First Week of May 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Below will be found the income returns of Evansville. The amounts given are those on
which taxes are paid after all legal deductions have been made. The deductions are $1,000 exempt from
income tax, amounts paid for National, State and local taxes during the year, loses actually sustained, losses
on sales of real estate bought during the year, actual rent paid for homesteads, amount paid for ordinary
repairs and interest paid during the year: Isaac M. Bennett $800; Harvey Prentice $577; John M. Evans $313;
Charles M. Smith $310; O. W. Gillman $523; Nelson Winston $900; D. H. Pratt $594; and John W. Winston est.
130 Years Ago (1879): Last year an effort was made to start an archery club in Evansville. For want of
support it was a failure. But “once out” is not out for good. There is no more healthful, pleasant, or attractive
amusement for ladies than archery; and the necessary requirements for the sport are not costly. Neighboring
communities are agitating the question, and the probability is several will be started. Cannot the same parties,
or some one else try again?
120 Years Ago (1889): The fire company celebrated by filling the cistern near Mr. Bates’ place on the east
side. The flues of the engine being a little leaky, they drew off in the afternoon for repairs, but started up again
Wednesday and filled the cistern on 2nd street near Wilder’s place. They stretched out 2,500 feet of hose but
it took the boys nearly all the afternoon to do the job.
110 Years Ago (1899): Mr. Geo. Hall, Jr. will start today on his summer’s trip with his show which has been
greatly enlarged during the year. He has introduced, among other novelties, a company of twelve trained dogs
that do all sorts of fantastic tricks.
100 Years Ago (1909): John Porter is having a house built for the use of that new auto which he recently
purchased. (John Porter’s home was at 120 West Main.)
90 Years Ago (1919): “The Cut-Off City,” this name was once applied to Evansville as a term of derision by
other towns. Since that time Evansville has not only proven herself worthy of the name, but proud of it. The
cut-off gave to the city ways and means of reaching the markets of Chicago and the markets to the west and
south enjoyed by few cities of her size in Wisconsin. This cut-off gives to this city a day’s advantage in freight
shipments and makes Evansville almost the hub of a wheel with railroads going in many different directions.
Business and working men are making their homes in Evansville while they go to their work in other cities by
rail, because of the home advantages to be found here and the splendid commercial advantages given them
by the stores, banks and garages of the “Cut-off City.”
80 Years Ago (1929): Miss Helen Isobel Bullard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bullard, became the bride of
Henry E. Julseth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Julseth, at a ceremony performed at 2 p.m. Saturday in the First
Lutheran church, Rockford, by the Rev. O. Garfield Beckstrand. The bride was graduated from the local high
school in 1924 after which she attended the University of Wisconsin and was graduated from the State
Teachers’ college, Milwaukee, last June. The newly weds will make their home in Evansville, where they have a
wide circle of friends who wish them much prosperity and happiness.
70 Years Ago (1939): Lester L. Thompson, local Ford dealer, was unanimously elected chairman of the Rock
County Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting held Tuesday morning in Janesville. Mr. Thompson is a
supervisor of long standing and represents the first ward. Potter Porter, chairman of Union township, was
elected vice chairman of the Board Tuesday.
60 Years Ago (1949): Plans are progressing under the direction of Dan Kissel, junior class advisor for the
1949 junior class promenade to be held in the school gymnasium Friday night, May 13. The grand march, led
by Jerry Hansen, Prom King and Sally Kessler, his chosen Queen, is scheduled for 10:30 o’clock. They will be
followed by class officers, students, alumni and other guests.
50 Years Ago (1959): Pink and white snapdragons decorated the altar of the First Methodist Church,
Saturday, April 18, for the marriage of Miss Barbara Ann Reese and John Haakenson. The Rev. John L.
Walker officiated. Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Reese, Rt. 1, Evansville, and Mr. and Mrs.
John Haakenson Sr., Cooksville. Mr. and Mrs. Haakenson will be at home at 18 ½ West Main Street,
40 Years Ago (1969): Those from Evansville who attended the Badger Council of Girl Scouts annual meeting
were Mmes, Roger S. Gray, Board Member, Doral Wahl and Tom Cromhecke, delegates and Mrs. Harold
30 Years Ago (1979): The 1979 Junior Prom Court consists of Joani Blum, Diane Green, Queen Pattie Elmer,
Lisa Soetaert and Jana Applebee, Dennis Beggs, Mike Petterson, King Mike Hilbelink, David Nield and Dean
20 Years Ago (1989): Members of the Evansville Prom Court are Queen Shannon Maves and King Mike Brickl;
Teresa Elmer, Matt Trunkhill, Randy Schroeder, Annie Dunphy, Sandy Manolis, Dan Smith, Brenda Harnack,
Mike Halla, Angie Howard, Jack Meredith, Jenny Grovesteen, Paul Bernitt, Sandy Larson, Kurt Johnston, Scott
Katzenmeyer, and Darbie Nieman.
