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October 17: 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.


OCTOBER 15, 2009 – Three young men harvested large bucks this week in Crawford County at the annual Youth Hunt. Pictured with their eight and nine point bucks are Bryce Stovey, Dallas Hershberger and Seamus Murray… Hollis and Carol Roth, owners of The Roth House, volunteered every weekend this summer to help keep the Village of Soldiers Grove looking its best by watering the flowers around town. Hollis drove the pickup and Carol carefully watered the many baskets in town... Five generations of the Edith Olson family gathered together recently. Pictured are Dana Westedt of Reedsburg, her daughter Sarah Richards of Freemond, Ilene Mellem of Soldiers Grove holding Sawyer Richards, and Edith Olson of Soldiers Grove who is the great-great grandmother of Sawyer.


OCTOBER 14, 1999 – Mike Olson and Bethany Oppriecht were named North Crawford High School homecoming king and queen. The football team defeated Kickapoo 34-6 Friday night… A Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 1999 Fellowship Award was presented recently by U.S. Senator Herb Kohl to Julie Kruizenga, a second grade teacher at North Crawford Elementary School… Patricia Curtis Pfitsch will be sharing her inspirations and discussing risk taking at the Gays Mills Community Building. Pfitsch, author of ‘Keeper of the Light’ and ‘The Deeper Song’ writes historical fiction for children and young adults.


OCTOBER 19, 1989 – Todd Lund, fourth grader at North Crawford, son of Ed and Maggie Lund of rural Gays Mills, was chosen as a winner out of 8,000 entrants in the ‘Meat a Wisconsin Hero Contest’ sponsored by the Wisconsin Beef Council. The prize, a visit by Milwaukee Brewers star Jim Ganter as a guest at a school assembly, will take place in the near future… Nancy Brockway, treasurer of the Yankeetown Homemakers, presented a check for $100 on behalf of the club to the North Crawford Rescue Squad. Bonnie Young, treasurer of the squad, accepted the donation. The money was raised by a quilt raffle.


OCTOBER 18, 1979 – The fourth and final issue of ‘Kickapoo Pearls’ a magazine published as part of the Kickapoo Valley Association History Project, is now on local newsstands… Over 150 people scattered across the rolling hills off Highway 61 at the Roy Davidson farm, rural Soldiers Grove, for the Tri-County Draft Horse Club pulling contest. Categories of competition included walking plow, sulky plow, gang plow, the women’s powder puff event, and the stoneboat competition.


OCTOBER 16, 1969 – The Gays Mills Lions Club has invited Soldiers Grove Lions and their wives to join them on October 20 for a dinner meeting at the Red Apple Inn in Gays Mills. The occasion will be an observance of the tenth anniversary of the Gays Mills Lions Club… All is in readiness at North Crawford for the annual Homecoming this weekend. Students will participate in the traditional snake dance through the streets of Gays Mills. The dance at North Crawford Senior High Gym follows the game against Cashton. The dance will feature the rhythms of the K&D Bootery Co.


OCTOBER 15, 1959 – William T. Sterling was the first settler in the Utica area arriving in 1842. The only other settlements in what is now Crawford County was near the present site of Wauzeka, at Hazen’s Corner near Eastman, and at Prairie du Chien. Sterling, a native of Kentucky, was living in Madison and made a boat trip down the Wisconsin River and up the Kickapoo into this area. Two years later, on May 10, 1842, he returned, built a cabin and went back to the eastern part of the state for his family. The Sterlings arrived at the cabin with all of their possessions, riding in an Indian canoe. During his life, Sterling attended Georgetown University in Kentucky, had an interest in mining ventures in St. Louis, Missouri and in Galena, Illinois, was elected clerk of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, and was appointed superintendent of public property and librarian in Galena. He and his family were the third settlers in Madison where their second child, Josephine was born and thought to be the first white child born in Madison. He was a delegate to the first state Democratic convention and was elected to the State Assembly from Crawford and Chippewa counties. He served in the Legislature until 1850. In 1851 he was appointed postmaster. Sterling contributed to the area’s agricultural development; he used grape cuttings from North Carolina to start the first vineyards in the area and personally developed new varieties of grapes, potatoes and strawberries for commercial use.  William Sterling died on January 11, 1903.