First Week of September 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): A Grant and Wilson club was organized here Saturday night, by electing O. W. Gillman,
president, D. W. Hawley, Vice President, G. S. Bradley, Secretary and James R. West, Treasurer. J. M. Craig, I.
M. Bennett and I. A. Hoxie were appointed a committee on constitution and by-laws. D. Johnson, J. B. Reynolds
and E. W. Stearns, were chosen executive committee. Composed and arranged by B. S. Hoxie: Moving, we’re
moving, the South and the North! Moving to conquer the traitorous host! For Grant is our leader and Wilson will
win. Both are safe, trusty and true!
130 Years Ago (1882): Wm. Nelms shipped 144 calves Monday to Marysville, Mo. It looks as though it was an
unwise movement for our farmers to sell off all their young stock and deplete one of the very best agricultural
interests of the country for a present gain. And it is wise in the Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska farmers to buy
them up and stock their farms and enrich themselves with what appears to be the best source of our wealth.
120 Years Ago (1892): It has been told by some, as we understand it that the town of Union has never had a
member of Assembly. In reviewing the records, we find the town of Union has had, before Evansville was
separated from the town; in 1848 Alanson B. Vaughn was elected a member of the legislature; in 1857, J. M.
Evans; 1861, Jeremiah Johnson; 1866, Daniel Johnson; 1871, I. M. Bennett, and so on in 1873, 1876, 1882, all
have been elected from the town of Union. Evansville was not a separate factor until 1887.
110 Years Ago (1902): Anyone interested in animal or vegetable life might derive more pleasure and profit in
spending a few hours at the Evansville Fair. The grounds in general were in most excellent shape, the track
unsurpassed. Ample accommodations were made for the comfort of a large crowd; the grand stand being greatly
enlarged and an ample supply of good drinking water provided for the visitors and their teams.
100 Years Ago (1912): September 10, the Evansville Seminary opens with a registration of over two hundred
expected. Due to demand, seventh grade work and Sophomore college work has been added. Besides college
work and academic work, the seventh and eighth grades and four years of high school work, there is a business
department, department of music, and theological courses. Richard R. Blews is president. The seminary is on
the accredited list of the University of Wisconsin, Lawrence University, Greenville College, Wheaton College and
90 Years Ago (1922): The Bank of Evansville this week will complete the installing of a very complete radio outfit,
with a radius of 1500 miles, which it will use for the purpose of getting the complete market reports for the benefit
of its customers. This machine is of the Grebe type and has an amplifier which can be heard all over the room,
or out on the street, if necessary.
80 Years Ago (1932): The news was made public this week that the closing of the Chevrolet plant at Janesville
has been ordered by the General Motors Co., the reason for the closing being given as the excessive high taxes
which this state assesses against all industrial plants, according to Mr. M. V. Coyle, vice president of the
Chevrolet Co. Mr. Coyle also stated that the plant would be closed permanently, and held out no hope that the
work would be again opened in Janesville, even if the Wisconsin tax law should be changed in the future. The
closing of the plant will affect about 3,000 men, quite a percent of them being in Evansville.
70 Years Ago (1942): The first Rock County young woman to be accepted by the WAVES, women’s auxiliary of
the navy is Eloise Susan Eager, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard P. Eager, Evansville. She was one of 10 who
were accepted and will report to Smith College, Northampton, Mass for training in October. Miss Eager was
graduated from Evansville high school in 1936 and the University of Wisconsin in 1940. She worked in Chicago
for two years and now holds a position here at the Union Bank and Trust Co., Evansville, of which her father is
60 Years Ago (1952): There is a wonderful display of lilies, dahlias, zinnias, marigolds, cannas and many other
flowers in gorgeous fall colors in the following gardens where Better Gardens Club’s “Welcome To Our Garden”
sign will be placed on September 5-7: Mrs. Ida Miller, 38 N. 4th St.; Rolland Kauth, 134 W. Church St.; George
Greenway, 138 W. Church St; and Peter Templeton, 319 South Second Street. On Sunday, Sept. 7 only, Otto
Sells’ garden at 448 S. Madison St. will be open.
50 Years Ago (1962): David Viney, of Evansville, won a blue ribbon and the grand championship at the
Wisconsin State Fair with the Brown Swiss aged cow, whose registered name is Wintercrest Cora Lora Lee.
Exceptionally keen competition makes this junior fair dairy cattle show achievement a very select one for David.
His award was won on August 10.
