First Week of January 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Afton Stage: The proprietor of this line has refitted his hack and has a good and
careful driver. Going north [from Afton] it is the quickest and cheapest way of going to Footville, Magnolia,
Evansville, Union, Rome Corners and Madison. Persons will arrive at Madison about noon. Passengers will
be called for at their residences by leaving orders at the Myers or Borden House. J. F. Powers. Janesville
130 Years Ago (1879): Mr. Frank Springer is storing a fine lot of ice. The quality was never better. The
thickness is some 18 to 20 inches, as clear as crystal, and as firm as cold weather and clear water can
make it. He has the filling of Mr. Pratt’s fruit house besides several hundred tons he will put up for himself
to make into ice cream next July.
120 Years Ago (1889): The Pioneer Lumberyard alone has sold 19 million feet of lumber since its present
proprietor, Mr. C. H. Wilder took charge of it about eleven years ago and this only includes sheathings and
timber. His largest sales being in 1884 and 1885, the largest in 1885, amounting to nearly three million
feet, when we consider this but one of three yards in this place for several years, we can form some idea of
the vast amount of lumber which has been sold from this city during the past ten years.
110 Years Ago (1899): The Grangers are “reaching out”. The Snashall & Mygatt double store is to contain
their boots, shoes and clothing. With these stocks go W. H. and C. H. Doolittle and Geo. Wood. Guy
Patterson has gone into the dry goods department and Geo. Andrew of Magnolia, a very promising young
man, son of Wallace Andrew, has gone into the grocery department. [Note: The Grange Store was
originally at 19 East Main and in the late 1890s they outgrew their space and in addition to their own
building, rented the Snashall & Myatt store at 6-8 East Main, now part of the UB&T building.]
100 Years Ago (1909): Miss Bernice Gray and Miss Madge Robinson have returned to their studies, the
former at Dennison, Ohio, and the latter at Oberlin, in the same state.
90 Years Ago (1919): Mr. Rolla A. Dobson was married at Rockford, Ill., Wednesday, January 1, to Miss
Wilma Lucetta Bourbeau, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Bourbeau, of the town of Union.
80 Years Ago (1929): That the ice should be carefully watched on Lake Leota and the weak places posted
with notices to that affect, was shown last Sunday when Louie Devine went through the ice very suddenly
close to the railroad bridge. Fortunately he went straight down and the water was not deep enough but
that his feet touched bottom, and while the water was up to his shoulders, he managed to climb out, as the
ice held at the edges of the hole. Had he lost his balance as he fell and came up under the ice a few feet
away, the result might have been serious.
70 Years Ago (1939): Miss Guinevere Hubbard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd F. Hubbard, and Claude E.
Willoughby, son of Mr. and Mrs. George E. Willoughby, Belleville, were married at 4 p.m. Saturday in the
country home of the bride’s parents. Mrs. Willoughby is a graduate of the Evansville High School, the
University of Wisconsin and the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing and has since been the Boone
County nurse, Belvidere, Ill. Mr. Willoughby is a farmer and they will make their home on the Burr Oak
farm two and one-half miles north of Evansville. They left for Chicago for a short wedding trip.
60 Years Ago (1949): The Evansville Mercantile Association, Grange Store, is this year celebrating its
diamond jubilee. The Grange store, which for years held the distinction of being the largest department
store in Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee was organized here in 1874 by a group of stockholders from the
Grange lodges of Evansville, Albany, Brooklyn and Dayton. The store was first located in the building now
occupied by the Baker Sales and Service, [17 East Main] and two years later was moved to the present
building housing the American Legion [19 East Main]. The business was conducted at that location until
1904 when the present building was completed at19 West Main.
50 Years Ago (1959): Robert Peach, who has been serving with the Army in Germany for 18 months
arrived home Tuesday. He expects to be discharged.
40 Years Ago (1969): Mr. and Mrs. J. Gordon Baker and daughter, Miss Mary Baker left last week Friday for
Los Angeles, Calif. Where they joined Mr. C. S. Baker, Evansville, who left previously. They attended the
wedding of Miss Elsie Baker Saturday night. The latter is the daughter of the late Allen Baker and Mrs.
Allen Baker. Miss Mary Baker had come to her home here from Pasadena to be with her parents and will
now return to Pasadena to resume her studies there in college.
