First Week of September 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): This call for a meeting is extended to every Rock County soldier. This meeting, to be
held at the Rock County Register’s office, is for the purpose of organizing for the erection of a monument to the
memory of deceased soldiers. The originators of the undertaking do not desire to make this a personal affair,
but wish each and every soldier to interest himself and assist in the work.
130 Years Ago (1879): Theodore Robinson, son of Rev. E. Robinson, arrived in Evansville Monday morning,
after an absence of four years, which has been passed in art studies in Europe. Mr. Robinson has done some
good work while in Europe. Several of his pictures have been given places in the Art Exhibitions of Paris and
have been highly praised. Blanche Tucker, correspondent of the Chicago Times, in speaking of him, says he
is one of the most promising portrait painters among the American students in Paris. His greatest hindrance to
success is his faithfulness to nature. A little more flattery of the subject would largely increase his popularity. It
seems to us that his “faithfulness to nature” is the very failing which should be cultivated.
120 Years Ago (1889): It was as good as a menagerie to see Geo. Hall’s big elephants dive and roll and
tumble in Lake Leota, Thursday. The keeper allowed them to have a good aquatic roll and tumble before
starting out on their long tour of exhibition. It was sport for the elephants and fun for those who went to see
110 Years Ago (1899): The ladies have been very busy the past week making preparation for serving hot
meals at the Fair. For twenty-five cents you can buy as good a meal as you ever ate. Do not tire yourself out
getting meals ready to take to the Fair and eat in the hot sun, when you can be well served in a tent.
100 Years Ago (1909): Fred Rowley one of the prosperous farmers of Jug Prairie, had two cows killed by
lightning Friday morning about six o’clock. The cows had been put in the barn preparatory to milking, a few
minutes before the bolt struck the building. However the barn did not burn.
90 Years Ago (1919): A meeting of all veterans of the World War will be held in the City Hall Thursday for the
purpose of forming a local branch of the American Legion, the national organization of veterans. It is hoped
that every Evansville returned soldier, sailor and marine will attend the meeting and join the organization.
Lieut. McMurray, recently returned from France, is attending the state convention of the American Legion now
being held in Milwaukee, and will return in time for Thursday’s meeting. He will be in a position to give complete
information concerning all workings of the organization.
80 Years Ago (1929): The Garden Canning company here has consolidated with the Columbus Canning
company, Columbus, according to an announcement made this week by M. J. Edwards, manager of the local
firm. Since the opening of the corn season August 26, the firm has been canning from 1,200 to 1,400 cases
daily. The corn season is expected to last a week or so longer.
70 Years Ago (1939): William B. Antes and Bud Anderson returned Monday evening from a six days’ tour
through the northern part of the state with the former’s calliope which opened a new theatre at West Salem,
near La Crosse, and was used at the celebration in Sun Prairie on Sunday and Monday.
60 Years Ago (1949): Miss Susan Cain, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. C. B. Cain, Evansville, became the bride of
Borger Hanson, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Borger Hanson, also of Evansville at the ceremony performed at 4 p.m.
last Saturday in the chapel of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hanson are
graduates of the Evansville High School. The former will be a junior and the latter will be a sophomore in the
University of Wisconsin this year.
50 Years Ago (1959): Elementary and Junior High Principal John Antes invited 15 students from Tupper school
and their parents to view the Evansville school last Tuesday. They met in the new grade gym where parents
and children became acquainted with the school facilities. Parents and children are Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth
Spanton and children, Joyce, Donald, and Judith; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Odegaard and children, David and
Suzanne; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jorgensen and children, Bobby and Steve; Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Chapin and son
Kenny; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bullard and daughter Vicky; Mr. and Mrs. John Brunsell and children, Dale, Steven
and Connie; Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wilson and daughter Clarice; Mr. and Mrs. Merle Johnson and Jimmie; and
Mr. and Mrs. Morris Haakenson and Dennis.
