First Week of December 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Many a house plant went to the happy hunting grounds last night and more will follow if
they are left within reach of Jack Frost.
130 Years Ago (1881): A very interesting gathering of family and a few especially invited friends, was held at
Jacob West’s on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the wedding of Jacob West and Margaret Robinson at
their home in Evansville, December 1st, 1881. Of those present, the boys were James R, our worthy
postmaster, wife and two daughters; Joseph H., merchant, of Magnolia, wife and three children; John W., Co.
Supt of Schools, wife and three children. Of the daughters, were: Mrs. Leora Thompson, of Rutland, husband
and three children (two remaining at home); Mrs. Clara Osborn, of Dixon, Ill., husband and one child; Mrs. Celina
Gooddard, of Davis Co., Iowa, one children (husband at home. Outside of the immediate family, were Stephen,
Frank and Allen Baker, nephews, with their families, making a nice little household of children, grandchildren,
nephews, and nieces. Mr. West located in Evansville in the spring of 1840. The history of his life is so
interwoven with incidents and privations of pioneer life that it would involve too much of our space to repeat here.
120 Years Ago (1891): Mr. G. A. Ballard has a large auction sale on his farm two and a half miles east of
Magnolia Corners, on Tuesday, Dec. 15, ’91. Mr. Ballard has sold the farm above mentioned and bought 1,650
acres in north eastern Mo., 1,400 acres being under cultivation. He is preparing to move there as early as
possible, his father and one son being there now. We can hardly imagine what a large body of land this must be.
110 Years Ago (1901): George Wood and family started on Wednesday last for California where they expect to
make their permanent home. They will visit two weeks in Boulder, Col., with Mrs. Wood’s mother and will then be
joined in Denver by Warren Rodd of Evansville who will spend the winter on the coast.
100 Years Ago (1911): Verna Evelyn George, the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence George, died of
jaundice at their home south of town, Dec. 1, 1911, aged three months, twelve days. The remains of the little
one were brought to this city on Sunday and tenderly laid at rest in Maple Hill cemetery. Many relatives and
friends extend their sympathy to the bereaved family.
90 Years Ago (1921): The members of the Senior class will have a bake sale at the Clark store next Saturday.
In their effort to outdo and out shine all Senior classes of the past, by getting out an annual, this class is going to
need a lot of that stuff that John D. Rockefeller makes while he sleeps, so if any of it is dancing around in your
pocket trying to get out, just take it to the back sale and turn it loose and watch the seniors grab it.
80 Years Ago (1931): The tax rate in Evansville has been fixed at $30.80 per 1,000 valuation, an increase of
$1.30 over that of the 1930 rate. The total appropriation needed for the ensuing year is $78,577.55.
70 Years Ago (1941): Frederick H. Chatterton, 42, former local resident, was shot and killed by two masked
bandits in his restaurant at Barrington, Ill., at 11:15 p.m. Sunday. Mr. Chatterton died in an Elgin hospital
Monday. Mr. Chatterton, son of the late William and Alice Greenman Chatterton, was born in Cortland, New
York, February 5, 1899. The greater part of his youth was spent in Evansville. The deceased is survived by his
wife, a thirteen months old daughter, Judith Lorraine, and his mother, Mrs. Alice Chatterton, this city. Funeral will
be held in Barrington after which the body will be cremated and brought to Evansville for burial.
60 Years Ago (1951): At a Cub Scout ceremony Thursday evening, Steve Rasmussen and Kenneth Wood were
awarded silver arrows denoting 20 electives beyond the 12 achievements gained to win the bear badges.
Leonard Nehls received a gold arrow; Edward Wood, lion badge and gold arrow; David Carlson, wolf badge;
Edwin Krueger, Tommy Rennels, Norman Fuglestad, Arthur Perkins, Richard Erpenbach, Randall Decker, James
Jorgensen, Billy Bewick, James Waeffler and Charles Peterson received their registration cards and Cub Scout
50 Years Ago (1961): The electors of the Evansville School district will be asked to authorize a $895,000 bond
issue at an election on Dec. 21. The bonds are being issued to finance the proposed addition to the school site
at the Evansville fairgrounds location. Now being used as a grade school, the resulting new structure will
become the high school designed to accommodate 400 to 500 students with ample provision for expansion. The
need for the new facilities has developed because of a dramatic increase in students in this area. The increase
has been caused by a general swelling of Evansville population and by the addition of new rural district which
have and intend to join forces with the Evansville school system. A Wisconsin law, which was passed several
years ago states that all schools districts will become part of a high school district by 1962.