40 Years Ago (1972): New teachers were welcomed to the Evansville school faculty at the beginning of school,
Robert Dorn, Mrs. Patti Cronin, James Adams, Miss Sue Rodgers, Mrs. Shirley Harvey, Linda Knuckles and
30 Years Ago (1982): Wayne Ballard retires after 33 years of service to Evansville in the Water and Light
Department. A reception to honor Ballard, Superintendant of Water and Light, will be held at the Evansville
Country Club Thursday, September 16. The public is invited.
20 Years Ago (1992): Jerard Donald is making his home this school year as an AFS student with the Ken and
Sue Reese family. He is from TePuke, North Island, New Zealand. The Donald family is in dairy farming. Jerard
is a senior at Evansville High School.
10 years ago (2002): This past Tuesday was officially the first day of school for not only the students and staff
but for the new high school as well. The doors were opened and students welcomed with both a morning
assembly for the 9-12 students, followed by an afternoon dedication with all the grades present. District
Administrator Gary Albrecht, H.S. Principal Richard Feutz, Student Council President Natalie Huschka, and
School Board President Dennis Hughes, were all present to speak on behalf of the occasion.
Second Week of September 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): We understand that an effort will be made to organize a stock company in Evansville,
with a primary view of testing the new Baker & Shaw, Double Acting, Steam Engine, the joint invention of these
gentlemen. If the engine proves as effective in its working power as several trials have already indicated, it will
pay for businessmen to bring it actively before the public.
130 Years Ago (1882): The railroad company think of replacing their uncertain windmill pumping power for a
steam engine. The long spell of calm weather has given them a dry tank for much of the time for railroad
purposes, and they want to put things beyond peradventure of winds or storms. They have had a portable
engine pumping at the tank for a number of days.
120 Years Ago (1892): The staging proving too frail for Leo Campbell and Will Weary to stand upon while
shingling Mr. Campbell’s barn, and giving away they both fell to the ground a distance of 14 feet. Leo got only a
pretty good shaking up, while Will had one of his legs badly lacerated that will likely lay him up for several days.
Both boys luckily escape broken limbs.
110 Years Ago (1902): Lloyd Hubbard 17 years of age, son of Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Hubbard was quite severely
injured in the left knee Monday, by being kicked by a horse on the fair grounds. It was first thought that the limb
was broken but Mr. Hubbard informed us, Wednesday morning, that no bones were broken and the boy was
100 Years Ago (1912): The board walks of Evansville will soon be but a memory. Only about 15 board walks are
left in the city. Most have been replaced with cement.
90 Years Ago (1922): After a drought of five weeks, lacking two days, during which time there was a heated spell
of two weeks’ duration which broke all previous heat records for the year, a rain came last Friday evening,
accompanied by one of the severest electrical storms in years. In Evansville, the Lyle Ballard house on West
Liberty street was struck but not badly damaged. A bull belonging to Crall & son of Janesville, which had not
been removed from the show sheds at the fairgrounds was killed. The barns, silos and sheds on the Fred
Rowley and Baldwin farms west of town, occupied by Frank Farnsworth and Charles Rasmussen, were set on fire
and burned with a loss of between $8,000 and $10,000, which was partly covered by the Farmers Mutual
Insurance of the town of Union.
80 Years Ago (1932): According to M. L. Ellis, who has charge of the tourist camp, there seems to be a general
unrest all over the country, as people from the east, north and south drive into the camp almost every day from
states as far away as New Jersey and Delaware, with most of their household goods tied on their cars somehow,
so they can be able to start to keeping house wherever they may find work. Many of them, he states, are almost
destitute as far as ready money is concerned.
70 Years Ago (1942): Mayor A. M. Winn recently purchased the property on Enterprise street formerly owned by
the D. E. Wood Butter company and although he has not decided what disposition he will make of the buildings,
he plans to enlarge his coal business here. Although the plant has been closed for the past several years,
during its operation here it played an important part in Evansville’s agricultural and industrial development, with
C. J. Pearsall, veteran butter manufacturer at its helm. [Note: today this building is part of the Baker
Manufacturing complex on the east side of Enterprise Street.]
60 Years Ago (1952): Les Giles, Evansville fire chief, Clyde Babcock, Don Turner and M. D. Fish attended the
16th annual meeting of the southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois Firemen’s association school in Darlington
last week. Earle Schwartz has been appointed assistant fire chief by the Evansville fire department. At the last
meeting of the city council, the department was instructed to choose its own assistant instead of by mayoral
50 Years Ago (1962): Ground was broken last week Thursday at 103 South Madison Street for a new office
medical building which will be occupied by Drs. R. J. and Roger Gray. It will be located next door to the present
office. The structure will be 36 ft 8 in. by 52 ft. 8 in and will be one story of 11 rooms plus a waiting room. The
present office building will be reconverted into apartments. [This building is on Church Street and the current
home of the Evansville EMS.]
