First Week of January 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Married. At the residence of Barney Griffeth, town of Porter, Jan. 1, by Rev. E. D.
Farnham, Mr. Janes Edgar Stillman and Miss Edna M. Gibbs, both of Porter.
130 Years Ago (1881): Mr. Hiram Bullard is cutting ice in the mill pond here to take home to fill a nice ice
house he has on his home premises. The blocks we saw him have on his sleds the other day were eighteen
inches in thickness, and clear as crystal. They were taken from the spot where ice had been taken before,
120 Years Ago (1891): A number of friends and members of the Methodist church choir, met at the residence
of Postmaster P. C. Wilder, Thursday evening and presented Mrs. Alice Wilder with a sugar bowl, creamer,
spoon holder, silver and gold lined, costing in all $15, in recognition of her services as chorister, and her
unrequited services at all entertainments where her fine musical talent could contribute in any degree, to the
enjoyment and pleasure of the occasion.
110 Years Ago (1901): Since the opening of the tobacco warehouse in this city it is almost impossible to
secure servant girls at any price. The average girl prefers to work in the warehouse, where she can have her
evenings to herself, to working in a private family. Private families are not the only ones clamoring for help.
The proprietors of the warehouse are not able to secure enough girls to handle the season’s crop and are
making every effort to get girls from the surrounding towns. Advertisements have been inserted in numerous
newspapers, offering good wages and steady employment.
100 Years Ago (1911): John, the infant son of N. R. Funk and wife of Almarion street, aged three years and
four months, died from the after effects of measles Wednesday at 11 p.m., after an illness of two and one half
weeks. There are seven children in this family and all have had the measles, four of the seven having been
sick at the same time. Owing to an epidemic of measles here, the grades of the public school will not open
until Monday, Jan. 16, but the high school begins next Monday, the 9th, as scheduled. [Note the misspelling
of Almeron Street I 1911.]
90 Years Ago (1921): George Calambakis has resigned his position with the Baker Mfg. company and has
purchased the pool hall recently owned by Dennison and Kueltz.
80 Years Ago (1931): An appropriation for the purchase of four Lions welcome signs was made at the regular
meeting of the Lions Club held Monday night in the Hotel Central. The signs will be erected at the city limits
on the four main highways leading into Evansville. Made of 17 gauge galvanized rust-proof steel, the signs
will be duco-lacquered in seven colors with the emblem in colors, and the club name, time, and place of
meeting lettered in white.
70 Years Ago (1941): John Gardner Babcock, the last surviving member of the local post of the G.A.R. and
his wife, who was formerly Miss Mary Hannah Thurman, will quietly observe their sixty-seventh wedding
anniversary, three and one-half miles south of the city in Magnolia township. Mr. and Mrs. Babcock were
married Jan. 7, 1874 by Riley Whitney, justice of the peace in Magnolia township. The ceremony was
performed in their present home where Mrs. Babcock was born, July 23, 1858.
60 Years Ago (1951): A Paris exhibition is about the best Christmas gift an artist could wish for. Painter Karl
Priebe, who lives on a farm three miles south of Evansville, learned recently that he will have his first show in
Paris in 1951. Canvases of the 35-year-old painter have appeared in the Corcoran gallery, Washington, D.
C.; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Chicago Art Institute, Boston Art Institute and Pennsylvania
Academy of Arts, Philadelphia. Pictures of Priebe, an instructor at Layton School of Art, Milwaukee, are
owned by such celebrities as the Duchess of Windsor, Tallulah Bankhead, Bennett Cerf, and Gene Kelly. In
his farm studio Priebe turns out about 50 paintings a year. Frank Harriott of the staff of Chicago’s Ebony
Magazine shares the farm with Priebe. Many of his bird pictures have gone into the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Priebe left his native city, Milwaukee and set up shop on route 3, Evansville, so as to be free from friends long
enough to paint. But being a nationally known figure in the art world, painters, illustrators, and stage folks
have beaten a path to his farm.
