Evansville Wisconsin news
First Week of January 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): The Dramatic Association gave the play “Down by the Sea” to a full house again
on Thursday evening, and followed it by a farce, “The Goose that laid the Golden Egg.” But little time was
given for preparation, but the play was well performed, and the actors acquitted themselves with credit to
the Association. Two or three more plays will be presented during the winter. The Quarterly election of
officers took place with the following results: Dr. E. W. Beebe, Manager, George D. Potter, Ass’t Manager,
D. C. Griswold, Secretary, P. C. Wilder Treasurer. It was voted to have another play in three weeks.
130 Years Ago (1885): Some thirty-six persons, business men of Evansville have joined in a
complimentary to Mr. W. F. Williams for his past efficient services in Evansville, and also congratulate him
upon his new official relation that of county clerk, which position he enters upon next Monday. Had the
communication reached this office in season we would have given it publication, as it is, we join in the
concurrence of others in a hearty appreciations of the efficient services of Mr. Williams as marshal, street
commissioner, sexton et. al.
120 Years Ago (1895): On Monday evening Miss Alice E. Steele and Mr. Oliver C. Morris were married at
the Congregational parsonage. Only a few friends were present on the occasion. Miss Elizabeth
Scholfield acting as bridesmaid and Mr. Thos. A. Steele, brother of the bride, as best man. The Rev. J.
Scholfield performed the ceremony. The happy couple left by the 10 p.m. train for Madison. Miss Steele is
one of our best known and highly respected business ladies and has the hearty congratulations of a host
110 Years Ago (1905): There was no attempt to have special open houses New Years day for callers.
That fashion seems to have died out in this city and we failed to note any difference between that day and
100 Years Ago (1915): Mr. and Mrs. E. B. McCoy entertained forty-four guests for a Xmas dinner, the out
of town guests being Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mattice, of Footville; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Edwards and family, of
Beloit; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Wolcotte, Mr. and Mrs. G. L. McCoy, Mr. and Mrs. Thom Harper and son,
Merritte, of Magnolia and Mr. and Mrs. Will Hollibush and family, Mr. and Mrs. Charley Chantry and family,
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Edwards and daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Woodstock and family, Mr. and Mrs. Rob
McCoy and son, all of this place.
90 Years Ago (1925): This year the business men of Evansville are unanimous in stating that the
Christmas trade just closed has been the best since the close of the war. In some lines of trade, like
electrical supplies, it is stated that the trade this season was different, from the fact that not nearly he
number of smaller pieces, like toasters were sold, the trade calling for more expensive pieces like vacuum
cleaners and piano lamps. Taken as a whole the Evansville merchants are pleased with the outlook for
the coming year and several of them are already taking stock so as to be ready for what they consider will
be a prosperous business in 1925.
80 Years Ago (1935): In preparation for a ski tournament to be held in the near future, the Evansville Ski
club is erecting a new slide on the Riley Searles farm located two miles northeast of the city. The
afternoon’s program will include a series of skiing events with experts competing from all parts of southern
Wisconsin. Harvey Brunsell is president of the ski club; Hans Haakenson, Jr. secretary; and Chester
70 Years Ago (1945): At the annual stockholders meeting of Union Bank & Trust Company held Tuesday,
January 9th, H. Fred Brunsell, E. E. Denison, Forrest T. Durner and E. B. Libby were reelected directors
and the following officers were reelected.: President, Leonard P. Eager, Vice President, E. E. Denison and
Cashier, Forrest T. Durner. In 1944 over $429,000 of war bonds were sold to the bank’s customers and
friends in this community. One of the interesting services which the bank anticipates will be its cooperation
through a sympathetic attitude toward returning veterans under the G. I. Bill of Rights by which loans will
be available to servicemen and women.
60 Years Ago (1955): That Big Bird: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vielhuber announce the arrival of a daughter,
born Jan. 1 at Stoughton hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Asmus are the parents of a daughter born Jan. 4, in
Stoughton hospital and Mr. and Mrs. Earl Pierce announce the arrival of a daughter, born Tuesday, Jan. 4
50 Years Ago (1965): Miss Jane L. Willoughby, the daughter of Claude E. Willoughby, Evansville and
Ronald Lee Pierce, son of the late Earl and Mrs. Earl Pierce, also of Evansville, were married at 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 26, in the First Congregational Church here. The Rev. Alan J. Kromholz read the service.
Mr. and Mrs. Pierce will make their home in Japan.
