First Week of May 1874-2004
140 Years Ago (1874): The wind Sunday blew the smoke pipe off Lehman Brothers steam Furniture
Factory, causing a few days detention of business. The same casualty prevents the running of the
machine shop. It is expected to have them running again in a day or two. [Note: the furniture factory
had a steam engine that powered the machinery at the Baker Manufacturing Co., also known as the
130 Years Ago (1884): There was some shrugging of the shoulders among the knowing ones Sunday
morning, at the M. E. church when Elder Sewell heaped it on to church members for playing cards.
120 Years Ago (1894): To all members of the Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Co., of the town of Union:
You are hereby notified that an assessment of two mills on each dollar of all property insured in the
above company on the 17th day of April last, has been made to pay the losses of Mrs. Helen M. Sawin,
John Lamb and H. C. Anderson, amounting to $1189. Said assessment is to be paid to the treasurer, W.
W. Gillies, Union on or before Dec. 1, 1894. F. D. Reed, Secretary
110 Years Ago (1904): The first dual track meet of the season between the Janesville high school and
the Evansville high school, came off Saturday afternoon last, and the Janesvilleites met their Waterloo.
The defeated boys know more about athletic sports now than they did before coming here.
100 Years Ago (1914): Frank Hyne and Frank Brigham returned Saturday from Milwaukee, bringing
home with them a fine new auto truck, which the latter purchased while there.
90 Years Ago (1924): The old American Legion dance floor will soon be housed in a modern building
known as Spring Brook Pavilion, located on the Geo. Mabie farm northwest of Evansville. Those
interested in the undertaking are Julius Jensen, Geo. Mabie, Geo. Noyes and Warren Sanders. They
have rented land in what is known as the “grove” on the above mentioned farm and will build a good
road leading to same. They expect to build a modern building with space for a booth in one end.
Dancing as now planned will be about once a week, under strict supervision.
80 Years Ago (1934): Mrs. Hannah Anderson and the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade pupils of Magnolia
school and a number from the Footville school visited the observatory at Lake Geneva Saturday
70 Years Ago (1944): Evansville is completing plans today to entertain more than 500 people on May 5
when the annual district music festival will be held in the city with programs presented throughout the
day and evening in the high school auditorium and the Congregational, Baptist and Lutheran churches.
450 entries have been received. The eleven high schools participating this year are Albany, Brooklyn,
Orfordville, Milton, Edgerton, Middleton, Waunakee, Lake Mills, Brodhead, Oakwood and Evansville. The
parade will take place at 4 p.m. The parade will be followed by a twirling contest in front of the judges’
stand at the Masonic Temple.
60 Years Ago (1954): Five Evansville high school Future Farmers of America are attending the annual
FFA convention at Green Lake. Three of the Evansville youths have been awarded Wisconsin Farmer
degrees. They are Roy Hageman, Jud Spooner and Burr Rote. The other delegates from Evansville are
Paul Haakenson and Tom Templeton.
50 Years Ago (1964): The National Honor society elected ten new members at Evansville High School
including Chris Allen, Sue Austin, Sandra Rowley, Patsy Reese, Kathleen Ehle, Margaret Crocker,
Patricia Collins, Kathryn Townsend, Shirley Carlson and Jo Brown.
40 Years Ago (1974): Boy Scouts of Troop 514 were honored on Sunday, April 28 at the annual Court of
Awards held at the Masonic Temple. Robert Miller, Jr. and Alan Cook received the high honor of Eagle
Scout rank from Alan’s father, Ralph Cook. Eagle Scouts from previous years, Harold Robinson, Edwin
Devine, Edward Sherman, Jack Deininger and Dennis Palmer were also present.
30 Years Ago (1984): Jim Turner, son Toby, Debe Shelton, Dave Truner and Dennis Cooper were among
the 4600 runners who took part last Saturday in the “Crazylegs” Race. The 5 mile run was sponsored by
the UW-Athletic Dept. and began at the Capital Square and ended at the 50-yard line of the football field
at Camp Randall, where Elroy Hirsch was waiting to greet the finishers.