50 Years Ago (1961): Mrs. Anna Doyle, Oregon will celebrate her 100th birthday. Relatives from this area
who will help her to observe her 100th birthday are her three granddaughters, Mrs. Floyd Roberts, Mrs.
Herbert Miller, and Mrs. Howard Norby. She is the mother of the late John Medler. Francis Doyle, Evansville
is also a relative. The open house is being given by Mrs. Doyle’s daughter, Mrs. Mayme Farnsworth and her
daughter-in-law, Mrs. Donald Doyle, Oregon.
40 Years Ago (1971): The United States Bureau of Census officials recently explained the discrepancy
between preliminary and final 1970 figures. The difference between the tentative and final figures is often
due to arithmetic errors which often occur when the preliminary count is added. Evansville’s final count is
given as 2,992 for 1970 and 2,858 in 1960. Over a period of 10 years there was an increase of 134 or an
average of a little more than 10 each year. It is noted that overseas military men are not included in the
census figures of their home towns but are added to census totals for their home states. The town of Union
final figure for 1970 is 1,202, an increase of 16 over the 1960 figure of 1,086.
30 Years Ago (1981): Three cows, 10,000 bales of hay and 3,000 bales of straw were destroyed at the Viney
Farms, two miles east of Cooksville, Saturday afternoon. Evansville and Edgerton fire units were called to the
scene around 3:15 to battle the blaze, which caused $100,000 damage in freezing and windy weather.
Evansville firemen were at the scene for about seven hours. Other buildings on the farm were not damaged.
20 Years Ago (1991): The Eager Free Public Library was one of two libraries in the state of Wisconsin to be
chosen to receive a $5,000 award from the American Bicentennial President Inaugural Committee. Bobby
Holt, Co-Chairman of the Inaugural Committee, in a telephone call, said that there were funds remaining from
the inaugural celebration and they were distributing the funds to two libraries in each state. The award letter
stated, “One of the tenets of the Bush Administration has been that community service and the efforts of
individual citizens can significantly improve our communities and our nation. Groups like the Eager Free
Public Library actively and successfully testify to this belief. Accepting the award were Board President Diana
Eager, Board members Susan Kruser, Kathy Wonders, Rev. Bill Walker and Janet Petterson, and Library
Director Ruth Ann Montgomery.
10 years ago (2001): Candidates for Evansville City Council for the April 2001 election are: Bill Hammann in
Ward 1; Tom Cothard, Ward 2; and incumbent Diane Roberts and Barb Eggum in Ward 3. Ron Handley and
Kyle Hanek also took out papers, but did not return them by the deadline. In Ward 4 there are two
candidates, John Sornson and Angela Tesch.
Second Week of January 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): A division of the Sons of Temperance was instituted in Evansville on Friday evening
last, to the number of sixteen ladies and gentlemen. The officers chosen for the present term are I. A. Hoxie,
E. W. Stearns, C. K. Landon, C. B. Bigelow, F. M. Treat, Geo. Ballard, Harrison Hayward, V. High, W. H.
Vanhise, L. Palmer, E. P. Harvey and E. Bemis. The order has done millions for man’s moral redemption; its
mission is unfinished. As an instrument of social means to reach a social evil, there is none better adopted to
the work than the Sons of Temperance.
130 Years Ago (1881): Mr. Daniel Johnson has recently purchased from G. A. Ballard, the Widow Clark farm
of 100 acres between Union and Cooksville, paying therefore $3,750, or at the rate of $37.50 per acre. He
has arranged for an annual rentage of 5 per cent per annum and taxes with his son David, whose farm lies
120 Years Ago (1891): The beautiful stained glass windows for the M. E. Church were unpacked this morning
and they are all that one could expect in this line. They are certainly the handsomest and most costly
windows that were ever brought to this place. The one large circular window purchased by the W.C.T.U. with
the portrait of the babe Jesus in its mother’s lap engraved thereon, to be placed in the front, is a beauty and
110 Years Ago (1901): Hon. Almeron Eager, our Assemblyman is now actively engaged in the works of the
Legislature and is pleasantly located at Park Hotel, Madison, where he will be pleased to meet his constituents
at any time. Badger Telephone No. 60 or Assembly telephone will reach him.