40 Years Ago (1975): The ice skating rink on Lake Leota has been a popular place during the school
vacation. Good weather has prevailed, making it possible to remain outdoors for quite a while before
seeking out the warming house. The warming house has been open afternoons and evenings for a few
hours each day during the vacation. When school resumes the warming house will be open from about 3:
30 to 6 p.m. The warming house will also be open on the weekends in the afternoon and evening for a few
30 Years Ago (1985): Shelley Miller Meredith of Evansville was featured in the Look section of the
Wisconsin State Journal on Thursday, Dec. 20. A large color photo of her shows her modeling a Jayna
sweater. The sweater can be found at Woldenberg’s, where Mrs. Meredith is a model.
20 Years Ago (1995): Expansion at the Evansville Manor, which was begun this summer has moved right
along and is nearing completion. The new wing on the building will house increased and improved
technical programs along with extended therapy activity.
10 years ago (2005): There will be a meeting on Wed. Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. of the Evansville Home Talent
Baseball Team. Players are required and the public is welcome. Home Talent Baseball is an adult amateur
baseball league in south-central Wisconsin. Evansville once had a team back in the 1970s and 80s.
There is now a group of people trying to start a new franchise in Evansville for the 2005 season. Currently
they are recruiting players, sponsors and fans to support their efforts. Please contact Jon Frey 882-4626
for more information or visit the home site www.evansville.hometalent.org
Second Week of January 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): Pullen & Wilder have their store crowded full of new goods which we want it
distinctly understood, are to be sold at extremely low figures. Our dress goods department is unusually
large and attractive. Don’t fail to examine our dress goods. We also have the largest and best assortment
of Yankee notions in town, consisting of laces and inserting, ladies and gents’ neck wear, parasols,
corsets, hosiery, kid and Lisle Thread gloves, belts, dress buttons of all descriptions and a large stock of
ribbons, at reduced prices. Our grocery department is stocked with a full line of sugars, coffees, syrups,
spices, tobacco, soaps, etc. A large stock of teas bought direct from the importers, thereby saving a profit
to the consumer. Come and see us.
130 Years Ago (1885): Mr. Morse, taxidermist and Will Campbell, shootist, have been busy several days
mounting a fine large deer, killed by the latter at his late hunt in Minnesota, for a sign to adorn the meat
market of Campbell & son. The expense of mounting will be about $25, and when completed will be worth
120 Years Ago (1895): Wednesday evening the M. E. Sunday school elected the following officers: O. F.
Shepard, Supt.; Mrs. Gleaves, Assistant Supt.; Miss Ida Young, Sec.; Miss Lizzie Antes, Treas.; Mr. H.
Benny, Chorister; Mr. Edgar Smith, Assistant Chorister; Cora Harris, Organist; Blanche Barnard, Librarian.
In the appointment of Sunday school teachers but very few changes were made. There are 28 regular
teachers. Five supply teachers were appointed, making a total of 33 teachers.
110 Years Ago (1905): Robert Krieger, who was recently taken to the county hospital, from this city,
thought to have been suffering with glanders, died Thursday afternoon, Jan. 12th. While the consensus of
medical opinion was that the man had contracted glanders while skinning dead horses, this fact has not
been determined and his case still remains shrouded in mystery. He was buried yesterday on the county
100 Years Ago (1915): The annual meeting of T. L. Sutphen, Post No. 41, G. A. R., resulted in the choice
of A. C. Gray as commander; Charles Wright as S. V., A Fessenden as J. V., Joseph West as O. D., J. W.
Morgan as Q. M., W. H. Walker as chaplin, A. Ten Eyck as O. G., John Tullar as adjutant.
90 Years Ago (1925): Awakened from a sound sleep at 1:00 o’clock in the morning to answer the call of a
stranded tourist for gasoline, and then to find himself looking to the business end of a pair of “Six Guns”
was an experience that came to W. C. Ford, proprietor of the Leyden store early Tuesday morning. Under
the pretense that they were out of gasoline three strangers called the proprietor of the store to the door of
his residence back of the store, and while covering him with guns made him open his cash register. Not
finding any money there, they forced him to open the safe and give them the cash it contained, amounting
to $100. They tore out both the Evansville and Janesville phones, so that police of neighboring towns
could not be notified of the robbery. The case is probably another automobile robbery that will go down in
police history as unsolvable.
80 Years Ago (1935): Ward Nordquist, manager of the Rex theatre, has learned a new lesson, not to play
with monkeys! While teasing one of the animals which was recently performing at the theatre, he was
painfully bitten through the flesh and into the bone of his left hand.
