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December 12: Years Ago…
Years Ago

‘Years Ago’ is a compilation of newsy tidbits as published in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout on this week ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or sixty years ago.


DECEMBER 17, 2009 – Approximately 13 ½ inches of snow fell in Crawford County. The highway department deployed 24 workers to clear the roads starting at 4 a.m. and not finishing until 10 p.m. They used a whopping 290 tons of salt during the storm and an amazing 900 tons of salt and sand mix. Six accidents related to the weather conditions were reported along with numerous calls reporting cars sliding off the roadway and into ditches. “The main cause was speed, people driving much too fast for the conditions,” reported Crawford County Sheriff Jerry Moran.


DECEMBER 9, 1999 – Harry Heisz was presented with the Fireman of the Year Award Sunday evening at the annual Gays Mills Fire Department Christmas Dinner, held at the Old Oak Inn. Fire Chief Kevin Oppriecht presented the award…Gays Mills firefighters practiced on the controlled burning of a one-bedroom cottage on a Mississippi River bluff just south of Ferryville. The owner, Terry Liska, asked the fire department to burn the house so he can build a new house on the site. The department conducted search and rescue training in the smoky building…. The North Crawford wrestling team won the Royall Invitational with 190 points with Trojan wrestlers Jake Wedeberg, Dustin Steele, Lance Dilley, Kyle Olson, Quentin Olson, Justin Sprosty, Josh Byl, Brian Swiggum, Lee Miller, Kenneth Byl, Dustin Byl, Tyler Babb and Michael Ronnfeldt.


DECEMBER 14, 1989 – Quamme’s Country Corner in Mt. Sterling has supplied the needs of the community, sheltered children while they wait for the school bus, and served as a community-meeting place since the turn of the century. Owners Barb and Stan Quamme say, “It was always more than just a store.” On December 8 there was a one-day final sale. The store will be closed for business due to competition from stores in the larger cities. There has been a store at that location since 1860. 


DECEMBER 13, 1979 – A suspect was released from the Crawford County jail Monday after the Wisconsin Crime Lab reported no conclusive evidence for foul play in the death of Morris V. Brown, DeSoto. Brown’s body has been exhumed at the request of the sheriff’s department from a grave on the Brown property in Freeman Township. Brown’s body was found on the rails of the Burlington Northern railroad track south of DeSoto on October 2.


DECEMBER 11, 1969 – Virgil Butteris, County Resource Agent, has announced that the Natural Beauty Council of Crawford County and other interested organizations will meet in Prairie du Chien to discuss pollution abatement and similar problems in the county. 


DECEMBER 10, 1959 – A group of Hall’s Branch watershed area residents and conservation personnel met Monday afternoon at the Wendell Showen farm, Petersburg. In charge of the meeting were Art Amundson, SCS technician at Gays Mills, Lew Meyers, Wisconsin Conservation Department game manager, and John Truog, WCD fish manager, Madison; and Virgil Butteris, Crawford County agricultural agent, Prairie du Chien. Those attending agreed to serve as a temporary board of directors and named Wendell Showen as chairman. Assisting him in setting up a constitution and bylaws for the watershed association will be Clarence Allen and Larry Bates, Seneca high school agriculture instructor. Other members of the temporary board are DuWain Campbell, Oliver Olson, Joe Lucey, Jerry McCullick and Harvey Campbell. The drainage area of Hall’s Branch encompasses almost 12,000 acres south of Gays Mills and Mt. Sterling as far as Petersburg and west of the Kickapoo River as far as Seneca.