100 Years Ago (1911): Herman, Charles and Albert Kleinsmith returned last Saturday to their homes in
Sheboygan, having spent several days here with their brothers John and Wm. The five brothers had not
been together in 24 years, and as there was not much likelihood of their getting together again soon, they
went up to Combs’ studio and sat for a group picture.
90 Years Ago (1921): Edward Reese, age seventy-seven died at his home in Evansville, Jan. 8th, after a
brief illness. He was united in marriage to Jane Swancutt in 1866 and came to America in 1867 making their
home on a farm until ten years ago, when they moved to Evansville. Eleven children were born to this union.
The mother and eight children survive him. The children are Mrs. Sarah J. Finn, Mrs. Mary E. Browne, William
E. and Watson G. Reese, all of Evansville, Wis., Mrs. Nettie E. Jordan, Hawkeye, Iowa, Boyd T. Reese,
Marshall, Minn. Spencer P. Reese, Neillsville, Wis., Abbie E. Newman, Juda, Wis. Three have preceded him;
Mrs. Margaret A. Bump, John B. and Bert R. Reese. Besides these he leaves twenty-two grandchildren and
four great grandchildren, one brother, and one sister. He was a kind husband and loving father, a good
neighbor, always taking a keen interest in business and public affairs. He was a faithful member of the Baptist
Church for forty-two years, always leading a clean temperate life.
80 Years Ago (1931): Ivan Krueger was elected president to succeed Donald Rowald at the regular meeting
of the Magnolia 4-H Club held Friday night in Dougherty’s hall. Lee George was named vice president; Lillie
Dougherty, secretary; Myrtle Rowald, treasurer; and Elizabeth Howard, reporter. Mrs. Harold Klusmeyer and
Mrs. Grant Howard will serve as directors for the ensuing year.
70 Years Ago (1941): Evansville High’s cagers scored their second victory of the season Friday night when
they romped away with the long end of a 41 to 38 count from Edgewood Academy, Madison, in a nip and tuck
battle on their home court. The encounter was featured by the sharp shooting of Marvin Luchsinger, who was
high scorer with 16 points made on seven baskets and two charity tosses, and Gordon Jorgensen who was
next in line with 13 points from six goals and one free throw.
60 Years Ago (1951): Mrs. Carl Spersrud entertained six girls Friday at a supper party in honor of the 10th
birthday of her daughter, Ruth Ellen. Guests were Mary Lynn Estes, Karen Bennett, Margaret Saunders,
Sandra Holz and Karren Algrim.
50 Years Ago (1961): Both outside toilets at the Tullar School, rural Evansville were damaged and the
mailbox was ripped from its post. The damage was discovered Sunday by James Koeneman, Rte. 1,
Evansville. At the Pleasant Prairie School, an outbuilding was overturned but no other damage was reported.
Mrs. Kenneth Dunbar, Rte. 1, Evansville, reported the damage which was apparently done about 2:30 a.m.
Sunday. Tire tracks in the school yard matched tracks found at the Tullar School, Rock County Deputies
40 Years Ago (1971): The resignation of Robert C. Kelley as president of the Evansville Board of Education
was accepted at the regular meeting of the school board held Monday night. Mr. Kelley has been transferred
to Turlock, Calif. by the Varco Pruden Co. by which he has been employed in Evansville the past several
years. Gordon Kazda, who has held the position of vice president of the school board here, was named
president and Erwin Zweifel was elected vice president.
30 Years Ago (1981): Some ½ million lbs. of steel will be coming down in Evansville this year, as work
contracts will be let in April to remove the viaduct which has been a part of the Evansville scene for the past
50 years. Work is expected to begin in mid-May and continue for most of the summer.