70 Years Ago (1945): Plans are being completed here this week by the William Smith and Son Tobacco
Warehouse officials to open next Monday morning for several months season of assorting and sizing
tobacco purchased in this locality. It is expected that about 45 local men and women will be employed
throughout the season. After the leaves have been assorted and sized they are packed in boxes and
shipped to an eastern firm.
60 Years Ago (1955): The local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, holding its meetings at 11 ½ S.
Madison St. will be visited by a special representative of the Watchtower Bible & Tract society. Each
person will receive window decals advising everyone that all items of value on the premises have been
marked for ready identification by law enforcement agencies.
50 Years Ago (1965): Many skaters were on hand Sunday afternoon as the mild weather tempted them to
spend several hours on the ice on Lake Leota. With no snow on the slopes the activity was centered on
the ice with the little ones enjoying sleds and flopping while the older ones enjoyed the skating.
40 Years Ago (1975): Ronald G. Stickney preached his first sermon in the local Seventh-day Adventist
Church Dec. 30, as the new associate pastor to J. L. Ray, who cares for the Evansville-Madison district.
30 Years Ago (1985): Honor roll students from Evansville at UW-Whitewater are: Leora Fessenfeld,
Angela Flood, Kathryn Jeans, Dena Knapp, Michael Meister, Thomas Petterson, and Mark Tomlin.
20 Years Ago (1995): One of the traditions at Evansville high School, as part of the POPS program, is that
each teacher/staff member, on their birthday, gets a visit from members of the choir who wish them happy
birthday with both a song and two huge blueberry muffins. Two weeks ago, Marsha Dobbs received a visit
from members of the choir to help her celebrate.
10 years ago (2005): This week will observe the 5th Annual Statewide Recognition of Adult Crossing
Guards. The Evansville schools along with the children who attend extend recognition of their own to the
following adults who “rain or shine, and snow, snow, snow” come to their posts each morning and
afternoon to see them safely across! Crossing guards are Bonita Hrdlicka, Melissa Crider, Jean Bongard,
Michael Steuck, Bob Reigle and Danielle Letenye. Volunteers at Theodore Robinson Intermediate are Jim
Tway and Lynn Olson. Substitute crossing guards are Becky Milulaj and Lennie Gray.
Third Week of January 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): Mr. John Dawson lost a good cow, by its going to the millpond for water, and
slipping into a hole made by taking out ice. The animal was taken out alive, but so completely chilled that it
died shortly afterwards.
130 Years Ago (1885): The directors of the Tack Company under the new organization, are Caleb
Snashall, A. C. Gray, A. S. Baker, S. J. Baker, A. Eager. The stock holders met and elected the following
officers: A. C. Gray, president; C. H. Spencer, secretary; W. H. H. Johnson, treasurer; S. J. Baker,
superintendent. The company is well organized and is running with a good show for business.
120 Years Ago (1895): Mr. William Libby is hauling stone for his new residence to be erected on the
corner of Garfield Ave. And First St. He purposes to build a cottage with most modern improvements and
will begin as soon as the weather will permit.
110 Years Ago (1905): Mrs. G. C. Van Wormer developed a case of croup last Tuesday night, sufficiently
severe to keep her physician and family working over her all night. She is well again.
100 Years Ago (1915): The Girl’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Congregational Church met this week
with Mrs. D. Q. Grabill. The officers as follows were elected for the ensuing year: Miss Mildred Cain,
President; Miss Dorothy Axtell, Vice President; Miss Dorothy Hansen, Secretary; Miss Beth Weaver,
Treasurer; Miss Charlene Doolittle, Organist.
90 Years Ago (1925): Mrs. Leo Campbell, of the town of Union, had the distinction Monday of being the
first lady guest of the Commercial Club at its Noon luncheon. Mrs. Campbell is collecting the Town of
Union taxes, having been appointed to take the place of her deceased husband. There is talk of the Club
arranging for a ladies’ table at its noon luncheons so that the lady clerks and stenographers may take
advantage of the fine lunch offered by the club.
80 Years Ago (1935): Miss Isabel Crocker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Crocker who reside three
miles northwest of the city in Union township, has been engaged as second grade teacher in the city public
schools here to succeed Miss Alice Dana who resigned three weeks ago to accept a position as third
grade teacher in the Platteville public schools. The appointment of Miss Crocker to fill the vacancy was
made at a special meeting of the Board of Education here last week and was announced officially Saturday
morning by Supt. J. C. McKenna. Miss Crocker, a graduate of the Brooklyn high school and the State
Teachers’ College, Milwaukee, will assume her new duties here at the beginning of the second semester.
