First week of February 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): Several sleigh loads from Evansville joined with old friends, relatives and
acquaintances of Mr. B. S. Hoxie and wife, of Cooksville, made them a very pleasant and entertaining visit on
the occasion of their twentieth anniversary wedding day. An elegant China tea set was presented with
appropriate remarks from Mr. J. T. Dow. The gifts were wholly a surprise, but received with becoming grace
and thankfulness. The bridegroom presented his lady with a silver plated set of tea knives. The table was
cleared of precious wares, it was reset with the substantials of life, in a very beautiful manner, oysters, cakes
and bon bons, crowded the ample board in the most inviting profusion. Free jokes and wise repartees, were
130 Years Ago (1882): At about 11:30 on January 26, as the employees at the depot were moving some
kerosene barrels in the freight room all of a sudden, from some unexplained cause, fire broke out near the
barrels, and despite their best efforts to extinguish it, soon everything was enveloped with its firey fangs.
The alarm was immediately sounded, and help soon arrived sufficient to save most of the valuable papers,
all the cash and tickets. There was but very little freight in the depot. There was no insurance. Our Fire
Co. did good execution, which no doubt saved property enough to pay all the expense of purchasing the
engine and keeping up our Fire Co. Other contiguous building must have been destroyed had it not been for
their timely assistance.
120 Years Ago (1892): Mr. D. Finnane, of Magnolia township shipped two cars of stock to Chicago last week
Tuesday, and reports having struck a raising market on account of the R. R. being blockaded. Mr. F.
returned on Friday evening after having enjoyed a very pleasant time at the great metropolis of the West,
with Mr. Frank Croak, one of his neighbors.
110 Years Ago (1902): The double wedding of Charles and William Nevil to Mary and Bessie Sweeney took
place at the Catholic church at Dayton, Tuesday forenoon, Rev. Father Schwin officiating. After the
ceremony the happy party proceeded to the home of the brides’ parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Sweeney, where
a bountiful wedding dinner was served. They were in receipt of many beautiful and useful articles, the gifts
of their numerous friends. The young people are well and favorably known to our people.
100 Years Ago (1912): At the meeting of T. L. Sutphen Post, No. 41, the following officers were installed by
Past Commander W. H. Grinnell; commander, A. C. Gray; S. V. C., J. W. Morgan; J.V.C., A. B. Graves; O. D.,
W. S. Austin; Chap., W. H. Walker; Q. M., John Tullar; Adj., H. A. Babcock; Surgeon, Dr. C. M. Smith, Sr.;
Guard, Theodore Shurrum; S. M., Geo. L. McCoy; Q.M.S., Chas. Wright.
90 Years Ago (1922): Owing to the non-arrival of the seats and lights for the auditorium of the new Grade
building, which were contracted to have been delivered early in January, the dedication of the new building
has had to be postponed until February 14, when it is assured the board will be able to have the building
80 Years Ago (1932): Mr. and Mrs. Charles Murphy, North Madison street, celebrated their golden wedding
at their home Sunday. Both were born and raised near Evansville. Mrs. Murphy was formerly Miss Louise
Lamb. They are the parents of three children, Charles Murphy, Jr., Madison; Frank Murphy, Evansville, and
Miss Hazel, at home. Their children and their families were all with them on Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy
received many gifts and greetings.
70 Years Ago (1942): Twenty-one Evansville wives and mothers of men in the Service assembled at 7 p.m.
Tuesday at the home of Mrs. E. J. Gibbs, 48 North Second Street and organized a club which will hold one
meeting a month. Following the opening devotions and flag salute officers were elected for the ensuing
year. Mrs. E. J. Gibbs was chosen president; Mrs. John Montgomery, vice president; Mrs. John Kennedy,
secretary; Mrs. Victor Briggs, treasurer, and Mrs. Victor Wall, program chairman.
60 Years Ago (1952): A new restaurant called Tag’s Griddle has been opened this past week at 16 West
Main street, the former location of Thompson’s restaurant. The restaurant is operated by Mr. and Mrs.