10 years ago (1999): Several Long-time teachers in the Evansville School District plan to retire at the end of
the 1998-99 school year. They are: Larry Dobbs, Middle School Grade 6 science teacher, began teaching in
Evansville in 1965; Georgia Rattan, Middle School, Grade 7 language arts teacher, began teaching in
Evansville in 1970; Helen Hargraves, Middle School Grade 5 mathematics teacher, began teaching in
Evansville in 1962; Shirley Harvey, Elementary School, Grade 2 teacher, began teaching in Evansville in 1972;
and Victor Illichman, Middle School Grade 5 science teacher, began teaching in Evansville in 1968.
Second Week of May 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Farmers in this section have hopes of abundant yields in their crops of small grains.
All the wheat and oats are in the ground and the corn will be planted by the 18th or 20th of this month. The
prospect for winter wheat is better than usual.
130 Years Ago (1879): Mr. Geo. D. Potter has taken the advice given by the Review and formed an archery
club. At present the club consists of one member, but others will be welcomed with out-stretched arms, to the
ranks. A first class outfit, consisting of bow, arrows, quiver and target can be purchased for $6 or $7. George
says he thinks he can beat Sitting Bull already.
120 Years Ago (1889): Sidney Smith and D. M. Rowley are the latest that have concrete walks. We think that
they will be the principal walks in the city within a few years. We understand that Mr. Lamont has proposed to
our city fathers to put in a concrete street crossing on trial, but have not yet learned their decision. It will
certainly be much safer against accidents and undoubtedly save our village something in damages.
110 Years Ago (1899): Amy Perry is ill with scarlet fever and Bennie Eilert and Elsie Moore with measles. As
these pupils are all from one grade their absence from school is noticeable.
100 Years Ago (1909): Frank Hall spent Monday in Rockford, where he went to see the sort of show the
Gollmar Bros. are putting up this season. Mrs. W. S. Gollmar and baby spent the first of the week with Gollmar
90 Years Ago (1919): The fire department this morning responded to a fire call at five o’clock at the Cozy
Café, caused by a coffee urn catching fire. The fire was extinguished without appreciable loss.
80 Years Ago (1929): George O’Neil, Minneapolis, Minn., has accepted the position of physical education
instructor and football and basketball coach at the local high school, according to an announcement made
yesterday by Supt. J. P. Mann. He will succeed Floyd Wheeler who resigned to complete his law course at the
University of Wisconsin. O’Neil is completing a four-year course in physical education at the State Teachers’
College, La Crosse, this spring. He comes to this city highly recommended as a clean cut young man,
ambitious and well versed in the art of instructing and coaching.
70 Years Ago (1939): Evansville’s newly organized Townsend club will meet at 8 o’clock tonight in the City Hall
auditorium for a business session. Lawrence Rosa is present of the group; Lyman Farrell, vice president;
Anton Cole, treasurer; and Fred W. Hansen, secretary. The club was organized here April 13, with a charter
membership of 56. Its ranks have grown until the club now boast of a membership of 72, sixteen of whom
joined at the last meeting.
60 Years Ago (1949): The local FFA chapter selected James Koeneman as president; Donald Allen, vice-
president; John O’Brian, secretary; Clyde Hoops, treasurer; Leo Keunzli, reporter; and John McGuire, sentinel.
The Chapter plans to send delegates to the state convention to be held at Green Lake, May 23, and 24. It also
plans to participate in the state judging contest at Madison on June 10.
50 Years Ago (1959): Wilson Wilbur announces that he has recently purchased his partner’s share of the E &
W Clover Farm Store. Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur came here in November from Lake Geneva and established a
grocery store and fresh meat department in the Clark building on the corner of Main and Madison St. His
business partner, Edward Reich, Lake Delton, Wis. Managed and built up a popular meat department. Wilbur
states that he expects to continue the same service and line of meats. Ray Smith, with some 40 years
experience in his own meat business, has been hired to take charge of the department. Mr. Reich has
returned to his home town of Lake Delton.