40 Years Ago (1969): James DiFabio of Newark, New Jersey, has been named as the new principal of
Evansville High School. DiFabio, 34, taught physical education and developed a program to provide
perceptual-motor training to ninth grade underachievers. Mr. DiFabio served two years in the U. S. Army
during the Korean War. He has coached football, soccer, and gymnastics. His wife Nancy is a former physical
education teacher. The DiFabio’s have two sons.
30 Years Ago (1979): A great variety of homes and styles are to be shown on the third annual Evansville
House Tour. For those interested in antiques and contemporary works, the apartment of Jane Whitmore
provides the best of both worlds. The apartment is a railroad flat, which like the name implies is a long railroad
coach with compartments of a side corridor. A professional interior designer for 25 years, Jane taught and
lectured on interior design at Oregon State University.
20 Years Ago (1989): Barbara Peter is the AFS student from Stadthagen, Germany making her home with the
Kress family for the next school year. Barbara is very interested in sports and has joined the cross-country
team. Her favorite foods are Austrian. She does miss the black bread from home. Her Evansville mother,
Nancy Kress, says that Phil makes black bread and will make some for her.
10 years ago (1999): City of Evansville Fourth Ward Alderman Kent Katzenmeyer has resigned his position on
the Evansville City Council, citing work constraints as the reason for his resignation. Katzenmeyer is employed
as a welder for Varco Pruden. His term expires April 2000. The City hopes to find and appoint a replacement
for Katzenmeyer by the Council’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 14.
Second Week of September 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Having been appointed to the office of Superintendent of schools for the First District
of Rock County, I desire to come into immediate communication with teachers and district officers, in regard to
educational interests. Teachers whose terms have not yet expired, would oblige me very much by informing me
as to the localities of their schools, and the time they yet have to teach. Hoping to receive the cheerful
cooperation of all interested in this great work, I pledge them, in return, every assistance in my power. James
W. Harris, Evansville, Wis.
130 Years Ago (1879): Friday last Sheriff Bomstock came up and arrested Kate Green, alias Maude Lee for
larceny. She has been working in Wolff’s saloon, Janesville and the proprietor charges that when she left she
took with her a hat and plume. She says she paid him $5 for it. This Kate Green, or Maude Lee, is quite well
known by reputation, and it is said that some of the gentlemen of the village are personally acquainted with
120 Years Ago (1889): When an allusion is made to North Madison Street, South Madison Street or West Main
Street the local center is supposed to be at the junction of these two streets at what is called the “Corners”
excepting Main Street, where the geographical division is made at the railroad crossing, and the same is true of
all other streets crossing the track, leading east and west. “Canada” is a local habitation not a foreign country.
(Note: for many years the east side of Evansville, past the railroad tracks was called “Canada.”)
110 Years Ago (1899): The week just closed has demonstrated what may be done with a little ambition and
more concerted action in the way of a regular old-fashioned fair. This was Evansville’s first attempt to do
anything in the nature of a County Fair . Too much praise cannot be given the ladies for their efforts to make
the fair a success. The fine arts department, consisting of crazy quilts, spreads, doilies, crocheting, and other
articles too numerous to mention greatly excelling the displays at the Midwinter Fair in Janesville. The exhibit in
the culinary department was also a splendid one. The horticultural exhibit was not large. This has been a poor
year for fruit. The vegetable display was an excellent one, fully demonstrating the fact that Evansville is
situated in one of the banner farming communities. The poultry exhibit was the finest ever displayed in Rock
Co. Farming implements were very much in evidence. The stock shown, although not large, was good and
reflects very creditably upon the stock raisers. The horse races were good.
100 Years Ago (1909): Postmaster General Hitchcock has perfected a plan whereby the United States postal
service will be placed upon a self-supporting basis. He intends to make up a deficiency of more than
$20,000,000, the amount that the department fell behind last year. The mail service of the country is one
which will not stand a great deal of tampering. Its high grade of service touches the most active side of
business and social life and the people have come to demand that they be given the best that training and
equipment can supply. The one aim is swiftness and accuracy in the delivery of the letter entrusted to the
servants of this department regardless of whether the postage which they bear pays the actual cost or not.