40 Years Ago (1971): Two Evansville students are among the more than 100 freshman agriculture majors
enrolled for the first time this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. They are Tom Burhans, son of Mr.
and Mrs. James Burhans of rural Evansville and Jeff Knudson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Knudson of rural
30 Years Ago (1981): Evansville area children can visit their favorite person at Christmas time in the Santa
house set in front of the Eager Free Public Library. Santa arrived in Evansville on a chilly November morning the
day after Thanksgiving. He rode into town in a horse drawn wagon which began its trip on the Westside of the
city. When his carriage pulled up in front of his house, he was greeted by a number of enthusiastic youngsters
who were ready to make their Christmas wishes known to the white whiskered, jolly gent.
20 Years Ago (1991): Senior forward Mike Maves scored 20 points and senior center Pat Brabants added 18 to
lead Evansville to a 79-67 victory over Brodhead in the Rock Valley Conference basketball opener for both
teams Tuesday night at Evansville.
10 years ago (2001): The AWARE “Love Light Tree” lighting ceremony was held Saturday, Dec. 1, at City Hall.
Mayor Steve DiSalvo welcomed the crowd of 170 people. Evansville High School’s Symphonic Band Brass Choir
serenaded the crowd with a wonderful collection of Christmas carols. The mild temperatures encouraged
residents and visitors to participate in this special event.
Second Week of December 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Married. On the 14th inst., at the Congregational Parsonage in Center, Mr. Robert B.
Harper of Spring Valley, and Miss Hannah J. Acheson, of Magnolia
130 Years Ago (1881): W. H. H. Johnson, assessor of the town of Union has certified to the following products
for the past year; acres of oats, 3,574; barley, 83; rye, 147; potatoes, 130; tobacco, 365; cutting grass, 5,699;
timber, 2,869; apples, 53; the number of apple trees, 7,855; cows, 1,226; valued at $25,631.
120 Years Ago (1891): Married at Union, Wis., November 25, ’91, by Rev. W. W. Lee, Albert F. Putnam, of
Union, to Carrie B. Trickle of Argyle.
110 Years Ago (1901): Benjamin Hoxie passed from this life at his home in Evansville, Wisconsin, Dec. 5th,
1901. He was born at Orneville, Maine, August 6th, 1827. He came to Cooksville, Wisconsin in the summer of
1846 and resided there until 1882 when he removed to Evansville. Mr. Hoxie was by profession an architect and
builder; he believed that every one should have an avocation, as well as a vocation, and for many years his
avocation was horticulture and floraculture. He delighted to grow fruits and flowers and it was one of his greatest
pleasures to share them with his friends. Suddenly and without a moments warning he went away leaving a wife
and three daughters, Mrs. Everett Van Patten of Evansville, Mrs. Geo. Kemp of Madison and Mrs. Ellsworth
Green of Walters, Minnesota.
100 Years Ago (1911): Floyd W. Morgan and Miss Pearl May Heffel were married at the Congregational
parsonage Tuesday evening at 9 o’clock by Rev. D. Q. Grabill. They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Geo.
90 Years Ago (1921): Quite a number of the mothers, wives and sisters of the boys of the American Legion met
at the hall last evening to organize a lodge of Auxiliary to the American Legion. Mrs. Estes was elected president
of the temporary organization and it was decided to put in an application for a charter and to organize on a
80 Years Ago (1931): The Baker Manufacturing company which has been operating three days a week, nine
hours a day, went on a new time schedule Monday adding an extra hour’s employment a week. The 120
employees engaged by the firm are now working four days per week, seven hours a day. The change was made
to give more daylight working hours. During the depression the Baker plant has pursued the policy of working
shorter hours rather than discharging employees. Since the depression started, Baker corporation has made
two reductions in the price of its goods.
70 Years Ago (1941): One of Evansville’s oldest business places will be closed next week when Mrs. Emma
Bishop retires from the hotel business and moves to the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs.