20 Years Ago (1994): Chris Eager who has served on the Evansville Common Council as an alderman
and two terms as mayor has decided to run for the 80th Assembly seat being vacated by David
Deininger who will be serving as a judge. He announced his candidacy before a group of local people,
family, legislators and press. He was introduced by State Senator Joe Wineke.
10 years ago (2004): This year’s EHS Drama Department Musical “Cinderella” was beyond a doubt
absolutely magical. Actors, costumes, stage props/backdrops, scenery and yes, fairy dust, made for one
of the school’s best musical performances at the Performing Arts Center. The musical was under the
direction of Peter Diedrich, with band orchestration director Doug Zblewski and choral by director
Second Week of May 1874-2004
140 Years Ago (1874): Assessor West started out Monday with sundry large mysteriously looking books,
and the old gentleman had a sinister smile on his countenance as though he wanted to find out
something that the tax payers of this town didn’t want he should. He will probably encounter the fewest
dogs and the most poor people of any season of the year. But Jacob has a pretty good knack of finding
out who owns and who owes.
130 Years Ago (1884): Mr. Sylvester Purrington returned from Nebraska last Friday night where he has
been prospecting for land, and is very desirous of disposing of his property in this place which he offers
at a very reasonable figure that he may remove thither. We shall be sorry to have Mr. Purrington leave
this place but suppose he knows what is for his best interests, or thinks he does at least.
120 Years Ago (1894): A beautiful hack, recently purchased by Mr. Young for his livery with a spanking
nice black team conveying Mr. Will Antes, Miss May Pullen, with two other lady friends and two
coachmen, looked quite metropolitan as they pass through our streets this Friday evening causing quite
a consternation to our usual quiet little city which has not quite got up to that point yet, but is fast
getting there. Invitations are out for the marriage of Mary L. Pullen and William H. Antes, at the bride’s
home in this city on the 23d inst. At eight o’clock in the evening.
110 Years Ago (1904): City Council meeting: The Evansville Mercantile Ass’n made application for a
permit to build a hitching shed on the west end of the hitching ground of their new building, said shed
to be of frame construction, covered with corrugated iron, open on the east side, size about 16 by 66
feet, also a salt shed on east side of lot about 24 by 32 feet with iron roof. [Note: this area is the
parking lot of the Grange Building on West Main Street.}
100 Years Ago (1914): About sixty relatives and friends of Mr. and Mrs. James Francis met at their
country home yesterday to help them celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. Mr. and Mrs. Francis
both came to this country from Wales about sixty-one years ago with their parents. They were children
together in the old country and grew up together in this state, near Albany. They have four children
living, Mrs. Ed Hyne, Mrs. Chas. Ware and Mrs. Delbert Jones of Evansville and Mr. Alvin Francis of
Attica. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. George Francis, Mr. and Mrs. James Stephenson, Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Francis, Mrs. and Mrs. W. Williams, Mrs. Mary Francis and family, Mrs. Arford Lewis and family,
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Atherton, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Griffin, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Williams, John Patchen
and family and Mrs. Ellen Buflen, all of Albany and Will Brewer and family of Attica, John Tomlin and
family, Mrs. Walter Tomlin and family, Mr. and Mrs. Lauren Bagley, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Reese, Mr. and Mrs.
Frank Francis, Mrs. Beulah Ballard, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ware and family, Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Jones
and family and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hyne and family, all of Evansville.
90 Years Ago (1924): The Evansville High School Band will furnish the music entertainment for the
Magnolia Play Day, June 6. Extensive plans are being made for the horse shoe tournaments and the
home talent ball game. Other events are play ground ball, volley ball, kite flying, jumping relays,
centipede race, baseball throw, horse shoe for the school children, sack relay and tug of war for the
men, potato paring and nail driving contests for ladies. One hundred first, second and third place
ribbons will be given. A large pennant will be given to the school winning the most points in all events.