20 Years Ago (1991): Tara Bradley, daughter of Joseph and Roberta Bradley, route 2, Evansville, has been
named recipient of the DAR “Good Citizen Award” for the 1990-91 school year, according to Randy Keister,
Guidance Counselor at Evansville High School.
10 years ago (2001): Russell Jeske, representing the 30-year-old Evansville Sno Devils Club, presented a
$500 donation to the fire fighters. The donation is to be applied toward the purchase of the Digital Thermal
Third Week of January 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Wm. Leedle informed us that he had come to Evansville to take charge of Messrs.
Nicholas & Bevier’s mill. Mr. Leedle is long and favorably known to this community, and his work has stood the
test of experience, and those qualified to judge of good work—the public. He has made milling the study of
his whole life; having first learned the business in England, and for nearly twenty years, in this country, he has
given it the closest attention; besides, he has a skill for the business that cannot be fully acquired by practice
130 Years Ago (1881): Some of our people have been to Chicago and have seen the enormous fish, called a
whale, there on exhibition. The whale is sixty feet in length, weighing 40 tons, has jaws 14 feet long, and
smiles a smile 20 feet in extent. He was caught in the Atlantic, harpooned, and towed to Boston, his entrails
taken out and then transported on flat cars to Chicago, where he is now on exhibition.
120 Years Ago (1891): Some of the post masters object to trying the free delivery system in small places for
fear of cutting down the revenue of the offices from box rent.
110 Years Ago (1901): Small pox is raging throughout this state and Michigan. Physicians declare that
unless steps are taken towards vaccination, the disease will spread rapidly and constantly take on a more
fatal form. Local physicians have been unusually busy the past week vaccinating those who are fearful of
100 Years Ago (1911): There was a double wedding at the Catholic Church at Albany early this morning, Jan.
18, when Miss Helen Dunphy was married to Mr. George Mullen, of Milton Junction, and Miss Estelle Dunphy
became the bride of Mr. Bailey, of Lawrence S., D., in the presence of a great many relatives and friends of
these young people. The young ladies are the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dunphy, who are old
residents and well-to-do citizens of the town of Magnolia, in this county, and both are well known and are
highly esteemed by all who are acquainted with them, and all these newly married people have the best
wishes of hosts of friends for their future welfare and success in life.
90 Years Ago (1921): Sales in excess of $1,400,000 were made by the Baker Manufacturing Company of
Evansville during 1920. The company manufactures windmills, pumps, cylinders, tanks, gasoline engines,
feed grinders and pump jacks and has been established since 1873. Looking forward in the present year, J.
Baker, President, declares that he expects a light business during the first few months but that he believes
prices will soon stabilize on a lower level and business will go ahead as usual. No changes in the number
employed or in buildings are planned.
80 Years Ago (1930): Clarence Franklin was re-elected chairman at a meeting of the Farm Bureau of Union
township held Thursday afternoon in the Union church. Kenneth Gilbertson was named secretary and H. A.
Knapp was chosen as delegate to the annual county meeting. It was decided by the 25 members in
attendance that the bureau hold more regular meetings during the coming year.
70 Years Ago (1941): Evansville’s first draftees will begin their service in the United States Army under the
selective service law, Friday, Jan. 24, when Richard R. Jennings 25; Eugene M. Harrison, 22; and Hillis A.
Buxton, 30 will depart for Beloit from where they will leave at 6:15 by train for the Richards Street Armory at
Milwaukee. Buxton, son of Mrs. Flossie Buxton, this city is a machinist; Harrison, son of Claude Harrison,
Beloit, a laborer employed here by Delbert Zwickey, local automobile wrecker; and Jennings, a farmer.
