‘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.
TEN YEARS AGO
SEPTEMBER 10, 2009 – Robert Smith, Jr. led a petition drive earlier this year to lower the speed limit on Highway 131 from the current 45 mph to 25 or 30 mph. The petition contained 79 signatures of residents. The Gays Mills Village Board received the petition from the residents and forwarded it to the DOT with a letter signed by village president Larry McCarn asking them to consider the request. When contacted Joe Schneider, a DOT traffic engineer, explained that the department is working with the Village of Gays Mills on a number of issues dealing with the relocation of the town. He said the DOT would not be changing the speed limit on 131 until after the relocation development takes place.
TWENTY YEARS AGO
SEPTEMBER 16, 1999 – A recently completed open house at Boscobel’s new Supermax prison drew over 25,000 visitors from throughout the Midwest during its six-day run. Crowds increased steadily from opening day to the weekend. A crowd of over 5,000 visited the state’s newest and most secure prison on Saturday, topped by over 6,100 on Sunday. Waiting lines stretched back and forth across the prison parking lot Saturday morning and patience was the word of the day, as some people sat in line for over two hours to tour the facility.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
SEPTEMBER 14, 1989 – Dr. Paul Berquist is the newest doctor at the Kickapoo Valley Medical Clinic in Soldiers Grove. He and his wife Carole Austin, and their 10-month-old son, Peter, recently moved to the area from the Twin Cities where Paul graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School… Laurel George, 79, of Soldiers Grove pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless use of a weapon when he appeared in court September 5 in Crawford County. The criminal complaint said George stopped his car in front of the apartment of his girlfriend in Gays Mills and fired three shots from a pistol at the building. The complaint said that George was upset because his girlfriend, age 84, was seeing another man.
FORTY YEARS AGO
SEPTEMBER 13, 1979 – This is your last issue of the Kickapoo Scout, the independent newspaper out of Soldiers Grove. Friday, September 14, Ralph Goldsmith, publisher of the Boscobel Dial and the Gays Mills Independent, will assume ownership of Grove’s 97-year-old newspaper. Goldsmith plans to combine the Soldiers Grove and Gays Mills newspapers, issuing one publication to serve the North Crawford County area. Vicki Dull, who has worked nine years in the Scout, will take the position of Advertising Director for the new paper. Goldsmith, who came to Boscobel in 1956 having previously edited the Ladysmith News, purchased the Gays Mills paper in 1969. He is presently negotiating with Kay Herbst at the Friendship Shop in Soldiers Grove to provide Soldiers Grove with a drop off point for want ads, subscriptions and local news.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
SEPTEMBER 11, 1969 – Sixteen riders, each on their own horse, banded together Sunday afternoon for a 20-mile trail ride through the hills and woods surrounding Soldiers Grove. In the distance, the group was reminiscent of mounted posses, which must have galloped out of the Grove more than a hundred years ago. Closer up, however, the horsemen turned out to be members of the Soldiers Grove Riding Club, ranging in age from five to 30. Formed late last fall by Grove riders interested in roaming the Kickapoo Valley countryside on horseback, the club now has some 30 members.
SIXTY YEARS AGOSEPTEMBER 10, 1959 – Six hundred and sixty-nine students enrolled for the 1959-1960 term of the Gays Mills Area Schools reports E. S. Gorman, district superintendent… The husband of a former Gays Mills vicinity woman, Louis Ashmore, 44, rural Blue River, died Saturday in a Madison hospital from rabies, apparently caused by a bat bite.