30 Years Ago (1979): The weekend snowstorm that ushered in 1979 couldn’t keep Mitchell Illichmann from
becoming the first new Rock County citizen of 1979 born at Janesville’s Mercy Hospital. The 7-pound, 14-
ounce son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor (Carol) Illichmann of Route 1, Elmer Road, Evansville, was born at 11:28 a.
m. New Year’s Day. Before his parents could get to the hospital, an Evansville police vehicle and snow
plow had to clear the roads for the Illichmann car. Mitchell joins a 4-year-old brother, named Victor after
20 Years Ago (1989): Brian Fick, owner of Appliance Works, will be a guest on WHA radio, Thursday,
January 12 from 10 to 11 a.m. It is a call-in program and Fick will answer listeners’ questions about
appliances. This will be the third time that Fick has appeared on the Tom Clark Show.
10 years ago (1999): Gwen Walsh, one of the long-time employees of the city is retiring effective Jan. 6.
She has been serving as the Deputy Clerk in the City Hall and would have started her 23rd year in 1999.
Gwen started 23 years ago under City Clerk Rollie Zilliox as Deputy Clerk. Prior to her employment with the
City, Gwen worked at Baker Mfg. Co., in Evansville, for 13 years. No specific plans are in the offing, but she
will keep busy.
Second Week of January 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): January 14, 1869, at the residence of the bride’s father, by Rev. S. Sugg, Miss
Harriet Emma Smiley to Mr. Duane Clinton Smith, the former of Plymouth and the latter of Centre, Rock
130 Years Ago (1879): Station Agent, Mr. Geo. D. Potter informs us that a daily weather report from the
Signal Service Bureau, Washington, will be posted in the depot daily, for the benefit of farmers,
merchants and the traveling public. This is a good move and a praiseworthy one for our railroad
company to engage in, solely for the benefit of classes mentioned. It is hoped that it will be availed of
and made useful by the public.
120 Years Ago (1889): Mr. Thomas Rylatt lost another valuable horse on Monday night with what he
terms epizootic. This is a very serious loss to Mr. R. entirely depriving him of his only working team
within two weeks. Owners of horses should guard against this disease, as it is proving very fatal in
110 Years Ago (1899): Barnard & Wilder report the tobacco market lively, good prices and good
quality. They are now working 45 hands; Smith & Smith, 33 hands; and Rumrill 35. The John Brand
warehouse expects to open up with a large force next week. S. E. Barnard, of the firm of Barnard &
Wilder, paid for all the suppers that their hands would go after at the M. E. church parlors last
Thursday, and a large number improved the opportunity.
100 Years Ago (1909): Bert Dann recently sold a fifteen-horse power gasoline engine to Sol. Strang, of
Footville, who will use it in his elevator and mill at that place, replacing a smaller one with it. It has
become necessary to have more power owing to the increase in his business. That’s encouraging.
90 Years Ago (1919): Prof. E. B. Gordon, of the Bureau of Community Music, at the State University,
Madison, together with Mrs. Gordon and Miss Cooper, of the dramatic department of the University
High School were in the city Tuesday evening, the guest of Father William P. McDermott. Mr. Gordon
and Miss Cooper are much interested in community drama and were here to witness the production of
the Red Cross Masque, “The Roll Call.” Prof. Gordon is preparing an article on community drama for
the Dramatic League Monthly, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the University
Extension Bulletin, in which it is possible that The Evansville Players will get some well deserved
credit for the splendid work they have done—a work that has attracted attention all over the state.
80 Years Ago (1929): The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Luchsinger deeply sympathize with them
over the loss of their little baby, Robert Edwin, who passed away at the Mercy Hospital Monday. That
one should be called so young is sad and the sympathy of the community goes out to the stricken
parents. Little Robert is survived by his parents, three sisters, and two brothers. Funeral services
were held Tuesday from the Biglow & Roderick Undertaking parlors. Interment being in Maple Hill
70 Years Ago (1939): Russell Gilman, Janesville and Earl Taplin Evansville returned Monday afternoon
from the south where they participated the past two weeks in the Light Plane Cavalcade. Flying a Piper
cub plane from the Janesville City airport, Taplin and Gilman arrived at the Janesville airport after a
four-day northward jaunt. Two days of that time they were grounded because of fog. The Cavalcade, is
practically the same as the state air tour in Wisconsin, only on a national scale. Some 900 planes were
gathered in Orlando, Fla., the final stopping place of the tour, which is held to create additional
interest in the light plane field of aviation.
60 Years Ago (1949): For the second time this winter, the city truck will deliver sand to residents
throughout the city Friday morning to be used on the sidewalks when they are slippery. Sand was
delivered a few weeks ago and during the past week when the walks were hazardous, very little sand
was used according to pedestrians who have entered complaints to the members of the city council.