60 Years Ago (1951): Evansville’s Congregational Church has just been named “Church of the Year” by
Wisconsin Congregational Church Life, the publication of the church in the state. The award, which the
church here shares with the Neilsville Church, was made because of the activity of the church committees and
the extensive remodeling program which has been completed this year. The story calls attention to this
church’s efforts to play its part in world and community life. The recondition of the physical plant was financed
out of a “Century Memorial Fund” and included the purchase of a new organ, installation of a chancel,
rebuilding church pews so as to make a center aisle possible, a new lighting system, and renewed floors and
painted walls in every part of the church. The plans also called for changing the red brick exterior to gleaming
white, and appropriate landscaping. The plans were carried out and with a balance in the Century Fund it
was decided to add a set of chimes to the church tower.
50 Years Ago (1961): Mrs. Arvid Romstad installed the 1961 officers of the ALCW on Thursday Jan. 12. The
following ladies took office: President, Mrs. Otto Klug; vice-president, Mrs. Howard Norby; secretary, Mrs. Alf
Algrim; treasurer, Mrs. Marian Erickson; stewardship secretary, Mrs. Merlin Reese; education secretary, Mrs.
Ray Rosen; publicity, Mrs. Leonard Finn.
40 Years Ago (1971): Despite the severe cold weather and large amount of snow, work on the new nursing
home is progressing. Most of the roof is on and with a blower in each of the four wings to warm the sections,
workmen are continuing their construction on the inside. Some of the concrete floors have been poured and
the completion of tarring the roof will be accomplished as the weather permits. It is expected that late spring
or early summer will see the completion and occupancy of the building.
30 Years Ago (1981): Leonard P. Eager flew to Minneapolis Saturday January 10 to take part in the initiation
ceremonies of the Sigma Chi fraternity, where his youngest grandson, Steve Eager, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alan
Eager, was initiated as a member. Leonard P. Eager was himself initiated into Sigma Chi in 1913 at Colorado
College, Colorado Springs, where he was a member of the class of 1916.
20 Years Ago (1991): Tim Kruser, 11, and his parents, Glenn and Susan Kruser, attended the Milwaukee
Bucks vs the Orlando Magic game last Friday night at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Before the game
began, Tim was asked to be the contestant in the Hardee’s Hot Shot Contest. Time was required to make
three shots in 30 seconds; a short shot from the lane, a shot from the free throw line, and a three-pointer.
Tim successfully completed the shots in front of a crowd of 17,000 with five seconds to spare. He won a
Bucks t-shirt, socks, basketball, cap, sweater and jacket, an NBA encyclopedia and other assorted souvenirs.
10 years ago (2001): Ron Grovesteen, Evansville High School Head Coach, has been named as one of this
year’s fifteen inductees into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Grovesteen will be
inducted at the WFCA’s annual banquet, March 31. In Middleton.
Fourth Week of January 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Report of School Dist. No. 6, Town of Albany, Green Co., Wis. For the month ending
Jan. 14, 1871: Whole number enrolled during month, 55; Average daily attendance, 51; Roll of Honor (this
comprises names of pupils perfect in conduct and recitation) Maria Finn, Edda Finn, Franc Cummins, Maggie
Reese, Ellen Reese, Lydia Phillips, Phila Chase, Clark Chase, Frank Chase, Bridget Dunphy, Esther Flint,
Aaron Flint, Arthur Ingram, Julia Croak, John Price, Willie Price, Marcella Walrath, Vivne Holmes, Lee Holmes.
J. Boyd Jones, Teacher.
130 Years Ago (1881): The Wisconsin State Tobacco Growers Association will hold a meeting at the Town
Hall in Evansville, on Saturday next, Feb. 4th at 1 o’clock. All tobacco growers are invited to attend. The
object of the association is, we believe, to secure by co-operation and general exchange of ideas on improved
methods of cultivation and handling the crop to the end that better prices may be obtained and a better
reputation of tobacco of this state.
120 Years Ago (1891): John Broderick sold his livery stable to become the Iowa agent for the Baker
Manufacturing Company. He sold his homestead goods at auction Saturday afternoon and will leave
Evansville for his new field in a few days.
