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April 29: 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.


APRIL 28, 2011 – The pace of work is definitely accelerating at the flood relocation sites located along Highway 131 on the northern edge of Gays Mills. Workers excavated at the site of the new Gays Mills Mercantile Center. Work is also underway at the site of the new Marketplace, which adjoins this property…The North Crawford High School band had the privilege of traveling to New York City. Thirty students went on the trip along with 14 adult chaperones, tour guide Birdie Smith-Milan, and band director Luke Spicer.


APRIL 26, 2001 – The Steuben Community Club is sponsoring Kickapoo Jam 2001 Memorial Weekend. The event begins with a trail ride and the band Colt 45 playing that evening. Five bands will perform from noon to midnight featuring Karl with a K, Skeeter Louis, Rose Sabota, Dr. Rumley Snuff, and Sweet Cat and the Rat Pack… Wisconsin’s non-point pollution law can benefit farming and fight global warming, but farmers should be reimbursed 100 percent for changes they have to make in their practices, so says the Kickapoo Area Green Party, a newly-formed political action group representing Crawford and Vernon counties.


MAY 2, 1991 – Randy Swiggum and Mark Van Ert are making a video movie on wild turkey hunting in the eastern states. They’ve been taking a rented $25,000 Sony video camera and an $8,000 recording deck out in the woods with area hunters and have captured the sights and sounds of the popular sport. The pair have gone hunting with many people including Mark Lathrop, Mitch Staszak, Mick Lathrop, Ben Lathrop, Steve Mickelson, Steve George and Dick Zoellick, but it was Mark Lathrop and Mitch Staszak who were lucky enough to bag their turkeys while being filmed.  


APRIL 30, 1981 – In August of 1980, the North Clayton Methodist Church burned to the ground after being struck by lightning. With hopes to rebuild, the 80-member congregation has approved a building program formulated by church trustees and a special building committee. Work is expected to commence June 1 with completion date set for Thanksgiving 1981… Mark Cook, 11, Petersburg, found an unusual bottle washed up along the shore of the Kickapoo. The bottle contained a note written by Brian Johnson, 9, from upstream Gays Mills. Brian wrote that he sent the note in the bottle in September.


APRIL 29, 1971 – The fourth hour Sociology Class proposes the establishment of a pickup site for recyclable materials such as newspapers, aluminum cans, and glass bottles. The students feel that although the North Crawford area is not equipped financially to launch a large-scale project, there are some things we can do in connection with ecology… Beginning with the 1970-71 school year, North Crawford High School is discontinuing the practice of naming a class valedictorian and salutatorian. This was one of the changes recommended by faculty committee and a student committee, which spent considerable time examining the school’s practices and comparing them to modern high school practices today. The committee felt that there was too fine a line to be drawn and the difference among the top ten percent in any one year too small to justify singling out two persons as valedictorian and salutatorian. By making this change, North Crawford High School believes it will be fairer to the top scholars and will be consistent with modern high school trends, according to Lorwin Shook, principal.


APRIL 26, 1961 – Merger of the Soldiers Grove-Gays Mills school areas received a big boost forward Tuesday evening when an informal committee of merger supporters agreed upon a single merger proposal to be presented to the electors of both areas… Thomas Johnson and his brother, the late Charles Johnson, are shown in a photo from half a century ago. In another photo Thomas Johnson is shown at present giving five-month-old Mark Kvigne his first haircut. Watching is father, Merlin Kvigne and grandfather, Julius, both of whom also had their first haircuts from Johnson.