ed Arnold
and Ken Andrew. Ed took individual honors and Ken placed 5th in the contest. An Evansville team, including
LaRee Fluegel, Therese Kopp and Mari Katzenmeyer, placed second in the dairy products division.
30 Years Ago (1985): Ice caused limbs and wires to be downed on Sunday, affecting the western part of
Evansville and Green County. According to Verne Gallman, Supt. of Water and Light, a section of Evansville
was without power for four hours from 9:15 am to 1:30 Jones Fellow by Lions Club International Foundation, in
recognition of his commitment to serving the world community. Lee, a member of the Evansville Lions Club,
recently received a finely crafted plaque and lapel pin acknowledging his dedication to the foundation’s
humanitarian goals. The plaque was presented by Pastor Herb Lohr, president of the Evansville Lions Club.
10 years ago (2005): Over spring break some 200 students, chaperones, and High School staff left the High
School parking lot and the city of Evansville behind as they trekked out to New York City. The High School
Music Department, every two years, has its class trip and this year it was the Big Apple! Leaving on Easter
Sunday evening at midnight, the four coaches arrived that Monday evening in New York. The coaches
returned this past Friday evening to waiting parents ready for hugs and plenty of trip playback!
Second Week of April 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): Mr. Jacob West has a large lot of an excellent quality of berry plants for sale, this
spring, among which are the Mammoth Cluster and Davidson’s Thornless. Of the latter he is supplied quite
extensively. He has just shipped 100 dozen to Iowa and still has orders from nurserymen and others wherever
his plants are known. Mr. West has hatching eggs for sale, of the Dark Brama and the Cochin China breeds.
He has shipped several baskets to Minnesota and elsewhere. His eggs are in good demand.
130 Years Ago (1885): It is the intention of Mr. George Magee to build a new store just east of the hall for Mr.
John F. Rice of Delavan, who will fill it with a fine stock of drugs. The building is to be two stories high 22 x 48,
plate glass front. [Note: this building is at 24 East Main Street.]
120 Years Ago (1895): The Arbor day hand-book has arrived. We find Evansville will be represented among
its contributors. In the table of contents we find the names of Isabelle H. Mihills as author of a poem, “A plea for
the birds”; L. E. Gettle, “A letter to the boys and girls”; B. S. Hoxie, “Old Liberty Elm”; Marion Lisle, “The Wild
Rose.” The publication comes from the State Superintendent’s office and is meant for an aid for the
celebration of Arbor day.
110 Years Ago (1905): Thirteen men were out in track suits Wednesday night preparing for the inter-class
handicap track meet to be held April 29th. It is thought by all that the seniors will win this meet, but Capt.
Churm and Coach Gates say that such handicaps will be given so that each class will have an equal chance to
win. No matter who wins, it will do more for athletics than anything that has been undertaken for some time
past. This credit should be given to the untiring efforts of Churm and Gates.
100 Years Ago (1915): A large number of the citizens of Evansville took advantage of the opportunity to go to
the Commercial club room on Monday evening to look over the plans for the restoration of Lake Leota. The
plans were drawn by Mr. E. R. Parsons, city engineer, and are very complete. The lake will cover in the
neighborhood of 56 acres, according to the blue-prints. It will follow about the same boundary lines as
formerly. It is proposed to leave the dam where it is now located, or what remains of the old one. The amount
the city will be asked to vote is not now known to the writer, but probably will be in the neighborhood of
90 Years Ago (1925): Last summer the recreation committee of the Commercial Club formed a baseball league
among the younger boys of this city and did much for them in many ways, however, financially the committee
did not come out whole, as there were suits to buy and ball and bats and gloves and other paraphernalia, so
they are taking this means of meeting their obligations. The Men’s Glee Club of the University of Wisconsin,
which has won fame throughout the middle west for the concert work has been secured to sing here April 23.
80 Years Ago (1935): The Wyler School here is this week welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Karl S. Griffin, Oregon, Ill.,
former Evansville residents and Cressler Bomberger, Hammond, Ind. who are beginning at once their duties in
connection with the school work and play. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin will be partners of Mr. and Mrs. Wyler in the
business management and control of the school. The Griffins are returning to Evansville after several years’
absence during which time they had charge of the Junior School of the Racine Military academy.
70 Years Ago (1945): Albert L. Apfel, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Apfel and Byron S. Holmes, son of Mr. and
Mrs. A. C. Holmes, this city, enlisted in the U. S. Navy last Friday through the U. S. navy recruiting station in the
Madison post office building. Both youths are seniors in the Evansville high school and are active in athletics
and other high school activities.