110 Years Ago (1901): More than thirty guests, relatives and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. R. Patterson and
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Morrison, met at the home of Mr. Patterson on Jug Prairie, Wednesday evening Jan. 23,
1901 to witness the marriage of Miss Elsie Maude Patterson to Geo. B. Morrison. At 8 p.m. Rev. M. C. Miner
spoke the words that made them husband and wife, after which all partook of an extraordinary dinner which
had been prepared for the occasion. The groomsman and bridesmaid were F. W. Morrison, brother of the
groom and Dora E. Ballard, sister to the bride.
100 Years Ago (1911): The freight department of the Chicago & North Western Railway are very busy
judging from the movement of trains, for on Thursday 276 freight cars passed this station inside of two hours.
90 Years Ago (1921): Miss Corrine Murwin, who attends Teachers Training school in Janesville has been
home the past week on account of illness.
80 Years Ago (1931): A 4-H club will be organized in Porter township at a special meeting to be held at 8 p.
m., Jan. 30 in the Wilder rural school house, five miles northeast of the city. In that there is no 4-H club in the
township at the present time, all parents and children interested in the work are urged to attend the meeting.
Among the leaders chosen for the various projects are Mrs. Warren Porter, baking club; Warren Porter,
sheep club; John Knutson, calf club; and Lloyd Porter, garden and potato club. Miss Ellen Dutton is the
director and Mrs. Warren Porter, the assistant director.
70 Years Ago (1941): Peter Templeton, prominent Evansville farmer, has been chosen one of 30 approved
judges in the United States by the Percheron Horse Association which will provide each exposition of state fair
rank next summer with a competent official for its 1941 Percheron show. The judges are acquainted with the
type of Percheron toward which breeders are working today and the exhibitors, as a whole, feel satisfied that
they are competent to judge their horses.
60 Years Ago (1951): Miss Constance Mayre Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Clark, Evansville,
became the bride of Francis Erdman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Erdman, also of Evansville in a candle light
ceremony performed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, in St. John’s Lutheran church. The Rev. A. M. Romstad,
pastor, read the service.
50 Years Ago (1961): The mayor and members of the Council will meet informally next Tuesday night with
residents in the Walker street area, with discussion of possible annexation of this to the city as the main topic.
The meeting will be held at the City Hall, and is not a formal one, the sole object being talks of an exploratory
nature about the possibility of bringing the south side of Walker street into the city.
40 Years Ago (1971): Three young men were arrested early Saturday in Evansville and charged with breaking
and entering the Roberts liquor store. All were from Evansville. A night patrolman had spotted the men
wandering around the liquor store and entering the alley. He called Russell Cook, night dispatcher, who saw
at least one youth enter the store. Two were picked up a short time later by Officer Albright and the third one
later by Officer Whitmore at their apartment.
30 Years Ago (1981): About 100 neighbors and friends attended the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Mr. and
Mrs. Ed Erpenbach held Sunday afternoon in St. Paul’s Catholic Church here. Six of their seven children
were here. Richard, who is serving with the armed forces in Germany was not able to attend. Miss Alyce
Erpenbach of Blodgett, Oregon, is remaining for a longer visit and will leave Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. William
Reich and family returned to their home in Herculaneum, Mo. Sunday evening.
20 Years Ago (1991): Many businesses and homes are supporting the Evansville personnel now engaged in
Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, by displaying yellow ribbons. Many area people have loved ones
in the operation and since war was declared, they anxiously follow the news and await word from their service
people, just as the whole nation does.
10 years ago (2001): Last Thursday’s game at Brodhead ended with a 63 to 53 victory for the Evansville Blue
Devils, keeping their conference undefeated lead 6-0. Justin Jacobsma is credited with five of the 16 free
throws in the fourth quarter. Coach Duane Updike states the team has done some things in practice to
improve their free throw shooting. Don Wendt led the Blue Devils with 17 points, including 10 in the fourth