First Week of June 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Do you want a good cultivator? Then call at agents J. Cook of Magnolia Corners and E. R.
Sprague of Evansville where you can find the best article in use. They are a new kind and will do the best work of
any in the country. There are but a few and they have got to be sold at some price. Cash, a good note or grain will
130 Years Ago (1879): During the match game of ball played Friday, between the High School Club and the
Mutuals, Prof. A. R. Sprague was hurt quite severely, by striking his foot against the iron home base.
120 Years Ago (1889): Mr. Dennis Murray, of Union, recently informed us that he had just received a letter from
his son Charley, of Townsend, Montana, located 12 miles from Diamond City, stating that he had hired out to work
upon a ranch getting $35 per month for his services until the expiration of his time contracted then he should turn
his attention to teaching school for which he could get from $50 to $80 per month according to the amount of labor
attendant upon different schools.
110 Years Ago (1899): We noted with pleasure our old friend, the venerable Otis Thompson, of Brooklyn, aged 92
years, upon our streets Memorial Day. He always celebrates here and is often in line with the G. A. R. “boys”. He
is said to be the oldest veteran in the state. He is an uncle of Denman Thompson, of “Old Homestead” fame.
(Denman Thompson was a playwright, and the “The Old Homestead,” was a popular four-act play written in 1885.)
100 Years Ago (1909): A mass meeting was held at the City Hall Tuesday night to discuss the project of an inter-
urban line from Freeport to Madison to be built through Brodhead, Albany or Evansville and Stoughton. T. C.
Richardson was elected chairman and R. M. Richmond secretary of the meeting. A letter from the promoters
asking for some action on the part of Evansville businessmen was discussed and the proposed road given
thorough consideration. Finally it was decided to have a committee of seven to see and confer with the promoters
of the road and learn all that could be learned about it and report at a future meeting. The committee is as
follows: T. C. Richardson, A. S. Baker, E. VanPatten, P. C. Wilder, C. J. Pearsall, George Pullen, and R. M.
Richmond. Much enthusiasm was shown in the project.
90 Years Ago (1919): Many guests were in Evansville the latter part of the last week coming to spend Memorial
day and remaining over the weekend. The entire Memorial Day observance was one of the most appropriate that
has ever been observed in Evansville. The parade formed at the library corner headed by the Evansville Military
Band. Besides the few remaining veterans of the Civil War, the Sons of Veterans, Boy Scouts, between 40 and 50
returned soldiers and sailors were included in the ranks. Following these there were between 200 and 300
automobiles in line. Rev. Father William McDermott gave an address at the grave of the unreturned soldiers, and
later at the opera house. Rev. O. W. Smith gave a patriotic address.
80 Years Ago (1929): G. A. Patterson, who has been employed as agent for the Wisconsin Petroleum Company
here for the past year, has resigned his position to establish the Patterson Oil Company which will handle Cities
Service gasoline and motor oils. The bulk station of the new firm will be located on the site of the Winona Oil
Company near the Garden City canning factory.
70 Years Ago (1939): Evansville’s W. P. A. program will be resumed next Tuesday when a crew of approximately
30 men will be put back on the job completing the new shelter house and starting the erection of a new store
building at the city park. It is planned to divide the crew into two shifts at a later date to speed operations,
according to R. J. Antes, local WPA Administrator. The park improvements will not only include the completion of
the new shelter house for which Richard and Stacia Henneberry have liberally contributed funds, but the erection
of a new store building, additional park landscaping, the excavation and building of a skaters’ warming room under
the present lakeside band stand, and the continuance of rip-rapping the park stream.