40 Years Ago (1969): Doctor (Captain) Michael L. Sorkin, son of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Sorkin of 227
Garfield Ave., Evansville, Wis. Attended the 40th annual Aerospace Medical Association meeting just
concluded in San Francisco. The physician was among 1,500 active duty and reserve officers of the U. S. Air
Force Medical Service who participated in a series of programs on the latest advancements in the medical
aspects of aviation and space travel. Dr. Sorkin is a flight surgeon with a unit of the Tactical Air Command at
Nellis AFB, Nev. He has completed a tour of duty in Vietnam.
30 Years Ago (1979): School board members met last Friday night in a special meeting to consider the
wording of the referendum for the upcoming election with regard to voting on the proposed athletic complex in
the amount of $289,000. The adopted resolution of April 23, which has been published once, has been found
to be in error by the school attorney, Ronald Kotnik, of Madison. The new notice to the electors, which is
published elsewhere in this issue of the Evansville Review, states that it is an advisory referendum election.
However, the board took action Friday night and went on record stating, that the results of this May 17 election
will be considered binding to this board.
20 Years Ago (1989): Construction is taking place at Fifth Street as Garfield Ave. is being extended westward
to accommodate the new subdivision, West View. A new street will run north and south parallel to Fifth Street,
but one block farther west. This will be known as Hyne Street. The subdivision is owned by Don and Virginia
Larson and some 18 lots are available for homes here.
10 years ago (1999): “Gotta Have Faith” was the theme for the Class of 2000 at their Junior Prom, Saturday,
May 8. The song is “Angel” by Aerosmith. Members of the prom court are Queen Kelly Andrew, Stephanie
Berg, Amber Brown, Angela Bruner, Diane DiSalvo, Amy Fuchs, Ann Knudtson, Crystal Manger, Rosalia
Roman, Scott Baertschi, Joe Beggs, Doug Braucher, Dale Creighton, King Joel Gunn, John Leuzinger, Brett
Porter, Travis Schuh and Zac Thompson.
Third Week of May 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): The people of Evansville are to be favored on the evenings of May 26 and 27th with
concerts by the Evansville Cornet Band. They offer an inviting programme and without doubt will give a good
130 Years Ago (1879): The undersigned, (Barbers of Evansville) have this day, May 18, 1879, agreed to close
our respective shops on Sundays after May 19th, 1879. Our shops will be open on Saturdays from 7 a.m. until
12 p.m. U. N. Slawson, A. Richardson, L. F. Palmer, Barbers.
120 Years Ago (1889): Mr. E. E. Combs, of Clinton, who has rented the rooms lately occupied by Mr. Beals,
opens up a photograph gallery today. His goods and apparatus came by the morning freight, and he lost no
time in starting up business. He has had considerable experience in the art and promises good work, which is
all our people can reasonably demand. We shall have the pleasure of presenting his business card next week.
110 Years Ago (1899): Died: Sunday evening, May 14, Martin, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Holden,
aged about eighteen years. The deceased had a severe attack of grip in the winter and had never fully
recovered. Last Saturday he was shearing sheep when he was taken ill. The Dr. was called, who found the
young man suffering from a diseased tooth. The patient got no better and when he called Sunday, the case
had developed late blood poisoning from which disease the young man died Sunday evening. The grief
stricken family have the heartfelt sympathy of a large number of friends. The funeral was held at the late home
on the Wm. Stevens farm near Fellows, Tuesday afternoon. Interment in Maple Hill cemetery.
100 Years Ago (1909): No building in this vicinity represents more fully the heart and brain of our first settlers
than does the Evansville Seminary. “A Christian School” was demanded by these pioneers long before the log
cabins had been displaced by frame houses. At infinite sacrifice this beautiful bit of architecture was erected
upon an ideal spot. It has stood the wear and tear of over half a century and today the most skilled experts
pronounce it a model of beautiful symmetry. June 10 is the day set for the artisans to begin their work of
restoration. The walls, where at all defective, are to be renewed. New stone and caps and sills to windows are
to replace the wooden ones. A new fire proof slate roof will take the place of the present wooden one.
90 Years Ago (1919): It will not be long before most of the Evansville boys will be home from overseas. Eldon
Hatfield arrived in Evansville Tuesday, and it is reported that Dan Williams, Brooks Gabriel and Paul Mabie
arrived in New York the first of the week.
(Note: these men served in Europe during World War I.)
80 Years Ago (1929): The Millard Home school, 259 West Liberty Street, will close a very successful year May
24, it was announced today by Eugene S. Millard, director. The enrollment during the school year totaled 26
pupils, 18 boys and 8 girls. Of this number three were from Milwaukee; one from Montrose, So. Dak.; one from
Two Harbors, Minn.; three from Cleveland, Ohio; two from the New York City; and 16 from Chicago.