60 Years Ago (1955): Police Chief George Walk presented to the council a request from Arthur Baumgarten to
restrict parking to two hours in front of his grocery store on First st., south of Liberty st. The request was made,
Walk said, to prevent students from parking all morning and all afternoon in front of his store, the area normally
used by his customers for parking. The council felt that if any restriction were made it would have to be through
the use of parking meters, in fairness to the other merchants who are faced with meters in front of their places
of business. Walk said he would convey the information to Baumgarten.
50 Years Ago (1965): Coach Gary Hurtley has 33 boys out for track. The first meet will be Saturday in
Madison. Forty boys reported to Coach Howard Seeman for baseball practice. Assisting Coach Seeman will be
Doug Schuler who will handle the JV’s. Golf is coached by Miles Armstrong and tennis by Bob Wiese.
40 Years Ago (1975): Mrs. Angela Wyse and J. Peter Shaw are bowing out of the musicals presented at
Evansville High School with this performance of “Oklahoma”. They have directed the plays and musicals for the
past 10 years, the first one being “Oklahoma”. Appropriately they chose the same musical for their retirement
party. Oklahoma is on stage this weekend.
30 Years Ago (1985): After a long career of service to the community, spanning 31 years, Richard Luers, 54,
has retired as Chief of Police. Several programs were initiated during his tenure. A 24-hour emergency
dispatch center was set up for fire, police, medical services, as well as non-emergency services for streets and
water. Luers also established the Police Chaplain’s Service, made up of local clergymen, the service has
answered a great need in the community, dealing with accidents, and aiding persons in need. Luers, who has
found the 31 years fairly complacent, has served under seven mayors, being re-appointed every two years to
20 Years Ago (1995): Evansville schools participated in the annual solo and ensemble festival. This year it
was held in Albany. The high school individuals who received a superior rating in Class A will go onto the state
festival to be held on April 29 at UW-Whitewater include Karla Olsen, Denise Paese, Michele Bitter, Lindsay
DeMarasse, Ann Prudhon, Melissa Hughes, Kyle Schneider, Mark Alfery, Jake Peters, Crystal Hughes, Meg
Krake, Allison Schneeberger and Katie Beal.
10 years ago (2005): The third annual Earth Day Energy Fair will take place on April 15 from 4:30 to 8:30 at
the Field House on Fair Street. Last year over 1,200 people attended the festivities. This is free family fun and
education open to all ages. The theme this year is Energy: Past, Present and Future. Besides the cutting
edge technologies the Fair has presented, there will be a series of exhibits showcasing how people used
energy in our past.
Third Week of April 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): Thursday and Friday, and finally the rest of the week might be set down as decidedly
winterish. It looked verily like December weather again. Thursday the wind blew a gale all day, and Friday
morning the air was filled with snow, covering the ground completely, and the air was so cold that much of it
remained until Saturday, and even Sunday, before it left. Farmers who had started the plow drew off for
warmer weather, and plants that had just started out of the ground found the air too cold and yielded to their icy
fate. Such spells of cold weather at this season, are not unusual, but decidedly unpleasant.
130 Years Ago (1885): Married At St. Patrick’s church in Janesville, Mr. Martin B. Dolan and Miss Mary Sennett
of Magnolia by Rev. Father McGinnity. Miss Mary Sennett, a cousin of the bride, was the bridesmaid and Mr.
Richard Garry, the groomsman.
120 Years Ago (1895): Mr. H. W. Hamilton was elected street commissioner, J. M. Ballard, sexton, and F. M.
Crow, A. A. Snashall and E. J. Ballard, members of the board of health, at the last meeting of the village board.
110 Years Ago (1905): The Hall family have left for the east Saturday where they go to join the shows this
season. Mrs. G. W. Hall, Sr. and daughter Mabel went to Chester, Penn. Where they join the Hargraves show,
and Mrs. Jessie McCart went to Columbus, O. where she joins the Forepaugh-Sells show.
100 Years Ago (1915): At last the oil suit against the city of Evansville has been won. This action was brought
by Harry Pease against the city to recover the oil assessments levied and collected for the oiling of the city
streets in the summer of 1913. The case finally came to trial before Judge Grimm of the circuit court on
February 11, in Janesville. The case was not argued at that time but the evidence for both sides was submitted
and the arguments of the attorneys for both sides were written out and placed before the judge. Judge Grimm
announced his decision on Friday last. The case came out very satisfactory to the city since every point was
decided in its favor.
90 Years Ago (1925): Rev. O. W. Smith, who for six years has been the pastor of the Congregational church,
last Sunday read his resignation to his congregation to take effect on or before the first of July of this year. Mr.
