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February 27: 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.


FEBRUARY 25, 2010 – Accordion player Alvin Felch rehearses with actor Dennis Kern prior to the presentation of ‘Krapp’s Last Tape,’ a Samuel Beckett play that will be performed at the Gays Mills Community Building. In addition to his work on the accordion, Felch built an interesting, small, elevated stage, which also serves as a prop in the one-man production… Royce Havlik and Margaret ‘Peggy’ Schwert were married February 20, 1960 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Gays Mills. Their children are: Julie Klekamp, Joe Havlik, John Havlik, Jill Ceren, Jamie Havlik and Jennifer Weigel. They have nine grandchildren.


FEBRUARY 24, 2000 – Brady Ambrose, sports editor for the Reedsburg Report/Times Press, recently won three individual awards at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s 146thAnnual Convention at Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton. Ambrose was presented with awards for sports and news coverage while he was employed by Weekly Newspapers, Inc., as a sports writer/photographer for the Prescott Journal in Prescott. Ambrose began his career covering sports for the Crawford County Independent in Gays Mills and to date has traveled to sporting events at 72 high schools across Wisconsin. A 1980 graduate of North Crawford, Brady is the son of Karen and Del Bolin of Waterloo and the late Jerry Ambrose. He is the grandson of Mildred Ambrose and Karl and June Krahn of Gays Mills.


MARCH 1, 1990 – Nineteen cars derailed north of DeSoto at 9 p.m. Tuesday, February 20. There was damage to the tracks but no injuries. Cleanup work required about two days. There were 101 cars in the train… ‘Practical Farming Workshop’ will be held at the Kickapoo Inn in Readstown. The meeting is sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Farmers Research Network, one of over 50 projects funded by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Program. Farmers involved will discuss controlled grazing of dairy herds; the use of rotary hoes and disk hill cultivators for corn weed control; and how they are using manure and crop rotations to meet most of their crop nutrient requirements.


FEBRUARY 28, 1980 – Tomorrow is a rare day for Steven Olson, a North Crawford sophomore. With odds of 1,461 to one, it’s no surprise that he’s the only student in North Crawford to be celebrating a birthday on Leap Year Day… The Crawford County Soil and Water Conservation District has been notified by the Department of Natural Resources that the Baker’s Creek Watershed Project has been approved for funding. The Baker’s Creek Watershed is comprised of 4,300 acres in the Town of Clayton bordered by Dull on the north, County X on the east and south, Halverson Ridge Road on the south and west, then northward down the valley to the Kroning property line… Out on Irish Ridge, south of Eastman, the Whitneys keep a flock of 250 adult sheep. 200 lambs were born between January and February and there are more to come. The family, Larry and Dianne Whitney and their children Scott, Kevin, Dawn and Wendy, are devoted to the farm and as a side they are raising some 35 Angus beef cows and 34 claves. They selected the old Maher farm five years ago as ideal for their project, as it already was equipped with the special woven wire fencing needed for grazing sheep. 


FEBRUARY 25, 1970 – The welfare committee of the North Crawford Education Association has presented a wage proposal calling for a raise in the starting salary of beginning teachers with a bachelor’s degree from the present $6,500 to $7,700. With yearly increments of five percent, or approximately $385, the proposed schedule would pay a top salary of $12,320 after 12 years.


FEBRUARY 25, 1960 – John Ewers, Soldiers Grove, will retire March 1 after 36 years of service in the Crawford County Highway Department. He started working for the county in 1924. He recalls that J. N. Campbell was highway commissioner in 1924 and Fred Hammerly, Prairie du Chien. Lawrence Peterson, Soldiers Grove, and E. E. Beeseker, Bridgeport, were the highway committee. James Fisher, Eastman, was chairman of the county board. He shared that the first equipment used by a patrolman was a King road drag. Constructed by the local blacksmith, it was quite effective for smoothing dirt roads. With small horse-drawn graders furnished later they were able to crown the highway and cut a side ditch for drainage.