60 Years Ago (1949): Miss Alyce Erickson has resigned her position as secretary in the office of the Laufenberg
Lumber Company and plans to leave soon to make her home in Milwaukee. Kathleen Miller is employed in the
50 Years Ago (1959): Dr. F. J. Bongiorno, Albany, announces sale of the Evansville Dairy Bowl to Mr. and Mrs.
Cloyence Zweifel of New Glarus. The Zweifels will take over the business at once and contemplate a complete
modernization of lanes with automation and other improvements. Some changes will also be made in the dairy bar
40 Years Ago (1969): The new Miss Evansville Teen Ager is Miss Joan Kelley who was crowned last Saturday
night at the teenager pageant in Janesville. Miss Sandy Gray was the runner-up. Others from Evansville
competing for the title were Ellen Morrison and Karen Marenes. Miss Kelley will represent Evansville at the state
pageant to be held later this summer in Wausau. Mrs. Dee Losey, Evansville, was one of the judges.
30 Years Ago (1979): Rock County and Evansville are featured in the summer issue of “Wisconsin Trails”
magazine in an article entitled “Blackhawk Loved This Land,” by Janesville author Ruby Walton. The article is a
travelogue of Rock County and also speaks of Cooksville and Magnolia. Wisconsin trails is a quarterly magazine
published in Madison.
20 Years Ago (1989): Audrey Shomos, a science teacher at Evansville High School has been selected nation-wide
to receive a full scholarship to participate in a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National
Undersea Research Program. She will be studying such topics as Marine Chemistry, Ecology and Archaeology;
Aquanaut training; Everglades Hydrology, and water quality analysis. The program will take place in the Florida
Keys. Ms. Shomos plans on receiving her SCUBA certification beforehand.
10 years ago (1999): Principals for the Evansville Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery were Gene Johnson,
American Legion; Bob Brunsell, veteran and program speaker; and Rev. Forde of the Lutheran Church who gave
the benediction. The usual presentation to Mae Thompson as the Gold Star Mother was made as part of the
Second Week of June 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): We have received a communication from Mr. Robert Smart, detailing a most painful
accident which took place in the town of Porter on Sunday, May 30. John and Frank Sweeney, brothers, sons of
Patrick Sweeney, and aged 10 and 12 years, went out with a loaded gun. Reaching a point about 100 rods from
their home they seated themselves on the top board of a fence. The board broke and in the fall the gun went off,
the charge lodging in John’s right shoulder. He told his younger brother to take home the gun and bring his father
and mother, adding, good bye, I may never see you again. When his parents arrived his shirt was on fire having
been ignited from the gun wadding. He died before he could be brought home. His funeral took place on the 1st
day of June at Edgerton.
130 Years Ago (1879): Report of School in District number 5, town of Union, for the month ending June 3, 1879.
Number enrolled, 23. Average attendance, 20. Names of pupils perfect in attendance and deportment: Jennie
Ahara, George Ahara, Theodore Ahara, Elva Storey, Freddie Wood, Anna Wood, Lillie Ballard, Anny Kinsey. Ellen
120 Years Ago (1889): We understand arrangement is soon to be effected that will add largely to Mr. J. W.
Morgan’s carriage works. Mr. John Phifer, foreman of the Baker Co.’s wood shops has made a proposition to put
in capital and time and form a co-partnership that will increase the business of that concern. The arrangement is
to go into effect the first of July. The plan contemplated by Mr. Morgan, is to tear away the old blacksmith shop
south of his present building and build up something in the style of his present shop, adding a frontage of some 60
feet, and extending it back to include his present iron shop, removing that further to the rear. This will give more
than three times the room capacity he already has. Mr. Phifer is one of our best mechanics and although he has
spent nearly fifteen years of his time in the Baker shops, he will find no difficulty in assuming his new role. (Note:
The Morgan carriage shop was on the west side of the first block of Maple Street.)
110 Years Ago (1899): Our Chief of Police, Mr. Cal Broughton, met with quite a serous accident Monday by
breaking his arm in the same place as it was broken but a few months ago.
100 Years Ago (1909): Dr. Spencer has purchased the brick house on Main Street which was the property of the
late Levi Leonard. He had purchased a lot farther west and was making preparations to build next year, but
concluded to purchase instead of building. (Note: Levi Leonard’s house was at 138 West Main Street.)