Leonard Chaney. Mr. Chaney is the son of Wallace Chaney, Evansville, owner of Wally’s Pastry Shop.
50 Years Ago (1962): Fire destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Elwood Heacox on West Main Street. Mr.
and Mrs. Heacox and sons, Randy, 4 and Ricky, 2 were obliged to flee from the burning house in only night
apparel with bathrobes as their only projection in sub zero weather. Firemen fought the blaze in zero
weather for a good part of the day when the structure burned. The house is considered a complete loss.
40 Years Ago (1972): At 5 p.m. Jan. 25, the time for filing papers to become a candidate for a city office at
the April election closed. For alderman in the first ward, Merlin Reese, who is now serving in that position,
has no competition. There are two local citizens seeking the aldermanic post in the second ward. They are
Richard Meyers, who is seeking reelection and John Paulson, a newcomer to politics in the city. In the third
ward there are two positions to be filled as both present aldermen have been appointed to fill the terms, until
the April election, of the two alderman previously elected.
30 Years Ago (1982): Business is brisk in Evansville due to the cold and snow. According to Gordon
Brigham, of the Coast-to-Coast sales of snow shovels and snow blowers have been upped, also in things
like heat tapes, electric heaters and ice melting “Heet”. Bob Aebly of the Union Co-op reports he is selling
more winter gloves and clothing than usual, as well as new batteries and battery chargers. The Co-op has
also made many service calls to repair broken pipes for their customers using milking equipment. There
have also been runs on the grocery stores, when the weather prediction was for a big storm. There was a
good bustling feeling in town as residents scurried to brace themselves for the storms.
20 Years Ago (1992): EHS graduates shared their first semester college experiences with Mrs. Pat Peters’
seminar/composition class. Those participating were Jenny Ashe, Jason Moe, Pat Adams, Mark Schwartz,
Tara Lindemann, and Lori Bue. Current EHS college-bound seniors learned what to expect next year and
asked many questions about classes, grades, professors, roommates, residence halls, social life, exams and
10 years ago (2002): State Senator Jon Erpenbach revealed in a letter to Kendall Schneider, Town of Union
Chairman, that Gov. McCallum dealing with a shortfall of $1.1 billion deficit, has eliminated shared revenue
payments to municipalities. Evansville is listed as losing $164,937 in payments; the towns; Center would
lose $25,282; Magnolia $20,124; Porter $26,401; and Union $48,900
Second Week of February 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): The Madison extension of the Chicago and Northwestern is progressing favorably
towards La Crosse and Tomah. Track has been laid from Madison northwest to Reedsburg, 55 miles.
130 Years Ago (1882): The C. & N. W. R. R. Depot is in ashes. A few minutes past 11 o’clock on Thursday,
January 26, Mr. Gosselin, the station agent saw flames coming up through the cracks of the ware room
floor. He tried to broom it out, but it gained so rapidly that he left and rushed into his office to save what he
could. The floor was so saturated with oil that an uncontrollable fire was kindled at once. The firemen ran
the engine to Lehman’s Furniture Factory, but by this time the fire had gained such progress that it was
useless to attempt to save the building, and the energies of the fire company were directed to the coal
house and adjacent buildings. The depot was built in 1863 and had but few repairs upon it until last season
when it was thoroughly overhauled.
120 Years Ago (1892): Married. Sunday evening, Jan. 31st 1892, by Prof. J. E. Coleman, Mr. George
Powers and Miss Fanny Cowell, both of this city.
110 Years Ago (1902): The sixteen-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Churchill was accidentally shot while
hunting Sunday with a comrade near Mr. Henry Fellows’ farm in Porter township. His companion was walking
behind him and caught his feet and to save himself from falling discharged his gun in such a manner as to
almost blow the top of the Churchill boy’s head off, who died within thirty minutes after the accident
happened. A physician was called but did not arrive in time to be of any service, in fact it was useless to call
one as there was no earthly help for the unfortunate boy.
