First Week of July 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): We have favorable information regarding the crops in this section. Wheat has been
injured but slightly by rust, but many fields show the presence of smut in considerable quantities. Without doubt
there will be more than an average yield of wheat, while rye, barley, oats and corn promise an abundance
unprecedented during the last decade. The rye and barley harvest has already begun and wheat will be ready
to out in two or three weeks. Cinch bugs are working in some of the fields, but their operations are not general.
130 Years Ago (1881): The adjourned session of the Rock County Circuit Court has been occupied the past
week in trying the contested will case of Daniel Wadsworth deceased. A large number of witnesses attend from
this place, some testifying one way and some another, to the infinite amusement of all and some of them got so
muddled that they did not know which side they were testifying on. They ceased taking testimony Friday and
was turned over to the lawyers Tuesday morning. The jury, after being out a couple of hours, decided that no
will had been made on the ground of incompetency of the testator.
120 Years Ago (1891): Our people will have to compose themselves as best they can and remain in darkness
about four weeks longer. The dynamo that ran the street lights becoming disabled in the storm of June 19 had
to be sent away for repairs or be replaced with a new one, which latter, the company concluded to do, and get
something of an entire different make. The machine that compounds private lights was not injured and is doing
that work all right, and our stores and dwellings share the full glare of the incandescent from early dark until
eleven o’clock at night. The new dynamo has been ordered.
110 Years Ago (1901): A large amount of cement walk is being laid in this city this season. No doubt it is the
best for all purposes now in use but some complain even of this being very slippery when covered with ice. Are
not all walks very slippery when covered with ice? We think the same protection of salt and ashes in a slippery
time will avoid accident upon cement walks the same as those built of any other material.
100 Years Ago (1911): Madison Chief of Police Shaughnessy has appointed Clarence H. Bullard as patrolman.
Mr. Bullard has been in the employ of the Southern Wisconsin Railway company as motorman for more than
three years. He is 34 years old and is married. Mr. Bullard was born in this city and grew to manhood under the
inspiring influences of this educational center. He is a young man having many friends who expect to hear of his
steady advance. He is a member of Evansville lodge No. 56, K. P.
90 Years Ago (1921): Last Monday morning, while crossing the Main street crossing of the Chicago &
Northwestern railroad, Fred Brunsell came near to a very serious accident. The time was at six-thirty, before the
flagman had come on duty and Mr. Brunsell, not hearing the approach of train No. 507, came so near being
caught by the approaching engine that he jumped from the car to save himself, letting his auto run. Both he and
the car were missed by the train just by a hair, the car running into Mr. Brunsell’s own building, where it stopped
with but little damage.
80 Years Ago (1931): Construction on the much discussed viaduct over the Northwestern railroad crossing at
the junction of Madison and Union streets has been actively begun and a large crew of men is at work on the
project. Ground for the trestle was broken June 23. The contract for the viaduct was awarded to the H. C.
Brogan company, general contractors, Milwaukee. The successful bid was $81,564 which does not include the
cost of sand and cement, these items being bought by the state on a large contract basis thereby getting a very
low gross commodity price. William Pollock, Milwaukee, is the superintendent in charge of the construction
work. Thirty-two men, selected from the unemployment list, are at work besides the foremen and other help sent
out by the Brogan firm. In order to secure the needed men, the unemployment commission opened an
unemployment bureau here with the result that 152 men registered.
70 Years Ago (1941): Forty-five members of the Hubbard families were guests here Sunday at a picnic dinner
and reunion at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Hubbard and Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Willoughby west of the city.
Following the repast which was served at noon, the afternoon was spent in a social manner.