40 Years Ago (1972): With the 3rd Friday of September designated as “Count Day” in the state, tentative
enrollment figures were released at the school board meeting Monday night. Unofficially, until Friday, the
Evansville school reenrollment reflects a decrease of 65 students over the 1971-72 school year. The drop in
enrollment was anticipated according to Superintendent, Dr. Ahlf.
30 Years Ago (1982): Allison Butts, on Brooklyn-Evansville Rd., went out to dig potatoes last Tuesday and was
surprised to find the largest potatoes he has ever seen in his 65 years. “I’ve been growing potatoes since I was
this high,” he said, “and I’ve never seen them this big!” The Kennebecs averaged 2.25 lbs. each. He planted 80
hills, and six to eight potatoes harvested from each hill turned out to be jumbo spuds.
20 Years Ago (1992): On September 12, firemen were called to the Norman Krumwiede farm to check hot hay at
7:50 a.m. They remained on the scene for two hours, using a thermometer to check the hay, which they
determined was OK.
10 years ago (2002): A ribbon cutting was held this past Sunday afternoon, at the entrance to the new high
school, for the Evansville Community on behalf of the Evansville School District. All four schools held an open
house tour prior to the official ribbon cutting. At 4 p.m. the community and all contributing parties to the building
projects met outside the doors of the new high school to congratulate one another and say “WOW” it’s finished.
School Board President Dennis Hughes had the honorary “big” scissors and other board members, city
dignitaries, contractors, student committee members and many others helped cut the ribbon.
Third Week of September 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): Mr. Samuel Hunt has our thanks for a nice basket of grapes from his own arbor. They
are delicious, and we can scarcely write this paragraph from nibbling at them as they lay on the table before us.
Mr. Hunt has just gotten out his catalogue for the fall of ’72 and spring of ’73. It represents a great variety of fruit,
shade and ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, roots, bulbs, &c. He is introducing some good varieties of trees
and offers them at low rates.
130 Years Ago (1882): Mrs. Campbell, mother of Byron and T. B. Campbell, Mrs. Henry Spencer, Mrs. G. F.
Spencer and Mrs. W. B. Winston, passed quietly over on the other side at a little after six o’clock Saturday
evening of last week, Sept. 16th at the advanced age of 88 years. She ate her supper with her usual relish and
was preparing to go to bed when her head was noticed to drop on her shoulder, and going to her found she was
in the last gasp of death, passed away without a sign or groan, or struggle, like a time piece, the weight of years
had run down the physical and the machinery stopped. Much of her life was spent in Evansville, and she was
always remembered as an excellent woman, a kind and loving mother to all.
120 Years Ago (1892): Cards are out for a wedding to take place between Mr. Will Lawton and Miss Lillie
Ballard, Tuesday evening, Sept. 20. Mr. Lawton is a professional typo and has been in the employ of R. M.
Antes for some time. Miss Ballard is one of Evansville’s excellent young ladies.
110 Years Ago (1902): Council Meeting: A petition, signed by a large number of citizens, was presented to
extend Garfield Avenue east across the old mill race, creek, C. & N. W. R’y tracks to interest the road running
north and south past the cemetery; referred to Street and Alley committee.
100 Years Ago (1912): Mrs. Albertina Ross died at the August Kleinsmith house, west of Evansville. Mrs. Ross
was born in Germany, May 10, 1841. She has four children living, Will Ross of this city, Frank Ross of
Minnesota, Mary Popontz and Amet Ross near Janesville, also three step children, Mrs. Herman Peterson, Attica;
Charles Ross, Evansville; Mrs. August Kleinsmith. Her husband, John Ross, also survives her. The funeral was
held at the Kleinsmith home and at the German church of which the deceased was a member for many years.
90 Years Ago (1922): John Wall, Sam Shaver, Clarence Franklin and Harley Wall, who have been away for
several weeks on an auto trip through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and a part of Texas, returned last
week, having traveled 3,000 miles at a cost for gas and oil of $48. They saw all kinds of country, all kinds of
people, and learned many new customs. They went by way of St. Louis, Kansas City, Joplin, Mo., Tulsa,
Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, to Amarillo, Texas, where Mr. John Wall has a ranch. The two lessons of the trip:
there is no better place than “Old Wisconsin,” and that the people of Wisconsin should be proud of her highway
system and her system of highway marking.