Verne Worthing. Mrs. Bishop has been landlady at the Evansville at 230 East Main street since 1901 and for the
past twelve years since Mr. Bishop died, has operated the hotel in her own name. [Note: the Evansville House,
the hotel operated by Emma Bishop, was on the site of the Citgo station on the northeast corner of East Main
and Union streets.]
60 Years Ago (1951): The Blues of Evansville high school rang up their third straight victory here Tuesday night
when they defeated Stoughton 51 to 25. All the boys played good ball. Pat Finnane was exceptional, his
rebounding being very good. He made seven points. Jack Miller led with 13. Dan Finnane had nine, and
Gordon Brunsell and Bob Dixon each had eight points.
50 Years Ago (1961): The City Council authorized the purchase of the 1957 Dodge Station Wagon and
equipment from Al Ward at a price of $1,750 for the new city ambulance service. Ambulance Services charges
were established at $15 per call within the city and participating areas and $25 per call in non-participating
40 Years Ago (1971): Two former Evansville High School wrestlers, David and James Schuh, are members of
the Madison Area Technical College wrestling team. Jim and Dave are sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Schuh, 135
N. Fourth St., Evansville. They are both enrolled in the Industrial Welding Technology program.
30 Years Ago (1981): Julie Wollinger is among members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching band,
which will be accompanying the Badger football team to the Garden State Bowl game, in East Rutherford, NJ.
She plays trumpet. The band is led by director Mike Leckrone, a School of Music professor.
20 Years Ago (1991): The Happ Hazard Hunters, a group of men who have for years been going hunting
together reported an excellent deer hunt this season. They realized 27 deer in the first 3 ½ days of the season.
The group returned Nov. 28, with 30 deer after hunting in Douglas County. The group includes Ken Kuelz, Barry
Bothun, Rolland Propst, Charlie Anderson, Dean Paskey, Cal Anderson, Doc Heimerl, Larry Beloungy, Ron
Horthwath, Dave Patterson, Robin Patterson, Sr., Ronnie Patterson, Brian Wescott, John Williams, Andy Propst,
Bill Biener and Leon Patterson
10 years ago (2001): Nikolas Johnson of Evansville plays the part of Tiny Tim Cratchit in the CTM Madison
Family Theatre Company production of A Christmas Carol. Nikolas is also a member of the Madison Boys choir.
Nikolas was recently seen in CTMs production of James Devita’s new play Arthur: The Boy Who Would Be King
in which he played Boy Mordred. Nikolas is a fourth grader at Levi Leonard Elementary School and the son of
Douglas and Victoria Johnson of Evansville.
Third Week of December 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): The Janesville people are negotiating with the Chicago and Northwestern Company by
proposing to aid in building a link from Janesville to Evansville, and coupling with it the construction of a short
piece of road from Janesville to Afton.
130 Years Ago (1881): Eunice, aged about eight months, youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bemis, died at
an early hour on Monday morning. Funeral service held at the house in the afternoon.
120 Years Ago (1891): At the M. E. church on Thursday evening there will be a Christmas Tree. A short
Programme will be given. Admission free, but all are invited to bring a donation of something useful for the
needy of the village, anything from a potato to a sack of flour or an order for a cord of wood. This is in the hands
of a wide awake committee and will be distributed with care.
110 Years Ago (1901): Quite a number of Col. Geo. Hall’s animals arrived in this city Sunday to be wintered
here. All express a wish that they may be securely caged.
100 Years Ago (1911): J. M. Ballard and wife observed the 65th anniversary of their marriage Thursday, Dec.
14th, by a family supper at the home of their son, E. J. Ballard of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard were married in
New York state and came west about 1859 and have resided in Evansville since 1861. Mr. Ballard is in his 88th
year and Mrs. Ballard in her 86th year. They are highly esteemed residents of this city and keep fully in touch
with the current events of the day so are only advanced in years, with spirits quite as youthful as ever.
90 Years Ago (1921): The fire department was called out Monday to extinguish a chimney fire at the Del
McKinney home in east Evansville.
80 Years Ago (1931): Mr. and Mrs. Calvert C. Broughton, 230 South Madison Street, were guests of honor at a
surprise party in honor of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Prominent in professional baseball circles, Mr.
Broughton at one time was catcher for some of the leading pro ball clubs in the country, including Milwaukee, St.