60 Years Ago (1951): The Fall River Canning company began operations here the latter part of last week
packing peas for wholesale distribution. The company is employing about 160 local men and women and 50
Barbadians and Jamaicans, and it is expected that the run will continue for about four weeks. There are
approximately 650 acres of peas on rented and contracted farms near Evansville
50 Years Ago (1961): Ralph W. Knappenberger, Evansville, who has been an employee of Fisher Body in
Janesville the past nine years, has recently received the maximum award of $5,000 from Fisher for a suggestion
made for more efficient use of existing trim material, an idea that is adaptable for use in other Fisher assembly
plants as well as Janesville. The Knappenberger family resides here at 26 Water Street.
40 Years Ago (1971): Ray Weigand, is the new Vo-Ag instructor at Evansville High School. He has begun his
duties in Evansville during the past couple of weeks and the ag activities are beginning to move. A graduate of
Wisconsin State University at Platteville, he has served the past three years at Seymour High School near Green
Bay. He grew up around the Ft. Atkinson area where his parents are dairy farmers. He and his wife are making
their home in rural Evansville.
30 Years Ago (1981): On July 4th, after the annual parade disbanded, members of Evansville VFW and city
dignitaries, gathered in front of the Eager Free Public Library to dedicate a lasting memorial to those who have
served and given their lives for the freedom of this country. VFW members joined in the effort to set the
memorial in place, using a piece of steel from the non-existent viaduct to add to the meaning of the project.
Francis Cook found the stone on the James Larson farm on Crocker Rd.
20 Years Ago (1991): Baker Manufacturing Co. in Evansville has come up with a new idea in recycling. They
are taking the cans picked up in Evansville and recycling them into needed commodities. Now, the citizens of
Evansville, who rinse the cans, flatten the bottoms and tops and remove the paper labels, can feel good about
doing these steps. Baker Mfg. Co. is able to use about 80 percent of the cans made of steel. Baker Mfg. adds
pig iron, steel and cast scrap, with one and a half percent being steel cans from Evansville. The cans in the mix
are used for castings made by Baker Mfg.
10 years ago (2001): As an ending to another good Businessmen’s Meeting this past Monday evening, local
resident and business owner, Janis Ringhand officially announced she will run for the position of Mayor in the
Spring of 2002 Election.
Second Week of July 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Daniel Johnson our genial California correspondent returned to his Evansville home on
Friday last. He made us a call today leaving a sample of California products which is really refreshing this hot
130 Years Ago (1881): A wedding took place in Cooksville. The parties were a German girl who worked for Mr.
Lineau and her fellow who wanted a wife and “liked her the best of any one he had found.” Mr. Florine
Newboun, of Monroe County, Wisconsin, a farmer who thought it not good to be alone, called on B. S. Hoxie,
Esq., with Miss Victoria Hines, of Porter, Wis. on July 3, with the request that they be made husband and wife,
which of course was done on time, and the happy pair started for their new home the next day.
120 Years Ago (1891): There was placed in the M. E. Church last week one of the finest musical instruments
ever brought to Evansville. On Tuesday evening of last week, a large and delighted audience listened to a
musical recital given by Prof. Falk of Chicago. The church choir also favored the audience with a few selections
which were well received. The trustees of the M. E. church have done themselves proud by putting into their
church that beautiful reed pipe organ.
110 Years Ago (1901): Col. G. W. Hall has purchased Mrs. Hawley’s old house and is having it moved from
West Main Street to North Madison Street near the creek. With the removal of the old tenement house from Mrs.
Hawley’s east lot goes one of the old landmarks of the city. It was built long ago in a nursery covering two blocks
owned by Jacob West. Its strong frame of sturdy oak stood its journey well. [Note: Mrs. Ellen Hawley owned the
house at 263 West Main and the lot to the east of the house, the site of Jacob West’s house.]
100 Years Ago (1911): A new law making a 55-hour week for women the limit of her employment in this state
went into effect July 6. In compliance with the provisions of this law the city stores employing women will not
open Wednesday evenings, and will close Saturday evenings at 9:30.
