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July 23: 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 29, 2010 – Larry Sash, 42, of Hudson, Iowa drowned in the Mississippi River. He was swimming with friends from a boat nearby when he disappeared just before 7 p.m. on July 17… Father Robert Chukwu, 59, a Catholic priest, was accused of felony theft in connection with allegedly mishandling funds from two local parishes. In Crawford County Circuit Court Thursday he entered an Alford plea, which allowed Chukwu to maintain his innocence, while permitting the county to convict him of reduced charges… Cathleen Anderson is pictured teasing a calf’s tail under the watchful eye of instructors Heather Metzler and Jason Kearns at Crawford County Fairgrounds during Cow Camp. 


JULY 20, 2000 – Gays Mills lost one of its majestic maple trees when it was pulled away from the Kickapoo River bank and fell in the river just south of the bridge. The root system was damaged in the June 1 flood and the tree was lost to the river after the July 10 flood… Earl and Thurley Long Lester, of Westby, formerly of Gays Mills, will celebrate their 70thwedding anniversary with an open house at the Log Cabin Park in Gays Mills… An unknown driver and passenger fled a burning car during the early morning hours of July 12. The owner of the car, Christopher J. Konichek, La Crosse, claimed he was in the back seat of his 1980 Olds Cutlass southbound on Lawrence Ridge Road near Marigaard Road when it started on fire at 3:50 a.m. Konichek also told police he didn’t know the driver or passenger who ran from the scene.


JULY 19, 1990 – Philip M. Tonne, of Rt. 1, Gays Mills was reported to be making fair recovery at Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse this week from head injuries sustained on July 9 when he fell 20 feet from a tree while running coonhounds. The group included Tonne, 17, Eric Grimsled, 18, Chuck Boland, 18, and Charlie Heisz, 21, all of Gays Mills. They were on the Roy Olson farm in Seneca Township when the mishap occurred. A benefit dance for Philip will be held at the Gays Mills Community Building. The Country Heartbeats will entertain and lunch will be served… Melvin Young, 57, of Viroqua was working for D&W Meats and was at the Wee farm to slaughter a hog. He was walking on a board across the manure pit when the board broke and Young fell about eight feet into the pit which contained about 1 and ½ feet of manure. He was rescued from the pit within minutes and taken to Vernon Memorial Hospital for observation… Daniel McLess, 17, of Viroqua, received multiple injuries when the car he was driving overturned several times while he was being pursued by police officers… 


JULY 24, 1980 – Edie Ehlert and Ellen Brooks set up headquarters by a card table in front of the Gays Mills post office to talk to people about their opposition to Selective Service registration. The two said they were not trying to talk people out of registering but to encourage them to think about what they were doing when registering. Meanwhile, Craig Bell, 19, was the first to register for Selective Service at the Gays Mills post office. Craig, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bell of Gays Mills has just finished his freshman year at UW-La Crosse… 1980 population count: Gays Mills 607; Soldiers Grove 547; Wauzeka 547; Eastman 371; Ferryville 206; Prairie du Chien 5,824; Steuben 159; Readstown 378; LaFarge 695; Viola 687; Liberty 163; Viroqua 3,624.


JULY 22, 1970 – Lynn Bell, Gays Mills, who is employed at the Rosa Orchards was out in the orchard with Ronnie Hayden and Danny Bown and pulled out a rattler snake with his scythe. The rattler measured four feet and had 11 rattlers… Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Vedvik, Sr. of Seneca will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with an open house at the Utica Lutheran Church, rural Ferryville. The former Agnes Anderson and Mr. Vedvik were married in Mt. Sterling July 21, 1920 by Pastor Martin Finstad at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew T. Anderson. Their attendants were Anna Anderson, sister of the bride, now Mrs. John Hjella, and Edward Skrede, friend of the groom. Mr. Vedvik came to America in 1903 from Nordfjord, Norway. He first worked as a farm laborer and later did carpenter work. Many of the houses and barns in the area have been built by him. He owns the sawmill near Seneca, but is now retired from the management of it. Mrs. Vedvik taught grade school three years before her marriage and one year after. 


JULY 21, 1960 – Jonathan Baker, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Orlie Baker, rural Boscobel, was killed last Wednesday when a tractor he was driving overturned near Seneca. He is survived by his parents; two sisters, Belle Ann and Lana; seven brothers, Preston, Sam, Clarence, Orlie, Jr., Harold, Kenneth and Ben; Grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Baker, Seneca, and Mrs. Preston, Muscoda.