90 Years Ago (1919): The streets of Evansville are undergoing a thorough over-hauling this spring and an effort
is being made to get them in better condition. No street is being omitted. Some of the streets have been in
deplorable condition after all of the water and mud of the early spring. The surface of the street is scarified, then
dragged and rolled and the result certainly shows much improvement.
80 Years Ago (1929): George Hall, 72, veteran showman was seriously injured on North Madison Street Thursday
afternoon when a wheel of his buggy was caught by a Madison car driven by Harold Teasdale as it swung into a
ditch to avoid hitting him. He is now in critical condition in the Madison General Hospital and in the care of both a
day and night nurse. Thrown from the smashed buggy, Mr. Hall hung to the harness of his pony and was dragged
along the cement pavement for a considerable distance. He sustained several cuts and bruises about the face,
and several broken ribs. (Note: This is George Hall, Jr., the second generation of the Hall family to operate a
circus from Evansville.)
70 Years Ago (1939): Mr. and Mrs. William A. Steffin, operators and managers of the Ben Franklin store here, in
company with three of their sales ladies, the Misses Helen Park, Jane Townsend, and Grace Hyne were in Madison
Sunday attending a district meeting of the Ben Franklin stores held in the Hotel Lorraine.
60 Years Ago (1949): Recipients of the Baker Manufacturing Company scholarship for the 1949 term were
announced during the graduation ceremony at Evansville High School by Rev. Francis Kranz, a member of the
Board of Trustees. The Board selected Patricia Hensel, of the Evansville graduating class. A recipient of the
award in 1947, Miss Jane Kissel, has again been chosen to receive an additional amount for her fine work at the
University of Wisconsin
50 Years Ago (1959): A delegation of Board of Education members attended Tuesday night’s meeting and asked
the City Council to set a price on the Fairgrounds with the thought in mind that the area is a possibility for the
location of a new schoolhouse. The grounds will be surveyed.
40 Years Ago (1969): A letter of resignation from William Amundson, former elementary school principal who
served as acting superintendent this past year, was read at the school board meeting Monday night. The board
accepted it with many regrets.
30 Years Ago (1979): Evansville City Council Finance Committee Chairman Alan Eager reported that no meetings
had been held in the past month with Mrs. Juanita Reese and her attorney over the acquisition of the proposed
sewage treatment plant site on her property. Eager said hopefully a meeting will be held soon.
20 Years Ago (1989): The St. Paul Catholic Church choir will present a concert of sacred music on Sunday, June
11. The concert is part of the Sesquicentennial activities for church history month in June. Soloists will be Marie
Luers, Christia Baumberger, Linda DeKelver and George Wollinger. The choir is directed by Marsha Dobbs.
10 years ago (1999): Trees, trees and more trees, down here and blown across there. Most of those lost have
been giving Evansville homeowners and their neighbors shade for many years. Sunday afternoon’s storm came in
strong and fierce. The weather channel’s broadcast a tornado warning about 3:35 p.m. as the sirens sounded in
Evansville. Along with the rains came hail and lots of lightning.
Third Week of June 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): The Board of Managers of the Gettysburg National Cemetery invites all soldiers who were
in the battle of Gettysburg to participate in the ceremonies of the dedication of the monument, July 1. Senator
Martin will deliver an oration; Bayard Taylor, the poem; and Henry Ward Beecher, the prayer.
130 Years Ago (1879): The First High School Graduating Class. Never has so much interest been shown as at
the First Graduating Exercises of the Evansville High School on Friday. Three years ago Prof. A. R. Sprague
came among us a stranger. During the first year, through his exertions, the graded school had been changed to a
High School, the course of study was entered upon by its classes, and the Prof. had gained the esteem and love
not only of the school, but of all with whom he had been associated professionally or socially. The visible fruits of
his work were seen in the graduation of the six young men and the two young ladies, Wayland Axtell, Martin
Conradson, Leander Hoskins, Frank W. Holt, John Clifford, Cora Hunt, D. Herbert Mills, and Fannie Porter.