She has taught at the Franklin rural school six miles northeast of Evansville and also in the graded school
70 Years Ago (1945): Mrs. Orville Christianson, formerly Miss Evelyn Ringhand, received word
Wednesday that her husband has received the Purple Heart for injuries received in overseas army duty.
He is located somewhere in France. He entered the armed forces in Oct., 1942 and went overseas last
60 Years Ago (1955): The city council Monday night unanimously approved a motion to go ahead with
planning the details of a remodeling job on the city hall for the purpose of combining the offices of the city
clerk, the water and light commission, and the police department. The proposed remodeling will be done
in such a way as to include the reinforcement of the present sagging beam in the meeting room of the city
50 Years Ago (1965): As the final date for the filing of nomination papers for city offices and county
supervisors approaches, there seems to be little interest shown in the spring election. The final date is 5 p.
m. Tuesday Jan. 26. Mrs. C. L. Conroy is the only alderman aspirant who had filed papers with the city
clerk up to the Tuesday noon of this week. She is the present incumbent in the second ward. Present
incumbents in the first and third wards whose terms expire are Richard Eager and R. H. Gallman. A. M.
Winn, who has served as county supervisor from the second ward here the past several years, has taken
out his papers and they are being circulated. Mr. Gallman’s papers for supervisor in the third ward are
also in circulation.
40 Years Ago (1975): Architect Jerry Dommer of Durant, Deininger, Kramer and Gordon Firm told
Evansville school board members Monday night that the Evansville school buildings are in pretty good
shape, kept up pretty well, and predicted many years of life for the existing buildings. He estimated about
18 years more for the old grade building, but added that many things can be done to extend the life of a
building and in today’s economy this must be done. The old grade building was built in 1921 and already
is more than 50 years old. The middle School building was erected in 1939; the new grade building in
1946; the third street in 1965; the high school building in 1960 and 1963.
30 Years Ago (1985): Mark Hall Bruce, age 71 died Sunday, January 13, 1985 at Rock Prairie Manor
Nursing Home near Johnstown Center. Born April 1, 1913 to Grace May Hall Bruce and Howard A. Bruce
in Evansville. His great-grandfather was Col. George “Popcorn” Hall. He traveled with various road shows
throughout his early life. He and his father had the H. A. Bruce Shows, a small circus show until 1928. In
1935 he and his family founded the Badger Coach Co. in Evansville. It closed in 1963. Mr. Bruce was a
charter member and on the board of governors in Evansville’s Little Theater.
20 Years Ago (1995): Mrs. George Schuh, son Robert and daughter-in-law Sandy left for Australia Nov. 2
and arrived back in America on Dec. 6. Robert wanted to celebrate his 50th birthday where he was born.
The group also was able to go through the same house where they lived 48 years ago. Robert went
scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef and also climbed the great Ayers Rock, highest point in Australia.
10 years ago (2005): Two Evansville snowbirds took their trip South for Christmas to the extreme this
year. Darrell Hamilton and Terry Matt celebrated Christmas day, 2004, at the Ceremonial South Pole,
Antarctica. Both are working at the Pole as part of the research project, Project Ice Cube, at the South
Fourth Week of January 1875-2005
140 Years Ago (1875): We learn that Mr. Chas. Miller, of Cooksville, is contemplating the erection of a
cheese factory in that place in the spring. Mr. B. S. Hoxie doing the work. He offers one cent per pound
for milk; has 150 cows already pledged for the business.
130 Years Ago (1885): Union is again on the increase, A. J. Franklin a girl. Warren Putman, a boy.
120 Years Ago (1895): At the spelling school sociable given at the home of Mr. A. S. Baker, Thursday
evening, Mr. DeCou “spelled down.” As a reward of merit he was given a handsome plate. Mr. James
Powles stood at the foot of the class when school was dismissed, and was given a plate with the alphabet
110 Years Ago (1905): The Telephone company have issued a new directory for 1905 and we find that
there are over 300 patrons in this city besides over one hundred on the farming list.
100 Years Ago (1915): One day last week Mrs. A. C. Gray fell on an icy spot near the library and struck
on her head, suffering quite a painful injury, which necessitated the taking of several stitches. On Friday
afternoon Mrs. J. B. Porter, while going from the library to the Grange store, fell at the same place,
breaking one of the bones in her right wrist and straining it badly. Mrs. Porter has been staying at the
home of Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Richardson since her injury, instead of returning to her home in the country.