Smith, known nationally through his writing for Outdoor Magazines, and for his work with the Izaac Walton
League will be missed greatly by the people of this city, especially by the younger people, whom “Outdoor
Smith” has made his pals, regardless of their creed. He has organized and financed the Boy Scouts of this
city. He has formed different clubs for the younger set and always has been at the disposal of the boys and
girls whenever they wanted anything. As far as plans are concerned, Mr. Smith states that he has nothing in
view at the present time.
80 Years Ago (1935): The Fairview Tourist camp, five miles east of the city, is staging another one of its
popular fish fries Friday night. The camp is being operated this year by Ray Rosen and Arthur Denison. A
large number of townspeople attended the fish fry at the camp last Friday and indications are that another
large gathering will be on hand tomorrow evening.
70 Years Ago (1945): An assembly program was presented in the Evansville High School auditorium last
Friday morning as a memorial to the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program included band
selections after which Supt. J. C. McKenna briefly explained that the reason for the assembly was the death of
President Roosevelt. Mr. McKenna discussed the life and accomplishments of the President and the band
played his favorite song “Home on the Range.” An appropriate poem was read by Mrs. Clyde Rosen after
which the band played “America” and the students stood with bowed heads in silent prayer.
60 Years Ago (1955): Mrs. Helen C. Smith has recently published a book of verse entitled “Windfalls,” a copy
of which may now be seen in the Eager Public Library. Mrs. Smith dedicated the volume to the Rural Writers
Club of Evansville.
50 Years Ago (1965): A member of the park board announced the swimming pool personnel for the coming
summer as follows: Don Thornton, Daryl Wood, Co-directors; Daryl Wood, swim team director; Mrs. Lester
Rasmussen, Gordon Ringhand, Christine Allen, Richard Hamacher and David Erpenbach life guards.
Hamacher, Erprenbach and Ron Wood, boys basket room; Lynda Showers, Lynda Thompson and Bonnie
Bunde, girls’ basket room and Mrs. A. H. Devine, ticket chairman.
40 Years Ago (1975): The annual Evansville FFA banquet was held in the high school gym on Tuesday night
of this week. Some 400 persons were in attendance. Awards were given and presentations were made for the
30 Years Ago (1985): On Tuesday night of last week at a special council meeting, the Tax incremental Finance
Plan No. 2, which will enable the firm of Gorman and Slinde of Madison to rehabilitate the former Wyler School
buildings on the west side of Evansville, was given approval. The project plan explains that the total project
cost of $1,410,627 is planned to be funded through TIF 6.7 percent; Wisconsin Housing and Economic
Development Authority (WHEDA) mortgage 62 percent; and funds from the company and its partners 41
percent. Gary Gorman and Berton Slinde, Jr. are the developers.
20 Years Ago (1995): Coach Ron Grovesteen and players, Ty Grovesteen and Joe Benson, graduating
seniors, have been named to this year’s Wisconsin Shrine Bowl prep football all-star game. The game will be
played Saturday, July 22 at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh. They will be on the South Squad. Coach Grovesteen
will coach the South Squad all-star team with his longtime assistant Duane Updike, serving on the coaching
staff. Ty Grovesteen, quarterback, and Joe Benson, tight end, were honorable mention all-state picks last fall.
10 years ago (2005): On April 9th, Evansville’s newest team hosted a pre-season baseball game against New
Glarus at the high school field. The Home Talent League Season Opener is May 1st, when Evansville will host
Stoughton starting at 1:00 pm. Team members are Garrett Lindemann, Rich Nelson, Jason Schultz, Jason
Koebler, Davis Pryce, Tony Manion, Jon Frey, Jeremy Rasmussen, Dustin LaRue, Jerod Steindl, Ben Kraus,
Evan Baumberger, Jud Quinn, Brent Cashore, Ryan Arndt, Nick Manion, Cody Saunders, Wade Janes, Ryan
Lindemann, Tim Legler, Brookes Baumberger and Nic Larson.
Fourth Week of April 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): Mr. Sutphen is getting out the nicest hearse to be found in the country; the sides are
composed of a single plate of glass, 2 ½ feet by 6, costing $15 each. Mr. John Winston does the work.
130 Years Ago (1885): Mr. P. P. Havens, as some of our older citizens will remember as once having lived in
Evansville, died on the 25th ult. At his son’s home in Dayton, at the age of 83 years. Mr. Havens came to this
place with his family from Erie Co. N. Y. about the year 1845, and lived for two years in a log house near where
Mrs. Barnum’s house now stands, on East Main street and in the fall of 1849 moved to Dayton where he died.
The writer remembers this old log house and the family of Mr. Havens, as having for a time in the winter of 1846
been a temporary sharer of their kind hospitalities. He was a kind hearted, religious man, and contributed not a
little to the early formation of society in Evansville.