In making comments Braden Wolff said, “the city will deliver sand as often as is necessary to keep the
streets safe for pedestrians.” The requests that containers be on the curbs before 8 a.m. tomorrow,
Friday and that only sand containers be on the curb. Heretofore, in some parts of the city rubbish
containers were left on the curb throughout the week and in that case it is hard to determine how
much sand to leave.
50 Years Ago (1959): Mrs. Don Thompson was elected president of the Kindergarten Mother’s Club
Monday evening at the regular meeting. Others taking office are Secretary, Mrs. Merlin Thomas; and
treasurer, Mrs. Marvin Luchsinger. These officers will serve the second semester term.
40 Years Ago (1969): Many radios, ordinarily quiet during the early morning hours were turned on
early by residents of Evansville and surrounding area last Thursday and the announcement was made
that Evansville schools would be closed for the day. Last Thursday was the first “snow day” for the
local school in the past few years. In fact this area has more snow now than it has had the past few
years, and if the Review record is correct, there should be about 14 more snowfalls this winter.
30 Years Ago (1979): Phillip Montgomery is the Evansville Volunteer Fire Department’s 1978
“Firefighter of the Year”. He was honored at a statewide awards program recently sponsored by the
Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company and its Wisconsin distributors in cooperation with the Wisconsin State
Fire Chief’s Association and the Wisconsin State Firemen’s Association.
20 Years Ago (1989): Robert U’Ren, son of Tom and Carolyn U’Ren, Evansville, graduated from UW-
Platteville on December 18, 1988 with a B. S. degree in broadcast Management. He is employed as
Sales Manager of the TCI Cablevision of Dubuque, Iowa.
10 years ago (1999): Evansville’s Erin Ellison, with her tarantulas, appeared on the “Tonight Show’ with
host Jay Leno. Erin, 12-year-old student at J. C. McKenna Middle School was in California on Monday,
Jan 11, for taping the Montday night show. The whole family flew to Los Angeles for the session. Erin
has been on PBS shows, “Get Real” and Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out”.
Third Week of January 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): A visit to the jail this morning revealed the fact that the new sheriff, Mr. Daniel
Johnson (Evansville) takes the position more like a veteran than an inexperienced hand. Everything
about the premises was neat and in good order. He has now in his institution seventeen, 16 men and 1
girl; charged with the following offences: larceny 6; assault and battery 2; vagrancy 3; embezzlement 2;
arson 1; drunkenness 1; forgery 1; insanity 1. Of these seventeen all but the girl use tobacco in some
shape; how many use whiskey the Sheriff was unable to say, because they had had no opportunity to
evince their likes or dislikes for that beverage while they have been under his charge. Nearly all of
those incarcerated are young and able bodied men, and find themselves in their present situation by
reason of attempting to get a living without work. If any amount of moralizing on this subject would
have the effect to save one young man from treading in the path that ends inside prison walls, how
gladly would we write; but we fear that nothing we could say would be of any avail. Will men and
women ever learn that in a virtuous life alone is happiness to be found? We apprehend not until the
130 Years Ago (1879): The Eighteenth Anniversary of the Cooksville Good Templars Lodge was
memorialized at that place on Saturday night last, by a crowded hall of men, women and children. It
was expected that Rev. Jenk L. Jones of Janesville, would be present, but failing, the time was
occupied by Rev. Mr. May of Fulton, Hon. J. T. Dow and B. S. Hoxie, interspersed with recitations,
essays, and vocal music by the Cooksville Glee Club, and the Roberts family of this place. Apples and
popcorn were liberally served.
120 Years Ago (1889): At the last report of District No. 9, town of Union, the following scholars whose
average standing in their different studies stood above 50 on a scale of 100 is given: Mae Pierce, 88;
Curtis Pierce, 78; Bertha Champney, 64; Bernie Morgan, 57; May Belle Champney, 57.
110 Years Ago (1899): Mr. and Mrs. Fred A. Baker are rejoicing over the arrival of a nice boy at their
home Saturday morning. Fred says his two girls are all right, but this first boy takes the biscuit.
100 Years Ago (1909): A high water mark in real estate values in Green County was made when Edward
Stauffacher bought 62 acres from John Werren near Monroe for $13,000 or over $200 an acre. Mr.
Stauffacher will use the land for dairy purposes.
90 Years Ago (1919): This city was asked by the County Board to pick out some possible sites for a
County Tubercular Sanitarium and the matter was taken in hand by the Commercial Club and a
committee appointed to hunt up possible sites and to get figures on same. The committee, after
considering several sites, decided to recommend to the County Board twenty acres of the Marvin
Patterson place just east of town, situated on the north end of the place on the road running north and
south, and another of 77 acres on the Munger place, just west of town. These sites were presented to
the County Board Tuesday by Mr. R. M. Richmond and will be considered by them among several
others presented by several other towns from in the county.