90 Years Ago (1919): Mrs. Della J. Ball has purchased the Earl Gibbs home on Church Street. Earl Gibbs
has purchased the Walter Biglow home on So. First Street, and Will Lang has purchased the C. W. Horton
home on So. First Street. (Note: According to the 1920 Federal Census of Evansville, Earl, Ethel, Paul and
Albert Gibbs and Grandma, Mrs. A. T. Howard, lived at 319 South First and William, Anna, Lillian, Grace and
Clara Lang and family lived at 320 South First.)
80 Years Ago (1929): Dorlan Mihills, former local resident and founder of the Evansville Lumber Company died
at his home in Coville, Wash., Aug 22. Mr. Mihills operated the lumber yards here for several years and after
selling the business to M. L. Paulson in Nov. 1899, moved to Spokane Wash., and later to Coville. Before
entering the lumber business here he was a traveling salesman for a lumber mill located near Fond du Lac
which he operated in partnership with his brother. Burial was made in Coville. (Note: The Evansville Lumber
Company was located at the southeast corner of Maple and East Church Streets.)
70 Years Ago (1939): Stanley “Pop” Sperry, Evansville’s big league ballplayer, who will return home this month
following a season’s workout with the Atlanta Crackers who purchased him from the Athletics early in the
spring. If the Crackers win their current playoff, they will enter the Dixie series.
60 Years Ago (1949): Two Evansville men were among the 62 Wisconsin citizens who attended the annual
Wisconsin Idea Theater conference at the University of Wisconsin. Mark H. Bruce, 133 N. Madison Street and
Ed Culver, 340 Lincoln Street attended this years meeting that centered on “Play Direction, with Prof. Robert E.
50 Years Ago (1959): The new teachers of the Evansville schools are: Miss Barbara Nott, vocal music; Mrs.
Gladys Burgess, 1st grade; Mrs. Betty Allen, 2nd grade; Mrs. Martelle Brown, English; Mrs. Vanita Shelby, 5th
grade; Miss Bonnie Beitz, girls’ physical education; Mrs. Lelia Hart, English-history; Mrs. Rachel Farrington, 5th
grade; Charles Towne, 7th-8th science; John Antonuk, mathematics; and Darlene Spindler, home economics.
40 Years Ago (1969): Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last Sunday, Sept. 7, at St. John’s Lutheran
Church for their $185,000 addition wing. The two-level addition will be built on the south side of the present
church building. Dyson Construction, Inc. of Madison is the general contractor. Robert Torkelson, of Ames,
Torkelson and Assoc., Madison, is the architect. According to Rev. Orlo Espeland, who has served the
congregation at St. John’s since 1964, there has been a steady growth in the size of the congregation which
now stands at about 1,000 with 600 confirmed members.
30 Years Ago (1979): Evansville students will definitely have to wear sweaters this winter to keep warm in
classrooms, school board member Phil Hamilton noted, if the school district complies with the federal energy
requirements discussed at Monday’s board meeting. The government recommendations call for keeping the
daytime temperature no higher than 65 degrees at the grade 7-8 building, the administration building, and the
high school building. The daytime temperature at the grade 5-6 building and the elementary building can
remain at 68 degrees, according to the maintenance director Gary Hurtley.
20 Years Ago (1989): Arthur Richard Rasmussen and the former Janice Leeder will observe their 40th
wedding anniversary September 9, 1989. They have three daughters, Cheryl Butzen, Lorri Holz, and Jill Byrns
and six grandchildren, Heidi and Todd Butzen, Chad and Carly Holz and Mallory and Meredith Byrns. The
family will celebrate the occasion with a dinner/theater in Fort Atkinson.
10 years ago (1999): Saturday, Sept. 11th will be filled with melodies. Once again Evansville’s High School
band students, horns blowing; drums beating; 90 of them, along with director, Doug Zblewski, will load up on
three buses and trek to Madison to be a part of a 5,000 piece, “Wisconsin Band day”. You can be assured that
Director Zblewski has been along with his students, rehearsing, furiously as there is no doubt little room for
error with 4,910 other musical instruments playing the same songs.