70 Years Ago (1939): Chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Bewick, Mrs. Blanche Moore, and Mrs. Nile
McCaffery, six high school musicians, who recently competed at the district music festival in Milton, left the city
Wednesday morning for the annual national music contest in Minneapolis where they are participating today
and tomorrow. They are Marjean Moore, soprano and French horn solos; Angela Bewick, piano solo; Ruby
Vreeland, trombone; Ruth Morrison, piano; Ellen Robinson, cornet; and Howard Norby, baritone vocal solo.
Little Norma McCaffery is also accompanying her mother on the trip.
60 Years Ago (1949): Conservation department workers, after a month of labor with the aid of rural and
village school pupils, Boy Scouts and other groups, were scheduled to complete the tree planting in game
refuge and woodlot areas in Rock County townships last Friday. Erection of fences to protect new planting
from livestock, financed at state cost, will require another week or so. The work being done experimentally in
Rock County, is located in Lima, Plymouth, and Porter townships, where efforts are being made to provide
game shelter and re-establish timber on land unsuitable for cultivation. Evansville boys assisted in this work of
planting in this locality.
50 Years Ago (1959): Evansville’s popular police chief, George Walk, resigned Wednesday morning to take an
appointment as chief of police at Sun Prairie, Immediately following receipt of the news that the Sun Prairie
council had appointed him at a meeting Tuesday night, Walk gave 30 days notice to Mayor Townsend and to
Richard Eager, chairman of the Evansville council’s police and fire committee. Walk joined the Evansville force
in 1951, and served under former Chiefs Nimmo and Casey. He was appointed chief in 1954.
40 Years Ago (1969): Gene D. Prudhon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Prudhon, Evansville, is among 200
students of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University’s Centers who are winners this spring of
membership in Phi Eta Sigma, national scholastic honor society for freshmen men at the University.
Candidates must have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or better in their first semester or first year of
30 Years Ago (1979): The Union Bank & Trust Co. held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of its new
motor bank facility last Thursday morning. Mayor Robert Olsen cut the ribbon as Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Eager, Sr.
watched, as well as the employees of the bank. A squadron of cadets from the Wyler School added color to
the early morning ceremony.
20 Years Ago (1989): Evansville Volunteer Fire Department took the opportunity to honor four retiring
members of the Department at their regular meeting, Monday May 8, 1989 at the Coach House in Evansville.
Those honored were Kenneth Grenawalt, 20 years; Robert Gallman, 31 years; Kevin Endres, 11 years; and
Dean Hermanson, 11 years. Commendations and a plaque were presented on behalf of all members of the
Department and past retirees by Fire Chief Edd McCaffrey.
10 years ago (1999): Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms earlier this week cause Evansville Public Works
officials to close Lake Leota Park due to flooding by the overflowing waters of Lake Leota and Allen Creek.
Public Works Superintendent Dave Wartenweiller said the flooding was due more to the heavy rainfall from the
Brooklyn area, which received almost five inches of rain. At times the creek through Lake Leota Park was
about five feet high, spilling over the banks and filling the park playground areas. The creek is usually about
two feet deep.
Fourth Week of May 1869-1999
140 Years Ago (1869): Decoration of Soldier’s Graves. In nearly every considerable town in the north,
tomorrow will witness the decoration of soldier’s graves. It is hoped that individuals will see to it that flowers
deck the grave of every soldier sleeping in our cemetery.
130 Years Ago (1879): M. R. Case and Ray Gilman, who have been spending a couple of weeks in Dakota,
returned Saturday night. They report all former Evansvillians in that country, well and doing well. Mr. S. Van
Hise, postmaster at Union returned from his Nebraska trip, Wednesday night. He reported plenty of rain in that
favored country, and crops are looking well.
120 Years Ago (1889): Evansville Mercantile Association, alias “Grange Store,” is putting in a fire wall between
that store and Reuben Winston’s store on the west. They are now excavating for the stone foundation, and on
this a brick wall will be built some 18 inches thick and extending above the ridge of the main building. (Note: In
1889, the Grange Store was at 19 East Main and Reuben Winston’s store at 17 East Main Street.)
110 Years Ago (1899): Mrs. E. J. Ballard gave a very pretty At Home to about thirty ladies last Tuesday
evening. A novel entertainment was introduced in which each guest answered certain important questions by
their own initials. The answers were mirth-producing.