80 Years Ago (1929): The work on the city well which has been suspended since December 22 was
again taken up last Saturday and will be continued hereafter with a double shift, working day and
night. At the depth of 114 feet the drill struck a ledge of soft rock which was so soft that it would not
stand up at the sides of the hole and it was necessary to case it. Waiting for the arrival of the casing
has been the cause of the delay in work. The casing arrived last week and there will be no further
trouble on that score, so that the work is expected to be pushed fast from this on.
70 Years Ago (1939): The Evansville Boy Scout Troop under the leadership of Scoutmaster George
Greenway rounded out its year’s program with a postponed holiday party held here Friday night in the
High School gymnasium. The festivities opened with an investiture service conducted by Scoutmaster
Greenway and a group of 12 scouts in which seven boys were initiated into the troop. They were Bob
Graves, Warren Thomas, Bill Gabriel, Wallace Johnson, Charles Hazlett, Merlin Reese and Bob
Jorgensen. Each scout received a glider plane as a Christmas gift from Scoutmaster Greenway.
60 Years Ago (1949): A daughter, Arlene, was born last week to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Phillips in St. Mary’
s hospital, Madison. Mrs. Phillips and daughter came to Evansville Sunday and are spending some
time at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Phillips before returning to their home here.
50 Years Ago (1959): Ardis Templeton, Evansville, will be graduated from Whitewater State College at
the close of the first semester. She will receive a bachelor of education degree in kindergarten –
primary education. Miss Templeton has accepted a position teaching in the kindergarten at West Allis.
She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Templeton and is a graduate of Evansville High School.
40 Years Ago (1969): Evansville firemen were called to the house at 23 S. First St. at 10 a.m. Tuesday
to extinguish a fire between the walls in the rear of the house. The house is owned by Mr. and Mrs.
Leo Brunsell and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Cloyance Zweifel in the lower apartment and Mr. and Mrs.
Jerald Muchow in the upper apartment. The fire was discovered by Mrs. Muchow who smelled the
smoke. Firemen worked about two hours before getting it completely under control because it was
confined between the walls. Some damage in the lower apartment resulted. Damage was partially
covered by insurance.
30 Years Ago (1979): It looked like a lake in the high school library this week, as the heavy snow
caused many leaks in the roof. The high school had a major problem with leaks in the library roof, so
much so, only about half the library could be used by students Wednesday. There were also reports of
some barn roofs collapsing around the area.
20 Years Ago (1989): Janeace Brunsvold, who has been managing the Antique Mall on W. Main Street,
since it opened in 1988, purchased the business from the previous owners and is now the sole owner.
She has been in the Antique business for 22 years and now has 24 dealers in the Mall. There is a
waiting list, she notes, of dealers who wish to have space in the Evansville Mall. This past year there
have been buyers from Africa, England, Texas, Sweden, and California, as well as from all over
Wisconsin and nearby states.
10 years ago (1999): For the fourth time in Evansville High School history, a boys basketball player has
scored 1,000 career points. Senior Ryan Subera scored his 1,000th career point in the game against
Walworth Big Foot on January 19. Joe Benson, Dave Baumgarten and Mitch Larson are the only other
Blue Devils to reach the 1,000 point milestone. He is behind the school’s record holder Benson, who
finished his career with 1,280 points. Subera is averaging 24.9 points per game this season.
Fourth Week of January 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Died. At Nashville, October 20, 1863, Ambrose Eastman, aged 18 years, 7
months; At Magnolia, November 18, 1867, Joseph P. Eastman, aged 23 years, 10 months and 12 days.
He left a wife and two children, one of which has since died; At Magnolia, December 27, 1869, James B.
Eastman, 23 years and 5 months. He left a wife and one child. All three brothers above named were
soldiers in the Union Army; At Magnolia, November 21, 1868, Francis M. Eastman, aged 18 years, 8
months and 2 days. All died of consumption. All of the above were sons of Hial and Polly Eastman, and
leave behind two brothers and one sister still living to mourn their loss. The father has been nearly
blind for 12 years.
130 Years Ago (1879): Rev. Mr. May of Fulton, occupied the Congregational pulpit Sunday, by
exchanging with Rev. Mr. Harris at Cooksville. His discourse in the evening was on tobacco and its
uses. Mr. May is not an advocate of the weed and presented some fine arguments against its use.