After these two women had suffered, this spot was fixed so it would not be so dangerous. For several days
the walks were dangerous in many places and the safest place was the middle of the street.
90 Years Ago (1925): The fire department was called out Tuesday noon to extinguish a fire at the Charles
Johnson property on Almeron street, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Tomlin. The fire is supposed to
have been caused by a spark from the chimney and had gained considerable headway before the
department reached it. Four streams of water, however soon brought it under control, but not before the
building and contents were badly damaged. The damage to the building is estimated $2,000 and the
damage to Mr. Tomlin’s furniture and rugs from fire and water is fully half that much. The firemen done
quick, good work, and but for their efforts both building and contents would have been a total loss.
80 Years Ago (1935): The following pupils of the second grade have been present the whole semester:
Rolland Allen, Albert Apfel, George Dreher, Robert Gallman, Reuben Golz, Eugene Hartl, Byron Holmes,
Arthur Jorgenson, Robert Jorgenson, Donald Kirkpatrick, Orville Lange, Robert Snyder, Beverly Allen,
Betty Brown, Iva Mae Covert, Mary Lou Dawes, Harriet Graham, Ann Guilfoyle, Shirley Luchsinger, Joyce
Meredith, Peggy Morrison, Barbara Thompson, Jean Wolff and Betty Sperry.
70 Years Ago (1945): Pfc. Floyd Main, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Main, this city, has been awarded the
bronze star for meritorious achievement in the armed forces. He received a similar award about a year
ago. Pfc. Main is now in a hospital in the Hawaiian Islands recovering from wounds he suffered in battle in
the South Pacific theater of war. He has sent his Purple Heart, awarded to him for injuries received, home
to his parents. He has been in the army for more than two years.
60 Years Ago (1955): The stolen 1955 Chevrolet of Oliver Franklin has been found in Stoughton recently
and returned. The car had been driven 300 miles since its disappearance, but it was apparently
undamaged when returned to Franklin. The car, stolen from the Franklin garage on Highway 59 New Year’
s day, was discovered by Franklin’s brother, Robert, who spotted it on a Stoughton street while en route to
the home of his father-in-law, Henry Moe. He reported the discovery to the Rock County sheriff’s office,
which is now trying to discover the identity of the thief.
50 Years Ago (1965): Interest in the spring election appears to be increasing in Evansville. At the
present time there are supervisor and alderman candidates in all the three wards. Richard Eager, present
county supervisor and city alderman in the first ward, has filed papers for re-election as supervisor. He is
not a candidate for alderman. Gordon Milbrandt has filed papers for the aldermanic post in the ward. R.
H. Gallman, who is currently third ward alderman and supervisor is seeking re-election for the latter office.
Charles Nordeng is a candidate for alderman in the ward.
40 Years Ago (1975): Half of the population of Evansville was under the age of 30 years when the census
was taken in 1970, according to a study made by Dr. Shyam S. Bhatia, professor of Geography at the
University of Wisconsin. Dr. Bhatia has profiled with bar graphs the population of each community in
Wisconsin with a population of 2,500 or more. His study shows the median age for Evansville to be 30.24
years, this age being the point where there are as many residents above that age as there are below. It
also shows that 29.58 percent of the population is under the age of 15; 12.93 percent is 65 years of age
and older; 48.36 per cent are male residents and 51.64 per cent are female residents. These
percentages are based on a 1970 population of 2,992 persons.
30 Years Ago (1985): The Evansville Jaycees will be honoring several again this year at their annual
Awards Banquet. Named for the Distinguished Service Award is Marsha Dobbs. The Outstanding Farm
Couple is Mr. and Mrs. Dan Reed; the Outstanding Young individual is Greg Whitmore; and the
Outstanding Educator is Harold “Butch” Beedle.
20 Years Ago (1995): Total new construction in 1994 included 37 new houses and one new duplex. The
average price of construction was $72,584. Commercial construction of $865,000 included one 5 unit
apartment addition and one 3-unit new building; one 4-unit new building; one mini warehouses and the
Manor addition for physical therapy $273,000 and one new commercial building (Davis) for $122,000.
10 years ago (2005): Evansville’s first and only coffee house is about to turn one year old. Real Coffee’s
proprietors Susan Finque and Maria Martinez are throwing a party to show their appreciation to the town of
Evansville. There will be live music from Evansville’s own Irish trio, Larkin’ with special guest harpist Turner