Paul, Cleveland, Memphis, and the St. Louis Browns. He was elected chief of police of Evansville, a position he
held for 17 years. Mrs. Broughton, formerly Miss Harriet Chase, was born on a farm in Center township.
70 Years Ago (1941): Miss Rose Patterson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Patterson, was married to Corporal
Claire Ehle, Camp Livingston, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Ehle, Stoughton, at a ceremony performed at 2 p.m.
Sunday in the Patterson home four miles west of the city. The Rev. Grant V. Clark, pastor of the Congregational
church read the service in the presence of about forty relatives and friends. Mrs. Lloyd Tait, Chicago, was the
matron of honor and the groom was attended by his brother, Howard Ehle, Edgerton.
60 Years Ago (1951): Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Ballard will observe their 67th wedding anniversary Sunday. They
have resided here in their present home on Maple street since moving to the city more than 36 years ago.
Before coming to Evansville they owned and operated a farm east of the city where Mrs. Ballard, formerly Miss
Alice Thurman, was born. After moving into the city, Mr. Ballard was appointed street commissioner and served
in that capacity until about 13 years ago, when he retired.
50 Years Ago (1961): Alderwoman Ida Conroy gave a report from the Park Board to the City Council. Lake
Leota will be flooded for the winter skating rink. The Park Board will operate the Park Store next summer with
hired help. A tree trimming program has been arranged and a fence and barricades will be placed at the new
40 Years Ago (1971): Mr. and Mrs. Brian Davitt, who have recently moved to Evansville, have leased and are
now opening the former Kaltenborn studio on East Main Street. Mr. and Mrs. Davitt came to Evansville from
Hawaii where he was stationed in the armed forces at Schofield Barracks. He is well equipped to serve the
citizens of Evansville and community as a photographer.
30 Years Ago (1981): Each year at this time the city sends greetings to property owners in the form of a tax bill.
The tax rate in Evansville has dropped about $1.61 per 1000. Last year the tax rate was 24.19664 per 1000 and
this year the rate is 22.5829 per 1000. The lower rate according to the office of the City Clerk is due to the fact
that Evansville received more state credit and the city had less borrowing.
20 Years Ago (1991): Darrel Trow, son of Pastor and Mrs. Lyle Trow, is now home from Tamil Nadu, India,
where he has been teaching school the past 10 months. The school is run by missionaries from Janesville, the
Schwalbe’s, not having met them until he arrived in India at the school.
10 years ago (2001): The Women’s Literary Club held their annual Christmas Tea at the home of Angela Wyse
on Monday, Dec. 10. The group was musically entertained with numbers performed by Brenda Berg, and flutists
Ann Kaiser, Erin Ellison and Megan O’Connell.
Fourth Week of December 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Married. In Evansville, Dec. 27th, 1871, at the residence of Levi Leonard by Rev. Jas. W.
Harris, Mr. Algernon S. Humphrey, of Victor, Iowa and Miss Minnie C. Jones, of Evansville.
130 Years Ago (1881): Married at the bride’s parent’s in Evansville, Wis., December 22, 1881, by Rev. H.
Faville, Mr. Chas. Van Hise of Madison University, and Miss Alice P. Ring, of Evansville. The cake was liberal
and delicious. The Review extends hearty congratulations and invokes joy and happiness to abide with them
and theirs through life. [Note: Charles Van Hise, a noted geologist, became president of the University of
120 Years Ago (1891): Born on Saturday Dec. 26, ’91 to Mr. and Mrs. Johnathan Weaver, twins, a boy and girl,
each weighing over 8 pounds.
110 Years Ago (1901): A double wedding was celebrated at the Free Baptist parsonage at 7:00 p.m., Dec. 24,
1901, Rev. M. C. Miner officiating. The contracting parties were Mr. Clyde Courtier with Mrs. Dora Patterson
Ballard; and Mr. Charles Cushman with Miss Alice Higday, all of the Town of Union. The four young people are
well and favorably known in this city and are the recipients of many well wishes by a large circle of friends. We
shall be glad to welcome them as residents of our city should they choose to cast their lot with us.