90 Years Ago (1921): Fred Wilder, Park Custodian, states that there is a big tourist travel for the northern
lakes at present and that a great many of the travelers to cooler climes stop off at our tourist park and enjoy its
hospitality in the shape of green grass, wooden bottoms for their tents, a stove to cook on with the fuel already
cut and piled along side, and every convenience that the traveling tourist could possibly need, all free of
charge. Mr. Wilder states that the completeness of the park with its fine toilet and lavoratory and other
accommodations is a surprise and a wonder to the tourists and many before they unload their cars want to know
what the charges are going to be, as it seems many cities are charging for the accommodations given the
80 Years Ago (1931): The stop and go traffic signals, recently purchased and installed at the corner of Main
and Madison streets, were put into operation the fore part of the week and have attracted considerable attention
although many local motorists have failed to observe them. When traffic on the street is light and the stop and
go signals are turned off, a yellow light flashes giving drivers warning of an arterial.
70 Years Ago (1941): Girls’ kittenball games will be an added attraction to the softball program here on the park
diamond Sunday evening according to Bernie Christensen, business manager of the kittenball league. The
girls’ game between the Sox and the Yanks teams, both of which are composed of local athletes, will open at 8 p.
m. The Sox group is comprised of Doris Golz, captain, Mildred Allen, Rosalind Shelby, Charlotte Brunsell, Helen
Julseth, Theo June Devine, Forothy Hansen, Darlene Elmer, Ethel Odegaard and Priscilla Hurd. The Yanks
have for their captain, Arlene Golz, whose teammates are Dorothy Brunsell, Arlene Allen, Janet Knudson,
Delores Fraser, Rena Knudson, Ruby Alquist, Georgia Olsen, Helen Gosda and Joyce Bone.
60 Years Ago (1951): Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Otto, Randolph, former Evansville residents spent Saturday looking
after their property. They own the basement house on the corner of Garfield avenue and North Madison Streets.
50 Years Ago (1961): Two students from Evansville visited the University of Wisconsin campus recently to
register for UW studies to be started with the opening of the University’s school year in September. The
students are Gordon Chapman, son of Mrs. Margaret Chapman, 44 Garfield Avenue and Berwyn J. Cadman,
son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Don Cadman, 223 N. 3rd Street.
40 Years Ago (1971): Miss Sandra Gray is touring Germany and other European countries. She joined the tour
at Camp Manitowish from where a group of young people leaves every summer. Miss Anne Brunsell and Miss
Sue Gray took the tour in former years.
30 Years Ago (1981): Four Evansville students attended College for Kids at the UW Center-Rock County
campus in Janesville. The students were Scott Straka, who studied astronomy; Lyle Goding; Amy Sperry,
Creative Drama; and Amy Goding, chemistry.
20 Years Ago (1991): Tom Alisankus, Evansville, Law Enforcement Coordinator at Blackhawk Technical
College, was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin by recently being sworn in at ceremonies held in Madison.
Alisankus is also the municipal justice in Evansville. He indicates the law degree will help him in his work at BTC,
since he can combine legal aspects with law enforcement experience to provide practical insight into police
work. He has four years of police work experience in the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, Casper, WY, as a
patrol sergeant. He started at BTC on Feb. 28, after attending law school at the University of Wyoming,
Laramie. Alisankus and his wife Karla, also an attorney, are expecting their first child in August.
10 years ago (2001): The group of Evansville Seniors, calling themselves “Prime Timers”, visited the last Park
and Recreation Board meeting. President of the group, Pat Kuelz and Secretary Joan Gibbs, both long time
Evansville residents, are active in the group’s efforts to become a non-profit structure. Attending the Park and
Recreation Committee was to attain a Senior Recreation fund donation or at least get a budget for the group.
Third Week of July 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): The grain in this section ripened suddenly and all at the same time, which necessitates
rapid work in gathering it. Cinch bugs are doing considerable damage to the wheat, and it is estimated there will
not be more than one half a crop. In Union, Magnolia, and Center the yield of oats will be large and the quality
good, and in the town of Porter it will average well, though we noticed some indication of blight in the openings.