80 Years Ago (1932): The Shanty, Evansville’s newly redecorated ballroom above the Magee theatre, will have
its grand opening tomorrow night when the celebrated Cascanova Club Shanty Town band of Janesville furnishes
the music for the gala event. Dances will be given here every Friday night under the management of Harold
Schmidley, who is also operating the Eaglette Gardens in Janesville.
70 Years Ago (1942): Miss Helen Tait, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Tait, Evansville, was among the 242
candidates commissioned third officers in the Women’s Army Auxiliary corps at graduation exercises at Fort Des
Moines, Iowa, last Saturday. The rank is equal to a second lieutenancy in the army. Miss Tait, who is the first
Rock county woman to get the rating was also the first woman of the county to join the AASC. She was inducted
July 22 of this year and went to Fort Des Moines August 2. Five other Wisconsin women received commissions.
60 Years Ago (1952): Evansville area residents will get their first chance to see the new building of the Union
Bank & Trust Co., when the bank holds open house Saturday, September 20. While the new building is crowded
with visitors, business will be transacted in the bank’s temporary location in the Keyes building. The actual
moving into the new building will be done Sunday and on Monday, the bank will open for business in the new
50 Years Ago (1962): Mr. and Mrs. Ira Larsen recently purchased the Hyne Bldg. at 102 E. Main Street and
have moved into the upper apartment. Mr. Larsen has made minor improvements in the rooms on the ground
floor where he is now operating his Draclean rug and upholstering cleaning business. The front room will be
used as a display room and although most of the cleaning is done in the homes of his customers, some of it will
be done in the ground floor rear rooms where he will have his cleaning equipment.
40 Years Ago (1972): A few sound sleepers in the city were not disturbed by the mild low intensity earthquake
that occurred at 12:26 last Friday morning but those who were awakened by the tremor were considerably
“shaken up”. The Evansville police dispatcher on duty reported that he had about 30 calls from local residents at
the time. There were no reports of severe damage in this area. The earthquake’s epicenter was at a point some
20 miles south of Aurora, Ill., and 55 miles southwest of Chicago.
30 Years Ago (1982): Evansville voters, 512 in all, as well as other Wisconsin voters, sent a strong message to
the White House, when they voted in the election on Tuesday of last week. On the Nuclear-arms freeze and
weapons reduction with the Soviet Union, Evansville voters said “Yes” 402 times and “No” 99 times. Wisconsin
was the first state in the nation to put the question on the ballot. Eight more states will vote on the same issue in
20 Years Ago (1992): Union, Porter, and Magnolia township residences in the Evansville Postal Delivery area
have all been provided with new fire numbers by the county and townships. These new numbers may now be
used for addressing and for emergencies. Center Township also has fire numbers that are part of the Rock
County-wide numbering system and may also use them as addresses and for emergencies.
10 years ago (2002): John Haakenson, who has been bowling for 62 years, got his first ever 700 series recently
on the Thursday Night Men’s League. Games bowled were 199, 267, and 253, totaling 719 series. John, age 80
years young, has been bowling since he was 18 years old.
Fourth Week of September 1872-2002
140 Years Ago (1872): The barn of Mr. Turner, at Magnolia Station, was struck by lightning, Sunday night and
totally consumed, together with buggy, 1200 bushels of oats &c., and a good horse, belonging to another
person. On Saturday night, the house of Mr. Andrew was somewhat shattered by the fluid entering in and
passing down at the chimney, shocked a daughter of Mr. Andrew, but doing no important damage otherwise. Mr.
Hopkins gave us the particulars of these thundering freaks.
130 Years Ago (1882): B. S. Hoxie of Cooksville, was nominated by the Prohibition convention that met at Milton
on the 18th for member of Assembly for the 3d district. He is not an eloquent debater, but has sense enough to
keep his seat when he has nothing to say. He is a man of little more than 55 years old, having been born in a log
house in the town of Milton, Piscataquis county, state of Maine, on the 6th of August 1827. His advantages of
education were confined to a district school of low grade for three months in a year, but managed by industry and
perseverance to gain a tolerable smattering of the King’s English, and has had the knack of turning to good
account what little education he did get. He is by profession and practice a house carpenter. Some of the
architectural designs in the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s report are his contributions.
120 Years Ago (1892): After several months of fruitless delay, from causes beyond the power of the Board to
control, the town hall has been located, staked out, and labor excavating and laying the stone foundation will
begin. Mr. D. W. Worth, of Baraboo, does the stone and brick work, and B. S. Hoxie, the carpentry and finish
work. The brick being contracted for at Jefferson, by the village, and frames and finish is furnished, under
110 Years Ago (1902): The “Old Tavern” at Union, an old landmark for many years is soon to be torn down;
consequently the young people of the Baptist church will hold a social there on Friday evening, Sept. 26,, 1902.
