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July 4: 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.


JULY 2, 2009 – One local cowboy and his teammate came in first place in calf roping in the Wisconsin High School Rodeo. Collin Vondra, Gays Mills, and his partner, Colton Good, Prairie du Chien, placed first in team roping with a score of 286… More than 50 people attended the first annual community worship sponsored by the Ridge and Valley Charge of the United Methodist Church and hosted by the Soldiers Grove United Methodist Church… Volunteers Dennis Voss, Bryan Engstrom and Alley Shepeck from Gloria Dei and Our Savior’s Lutheran Churches in Neenah helped in Gays Mills with some of the work preparing two houses to be elevated and flood-proofed at 213 S. Gays Street and 113 Highway 131.


JULY 1, 1999 – Dr. Timothy Devitt and his daughter Phoebe, of Soldiers Grove, returned recently after spending three weeks in Belize. They took part in a program run by the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University. Dr. Devitt supervised one family practice resident, two medical students and one physician’s assistant student working in medical clinics in Belize. Phoebe, age 13, helped out as a receptionist in the clinics. During his rotation there, Dr. Devitt saw between 20 and 35 patients a day… Kenneth Byl of Soldiers Grove was named Boys Rookie of the Year at the Wisconsin High School Rodeo Finals in Richland Center. Byl, a freshman at North Crawford High School, was the high point freshman and earned enough points to qualify to be a member of the Wisconsin High School Rodeo Team. The team will participate in the 51stAnnual National High School Rodeo in Gillette, Wyoming where Byl will participate in saddle bronc riding and bull riding.


JULY 6, 1989 – Jim Jerrett Auto Sales was opened recently on Main Street in Gays Mills after Jim purchased the former Gays Mills Motors from Rod Campbell. Jerrett and his son Travis Jerrett, who helps him in the business, sell used cars, trucks and motorcycles. They also do body work, oil changes and minor repairs… Joe Candy, Viola, and Glenn Donovan, Gays Mills, are two local artists that will take part in the 32ndAnnual Gold Coast Art Fair in the Rush Street area of Chicago in August.


JULY 5, 1979 – Through the generosity of Soldiers Grove residents, and the determination of 27 participants, a winning tally of $988.84 was raised to help lung-damaged children in the Cystic Fibrosis Breath of Life Bike-A-Thon. Corinna Teague of Soldiers Grove captured the grand prize by collecting pledges of $141.85. 2ndplace was Troy Everson and 3rdplace was Peter Dull… Two workshops for the owner-builder on design and structure of passive solar houses will be held at the Kickapoo Exchange in Gays Mills. Edie Ehlert, Johnny Haag and Richard Frost will share some ideas on the subject, which were learned in a course they completed in Brunswick, Maine. Fritz Cushing from the Alternative Energy Project of Viola will also be available to teach what he has learned on passive solar technology.


JULY 3, 1969– The North Clayton Homemakers brought home the Grand Prize trophy for their float in the Prairie du Chien Sesquicentennial parade last Sunday. Proud members of the group are: Mrs. Joie Skarda, Mrs. Dennis Montgomery, Mrs. Kermit Adams, Mrs. Elling Davig, Mrs. Melvin Potts, Mrs. Dwaine Gander, Mrs. Goldie Edge, Mrs. Eva Briggs. Mrs. Ronald Gander, Jeffery Skarda and Jeff Gander.


JULY 2, 1959 – Badger State Tobacco Company employees of the Soldiers Grove warehouse wound up another sorting season in early June. Pictured are Ross Lowry in charge of the scales and records; Mrs. Dan Martin and Mrs. Vera Rayner sorting leaves, Paul Hoffland pushing a pickup cart down the aisle, Lawrence Everson, Knute Johnson and Ole Crogan repacking the sorted product. The Soldiers Grove warehouse processes about 800,000 pounds of cigar leaf tobacco each season. Badger State employs 60 Soldiers Grove and area residents. As the 1959 crop is being planted, Manager-buyer John Iverson warns growers that his company will buy no more crops that have been treated with the sucker control spray, maleic hydrazide, or MH30.