100 Years Ago (1912): The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Baker Mfg. Co. was held in the city
hall Tuesday. A. I. Taggart and Frank Hubbard were re-elected as directors. A. S. Baker gave a financial
report for the year showing that the volume of business had decreased somewhat from the previous year,
which decrease is accounted for by some extras in the way of expense and poor business conditions. At a
meeting of the directors held immediately after the stockholders meeting, the following officers were elected
for one year: A. S. Baker, president and treasurer; J. S. Baker, vice-president and general manager; J. W.
Christman, superintendent; J. M. Bodenberger, secretary.
90 Years Ago (1922): The depot at Fellows station was destroyed by fire Tuesday evening, the fire
supposedly starting from a spark from a passing locomotive. This loss will give the Northwestern road use at
least of one of its idle box cars that the road has placed in enforced idleness by its excessive rates.
80 Years Ago (1932): Miss Beatrice Golz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Golz, and Walter Elmer, son of
Mr. and Mrs. John Elmer, Monroe, were married at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Methodist parsonage, this city.
The Rev. G. Kenneth MacInnis performed the ceremony. They were attended by Miss Ruth Allen and Ervin
Krause. The bride wore a gown of blue Canton crepe and carried a bouquet of roses and freesia. The
bridesmaid’s gown was green flat crepe. She carried a bouquet of sweet peas and snapdragons. Mr. and
Mrs. Elmer will make their home on the Paul Elmer farm, known as the Ethan Allen farm, 4 ½ miles west of
70 Years Ago (1942): The February meeting of the Afternoon club will be held here Friday in the Library
hall at which time the Rev. K. K. Peckham, pastor of the local Free Methodist church, will discuss the drug
Marijuana, both as a poison and a medicine. Other program numbers will include assembly singing led by
Mrs. Harold Roethel with Mrs. Henry Serracino at the piano.
60 Years Ago (1952): About eight out of every ten employees in the Evansville factory of the Baker
Manufacturing Company will be included in the distribution of profit-sharing for 1951. A total of $71,000 will
be distributed through the plan. Baker employees of two years or more share in the company’s profits
through the plan. The first $125 earned under this plan will be paid in cash and the balance in Baker
50 Years Ago (1962): A new complex of buildings has been completed by Green Bros. increasing the firm’s
federal and commercial storage to 900,000 bushels. The complex consists of four buildings and a center
dryer with a capacity of 360,000 bushels of corn, almost all federal storage.
40 Years Ago (1972): Lake Leota was the scene of activity as Everett Anderson, Soil Conservation Service
Agent, Biologist LaVerne Stricker, and 20 volunteers tested the lake to take core samples and determine the
length of time remaining before drastic measures and action must be taken to save the lake. Evansville
Jaycees, the Methodist Ecology Committee, and members of Trout Unlimited were divided into teams to
determine the depth of the water; depth of loose silt; depth of heavy silt; make up of silt; make up of the lake
bottom, and the amount of silt that should be removed to renew the lake.
30 Years Ago (1982): In the Evansville area the future of education is a concern of all residents whether a
voter has a child in school or not. Seven interested candidates in the Evansville School district have file to
run in the primary election to be held Tuesday, February 16th. Three positions on the school board are
open. The candidates are: Mary Abey, incumbent, Roberta Van Galder, Stephen Goding, Joseph Ischi,
Russell Jeske, Larry Kettle and Wayne Wilson.
20 Years Ago (1992): Plans are underway for the Evansville Mayoral Debate scheduled to take place
Thursday February 13 at the J. C. McKenna Middle School auditorium. Candidates for mayor are incumbent
mayor, Christopher Eager; Richard Modaff and Harlin Miller. The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday,
10 years ago (2002): Edgewood College Honors List for fall has been announced. Area students included
are Julene Elmer of Albany, Broad Fields Social Studies, Secondary Education; Trina Daniels, Biology and
Chemistry; and Samantha Trumpy Accounting both of Brooklyn; Casey Fellows, Nursing and Dee Jay
Redders, both are from Evansville.