130 Years Ago (1881): Mr. Campbell has chosen a style of architecture differing from any other in town, for his
new house. A steeple on a dwelling house is an innovation that excites comments with people who have always
lived in the woods. Some have irreverently expressed it, that he is going to hang a bell in the tower and call it a
“Campbellite” church. [Note: this is the home of Byron Campbell at the northeast corner of West Main and First
120 Years Ago (1891): James Roherty, of Porter, was blown from a load of hay the day by a cyclone that came
along seemingly just for that purpose. While he was in his field drawing hay he beheld from the top of a load a
scurrying whirlwind approaching. “If that strikes us,” he said to his companion below, “we’re gone” and almost
while he was speaking the load was lifted from the wagon to the ground. As Mr. Roherty was forced to resign
the reins, the team went flying around the hay field at a rapid rate. Another load of hay nearby was tipped over,
but all things considered the mimic cyclone furnished a rather interesting experience.
110 Years Ago (1901): Mr. and Mrs. John Baker are rejoicing over the safe arrival of a nice boy, also that its
father was born at the same hour and day of the same month just 31 years before July 17th at 8 o’clock a.m. No
one will question John’s figures in the future which he was reading at the waterworks meeting when called away
on account of this important event.
100 Years Ago (1911): Next Sunday Father Fitzgerald will preach his farewell sermon as the following Tuesday,
July 25, he leaves for Milwaukee to remain until the fall opening of the Catholic University of America at
Washington D. C. when he will enter that institution to pursue higher studies. He will be succeeded by Father
William McDermott of Milwaukee, a talented young man, who will be here July 24 and assume charge of St. Paul’
s parish at that time.
90 Years Ago (1921): Art Divine and family returned Friday from a four thousand mile auto trip to Colorado,
where they visited Denver, Estes Park, Lookout Mountain and several other points of interest in that locality.
They could not reach Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods on account of the high water, as they were
there during the time of the big floods at Pueblo and other cities. That Mr. Divine was well supplied with the left
hind feet of graveyard rabbits is proven by the fact that, in all, the trip over four thousand miles, he never had a
tire puncture or engine trouble.
80 Years Ago (1931): A ton of carp and about 600 pounds of suckers were taken from Lake Leota when
Richard Miller, Newville, Game Warden Louis Marshall, and a crew of assistants finished their seining here
Monday under the auspices of the Izaak Walton League. The dragging was started Friday for carp, suckers,
and all rough fish. The first sweep of the sein was made in the largest and deepest part of the lake, south and
west of the bath house where several hundred pounds of carp were obtained and many game fish returned to
the water. Among the game fish returned were some very fine large black bass averaging from two to five
pounds each. What seemed strange to everyone was that, despite the fact that large numbers of northern pike
have been placed in the lake by the Izaak Walton League, at different times, none of them showed up during the
70 Years Ago (1941): Old settlers, their families, descendants and friends of the Pleasant Prairie locality
assembled in Leonard park here 150 strong Sunday to attend the third annual picnic and homecoming of their
community. The outing was sponsored by the Pleasant Prairie Community club of which Mrs. Lloyd Miles is
president. Mrs. Hugh Robinson served as president of the homecoming association this year with Mrs. George
Morrison, secretary. The families of four generations were present at Sunday’s gathering. They were the
Robinson and Allen families.