120 Years Ago (1889): We understand that Dr. John Evans, Jr. and wife are now taking a trip through northern
Italy. They had ridden on a gondola and listened to the sweet music of Italy. They will take a tour through
Switzerland before returning home.
110 Years Ago (1899): The Dane Co. bank failure at Stoughton with a balance against it estimated at one
hundred thousand dollars, is a severe blow to that locality. We see that other smaller banks are somewhat
involved. It seems to be a case of speculation in Texas land at fifty cents an acre.
100 Years Ago (1909): The Methodist church people are making great improvement in the church property this
season. A new roof on the parsonage and new cement walks about the place, a new walk in front of the church
itself and the grading of the ground in front of the buildings adds greatly to the sightliness and to the value of the
90 Years Ago (1919): Because of the warmth this season there is a general exodus from this city and vicinity to
Lake Kegonsa, to northern Wisconsin, and to other points advantageous for camping. Many residents of
Evansville own summer homes at First Lake which, because of the coolness of the past two or three seasons, have
remained idle or just occupied for week-ends. Because of the war conditions during 1917-1918 people did not feel
in the mood for outings. But this season cottages are spoken for weeks in advance. Some are leased for the
entire season. Camping parties are being formed each week. Many are going to the lake for the day at least.
Until recently fish have been biting splendidly; and many have been the fishing parties, and many the tales of woe;
Due to the heavy rains, the roads between Lake Kegonsa and Stoughton have been in deplorable condition, and
the fishing parties which went to spend the day only, failed to arrive home until the next day perhaps. Automobiles
got stranded in the deep clay, some with axles broken, others with various other injuries. Frantic telephone calls
summoned garage men from here to the parties in distress and in many cases the rescuers in seeking those whom
they were to help, became mired themselves.
80 Years Ago (1929): Drilling of the new 16-inch well located south of the city near the power house has been
completed to a depth of 1,014 feet according to an announcement made by E. S. Cary, superintendent of the
Water and Light Department. The J. P. Miller Artesian Well Company, Chicago, which has been in charge of the
work here, is moving its apparatus this week to a Chicago suburb for the drilling of another well. It is expected the
new water will be in use by August 1, being pumped through a temporary connection to the stand pipe. It is
absolutely pure and is in great abundance. A new pump has been purchased from the American Well works at
Aurora, Ill., to replace the old one and will be delivered the latter part of this month.
70 Years Ago (1939): Three Evansville students were granted degrees at the eighty-sixth annual commencement
exercises of the University of Wisconsin held in the University Field House at historic Camp Randall, Monday
morning. They were William H. Bewick, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Bewick, and Maxwell S. Pullen, son of Attorney
and Mrs. J. Spencer Pullen, both of whom received Bachelor of Arts degrees, and Edna Mae Jorgensen, daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jorgensen, who received a Bachelor of Science degree.
60 Years Ago (1949): The Evansville Kindergarten Mothers Club was organized here five years ago under the
direction of Mrs. S. J. Rivers, kindergarten instructor. The State Board of Education and the State Parent-Teacher
Association have praised the organization for its loyal support and the outstanding work it has accomplished. With
a membership of 50 mothers, the following officers and committees were in charge during the past year: Mrs. Phil
T. Smith, president; Mrs. Lewis Spencer, vice president; Mrs. Francis Kranz, treasurer; Mrs. Braden Wolff,
secretary; Mrs. Willard Waeffler, program chairman; Mrs. Ed Erpenbach, social chairman; Mrs. Elmer Helgeson,
extra activities, and Mrs. Edwin Powers and Mrs. Chester Jorgensen, publicity.
50 Years Ago (1959): The century-old school district No. 4, known as Tupper district, northeast of Evansville,
Monday evening was unanimously voted to become a part of the Evansville school system, district No. 6. Present
at the meeting were members of the Evansville School Board, the Rock and Green county school committees, and
Tupper school board. Previously the Evansville school board had voted to accept Tupper district. This meeting
was called at the old schoolhouse as a hearing for any individual who opposed the closing of Tupper School. No
opposition was presented. Twenty-two children from Tupper will be entering the Evansville elementary school.