Old rose and black are the township colors. Ella M. Everill is general chairman.
80 Years Ago (1934): Evansville barber prices took an upward trend as a result of a special barbers’
meeting held here last Thursday morning. The new schedule, which is being followed by the Devine,
Christensen, Dake, O’Connor, and Helgesen shops went into effect as follows: Hair cuts 40 cents,
shaves 20 cents, beard trim 40 cents, plain shampoo 40 cents, tonic shampoo 75 cents, hand massage
40 cents, vibrator massage 40 cents, double massage 60 cents, mud pack 75 cents, scalp treatment 75
cents, scalp massage 40 cents, singe 20 cents, witch hazel steam 20 cents, hair tonic 20 cents, lady’s
neck clip 20 cents, manicure 50 cents, and razor honing 40 cents. Prior to the price change, local
barbers were getting 20 cents for shaves and 26 cents for hair cuts.
70 Years Ago (1944): Rain, wind and cold weather are making the farmer’s problem of trying to catch
up on the late spring one of the most difficult in many a year. Added to this is the serious farm labor
shortage, which for the next few weeks probably will be the most desperate of any known in Rock
County. As soon as schools dismiss it is expected that the farm children and others from the cities and
villages will do much in relieving the situation. Unitl then, R. T. Glassco, county agent is appealing for
all men who can give a few hours a day, or put in longer time on days off, to help out. The county agent’
s office will assist any such volunteers in getting extra gasoline needed in getting out in the country.
60 Years Ago (1954): Plans have been completed for a community picnic and reunion to be held
Sunday, May 16 at Union school to which all former residents and friends are cordially invited. The
program for the event will include games and sports. Movies of people and events taken in and around
Union will be shown in the school building by Charles Crocker. Everyone who is interested in the
village history and in meeting old and new friends is urged to bring a picnic dinner and join in the
50 Years Ago (1964): More than 80 librarians, trustees and friends of the library gathered at the Eager
Free Public Library on May 12 to attend the all-day meeting of the Rock River Valley Library Association,
which represents the district of southeastern Wisconsin. Richard Eager, president of the Board of
Trustees of Evansville gave the address of welcome. Mr. Eager highlighted some of the aims and
accomplishments of the local library in recent years and cities a circulation record of 37,000, one of the
highest in the state among towns under 4,000 population.
40 Years Ago (1974): The following young people of the Congregational United Church of Christ were
confirmed Sunday during the morning period: Kari Smith, Roberta Brunsell, Wenona Bellamy, Roger
Gray, Brad Knapp, Eric Hurtley and Mike Patterson.
30 Years Ago (1984): The former Eastside Grocery, which had been somewhat of a landmark on the
corner of Main Street and Union, has been razed to make way for expanded parking at the Eastside
Steak House. Ownership of the Steak House and bar has changed hands recently from former owner,
Mrs. Pleasy Berg, to Corvan Neuenschwander Jr. Lillian Estes had operated the grocery for many years
before selling the business to Oscar Redlin. Ronald Petterson ran the store for awhile as well as Bonnie
20 Years Ago (1994): The first winners of the Emma and Vila Disch Positive Student Awards at
Evansville High School have been named. Receive their awards were Freshman Beth Piper; Sophomore
Brandi Jo Edwards, Junior Sally Morrison and Senior Clint Wallisch. The awards were presented by Mr.
Wayne Disch. Each student received a framed certificate and a monetary award of $250. Eligibility for
the award is based on the following criteria: Love for all people, compassion and understanding for one’
s fellow man, a friendly and energetic outlook on life, empathy for others and a positive attitude in
school and life as demonstrated by how well one gets along with other people. The winning students
were nominated by their homeroom advisors and selected by a panel of faculty and administration.