120 Years Ago (1895): Several of the Baker Mf’g Co’s. employees are considerably wrought up over the
reduction in their wages which occurred last Saturday evening. Wm. T. Boyd, who has been foreman in the
foundry for about 21 years has quit work, and Mr. Frank Hubbard is filling his place for the present.
110 Years Ago (1905): Assessors Homer Potter and Isaac Brink, were in Janesville Monday last attending a
meeting of the assessors of Rock county. They were instructed by the supervisor of assessment to assess real
property at the full value which could ordinarily be obtained at a private sale, and personal property at its true
cash value. This move will raise the assessed value but decrease the per cent rate.
100 Years Ago (1915): V. A. Axtell, C. F. Jorgensen, M. L. Paulson, F. A. Baker, Dr. Evans, E. Van Patten, Dr.
Denison, Dr. Smith, Dr. Colony, R. M. Richmond, Jay brink, Fred and Lew Fellows and Chas. Copeland,
motored to Janesville last evening to attend the annual inspection of the Janesville Commandery of Knights
Templar. A banquet was served in the temple dining room at 6:30.
90 Years Ago (1925): Mrs. Laura (Selleck) Crawford, was born in the town of York, Green County, Wisconsin,
April 2, 1867, and died April 22, 1925, at the age of 58 years, two weeks and six days. She was married to
John Crawford, February 15, 1885. Besides her husband, there remains to mourn her loss, 7 children, Lavern,
Mrs. Maude Boode, Darrel, Roy and Archie, all of Evansville, William of Stoughton and Mrs. Pearl Spanton of
Albany, Wis., her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Selleck of Evansville; two sisters, Mrs. Emma Gemmill of
Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Mrs. D. Patchin of Evansville; and one adopted sister, Mrs. Florence Timm of
Watertown, Wis. She was a devoted wife and mother and highly respected by all who knew her.
80 Years Ago (1935): The Magnolia Mothers club met with Mrs. John Delree Friday afternoon. The following
officers were elected: President, Bertha Dahse; Vice President, Jennie Delree; Secretary, Georgia Hamilton;
Treasurer, Leta Davis. The next meeting will be held at the Charles Davis home.
70 Years Ago (1945): With the Fifth Army, Italy—Pfc. Olaf M. Hatlen, son of Mrs. Karen Haakenson, Evansville,
has been cited by the 87th Mountain Regiment of the 10th “Mountaineer” Division and awarded the Combat
Infantryman Badge for actual participation in combat against the enemy on the Fifth Army front in Italy.
Standards for the badge are high. The decoration is awarded to the infantry soldier who has proved his
fighting ability in combat. The handsome badge consists of silver rifle set against a background of infantry
blue, enclosed in a silver wreath.
60 Years Ago (1955): Dorothy Cole Schrader and Mrs. M. M. Ware, both members of the Evansville Rural
Writers club, have written articles for the spring issue of Creative Wisconsin. Mrs. Schrader’s “The Mill Road” is
printed in the essay section and Mrs. Ware’s “Father” is printed in the yarn basket section.
50 Years Ago (1965): The 1965 Evansville High School students selected to reign as King and Queen and
their court at the forthcoming Prom are King Hans Schneeberger, and Queen Sue Helgesen. Also on the court
are Brian Golz, Lowell Hansen, Don Nelson, Eric Thompson, Pat Erstad, Sharon Schaller, Ginny Ellis and Kathy
40 Years Ago (1975): A salad bar and handicraft and quilt exhibit is being planned for Thursday May 15 by the
women of the Congregational United Church of Christ. It will be held in the church and the public is invited.
30 Years Ago (1985): At the special re-organization meeting held Monday night, all four of the board officers
were re-elected unanimously. Ken Fenrick will continue as board president; Wayne Wilson as vice president;
Barbara Lawrenz as clerk; and Mary Abey as treasurer. Replacing outgoing board member Russell Jeske on
three committees are Barbara Lawrenz on Buildings and Grounds; Mary Abey on K-12 Evaluation; and Donna
Haakenson on Long Range Planning.
20 Years Ago (1995): Neil Lien, P. E. was recognized by the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers as
the “Outstanding Professional Engineer in industry”. The award was presented at the annual conference
awards banquet at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee on April 7. Cited were his many patents, published papers
and achievements to the engineering profession.
10 years ago (2005): In addition to the February retirement of long-time school district custodian Roger Moe,
four other Evansville community School District staff members have submitted notices of retirement. Roger
Moe has been a custodian for 25 years. Elementary school teacher Glenace Smelcer, who began teaching in
Evansville in 1959, has taught here for 36 years. Elementary school teacher Jean Chapin began teaching 2nd
graders in Evansville in 1990. The next year she started teaching 1st grade, which she has since taught. Sue
Deininger has been working in the high school for 28 years, since 1977. Marsha Dobbs has been with the
school district since 1992.