Conveyances will start from the Baptist church at 7 o’clock, fare 10c. All are invited to come. The proceeds will
go toward the building fund of the church.
100 Years Ago (1912): A. R. Clifton bought Gillman Searles’ tobacco land and surveyed it into town lots. Clifton
sold lots on Saturday, September 21st with a Chicago real estate agent to handle the sale. The Evansville band
played during the sale. Lots sold for $100 to $395. Most of the lots were sold that day. A building restriction of
$2,000 is placed on the homes built on the lots.
90 Years Ago (1922): At the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lew Van Wart, Thursday, September
221, at 7 p.m. Miss Marjorie Van Wart was united in marriage to Mr. Frederick Howe, of this city, the Rev. O. W.
Smith, of the Congregational church performing the ceremony. The groom is a son of Mrs. Walter Gollmar of this
city and a young man who made an enviable record as a soldier overseas, during the late war. For the next year
Mr. Howe will continue his work at the E. J. Reckord & Son Garage. Mrs. Howe will assist her father in the Van
Wart Drug Store.
80 Years Ago (1932): A group of five new Ford motor cars comprising an All Wisconsin Product show of the Ford
Motor company in Milwaukee, passed through the city this morning stopping at the local Ford garage, where the
cars were on display for a half hour. Parading through “the loop” the procession, led by a music amplifier,
attracted the attention of pedestrians on the streets who were interested in seeing the late models.
70 Years Ago (1942): H. Howard Norby, Evansville, and Royal C. Clark, Oregon, former Evansville resident, are
young men of the vicinity among twelve applicants for the U.S.S. Wisconsin token crew who were recently
accepted at the Madison naval recruiting substation. The local youths left Monday. Norby is the son of Mr. and
Mrs. Hans Norby and Clark is the son of Royal Clark, Sr.
60 Years Ago (1952): Sunday morning, Sept. 28, members of the Methodist church will vote on the proposed
building program. Several new classrooms for the Sunday school and a new heating plant are needed.
Approximately $25,000 is needed to be raised over a period of years. W. M. Bewick, chairman of the building
committee, will give a special presentation of the work of his committee, after which a vote will be taken by church
50 Years Ago (1962): The road bed of Evansville’s Main Street has taken on a complete new look during the past
week since the macadam and black top surface has been spread and rolled on from the corner of West Main and
Second streets east to the railroad track. Gravel was spread on each side of the street between the curbs and
the brick pavement prior to the spreading of the black top. It is approximately 50 years since the street was
paved with brick and some of the old timers have been heard to remark “that it lasted pretty well.”
40 Years Ago (1972): Mel Janes and family received outstanding Farmer Award at the State Fair. He was
selected from the Evansville Community by the local FFA. Each community FFA designates their award winner.
The Janes family, as well as some 40 other state farmers and families, enjoyed a free day at the Fair and were
feted at a banquet. The major enterprise on the 500 acres of land being farmed by the Janes family is dairying;
the milking herd consists of 70 registered Holstein cows and 40 to 50 head of young stock.
30 Years Ago (1982): License plates from Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin and the barking of some
75 dogs attested to the fact that the 55th annual Tri-state Coon and Fox Hound meet was being held in
Evansville. As in years past, the event was held on the Glenn Maas farm, five miles west of Evansville on
Pleasant Prairie Rd. The big event drew some 700 persons this year. Evansville has been the scene of this
activity since 1927. Robert Antes, then publisher of the Evansville Review and owner of Antes Press, was the
instigator of the Tri-State Coon Trials. Antes introduced the Field Trials to Wisconsin and the trails in Evansville
are the largest in the country.
20 Years Ago (1992): The Evansville Historic Preservation commission is proud to announce the installation of
the first historic street light on the corner of West Main and First Street, in front of the Tower House. The light,
the first of 17 planned for the downtown area was purchased and installed with funds by the Union Bank & Trust,
Berg Realty and First Financial Bank.
10 years ago (2002): Music teacher Cindy Zblewski approached the school board at the September 2002
monthly board meeting to ask the school board to secure a loan for the purchased of a grand piano for the new
school auditorium. While her petition was met with some opposition, the board did approve acquiring a one-year
loan from Union Bank and Trust in the amount of $19,000 for the purchase of the piano. The resistance was
largely due to the fact that the district needs all new practice pianos, some felt before a “luxury” such as a grand
piano should be purchased. Class pianos cost approximately $4,000 a piece.