Third Week of February 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): The house of Mr. Flint, near Davenport’s mill, together with its entire contents, grain,
provisions, &c., were consumed, at an early hour on Wednesday morning last. There was no insurance and
the family are left in a very needy and destitute condition. [Note: Davenport’s mill was in Porter township,
north of Cooksville.]
130 Years Ago (1882): The move now is to arrange with the R. R. company to locate the depot a little
further North and extend Church street past the south end of the same, on to join with the extension of that
same street on the East side, past Wilder’s cheese factory building, and afford free and easy access at all
times to the depot from that direction. Such an arrangement would practically supply the necessity of
opening a street through Mr. Randolph’s grounds that has caused so much controversy in town.
120 Years Ago (1892): Mrs. Jessie Franklin Benway aged 32 years, died of pneumonia, at her home near
Union Village, Monday, Feb. 1st, 1892, after a brief illness of but four days. The deceased was born near
the same place where she died, was married to Mr. Robert L. Benway a few months more than ten years
ago, whom she leaves to mourn his sad loss also two bright little daughters. Mrs. Benway was very highly
respected by all, on account of her kindness of heart and very sympathetic nature; she was a true loving
wife, a devoted mother and a christian from childhood. The mourning relatives may rest assured of the
deepest sympathy of this entire community. A large number of relatives, friends and neighbors assembled at
the Union church where the funeral was held on Thursday to pay their last tribute of love and respect to the
one they had loved in life so dearly. Rev. W. W. Stevens spoke a few words of comfort and consolation to
the living when all that was left on earth of the one so full of life and vigor but a few hours since, was laid in
their last resting place.
110 Years Ago (1902): John Robinson and son had the misfortune Tuesday night to lose their pure bred
Hereford “Pride of Evergreen,” for which they paid $500 and had refused $1,000. His weight was 2260 lbs
and was the sire of the steer which sold last fall at the Fat Stock Show, Chicago for 50 cents per pound,
amounting to something over $800. “Pride of Evergreen” was exhibited at our last county fair.
100 Years Ago (1912): The Grange Store is enlarging its furniture department by taking out all the
partitions in the room formerly occupied as club rooms and offices and adding the space to their furniture
show rooms. The dental office of Dr. Denison is the only one of the eight rooms not to be embraced in the
90 Years Ago (1922): Harley Smith and C. D. Barnard have gone to various parts of Northern Wisconsin,
expected to ship within a week about twenty car loads of tobacco to the Will Smith & Co. Warehouses.
80 Years Ago (1932): Two hundred were present for the banquet and program Monday night in the
observance of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the local chapter of the Eastern Star. A dinner was
service with Mrs. O. C. Colony presiding. Mrs. Anna Philips Parkinson, Madison, one of the founders of the
local order, was a guest of honor. Mrs. Parkinson, the late J. A. Spratler and the late Mrs. Belle Penney
Wright, all of Mineral Point, came here 40 years ago and founded the chapter. Mrs. Parkinson is the only
one who survives. W. S. Spratler represented his father in the ceremonies Monday night.
70 Years Ago (1942): The teachers and pupils of three rural schools in this community are being made
happy this week and early next week by the gifts of silk United States flags presented by the Evansville
Women’s Relief corps. A group of members spent Tuesday afternoon at the Tupper school of which Miss
Hazel Murphy is the teacher. The lodge group is observing Lincoln’s birthday by visiting the Tullar school,
Miss Julia Williams, teacher and presenting another flag to that district. The third flag will be given to the
Cooksville rural school of which Lloyd Porter is the teacher.
60 Years Ago (1952): The increase in the number of telephones in the Evansville area has been at a
tremendous rate during the last ten years and particularly since the end of World War II, it was reported by
Manager B. E. Hull, Wisconsin Telephone company. In the ten years from 1941 to 1951, telephones in
service here increased from 698 to 1382, or 98%, while the population of Evansville increased 9%. The
telephone has become a vital part of everyday living here in Evansville..