60 Years Ago (1951): The Evansville City Council accepted a new salary schedule which will go into effect the
first day of August. The salaries for the city employees will be as follows: Braden Wolff, street superintendent,
$350 per month, no overtime pay; 90 cents to $1.25 per hour for street laborers and same rate for overtime;
Elmer McCaffrey, disposal plant superintendent, $240 per month. He must furnish his own relief and car
upkeep; W. C. Schneider, clerk, $200 per month; Dorothy Richmond treasurer, $30 per month; cemetery
workers, 91 cents per hours, same for overtime; park laborers, 75 cents per hour, same for overtime; Police
Chief Casey, $265 per month, no overtime; Myron Beyer, police officer, $225 per month and overtime; Bert
Miller and Ward Owens, police officers on probation, $212 per month to be raised to $225 after six months and
A. M. Cain, street cleaner, $38 per week.
50 Years Ago (1961): Robert Erstad stated this week that work on the 80 x 44 foot building being erected at 14
West Main Street is now progressing rapidly. Erstad and Attorney W. H. Bewick are owners of the building which
will house offices of local professional men. Don Gallagher and W. H. Bewick, attorneys, will occupy one office.
Mr. Erstad will also operate his insurance business in one and there will be space for two or three other offices.
The building, built of cement blocks, will have brick front and back and will also have public entrances in both the
front and rear.
40 Years Ago (1971): Dr. Duane Ahlf, associate professor-director at Northern Michigan University, was hired
Thursday as superintendent of the Evansville school system. Ahlf will replace Harry Romano, who resigned July
2, along with two principals and four teachers, after the school board voted to reissue a contract to Mrs. Joyce
Lebedoff, elementary principal. Replacements still are being sought for the other vacated positions, as well as
the school board position vacated last Friday by the resignation of Harold Brunsell.
30 Years Ago (1981): Five scouts from Evansville, Peter Steinhoff, Rick U’Ren, Marty Kerkenbush, Steve
Edwards and Wayne Steinhoff will be attending the National Boy Scout jamboree to be held July 29 to August 5
at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. They will be among 24,000 scouts from all over the country. Also attending from
Evansville will be adult leaders, Bill Hartje and Rudy Steinhoff, who were selected as the first and third
scoutmasters of the jamboree troop.
20 Years Ago (1991): At the regular council meeting on Tuesday night of last week, council members adopted
the map showing census tracts to be included in the 4th ward of the city. The four wards total 3,174 population.
Now council members have until October to determine what will constitute the council, prior to the November
election. Will there be an 8 man council? Alderman Richard Modaff urged considering “what’s best for
Evansville for the next 10 years.” Alderman Kuelz commented that already the council men are loaded with
committee meetings.” The councilmen will be bringing their recommendations to future council meetings.
10 years ago (2001): A full-house and lots of opinions made for an interesting open meeting this past
Thursday evening as Evansville’s Fire District answered questions and shared their thoughts about relocation
and expansion of Evansville’s Fire District. Union, Porter, Magnolia, Brooklyn and Center Townships were
represented as well as the City of Evansville. The Evansville Fire District should consider other sites before
jumping into the purchase of the Union Cooperative property on Maple Street, was the consensus of
representatives of the district.
Fourth Week of July 1871-2001
140 Years Ago (1871): Harvest hands are demanding $2.75 and $3.00 per day, but farmers generally are not
paying more than $2.50, which is all they can afford to give, and is really about as much as the labor is worth.
130 Years Ago (1881): Sam F. Hengstler, the night telegraph operator here, was struck by lightning. The bolt
struck him in the region of the heart, passed diagonally across his bowels, down his right leg and passed off at
three or four places in his shoes. Dr. Evans responded and applied restoratives, but noticing that his pulse was
gone pronounced him dead. He was taken to the Central House, where he was properly laid out and placed in a
refrigerator. The 9:25 a.m. express brought a brother and a brother-in-law from North Freedom and returned
with the remains by the afternoon train. By request of the brothers, prayer was offered before the corpse was
removed by Rev. F. M. Washburn of the F. W. Baptist church. He was a German by birth; was 19 years of age,
and had been night operator here four months.
120 Years Ago (1891): Ernest Clifford was kicked in the back of the head by a colt Saturday evening, and was
unconscious for some time. He is now well on the way to recovery. Cornelius Greatsinger was tipped from a
load of hay Saturday, and received serious injuries. His left side was badly strained.