Third Week of September 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Mrs. Catherine Smith of Magnolia, has a temperance bed quilt, very ingeniously
worked, and containing 2956 pieces; and Mrs. G. Baldwin, a very fine silk bed quilt, and others, which show that
the busy fingers of the housewife have been very active.
130 Years Ago (1879): The C. & N. W. R. R. is building a new sidetrack east of the depot which is to be kept
clear for the use of trains which meet at this place. Being about halfway between Harvard and Baraboo, this is
the meeting point for a great number of trains and the ever-increasing business requires great conveniences.
120 Years Ago (1889): The exhibit at the Rock Co. Fair was decidedly excellent. The mechanical exhibit
attracted the attention of all those who were interested in agricultural implements. One, a very simple
invention, known as a tether, invented by Dr. W. P. Roberts of Evansville, is of special interest in that line, and
all who have seen it pronounce it to be the best that they have ever seen. It is an apparatus for staking out
horses, and other animals to graze, without the possible chance of being injured.
110 Years Ago (1899): The North-Western Tent Brigade of the Salvation Army will soon commence a series of
meetings near the City Hall. They are under the leadership of Capt. Hill and wife and are well spoken of
wherever they have been.
100 Years Ago (1909): Grange Store, Evansville, Wisconsin. Modish Autumn Millinery. All the Newest and
most Authoritative Fall Fashions exemplified in our beautiful showing of NEW FALL MILLINERY. The unusual
care and attention given this department, securing the services of two expert trimmers who have worked in
some of the largest cities in our state, and whose trained taste and experience is a guarantee to you that you
can secure here just as stylish and becoming a hat as in any of the large cities at about half the price. The
extreme care which we have taken in the reproduction of the very newest and most stylish models makes our
display this season exceptionally attractive and interesting and our many patrons will be delighted with the
opportunity of securing so becoming a hat at such a low price. Our showing this season is more varied and
entertaining than ever before.
90 Years Ago (1919): Evansville’s first war bride is here. From across the sea she arrived at her new home
Monday evening, when Mrs. Olive Bourbeau completed the last stage of her trans-Atlantic journey from her
former home at Birmingham, England. Mrs. Bourbeau, who was formerly Miss Olive Pasbley, was married
August 2nd to Staff-Sergeant Elmore A. Bourbeau, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Bourbeau of Evansville.
80 Years Ago (1929): A deal was concluded this week whereby Dr. J. W. Ames becomes the owner of the
wooded lot formerly owned by Mrs. Fred Winston, fronting on West Garfield Avenue. This is a tract of the
natural timber and Dr. Ames expects to use it as a ginseng garden, raising the plants in the shade of the trees
instead of in beds under artificial shade as is generally done in what are called ginseng gardens.
70 Years Ago (1939): The person who entered St. Paul’s Catholic Church here last week walked out with a
number of sacred and valuable articles. Among the loot taken was a gold chalice, valued at $250, bearing the
inscription “Donated By The McDermott Family,” and a silver ciborium. It is believed that the church was looted
on either Sunday or Monday nights of last week while the Rev. Francis Mehigan, pastor, was out of the city.
60 Years Ago (1949): Mr. and Mrs. Sever Hatlevig, Evansville, have received word from the government that
the body of their son, Kenneth, who died in the Philippine Islands, July 8, 1942, will be sent to the United States
for burial, at an early date. Kenneth went to the Islands with the Janesville National Guard unit, fought in the
Battle of Bataan and made the death march. Mr. and Mrs. Hatlevig will be notified when the body reaches the
50 Years Ago (1959): Mr. and Mrs. George Olsen, 204 W. Liberty St., Evansville will celebrate their 40th
wedding anniversary with an open house Sunday, Sept. 20, in the afternoon. The former Vera Roberts and
George Olsen were married in Evansville Sept. 22, 1919 by the Rev. A. W. Stephan. He has been employed at
the Baker Mfg. Company some 37 years. They are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Evansville. Mr.
and Mrs. Olsen have four children. They are Robert and Donald, Evansville, Mrs. Robert Bovre, rural
Edgerton, and Mrs. Robert Elmer, Janesville. There are 8 grandchildren.