10 years ago (2004): The Evansville “Pieces, Clutter and Quilts study group” of the Rock Valley Quilters
Guild made and donated the “Flutterby Baskets” quilt to the Eager Free Public Library and the Friends
of the Library for their annual Ice Cream Social. Blocks were contributed by Kenlyn Fenrick, Edie
Manke, Jean Petterson, Janis Golz, Linda Sorgatz, Corinne Plachetta, Glenace Smelcer, Beverly Quinn,
Eileen Meredith, Susan Luers, and Betty Allen.
Third Week of May 1874-2004
140 Years Ago (1874): Mr. John Spencer, son of Henry Spencer, Esq. returned from San Diego, after
some four years absence. He came in company with Mrs. John Rhinehart, whom our older inhabitants
well remember. Mr. Rhinehart was one of the early merchants of Evansville, and moved to California
about fourteen years ago, settling in Gilroy, Santa Clara county. Mrs. Rhinehart will spend most of the
summer visiting friends and relations in and about Evansville. Her unexpected return was a joyful
surprise to her aged mother, Mrs. Wm. Campbell, and her family kindred. Mr. Spencer will remain
during the season.
130 Years Ago (1884): The thousand dollars paid out for the park last fall was money well invested, and
the hundred dollars spent this spring in digging out the old stumps and dead trees and leveling off the
knolls was also a good investment. The site we selected for a Fourth of July stand was on the crest of
the hill overlooking the lake, mill pound. But never mind, it is a clean, pure body of water, and the dirty
boys should never be allowed to go into it unclad on Sunday evenings while “gay and festive youth is
promenading the boulevards that environ the slumbering, peaceful waters,” ought they, city fathers?
120 Years Ago (1894): The latest craze among the young ladies on West Main street is learning to ride a
bicycle. The performance commences about half past eight and lasts until it is too dark to see.
110 Years Ago (1904): Mesdames Lew Van Wart, Fred Fellows, Fred Baker, E. J. Ballard and E. E. Smith
made up a party to visit friends in Janesville, Thursday and incidentally take in the theatre. They report
having had a most enjoyable time with Mrs. Kling and Mrs. Butts who were hostess to the party.
100 Years Ago (1914): The third railroad accident within thirty days occurred here last night when
Herman Voy, a young man from Rockford fell off from No. 503 while passing through
Evansville, falling between the track and depot platform. It was a most singular thing that the young
man was not hurt more than he was. His injuries being very similar to those of the Ringling employee,
who fell a short time ago. One foot was very badly crushed, so that amputation of it will probably be
necessary; toes on the other foot being injured also. He
was making his way from Rockford to Kenosha and Racine in search of work. The young man was cared
for by railroad physician Dr. J. M. Evans, and was taken to his home in Rockford.
90 Years Ago (1924): At its last meeting the city council appropriated $500 towards fitting up quarters
for the American Legion. Rooms will be fitted in the third story of the City Hall, suitable for the uses of
both the Legion and Auxiliary. Free heat and lights will also be furnished. This assures these
organizations suitable quarters for many years to come and in view of what the Legion boys have done
for the community in civic affairs, is but a fitting tribute of appreciation.
80 Years Ago (1934): Mrs. George Noyes has donated land to the city for use as garden plots during the
coming summer. Those wishing land for garden purposes are requested to notify Miss Mary Stam, city
70 Years Ago (1944): Nancy Hyne, six year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Hyne, who suffered a
slight brain concussion when she fell from her father’s car onto the pavement at 4 p.m. Tuesday
returned home from the hospital Wednesday. The door of the car flew open as Mr. Hyne turned the
corner from North Fourth onto Main street, and the little girl, who was riding in the front seat with her
father fell to the pavement. She was treated at a Madison hospital.
60 Years Ago (1954): The Evansville Blue Devils baseball team came through with five wins and no
defeats to cop the western division baseball title of the Badger conference. Members are Doug Hull,
Norm Zee, Peck Sperry, Paul Strassburg, Mickey Finnane, Bud Thompson, Dean Allen, Norm Tomlin, Ron
Brigham, Ronnie Peckham, Dave Losey, Larry Amidon, Ronnie Swanson, Rollie Zilliox and Dick Meyers.