Two pupils, Sharon Bullard and Gordon Odegaard will enter high school as freshmen. Three others, Dennis and
John Bullard and Ruth Dennis are upper class high school students.
40 Years Ago (1969): Mayor Conroy announced the appointment of Rollin Zilliox as the City Clerk to fill the
vacancy created when Mrs. Koralyn May resigned. The Council voted 5 ayes and 1 no for the appointment – the
no vote being that of Robert Pendell. Mr. Pendell questioned the Mayor as to whether this would be in addition to
his duties in the water and light department and what the salary remuneration would be.
30 Years Ago (1979): The film, “Quiet Changes: Small Towns and Crisis” which was filmed in Evansville last
summer will be shown at the next Evansville Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Village Square restaurant, June
20 Years Ago (1989): Trygve and Phyllis Nelson will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an Open House
June 18th at the Brooklyn Community Building. Trygve and the former Phyllis Chapin were married June 14, 1939
in St. John’s Lutheran Church, Oregon, WI. They have three sons, John (Judy) of Beloit; Dean (Penny) of
Goldsboro, NC, and Judd (Carol) of Hyattsville, MD, also one grandson and two granddaughters.
10 years ago (1999): Former Mt. Horeb High School Principal Richard Feutz has been selected as Evansville High
School’s new principal, effective July 1. Feutz was hired because of his administrative experience and leadership
and his ability to work with people, said Gary Albrecht, who will assume the role of District Administrator.
Fourth Week of June 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Not withstanding the backwardness of the season, the universal testimony among the
farming community is that crops of all kinds unless it be corn, are looking splendidly. So far as growth is
concerned, the grass crop is assured, and it will probably be one of the heaviest grown in many years. Grain
covers the ground so completely that the drouth would necessarily be a severe one which would affect it. Fruit of
all kinds promises well, and indeed the labors of the husbandmen are likely to be rewarded in every branch of
130 Years Ago (1879): It has been the custom for two or three years to hold lawn-services on the Seminary
grounds every Sunday afternoon during the summer and omit the evening church service. They have always
been well attended, and that too by many who do not usually attend church service. We are requested to call
attention to the subject and suggest that some move be made to again inaugurate them.
120 Years Ago (1889): Cummings & Clark have given the Odd Fellows a five years lease on the whole upper part
of their store. They are having the tenements on the south end fitted up for a hall which will give a suite of nice
rooms for that purpose. The middle room will be fitted up for a refreshment hall. The north end of the building will
be retained by Dr. Beebe for dental rooms. We understand the rooms first fitted up in McKinney’s building for a
hall are to lease. (The Cummings & Clark store was at 1 West Main Street and the McKinney building was at 11
South Madison Street.)
110 Years Ago (1899): The M. E. church bell will be used to ring the curfew in the future, instead of the fire bell,
as in the past, as it has been decided that the latter should not be used for any other purpose under any
consideration but for fire alarms.
100 Years Ago (1909): Locke Pierce has been elected as director of the Evansville Military Band to fill the place
made vacant by the resignation of J. H. Johnson. Mr. Pierce went to Janesville Tuesday to arrange for the band to
play there on July 5th.
90 Years Ago (1919): At the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. McCoy, Almeron Street, the words were
spoken that united as husband and wife Miss Shirley McCoy and Ashur Boode. The marriage service was read at
1 o’clock by Rev. Bird, Magnolia. The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Lucinda McCoy, and the groom by his
brother, Will Boode. Miss McCoy looked charming in her wedding gown of white voile, while the bridesmaid was
attired in white over pink. A wedding dinner was served immediately following the ceremony and was attended by
the immediate relatives. Dr. Leslie McCoy was down from Madison for the occasion. Mr. and Mrs. Boode have
begun housekeeping on the Boode farm near Magnolia.