120 Years Ago (1889): As Chas. Morgan was driving a span of colts to the stockyards Thursday to
unload a hog, the critter took a notion to ride on the tongue of the sled which position did not please
the colts, so they left Messrs. Hog, sled and driver to enjoy a rest by the roadside, while they took a
lively turn up across the railroad tracks into Mr. M. E. Hanover’s garden, demoralizing a large portion
of his barb wire fence which cut and scratched the colts but fortunately not very serious. Mr. Morgan
escaped with a badly scraped ear.
110 Years Ago (1899): While skating on the ice last week, Master Earl Gillies had the misfortune to fall
and make a half-inch incision through his tongue.
100 Years Ago (1909): A correspondent writing from Magnolia Center says: “more stealing is being
done in the south and west part of town. Corn, oats, chickens and geese seem to be the attraction so
far. The people suspect where the articles mentioned have gone and those parties had better look
out or some of these times the people on the lookout for them will get a little nearer than seeing them
sneaking about their premises or chasing them to their very doors on horseback.”
90 Years Ago (1919): At a meeting of the City Council and the Board of Education held last night at the
city hall it was decided on account of the prevalence of the influenza, that it was best to close all
places of public gathering until further notice. The order was issued by Dr. Fred E. Colony, City Health
Officer to Fred W. Gillman, Chief of Police. “Due to the prevalence of a contagious disease, you are
hereby ordered to close all public places until further notice. The places to be closed are theaters,
pool halls, schools and all public gatherings.”
80 Years Ago (1929): The Evansville Review, a consolidation of five former local newspapers; namely,
the Citizen, the Tribune, the Enterprise, the Journal, and the Badger, celebrated its sixty-third birthday
this month. It was founded and sent broadcast over the country under the name of “The Evansville
Citizen” on Jan. 3, 1866 by I. A. Hoxie. Of the many who were here when the paper was founded, only a
few are left either having sought new fields, or passed to the great beyond.
70 Years Ago (1939): Vila and Kenneth Disch, daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Disch recently
purchased with 4-H prize money, four pure bred Southdown ewes, imported from Ontario, Canada. The
purchase was made from Mr. Brodie at the International Exposition at Chicago. The latter has won
grand champion prizes on his carload at the Exposition the past five years.
60 Years Ago (1949): Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Luchsinger announce the birth of a son in St. Mary’s hospital,
Madison, Friday. Mrs. Luchsinger was Miss Arlene Golz before her marriage.
50 Years Ago (1959): Harry Roderick, Jr., Battle Creek, Mich., son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Roderick,
expects to be sent to Paris in a few weeks as U. S. representative in a NATO sub-committee meeting on
40 Years Ago (1969): The borrowing of $198,000 to finance construction and equipping of an eight-
room addition to the Third Street elementary school here was defeated by voters yesterday. In
addition to the classrooms, the addition would have included a presentation area and additional office
space. Marshall Erdman and Associates, Madison architectural firm, had been selected by the school
board to prepare plans for the project.
30 Years Ago (1979): Another major snowfall, followed by strong winds, hit the Evansville area this
week causing travel problems, cancellations, and disruptions of regular routines. The snow began to
fall late Monday night and fell intermittently all day Tuesday and Tuesday night, many rural roads
became impassable because of drifts by Wednesday morning. Road crews battled all day Wednesday
to open country roads but by Wednesday night many of them had drifted shut again as the strong
winds continued. Evansville schools closed Wednesday and Thursday, the fifth and sixth snow days
since New Year’s Day. Little relief seems to be in store for the area as weathermen say there might be
more snow coming this weekend.
20 Years Ago (1989): An important meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the home
of Gil and Diane Skinner at 335 Longfield Street. The Skinners and Chris and Mary Franklin-Cox have
formed a closely held corporation to purchase the former Hallmark property, located on the west side
of Fifth Street to develop a Community Based Residential Facility, for the frail elderly, that will offer a
home like atmosphere. The Skinners and the Coxes are hoping that anyone interested will come to the
meeting and express their thinking and interest so that plans might be incorporated into the
developing of the property.
10 years ago (1999): The subject of restoration of Lake Leota is on the table again. At the Park Board’s
regular meeting, the public was invited to hear a review of the condition of the lake and what options
are possible to restore it. According to Paul Baker, Chairman of the Park Board, it may take several
years before the matter can be resolved. He pointed out that tonight’s meeting can serve to get the
dialog started. Dredging the lake was put in the budget for $275,000 in 1994. Something was
supposed to begin in 1997, but for various reasons, wasn’t undertaken. Recent checking shows that
the lake depth ranges from 2 to 4 feet.