110 Years Ago (1901): At the meeting of the common council of the City of Evansville, a motion was made
seconded and carried that the council call a special election to vote on the question of granting a franchise for
water works and electric lighting to John H. Brown. John H. Brown introduced a franchise authorizing him to
construct and operate a system of water works and electric lighting and asked for its passage.
100 Years Ago (1911): Word from Burr Libby who is now in La Paz, Bolivia, with a party of Californians on a
mining venture, says the weather is getting cold, and the day before he wrote, July 5, snow had fallen. It seems
they anticipate a journey of four or five months before they can reach their destination in the interior. The
population of La Paz is 80,000. He says hotel accommodations are good and that the officials give all possible
help and show them much consideration.
90 Years Ago (1921): W. G. Patterson returned from Waupaca county, Monday, where he has been organizing
that county for the Farm Bureau. He completed the work in that county last Saturday and reports a membership
there of 674. He spent Sunday with his son at Green Bay, and states that from there to within a short distance
of this city, Saturday and Sunday there was an abundance of rain.
80 Years Ago (1931): A total of 40 head of pure bred Holstein and Guernsey cattle were shipped from
Evansville to New Jersey last week by the Luchsinger brothers, local livestock dealers. The same buyer has
placed an order for 100 more head, one carload of which will be shipped the latter part of this week. Fred
Luchsinger states that this buyer has purchased a great number of Wisconsin cattle during the past few years
and is well pleased with the grade of stock raised here.
70 Years Ago (1941): In preparation for the opening on Saturday, August 30, when six pin setters will be on
hand to accommodate local rollers, a crew of carpenters and mechanics from the Sure Strike Bowling company,
Milwaukee, has been remodeling and resurfacing the Evansville bowling alleys at 128 East Main Street. The
remodeling program not only included the resurfacing of the alleys but considerable redecorating and the
installation of a hardwood dance floor in connection with the alleys, thus making the place one of Evansville’s
leading recreational headquarters. The business is owned by Truman Bloss, Edgerton, and Harry Carey, this
city, and is managed by Mr. and Mrs. Carey.
60 Years Ago (1951): Mr. and Mrs. Fred Drafahl, Center township, southeast of Evansville will celebrate their
silver wedding anniversary. Mr. Drafahl was formerly Miss Marion Andrew, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur
Andrew. Mr. Drafahl is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Drafahl, Footville. The couple was married at the
Andrew home by the Rev. J. R. Singleterry of Magnolia on July 30, 1926.
50 Years Ago (1961): A nice crowd of about 75 people were on hand despite the heat on Saturday for the
dedication of the new city garage named in honor of Supt. Braden Wolff. Participating in the program were R. B.
Townsend, Rev. Wendall Marshall, A. M. Winn, Mayor Wilson Brown, Ben Green, Lewis Peckham and Ralph
Bennett. Mrs. Braden Wolff unveiled the plaque in honor of her husband.
40 Years Ago (1971): Three students from Evansville were among some 500 young men and women who
visited the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison to begin registration for University studies in September.
Evansville students were Anne Brzezinski, Donald Kopp and Sandy Petersen.
30 Years Ago (1981): Shelly Miller, Magnolia 4-H Queen, was crowned “Fairest of the Fair” at the Rock County
4-H Fair in Janesville. Shelly was chosen from 34 FFA and 4-H candidates at the 52nd annual fair held in
Janesville. Shelly will enter the UW-La Crosse this fall.
20 Years Ago (1991): At a press conference, Edd McCaffrey was formally awarded his $9.4 million prize for
holding the winning ticket in the Megabucks Lottery. The presentation and ceremony was held at Evansville Gas
‘N Go Convenience Store where he purchased the winning ticket.
10 years ago (2001): Joy Olson, city carrier at the Evansville Post Office, will be carrying mail for the last time
on July 28. She will then retire after 32 years of public service. Joy has walked an estimated 40,000 miles and
worn out approximately 60 pairs of shoes.