40 Years Ago (1969): The Rev. Jeannette Orr has recently been sent to Evansville to Pastorate the Free
Methodist Church. She has been serving in the ministry for 45 years. The Free Methodist Church here has
been giving out the message of Holiness here in Evansville for a great number of years. The members have
been in their present building for over 40 years. Before this, services were held at the Free Methodist
Seminary for many years. The old Seminary building is now known as Wyler School. (The Free Methodist
Church was located in the building currently used by the Grace Baptist Church on West Church Street.)
30 Years Ago (1979): Carla Bayley, the AFS student, who is a native of Barbados will be spending the school
year with the Lyle Wickersham family in Evansville. Her AFS hostess is Vicki Wickersham and she has two AFS
sisters, Teresa and Wendy. It is not the first trip to the United States for Carla, but it is almost certain this will
give Carla her first opportunity to see snow.
20 Years Ago (1989): Dr. John and Mary Ann Gernetzke are new arrivals in Evansville. Dr. Gernetzke,
assumed the practice of Dr. Robert Heimerl, who has retired, on Sept. 7. The Gernetzkes are busy now
remodeling somewhat the office at 109 S. Madison Street in Evansville. The business will be named the Grove
Family Dental Clinic and will open formally on Monday, Sept. 25. Dr. John and Mary Ann come to Evansville
from Milwaukee. Dr. Gernetzke is a graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry, May 1989. He
ranked first out of 111. The Gernetzkes live at 237 W. Main Street.
10 years ago (1999): Last Wednesday evening was the first of ten weekly evenings for 48 community
volunteers on the School District Facilities and Vision Committee (township, city, school, and business
members) to address the failed March school district referendum and “where to go from here.” Enrollment
being the main theme of the first meeting was shown in detail through graphs. Enrollment projects for the year
2003 were from the present 1562 students to somewhere between 1630 and 1666 students, which represents
a 4 to 7% increase.
Fourth Week of September 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): A Janesville citizen’s editorial to the Janesville Gazette: “I am in business and come in
contact with many farmers, nearly all of whom live near here and have usually hauled their grain to this place
(Janesville) but now are drawing it to Shopiere, Evansville, and other small points, and for a bigger price than
our buyers will give. Farmers would rather draw their wheat here if they could get the same for it as they can
nearer home. There is no wheat coming into Janesville, comparatively speaking, and who is to blame? Surely,
we can afford as good prices as villages full as far from Milwaukee and Chicago.”
130 Years Ago (1879): In mentioning the removal of Mr. Hiram Mason to Nebraska, we should have included
the names of Mr. Ed Patterson and family and Mr. D. Swancutt and family, who formed part of the company.
They go to York, York Co., Neb. where Mr. Mason has a son (Riley Mason) who left here last spring.
120 Years Ago (1889): Dr. L. N. Wheeler received eleven members into the M. E. church, Sunday, one
baptized, and one received by letter. Rev. Dr. Wheeler will leave for Beaver Dam Tuesday, where the annual
conference of the M. E. church is held this year. It is not known who will be returned to this charge this year,
but if Dr. Wheeler is not, his people will be much disappointed.
110 Years Ago (1899): One of the hardest wind and rain storms that ever visited our city occurred Saturday
evening. The storm in its severity lasted but a few moments, but in that time large trees were blown down and
considerable other damage done. Dr. Colony was in Union making a professional call when his driver noticed
the approaching storm and began to unhitch the team. The carriage was overturned and the horses freed
themselves and ran away damaging the carriage. We have learned of several similar instances during the
100 Years Ago (1909): Will Meggott and wife have purchased the Commercial hotel from Mr. Josh Owen and
will take possession early in October, serving the first meal on Sunday, October 3rd. Mrs. Meggott was
connected with the hotel under Mr. Owen’s management for seventeen years, and knows the business from top
to bottom, and we predict the house will be kept up in the future to its good reputation of the past. (Note: The
Commercial Hotel was more recently known as the Coach House and was located on the vacant lot on the
south side of East Main, just east of the Main Street bridge.)