50 Years Ago (1962): Rolland Propst and Donald Hawkins went to Beloit Monday to enlist in the Army.
40 Years Ago (1972): The terms of employment for two Evansville city workers, Myron Beyer assessor and
building inspector and Herbert Blum, assistant street superintendent, who have reached retirement age,
were extended for one more year, both to expire Feb. 15, 1973. At that time men who are presenting being
trained will take their positions.
30 Years Ago (1982): School board members approved a motion at the Monday night meeting that would
give Supt. George Knuckles the authority to come up with $160,000 in budget cuts for the next meetings, a
special meeting to be held. The move was recognized as a safety valve inasmuch as any teacher non-
renewal letters must be sent by two weeks from Monday night. The motion give Knuckles the right to send
the non-renewals if he feels it necessary at this time. Much depends on the state aid the school district will
receive and at the present time this cannot be determined.
20 Years Ago (1992): Tim Courtier was presented the Eagle Scout Award at a ceremony held at the
Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, January 12, 1992. Tim’s Eagle Project was coordinating
Earth Day activities for the City of Evansville in observance of National Earth Day. He had the city’s
cooperation in using trucks and trash bags; the Chamber of Commerce donated the printing costs of the
Earth Day flyers regarding recycling; Boy Scout Troop 514 helped distribute the flyers. Tim’s advisors were
Mr. Jeff Farnsworth and Mrs. Grace Dohner, Rock County Coordinator. Tim is the son of Mr. and Mrs.
10 years ago (2002): This past weekend was an entertaining one for those who attended the EHS
performance of The Importance of Being Earnest. Cast members included Beau Martin, Carl Soderberg,
John Jakes, Lexi Herman, Erin Ellison, Jamie Jakes, Emily Saul, Natalie Huschka and Thea Heimerl. Director
of the production was B. J. Warren.
Fourth Week of February 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): Married at the parsonage in Union, February 10, 1872, by Rev. A. Kenyon, Mr. H. D.
Morgan, of Cooksville, and Miss Mary Leedle of Union.
130 Years Ago (1882): The Railroad magnates, C. A. Swinford, Div. Supt., and S. J. Starin, Land
Commissioner, came down on a special Thursday morning to see our people about the matter of extending
Church street across R. R. grounds. It took but a moment to convince us that a project of that nature could
not be concurred in by the Company. The extra risks to be encountered by passing trains, the loss of so
much track room and other disadvantages to the road, made it clearly an untenable project.
120 Years Ago (1892): Mrs. A. Francisco created great excitement this p.m. by attacking Mr. John McGill
while he was at work in his blacksmith shop by striking him in the face and threatening his life with a revolver
pointed at his breast alleging that Mr. McGill had furnished her husband liquor to become intoxicated. Later
Mrs. Francisco has been placed under arrest and is now in charge of the city marshal, who has requested
us in Mrs. Francisco’s behalf not to mention her name in connection with this affair, which we cannot do.
110 Years Ago (1902): Several who have tried the waterworks water for washing purposes say that it
answers that purpose very well as a substitute for rain water, far better than any well water they have ever
used; no doubt our waterworks water is much softer than any well water here and better for washing
purposes, and also more healthful for drink.
100 Years Ago (1912): Carl Brunsell having rented his farm to Chris Hansen will sell at public auction on the
old Elmer Bullard place situated two miles northeast of Evansville, horses, cattle, hogs, farm machinery,
grain, etc. Free lunch at noon. D. F. Finnane will be in charge of the sale and W. W. Gillies will be clerk.
90 Years Ago (1922): The marriage of Miss Paulina Collins and Harold Atkinson, both of this city, was
solemnized by the Rev. Father McDermott, at St. Paul's church at 8:30 o'clock Wednesday morning. The
attendants were Miss Ella Moore, of Edgerton, and Marc Collins, of this city. After the ceremony a wedding
breakfast was served at the home of the bride's mother, Mrs. John Collins. After a short wedding trip the
newlyweds will make their home in Evansville.