50 Years Ago (1964): Valerie Petersen, Evansville, was among 90 women students of the U. of W. in
Madison who was honored at the 44th annual Senior swingout ceremony. Several hundred persons,
including the parents of many of the honored students, witnessed the colorful ceremony at which the
University bids farewell to the senior women of its graduating class and honors its outstanding women
students. Valerie received the Lillian Moller Gilbreth Scholarship for $500. Miss Petersen is preparing
to pursue a career in nuclear engineering.
40 Years Ago (1974): At a budget study meeting the Evansville school board members concluded that to
maintain what already exists in the budget at the present time will require an increase of 10% down the
line to offset the rising inflationary costs of the times. According to Dr. Duane Alf, a mill rate of 15 to 16
is anticipated as compared with the present 14.86. The question presented at the board meeting was,
“do we set the budget and live with it, or set what is needed and build the budget?” .
30 Years Ago (1984): The Girls Basketball team held their awards banquet recently at which the
following awards were presented: Kelly Thompson, Hustle Award and was named to the All Conference
2nd team; Karen Lien, Most Valuable Player, Free Throw Award and was named to the All Conference
2nd team; Lisa Wahl, Captain; Kim Rhoda, received the No Pain-No Gain Award, Captain; Karla Klitzman,
Rebound Award. The coach is Joe Amato.
20 Years Ago (1994): During Awards Night on Monday, May 16, faculty member Richard Krake was
presented a plaque for his 18 years of outstanding service to the student council. His hard work and
dedication will always be remembered by those students and faculty who worked sisde by side with him
over the years. Principal Bob Scott and Mr. Peter Diedrich will be the new student council advisors for
10 years ago (2004): The former Party Port building on North Madison Street is being renovated into a
four-unit apartment building. This will significantly improve the initial appearance of the city to people
entering the city from the north and traveling down Madison Street.
Fourth Week of May 1874-2004
140 Years Ago (1874): Mr. Hiram Bullard has erected a shed on the premises of Winston & True’s
lumber yard for the sale of the Champion Reaper.
130 Years Ago (1884): T. L. Sutphen Post, No. 41, Dept. of Wis., will assemble at Post Hall at one o’clock
P. M. on May 30 to be ready to move in a body at 1:30 sharp. At 1:30 sharp, the Post, headed by the
Cornet Band will march to Seminary park where it will be joined by the Seminary school. It will then
march south to Liberty street, east on Liberty to First street, where it will be joined by the public
schools, north on First to Church, down Church to Madison, north on Madison to Main street, where it
will be joined by other organizations and the citizens, when it will march in double column to the
120 Years Ago (1894): The villagers have “chipped” in and helped to buy the baseball team an outfit so
they are enabled to beat the best of ‘em on the field. The boys feel quite jubilant over their success in
defeating the Attica nine. About all that is heard since is “how we fanned them out,” “stole 2d,” “bit the
dust on home,” “swiped the air,” etc. They cross bats with Oregon the 30th. We look for same results.
110 Years Ago (1904): The annual commencement of the high school comes off this year from May 29 to
June 4. A whole week of it. The graduates this year are not as many as last, but nevertheless a good
showing is made. In the Ancient Classical Course Anna J. Stevens, Eva Howard; Modern Classical
Course, Clara P. Richardson and Gordon H. Beebe; German Scientific Course, Effie M. Blackman, Bessie
E. Cole, John R. Evans, Minnie J. Jones, Adelbert I. Jones, Merle E. Piller, Avnal L. Park, Myron Park,
Grace A. Reilly, Blanche D. Rutty and Anna M. Van Wormer; English Course, Warren N. Porter.
100 Years Ago (1914): Work is progressing nicely on the new opera house and everything will
be in readiness for the opening night. Out-of-town visitors claim that it is a building seldom met with in
towns of this size and much larger. [Note: the Magee Opera house was remodeled in the spring of 1914.]