90 Years Ago (1919): The war department is preparing to announce that each discharged soldier will be
entitled to the full equipment issued to him while in service, with the exception of arms and ammunition. This will
include steel helmet, gas mask and a complete outfit of clothing. Reports received show that there has been
little system followed in discharge of soldiers and those who did not leave the service with full equipment will be
entitled to draw it upon proper showing and application. It is anticipated discharged soldiers will desire to keep
these uniforms and outfits complete to be used at reunions in the future.
80 Years Ago (1929): The Columbus Canning Co., of Columbus, Wisconsin, Juneau, and Horicon, Wisconsin
and Shelbyville, Indiana, who last June purchased the buildings, machinery and business of the Garden
Canning Co. of this city, last week completed their corn pack and state they are much pleased with the manner
in which the farmers of this locality cooperated with them. Mr. Earl Gibbs is in charge of the local plant at
present. At their other plants this company cans, besides peas, four kinds of corn, pumpkin, green and yellow
beans, succotash, beets and carrots canned together and peas and carrots also canned together. For the first
year at the local plant here they expect to confine themselves to peas and corn, the acreage of which they
hope to double and which they expect to efficiently handle by increasing the capacity and efficiency of their
factory. The canning business, more than any other business, needs friends among the farmers, and that it
cannot succeed without them. It is probably that the field men of this company will soon be here to look the
territory over and get acquainted, with the idea in view of doubling the acreage planted to peas and corn over
what has been raised in this territory in the past.
70 Years Ago (1939): The Kopp family reunion was held at Leonard Park Sunday. Those present were Mr.
and Mrs. Fred Kopp and family, New Glarus; Mr. and Mrs. John Kopp and family, Mr. and Mrs. Willis Kopp and
son, and Rolland and Henry Blumer, all of Albany; John Kopp Jr., Juda; Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Kopp and family and
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Altman and family, Monroe; Miss Francis Kopp, Monticello; and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest
Kopp and family, Evansville.
60 Years Ago (1949): Under the sponsorship of the Disabled Veterans organization with Mrs. A. J. Scoville in
charge of the sales girls, the 1949 forget-me-not sale Saturday was a success in Evansville with a total of
$53.21. The Methodist Youth Fellowship, of which the girls are members, received a per cent of the proceeds
of the sale. The following girls were the solicitors who canvassed the city throughout the day and until 7 o’clock
in the evening: Iris Heron, $26; Joan Trunkhill, $8.63; Beverly Thornton, $7.92; Carol Hazlett, $5.62, and
Nancy Reese, $5.04. Iris Heron received the prize for turning in the largest amount of money. All proceeds
beyond the actual expenses will be used to assist disabled veterans and their families.
50 Years Ago (1959): Final plans have been made this week for the 33rd Tri-State coon trials to be held
Sunday, Sept. 27, on the Glenn Maas farm five miles west of Evansville. The trials are sponsored annually by
the Wisconsin Raccoon and Fox Hunters Assn. of which Robert J. Antes is president. A large number of entries
are expected from three states, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. In addition to cash prizes given, merchandise
prizes have been collected which will also be awarded. One highlight of the occasion is the bench show. First
and second prizes will be given for the best coon and fox dogs under 18. For years this annual show has been
the outstanding field trials of the season.
40 Years Ago (1969): Alderman Robert Pendell, park board chairman, reported a good season this year; that
390 pupils took swimming lessons with 150 passing their tests; that four completed senior life saving and that
the swim team finished with a 6-2 record.