100 Years Ago (1911): The young people’s chorus of the Congregational church inaugurated the very beautiful
custom in this city this year of singing Christmas carols the night before Christmas, to those individuals, who by
reason of illness or decrepitude of age were kept in their homes. Some 22 young ladies and gentlemen thus
made memorable the occasion to the great delight of many shut-ins, who, perchance may have regarded the
sweet music on this most important event of the year, as a harbinger of better things to come and an inspiration
as well to will and to do the best possible things in life.
90 Years Ago (1921): The D. E. Wood Butter Co., have recently added a new feature to the products of their
factory in the shape of a prime quality of cottage cheese, which is put up in a nice carton. The cheese is said to
be of a prime quality and it has met with a ready sale. The carton itself is water proof and may be put to various
uses. It will be on sale at all stores on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
80 Years Ago (1931): A hearing before the state highway commission on the proposed relocation of state trunk
highway 59 through Evansville was held in the city hall here Tuesday afternoon and was fairly well attending. It
has been proposed to relocate the road to lead out of the city by way of North Madison street and thence north
and east joining highway 59 as it is now routed at the Cooksville church. The arguments in favor of rerouting of
the highway were the elimination of the dangerous railroad crossing on East Main street and avoiding the
dangerous left hand turn at the Brown school house corner east of the city where already several serious and
fatal accidents have occurred. Messrs. Harry Spooner and Brunsell, speaking in behalf of the Union township
residents, who want the highway left where it is now routed, brought out the argument that in time of snow
blockade the state highways are always opened first and that in leaving the highway where it is now would result
in the most good for the greatest number.
70 Years Ago (1941): The school in Magnolia township, known as the Furseth school, located three miles
southeast of Evansville, was completely destroyed by fire early Monday morning. The fire of unknown origin was
discovered at 2 a.m. by Paul Meeley, who saw the blaze from his farm home. He notified neighbors of the fire but
the building was nearly consumed before they had time to arrive at the scene. The community fire truck was not
summoned because it was too late to save any part of the schoolhouse or the equipment. Mrs. Arthur
Templeton is the teacher in the district and had closed the school for the Christmas recess with a program last
60 Years Ago (1951): Library hall was turned into a puppet theater Wednesday, Dec. 19, when members of
Brownie troop 7 entertained the members of troops 5 and 6 with a puppet show. The show was called “Santa’s
Magic.” The girls who made the puppets and put on the performance were Marcia Patterson, Judy Cain, Carol
Ann Holm, Ann Baker, Sue Jones, Carmen Shelby, Catherine Robertson, Norma Dille, Sheila Sorkin, Susan
Petterson and Donna Golz.
50 Years Ago (1961): Four hundred and sixty one interested residents of Evansville and the surrounding rural
districts that have joined School District No. 6 braved the inclement weather, slippery walks, and bad roads last
week, to vote on the school bond referendum. The final count of the ballots revealed that 360 voted for the
bonds and 101 voted against the bonds. Joseph Zoeller, High School Superintendent, states that it is expected
that construction of the addition to the new school building on the old fair grounds will get under way about the
middle of March.
40 Years Ago (1971): Graduation Exercises were held at Evansville’s Continental Manor to honor those
completing the first Nursing Assistance Course under the Blackhawk Tech. School. The graduates are: Miriam
Hall, Sue Dwyer, Donna Runaas, Joanne Hageman, Doris Franklin, Joanne Reese, Mary Reigle, and Carolyn
30 Years Ago (1981): A group of 60 young music students saw the road company of the musical “Annie” at the
Oscar Mayer Theater in Madison. The eighth graders, under the direction of Mrs. Roger Berg, sold popcorn and
had a bake sale to raise enough money to take two buses up to Madison. The chaperones were Mr. and Mrs.
Vince Maloney, Ann Kerkenbush, Carol Van, and Brenda Berg.
20 Years Ago (1991): As of Monday, one candidate in the upcoming election has filed papers. Harlin Miller, who
is running for mayor, has returned his signed papers to the City Hall. Dennis Hughes, incumbent school board
member, has indicated his intent to seek another term on the Evansville School Board.
10 years ago (2001): Every once in a while a school staff member reaches a career milestone that should be
recognized by the school and community. Such was the case when the Evansville High School Blue Devil’s Boys
Basketball Team won last Thursday evening, giving the coach, Duane Updike, an early Holiday gift, his 300th
career coaching victory. A ceremony in the high school foyer accorded this long-time coach recognition for his
remarkable career accomplishments.