80 Years Ago (1932): Nearly 75 Evansville men and women who are unemployed have registered and
applied for work through the American Legion’s employment campaign, it was announced Monday by R. L.
Collins, city clerk and general campaign chairman. Of this number about 65 were men. A group of 48
jobless persons registered at the employment bureau opened from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the City Hall, and
25 more had previously applied at the city clerk’s office. The bureau was in charge of Postmaster A. C.
70 Years Ago (1942): 292 men who had reached the age of 20 on or before December 31, and had not
previously registered for selective service, were recorded here Saturday and Sunday and Monday at the
registration center in the city hall. Citizens from Magnolia, Center, Union and Porter townships and the city
of Evansville were in the group. The center was presided over by J. S. Pullen, local registrar and his
assistants who volunteered their services. Of the 292 registrants, 175 were residents of the city and the
remaining 117 were from the surrounding townships. The local center registered the second largest number
of men in the county outside the cities of Janesville and Beloit. The group of assistant registrars included
Mrs. H. F. Brunsell, Mrs. C. W. Babcock, Mrs. Marie Clark, Miss Margaret Baker, Mrs. Leslie Smith, Miss
Susan Eager, W. P. Fleming, V. A. Axtell, Eugene Millard, Walter Gollmar, L. P. Eager and B. R. Ellis.
60 Years Ago (1952): Mr. and Mrs. William B. Antes, former local residents, who have spent the winter in
Sarasota, Fla., will leave there Feb. 28 for New York city in preparation for the opening of Ringling Bros. and
Barnum and Bailey circus in Madison Square Garden. Both Mr. and Mrs. Antes are employed by the circus,
the former as radio and TV publicity manager.
50 Years Ago (1962): Meeting in special session Tuesday night in the city hall were members of the Board
of Education, city council members and John Wyse, city civil defense director to discuss possibilities and the
advisability of constructing a fallout shelter under the gymnasium in the new school building to be erected
during the ensuing months. The shelter would be 100 by 120 with a 12 foot ceiling and the required food, of
the ration type, would be provided by the government. The architect will be instructed to submit plans for
alternate bids including the shelter. The cost would be about $60,000.
40 Years Ago (1972): The City of Evansville just purchased a new auxiliary ambulance squad car, a
Rambler Ambassador station wagon, to supplement the city police and emergency equipment. The new
squad car is equipped with a cot mounted on a board that can be removed, oxygen and resuscitation
equipment, so that the vehicle can be employed in emergency ambulance service. There have been
emergencies recently when the city needed more than one ambulance vehicle so council members and
police officially figured they could accomplish two purposes with the new wagon and give the police an extra
car, and have an extra emergency vehicle. There are now two police cars on duty every day from 12 noon
to 4 a.m. According to Police Chief Richard Luers, the need for the new vehicle is urgent among many
reasons because there is only one practicing physician in Evansville. The cost was $3,011.
30 Years Ago (1982): Doug Batty, D. C. of California and more recently of Davenport, Iowa, where he
graduated from the Palmer Institute of Chiropractic, has purchased the building on West Main Street, that
formerly housed Marsh’s Decorating Den. He plans to open his Chiropractic office there on June 1. He is
the son of Mr. and Mrs. Morton Batty of Evansville
20 Years Ago (1992): Good news occurred on Tuesday, of last week, when gasoline prices dropped down
below $1 per gallon in Evansville. The signs at the All’N One and CITGO reflected the change, the first time
since Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait in August of 1990. Nationwide gasoline dipped for an eighth consecutive
week, according to a report by the American Automobile Assn.
10 years ago (2002): The winners of the JC McKenna Spelling Bee for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade
participants are Danny Karis and Heather Bader. The alternate is Jon Cothard. They will compete at the
regional bee in Milton on Thursday, February 28.