30 Years Ago (1979): Richard Kraemer, overall Pumpkin Festival chairman, met last week with committee
chairmen and others interested in the event. It will be held October 13 and will include a parade with Evansville’
s marching bands; an arts and crafts, and the big pumpkin decorating contest. Bob Heimerl, representing the
Evansville Lions Club will be in charge of the parade. Ryan Lister is in charge of fund raising, which has
begun. Steve Hagen and Phil Kress will jointly handle a pumpkin contest. The Evansville Jaycees planted
pumpkin seed and will get about 100 pumpkins from the venture. Ron Maxwell is the treasurer this year and
Anita Myrland is handling publicity.
20 Years Ago (1989): Enrique (Quique) Arce, the AFS student from Valencia Spain, is making his home in
Evansville with Mr. and Mrs. John Willoughby and family. “Quique”, as he likes to be called, is sixteen years
old. This year in Evansville is his final year of high school and when he returns he will be taking the State
Exams for college. He is on the football team and is enjoying that although he has not played American
football. Mr. Willoughby says food is no problem – he likes everything, especially sweets.
10 years ago (1999): Member of the Knights of Columbus and the Evansville Boy Scouts got up early Sept. 18
to help Jaret DeKelver gain his Eagle Scout badge by cleaning the Holy Cross Cemetery. Ron DeKelver, Jaret
DeKelver and Tom Williams worked on removing bushes around the cross at the cemetery. Chris Barbieur,
David van Roy and Trevor Walmer worked on the bushes in front of the cemetery.
Last Week of September and First Week of October 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): The Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which held its session
in Appleton, commencing, on the 25th and closing on the 28th, made the following appointment for Evansville,
Rev. E. D. Farnham. Former Evansville pastor, Rev. W. H. Sampson (1867-1869), was appointed to Sharon
and Rev. G. W. DeLaMatyr (1864-1867) to Delavan.
130 Years Ago (1879): A large crowd variously estimated form 1,000 to 2,300, surrounded the jail at Janesville
last Sunday night and demanded Baumgarten, the boy murderer. Sheriff Comstock had been informed of their
coming and had removed Baumgarten to a place of safety, but where that place is we have been unable to
learn. After being allowed to search the jail, the crowd left to search other places. The accounts up to the
present writing are very meager and contradictory.
120 Years Ago (1889): The high school opened with a large attendance. The high school department (not
including the grammar grade that occupies the same room) registers 57 pupils. Additional seats for 16 pupils
have been placed here and there in various odd corners; and still there are some pupils without seats. The
new desks in the high school room and the 16 new solid slate blackboards are testimonies to the wisdom of the
board in always providing the best. The attendance thus far has been remarkably regular in all the rooms, and
good work is being done by all. Parents are earnestly invited to call and see what their teachers are doing in
their school. They will find the primary department especially interesting.
110 Years Ago (1899): D. F. Finnane has decided to quit farming and turn his exclusive attention to
auctioneering. He will therefore hold a public sale on his farm four and a half miles south-west of Evansville,
beginning at nine o’clock a.m., Tuesday, Oct. Third. Among the items of the sale are, all of his farming
implements which are in first class condition, eight good horses, seventy-five head of cattle which are all good
grade Durham; forty shoats, and a large number of geese, turkeys and chickens; one hundred and eighty head
of high-bred sheep; five hundred bushels of corn, thirty acres of corn in shock, and twenty five acres of straw in
barn. We are pleased to state that Mr. Finnane and wife will make this city their home and we bespeak for
them a hearty welcome.
100 Years Ago (1909): About midnight Sunday night many people of Evansville residing in the vicinity of the
fair grounds, were awakened and surprised by the mellow, soothing notes, of a bugle, and on arising from their
downy couches, Monday morning learned that Uncle Sam’s army had struck town during the night. Many
curious people went up to the fair grounds and learned that Battery F of the 5th Regular Artillery of the United
States, had arrived during the night and pitched its tents on the fair grounds. The command which belongs at
Ft. Sheridan, near Chicago, had been in camp on the national reservation near Sparta, Wis., since early July
and was marching back to the fort. It had marched from Oregon during the early part of the night and left here
for Afton just before noon.
