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July 16: 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.


JULY 15, 2010 – Dixon Hestetune, grandson of Laurel and Darlene Hestetune, Soldiers Grove, is pictured riding a bull at the Lil’ Britches Rodeo in Gays Mills. Hestetune from Cashton, went on to become the All-Around Champion for the Year as named by the Wisconsin Junior High School Rodeo Association… The Gays Mills Village Board decided at the meeting last Thursday to table any further action on the proposed pedestrian-bike trail along Highway 131. The action effectively ends pursuing the tail on either side of the highway. Kurt Muchow, a planner from Vierbicher and Associates, advised the board that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation would not favor a trail on the shoulder of the highway. He further advised that the place to put a six-foot wide asphalt trail would be on the west side citing several factors why it would be more beneficial, mostly due to cost as a trail on the east side of the road would require costly retaining walls to be built. 


JULY 13, 2000 – Dave Mageland of Viroqua and Todd Whisler of Genoa have purchased the Gays Mills Mobil One Stop Station from Guy and Tammy Nelson of Soldiers Grove. Darcy Hanson of Soldiers Grove is the manager of the gas station, which will now be known as Gays Mills Amoco…  Jeffrey Faust, 35, Boscobel, was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle westbound on Highway 60 about a mile west of Pleasant Mound Road when it struck an eastbound Bronco driven by John Johnson, 50, Kenosha and passenger Jack Harbaugh. Faust was thrown from the motorcycle into the ditch. Johnson lost control of the Bronco, which was pulling a trailer loaded with a plow and some drag sections. The Bronco crossed the centerline and struck a Dodge pickup truck driven by Kelly Faust, 32, Jeffrey’s brother. All four men were taken to the hospital and treated for their injuries.


JULY 12, 1990 – Quick use of CPR by a lifeguard helped save the life of three-year old Grant Stluka, son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Stluka of Wauzeka. The boy apparently slipped under the water unnoticed while scores of young people were swimming. Lifeguard Kristy Smith saw him at the bottom of the pool in the three-foot depth and pulled him out, administering CPR. He was unconscious and not breathing when pulled from the water, but after two breaths began breathing on his own.  He was taken to Boscobel Hospital, checked out and released home that afternoon. There were four lifeguards and one bath attendant on duty when the accident occurred.


JULY 17, 1980 – Riverland Sanitation truck driver Don Scheckel had to think quickly when he realized that the load of garbage he had picked up in Gays Mills was on fire. The driver dumped the load of burning trash onto the road before it could damage the truck. The Gays Mills Fire Department extinguished the fire… The 229thEngineer Company of the National Guard moved in for a two-day practice exercise that brought experience to them and brought to the Wednesday Literary Club the satisfaction that even difficult things can be accomplished. The 20 National Guard members arrived with dump trucks, a bulldozer and scoop loader to shape the contour of the Kickapoo River bank at the site of the old hydroelectric dam. Leita Slayton and the WLC placed their project on the waiting list for the National Guard program and waited three years for their turn.


JULY 15, 1970 – An old log farmhouse, owned by Norman Aspenson, has been donated for the Kickapoo log cabin complex and will be transported to a site in Gays Mills if plans of the Crawford County Historical Society materialize. The cabin, located on Highway 27 North of Mt. Sterling, would be one of an 11-unit log cabin village. 


JULY 14, 1960 –            Mrs. Nora Bailey, 61, Gays Mills telephone operator, and her brother, William H. Morgan of Madison, were killed instantly in a one-car accident seven miles south of Gays Mills when the vehicle Morgan was operating struck a bridge abutment… L. M. Lowe’s livestock truck was a casualty of the exceptionally heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic with Highway 131 being used as a detour for Highway 61. There was a steady stream of trucks and semi-trailers transporting circus paraphernalia to La Crosse when the accident happened south of Gays Mills. An iron panel of an empty cage slid from the top of a circus truck striking the Lowe truck and causing considerable damage.