90 Years Ago (1924): The organizers of the K. K. K. held their first meeting in this city at the Magee hall
Tuesday evening. There was quite a large crowd present to listen to the talk of one of their National
organizers as he presented the principles of the order.
80 Years Ago (1934): Mrs. Madge Robinson was hostess last Sunday to the faculty of the Evansville
schools. The occasion was in honor of the memory of the late Theodore Robinson, the noted artist,
whose birth anniversary is June 3. Mr. Robinson’s remains are laid in Maple Hill cemetery, he being a
brother of Mr. J. C. Robinson, of this city. Many of this great artist’s paintings were shown the guests on
this occasion, while many more of them hang in the galleries of the great cities of Europe and America.
70 Years Ago (1944): Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Sherman, Belleville, received a telegram the latter part of past
week from the war department informing them that their son, Pfc. Raymond Sherman, 21, is a prisoner
of the Germans. Until a year and a half ago the Shermans were residents of Evansville. Pfc. Sherman
was reported missing in action Feb. 18, 1944, after having served overseas since Sept. 1, 1943. He
graduated from the Evansville high school in 1942 and worked at the Oscar Mayer Co., Madison before
entering the service.
60 Years Ago (1954): Two Evansville girls who competed in the recent state music contest at Madison
were awarded top ratings in their respective classes. Miss Margaret Capron, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Don Capron, won first place as harp soloist. Miss Ann Rennels, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Rennels,
was awarded first place in the vocal class.
50 Years Ago (1964): Mr. and Mrs. Robert Horne have sold their A & W Drive-In root beer stand on East
Main Street to Mrs. Leonard Alderson of Janesville, who took over the business on Wednesday, May 20.
The Hornes, who have owned and operated the business for more than 15 years, began in a small
building on Hi-Way 14 north of the viaduct in 1949. In 1965 they moved to the present location.
40 Years Ago (1974): Sherrie Smalley, a junior at Evansville High School, won the Sectional Track Meet
at Prairie Du Chien last Friday, thereby advancing to the State Meet to be held this Friday at Monona
Grove. She won in the Discus Throw in the Class B Sectional. Sherri also finished third in Sectional
Shotput competition last Friday. The track team finished 5th out of 15 in team standings at the Friday
30 Years Ago (1984): The 1984 Honor Awards Program was held at the high school Tuesday, May 22 to
pay tribute to the many students who excel in their various fields. Kim Rhoda was named Valedictorian
for the Class of 1983 and Debra Hass was named Salutatorian. High Honor students who received a gold
cord are: Jeff Elmer, Paul Bong, Karen Lien, Timothy Fenrick and Richard U’Ren. Honor students
receiving the white cord are: Mary Roberts, Stacie Shaw, Lori Hoffman, Tina Krueger, John Garbrecht,
Joseph Flood, Amy Erdman, Mark Heritage, Michael Hermanson, Karen Conners, Patricia Johnson, Mein-
Ho Schlesner, Lisa Wahl and DuWayne Hull.
20 Years Ago (1994): Wendy Diehls and Jenny Schulze received the Dee Losey Award at the high
school on Monday. This award is given for athletic skills and leadership over the four years of high
school. Jenny lettered four years in basketball and track and for three years in volleyball. Wendy
lettered three years in basketball and softball and two years in volleyball. Both are seniors.
10 years ago (2004): The class of 2004 Valedictorian is Adam Patterson and the Salutatorian is Jessica
Karis. High Honor students are Adam Patterson, Brooks Baumberger, Megan Martin, Melissa Larson,
Erin Ellison, Janeace Leeder, Elena Lahti, Karla Loftus, Brittany Emrick, SaRoi Faulkner, Margaret
Callahan, Royce Kurtz, Brandon Rutz, Kate Heimerl, Jameson Loesch, James Wright, Rachael Whittier,
Lynne Farberg, Victoria Vinarsky, Jesse Winker, Kallie Elmer.