90 Years Ago (1919): James Fletcher of Elgin, Ill., and two Frenchmen who are the buyers for the French
Government, visited our Fair on Wednesday. They have offered F. B. Green & Sons a contract for 200
Holsteins to be tested and shipped from Evansville to New Port News, where boats have been chartered for
shipping Holsteins to France. F. B. Green & Sons have sold these buyers over twenty carloads within the last
ninety days. The French contracts call for several thousand head more.
80 Years Ago (1929): It will be good news to the people south of Magnolia Corners, where they have not had a
decent road since the county first settled to know that there no longer exists a doubt but that Highway No. 92
will go through that section running straight south from Magnolia Corners. The power machinery for the
grading and handling of rock on the first section south of Magnolia, belonging to the J. R. Griffith Co. of Racine,
passed through Evansville Tuesday on their way to the work. On this work his company will use two shovels
and several caterpillar tractors and wagons, or rather trucks which will take the rock direct from the shovels and
haul it to the large fills which are necessary on this piece of road in order to cut down the steepness of several
of the hills. The pieces of road south from Magnolia Corners has been let in three different sections, the first
section let to the Griffith Co., the next section to Ryan & Son and the south section to Drew and Garry.
70 Years Ago (1939): Mr. and Mrs. J. I. Scott are this week closing their fifth season as custodians and
storekeepers at Leota park and are today returning to their residence at 246 West Church Street. The Scott
home has been remodeled recently into two attractive apartments. Mr. and Mrs. Scott will occupy the upper
60 Years Ago (1949): The organization of the Kindergarten Mothers Club was held on September 28th with the
following officers elected to serve for the coming year: President, Mrs. Gordon Baker; Vice-President, Mrs.
Ralph Bennett; Secretary, Mrs. O. Cornwell, Treasurer, Mrs. Kenneth Cain.
50 Years Ago (1959): Walter Hook, son of the Leslie Hooks in Brooklyn, suffered a severe eye injury last week
while on a field trip with the Agriculture class of the local high school, when he was struck in the eye with a
walnut. Later report from x-rays show that the cornea is healing satisfactorily and Wayne returned to school on
Tuesday after spending a week of treatment in Madison.
40 Years Ago (1969): Corky and Chris Neuenschwander were visitors of their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs.
Owen Fraser while their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Corvan Neuenschwander attended Farm Progress Days in
Buffalo, Ill. Mr. and Mrs. Donald Bollerud also attended.
30 Years Ago (1979): The Leedle Bridge built in 1916 is one structure in the Cooksville Thematic Group which
may be placed on the National Register. The Cooksville public square and environs were originally nominated
to the National Register in 1973 as the first historic district in Wisconsin. With the Leedle Bridge, the number of
sites listed will be expended from 10 to 48.
20 Years Ago (1989): A reception was held on Sunday afternoon to allow the community to have its first look at
the Leonard P. Eager Reading Room at the Eager Free Public Library. Mr. Eager offered the gift of
remodeling the former store room several months ago and the library board accepted the proposal. At the
official opening, Library Board President, Diana Eager, thanked her father-in-law for the generous gift and
declared the room to be officially open. The room is used on a daily basis by community members and visitors
researching family and local history.
10 years ago (1999): Nancy and Jim Ganoung thanked their family and friends for being such an important
part of their lives this past Sunday at High Point Church in Middleton. Having recently been diagnosed with an
inoperable brain tumor, Jim and Nancy gathered together the music, the people, and the love for a Living
Memorial Service for Jim Ganoung, a long-time Evansville resident, coach, teacher, star athlete, and insurance
The book “Evansville” by Ruth Ann Montgomery from the Images of America Series, Arcadia Publishing, is
available at the Evansville Family Pharmacy, Ace Hardware, Piggly Wiggly, and Windmill Antiques. Online the
book is available from Arcadia Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A book signing will be held at the
Baker Office Museum from 9 to 4 on Sunday, October 4th. Dave Fellows will be signing his book on Fellows
Station at the same time and location.