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Echos of the Past for Dec. 19
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO (1919)—A sufficient number of ex-servicemen attended the meeting at the high school Friday evening and signed the application for a charter to establish a post of the American Legion at Fennimore. The post is to be known as the George D. Whitish Post in honor of a Fennimore soldier slain in battle in France. —James T. Bowers and Joseph Stephens have purchased the F. Henkel grocery store stock and on Saturday reopened the store in the Gravenbrock building.
    NINETY YEARS AGO (1929)—The firemen’s annual banquet Monday was a conspicuously pleasant and notable event. It was held in the Parker, former Niehaus, building, and a Majestic radio from McKichan’s enlivened the evening. The banquet a fine one, served by Anderson Cafe, with an elaborate menu. The firemen and their wives all had a royal good time, winding up with a theatre party at the Fenway.
    EIGHTY YEARS AGO (1939)—Fire of unknown origin completely destroyed the Castle Rock store operated by the Frank Washa family early Wednesday. The Washas lost the entire contents of their general merchandise establishment, their household goods, and some of the contents of a small garage. —J. L. “Roy” Grindell of Platteville, of the Grant County Historical Society, has acquired two interesting curios to add to his private collection. Roy obtained the old bell used by Mark Twain on Mississippi River boats, from a Mr. Van Orr at Glen Haven. He also has a Sheffield steel dagger of ancient vintage. The bell is made of bronze, heavy, and well built, and has a fine ringing tone that can be heard for several minutes. The bell was suspended by a handle and the knocker has an eye in the end through which a rope was passed. When Twain used the bell he sounded it by striking the metal knocker against the bell.
    SEVENTY YEARS AGO (1949)—Friday night will climax months of hard work and planning for members of the Fennimore Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, when they will hold their first meeting in their new quarters. While the building is far from completed, the essential portion is finished so that the basement can be heated and work on the interior can proceed comfortably.
    SIXTY YEARS AGO (1959)—The proposed Carl Bahl addition on the south edge of the city limits was again discussed at length. The city attorney was instructed to draw up a set of regulations pertaining to the development of the project, and a plat was adopted for the addition.
     FIFTY YEARS AGO (1969)—Lloyd A. Edge, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Edge of Mt. Ida, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V Device in Vietnam recently, where he has seen extensive combat with the U. S. Army forces. —Glen L. Rowdon, general manager of the Fennimore Telephone Co. for almost 30 years, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the year.
    FORTY YEARS AGO (1979)—The Fennimore Community Theatre has announced its next production will be a dinner theater featuring Neil Simon’s “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” at the Cottonwood Supper Club in late February.
     THIRTY YEARS AGO (1989)—The Elk’s Club Hoop Shoot contest was held recently in Fennimore Elementary School. Winners Tiffany Schirz and Stephanie Ellis will advance to Madison in January.
    TWENTY YEARS AGO (1999)—The Fennimore Chamber of Commerce announced that Dr. Richard Rogers and Jerry Day were named Citizens of the Year for 1999 at a ceremony held at Rayovac. —The Fennimore Area Community Foundation has been formed and has begun collecting funds in earnest to go toward the building of a community center.

    TEN YEARS AGO (2009)—Vince Lease has officially retired as Fennimore’s cross country coach. He will retire completely from coaching after the spring track season. It’s been 34 years since the fresh, young faces of Vince Lease and Mark Guthrie graduated college and showed up to coach cross country in Fennimore. Guthrie was the head coach and Lease the assistant.  Lease has been head coach for the last 25 years.