100 Years Ago (1909): The date of the Catholic picnic has been set for June 16, this year, and great
preparations are being made by the members of the parish to make this second event even bigger and better
than the one of 1908 was. The features this year will be better than last, and as the members of committees
had experience last year they will know how to go at it to make it a success. The committee on arrangements
consists of Father Fitzgerald, J. M. Bodenberger, Dan Finnane and Christy Ryan.
90 Years Ago (1919): Bernie Christensen of Company M arrived home from France, Monday. He was fully
assured of his welcome home. He was discharged from Camp Grant after nearly two years of service in Camp
Douglas, Waco and over the top many times in France since he went across February, 1918. He carries a
wound stripe. (Note: For US soldiers, the wound stripes were called Wound Chevrons. They were gold service
stripes, worn on the right arm. The wound chevron was replaced by the Purple Heart and World War I veterans
could apply for the Purple Heart. The Evansville Review noted in its January 13, 1933 issue that Glenn Estes
and Max Weaver received the Purple Heart. Dan Williams, Bernie Christensen, Allie Peterson and Roscoe
Haynes had made application and were eligible for the Purple Heart.)
80 Years Ago (1929): An appropriation of $100 for the purchase of additional playground equipment for
Leonard park was made at the regular meeting and banquet of the Evansville Lions Club held Monday night in
the Hotel Central. The apparatus will be purchased by a committee composed of R. P. Richmond, A. M. Winn
and Supt. J. P. Mann. The club erected a slide, picnic table, three teeter-totters and three swings at the park
two years ago and purchased a swing bob last year.
70 Years Ago (1939): A war time atmosphere prevailed in the city early Monday morning when the second
battalion of the Third Field Artillery Company of 350 men and 250 horses paid Evansville a visit enroute from
Fort Sheridan to the Sixth and Seventh Corps area maneuvers at Camp Williams. The battalion was encamped
Saturday and Sunday in Janesville and at the north end of Palmer Park, arrived in three battalions each of
which remained here for a short time at different intervals to rest and water the horses. A portable water tank
was erected on Maple Street near the city’s business section and hundreds of local townspeople assembled at
the scene to watch the operation. Colonel G. A. Pallin was in command with Captain Stanley Bonner in charge
of the headquarters battery, Captain Wilmer Bennett heading Battery D and Lieutenant J. R. Brindley in
command of Battery E.
60 Years Ago (1949): A large crowd of Evansville citizens and former pupils of Miss Myrtle Green attended the
regular PTA meeting and Myrtle Green night program in the school auditorium and gymnasium last Thursday
night. Miss Green, who is retiring from teaching after 48 years, 43 of which have been spent in the local grade
school, was guest of honor and was presented with a gift by Mrs. Floyd Miller, as a token of the esteem in which
she is held by local citizens and her former pupils and their parents. An interesting program was given.
50 Years Ago (1959): A tin box containing official Episcopal church records was found in the wall six inches
below the cornerstone of the old church recently razed by the North Central Wrecking Co. of Evansville to make
room for the new post office. An envelope containing a few silver coins and several 15 and 10 cent pieces
40 Years Ago (1969): High School commencement week activities will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 1, at
which time the baccalaureate sermon will be given in the High School Gym. Commencement exercises will be
held in the gym at 8 p.m. Friday, June 6. Ninety three graduates will be presented with diplomas. Class officers
are President, David Baumgarten; Vice-President, Ronald Thornton; Secretary, Thomas Reese; Treasurer,
30 Years Ago (1979): Voters of the Evansville School District turned down an advisory referendum Thursday
on the construction of a $289,000 athletic complex at the high school, and the timing of issuing city assessment
notices is believed a factor in the defeat. “Some of the people I talked to thought their taxes would go up
because of the assessment and this is what hurt us,” said Ronald Grovesteen. “I don’t think it would have hurt
if the city would have held off with putting out the assessment notices until after the election.”
20 Years Ago (1989): Don Bratzke throws out the first ball on the newly completed baseball field. The Booster
Club members can really be proud of themselves for making this sports complex a reality. Both school and
community pride are reflected by this beautiful facility.
10 years ago (1999): Charles Nordeng has retired as commander of the McKinney-Hatlevig American Legion
Post No. 35 after serving in that position for at least 15 years. During Nordeng’s tenure, the post established
the World War II Sherman tank memorial, supported July Fourth and Memorial Day observances, Badger Boys
State, Youth and Legion baseball, and provided military rites at veterans’ funerals, among its main activities.
Dave Burrow, who’s been active in the Legion and VFW in Evansville, will succeed Nordeng as commander.