80 Years Ago (1929): Miss Evelyn Rodd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rodd, was graduated from Beloit College
Monday. Among those from this city who attended the graduation exercises were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rodd, Miss
Catherine Rodd, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Rodd, Miss Gertrude Rodd, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Austin, and Mrs. R. P.
Richardson and sons Robert and Lee, Mrs. Chauncey Miles and Mrs. O. G. Bannister.
70 Years Ago (1939): In preparation for Evansville’s centennial activities next week B. G. Hart of the Hart Sales
Company and a crew of diligent workers are completely revamping the fair grounds in an extensive clean-up
program that will require the remainder of the week to complete. The baseball diamond has been skinned and put
in first class shape for the various encounters, the entire area has been cleaned, low areas filled in, bleachers and
pageant platform erected and an electric motor installed for the pumping of water. The old grand stand was razed
last week making room for the bleachers which will accommodate several thousand for the baseball games and
pageant. Those assisting Mr. Hart in the gigantic task were Ray Holden, Ray Hubbard, Forrest Brigham, William
Dixon, Harry Inman, Henry Miller, Charles Seguine, Alfred Brooks, Dan Williams, Paul Richards, Roy Johns, Arthur
Devine, Peter Finstad, and Rollo Brunsell. Others who were untiring in their efforts were Arthur Johnson and
Donald Thompson of the city water and light department.
60 Years Ago (1949): Last week the “Old Swimming Hole” was closed temporarily by the City Physician as the
water was unfit for swimming. For years a pool has been talked about. Now is the time for action. The children of
the Evansville Community deserve the opportunity to swim in a safe and healthful pool. A good pool will help
control the “juvenile delinquency” program; a pool builds healthy bodies and a sound mind. A committee of
Evansville citizens is starting a drive for donations to start construction next spring, if the people of the Evansville
community will give generously. This project will cost many thousands of dollars. Don’t wait to see what your
neighbor is going to give. Give all you can and get on the “band wagon.”
50 Years Ago (1959): A group of eight senior FFA boys, accompanied by Ed Zamzow, assisted by Keith Savage,
spent four days on a camping and fishing trip at Carroll Lake in American Legion State Park. Making the trip were
Ronald Dwyer, Richard Reese, Peter Gilbertson, James Hatlen, Walter Templeton, Roger Hamilton, LeRoy
Hermanson, Melvin Schneeberger.
40 Years Ago (1969): During the past two weeks the C & NW Main Street railroad crossing has been undergoing
repairs. The railroad company completed the work of removing five tracks and raising the crossing five inches on
Tuesday of this week. The City Crew took over Wednesday and began to job of filling, grading, and black topping
and according to Frederick W. Schwartzlow, Public Works Superintendent for the city, it is expected that the work
will be completed by July 4.
30 Years Ago (1979): The Dean George farm, Hwy. 59, Evansville, will be the site of the Rock Co. Beef Producer’s
annual cookout. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 26 and will feature a 12 oz. rib eye steak dinner and a
grandstand show featuring Nashville country-western singer John Long.
20 Years Ago (1989): Richard Krake has designed a special U. S. postage cancellation stamp to commemorate
the City’s Sesquicentennial. Dick Knudtson, Evansville postmaster, will have a booth near the chicken barbecue
on July 4th for persons wishing to obtain the cancellation stamp.
10 years ago (1999): Abey Drive and Gold Coast Lane are being continued with more roads and new houses
going up. Those participating in this project are Tracie Belanger from Foth and Van Dyke, Rick Eager of Joshua
Ltd., Scott Harrington, Bill Fox, David Brown and Roger Nelson, all of G. Fox & Son, Inc. and Richard Hopper.
Builders on Gold Coast Lane are Brandon Wells, Steve Maybee (Maybee Builders of Evansville) and Dan Harried.
This is the seventh house that Maybee Builders have constructed on Gold Coast Lane.