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September 17: 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.


SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 –The largest organic farmers’ co-operative in the country, Organic Valley, will have a 33,000-square foot addition attached to its existing 50,000-square-foot headquarters in LaFarge. The environmentally friendly building will include a research and development lab, a large multi-purpose room for wellness activities and additional office and meeting space to the tune of $6.1 million. Organized in 1988, Organic Valley represents 1,630 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces with a focus on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2000 – A four-year-old Norwalk girl and an eight-year-old Gays Mills boy were reported as having contracted encephalitis, the young girl being hospitalized with serious symptoms, while the young boy was able to stay home during his convalescence. A wading pool near the boy’s home was full of encephalitis-carrying mosquitos. The tree-hole mosquito Aedes triseriatus causes encephalitis, a viral disease that usually affects children ages 6-15 and attacks the central nervous systems. Rid your yard of breeding sites such as low tree holes and water holding containers such as tires, cans and buckets, which can produce the mosquito that carries La Crosse encephalitis. 


SEPTEMBER 20, 1990 – Ron Hees has opened a new business in Mt. Sterling. He specializes in small home improvement projects, and sells weather vanes, yard ornaments and original routed wooden signs. His business is known as Timber Line, and Ron likes to be creative in his work. “Even if it’s an open-closed sign, I never make two the same. They’re highly personalized.” … Tennessee Sling, shown with owner Bob Messling of Mt. Sterling and Bob’s grandson Bryant Mattl, is now the National Grand Show Champion of Autumn Oaks, the world’s largest United Kennel Club Coonhound bench show. The dog also won Best of the Walker breed at the show… The Gays Mills Lion Club had to persuade Pearl Swiggum and Marian Hagar to be the two parade marshals for the 32ndAnnual Apple Festival. Before they finally agreed, the ladies each had similar reasons for flatly refusing to participate: 1) There are lots of people more deserving tan I am. 2) I haven’t got a new dress I could wear. 3) I wouldn’t be able to get my hair done on Saturday. 4) I’m not old enough.


SEPTEMBER 18, 1980 – Thirteen cars of a Burlington Northern freight train derailed in the Mill Coulee area, Prairie du Chien, at about 2:07 p.m. Saturday, knocking out use of both rail lines. Two of the cars carried piggyback semi-trucks containing canned corn and sauerkraut, spilling their contents… When Mable Shepard lost her home in the 1951 flood at Soldiers Grove, the Red Cross built a house for her. Babb Real Estate later purchased the structure and this week the building was moved to a new location across the street and just south of the old nursing home in Soldiers Grove… Junior high students from all over Crawford County were treated to a conservation field trip at Johnstown Valley. The event was sponsored by the Crawford County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors and coordinated by Conservationist Chris Hofsedt. George Gottier was there to talk about watershed practices, Bill Tietje discussed water quality, Dennis Kirschbaum reviewed game and safety regulations with the students, Ray Kyro talked about wildlife, Larry Schmitt talked about fire control, Greg Matheson discussed fish management, Don Daentl discussed insect problems, Ken Johnson discussed farm management, Tony Crain, and Ken Hujanen discussed forestry management with the group.


SEPTEMBER 16, 1970 – Cross Country will enjoy its first year in the North Crawford School system and 14 boys have signed up as the first team. Under the direction of junior high principal Dennis Pratt the team members are: David Reseland, Kevin Monahan, Joe McDonald, Rick Starkey, Bill Iverson, Steve George, Wade Dull, Barry Orrick, Mark Ralph, Jim Leary, Ron Starkey, Don Peterson, Larry Martin and Kim Gordinier. Their first meet will be held at Kickapoo High School against Kickapoo and Brookwood… Kim Hollenbeck of Soldiers Grove came the closest to estimating the number of purebred Holstein cattle at the special Holstein booth at the Crawford County Fair. The Holstein directors advise that there were 778 purebred Holstein cattle in Crawford County as of August 24, 1970.  Second place went to Paul Scheckel of Soldiers Grove and third place to Mrs. Marlene Achenbach of rural Eastman. 


SEPTEMBER 17, 1960 – Gays Mills Area Schools opened Monday after a week’s tobacco harvest postponement with a total enrollment of 693 students. The total includes 164 in the Gays Mills elementary school and 197 in the high school. Mt. Sterling lists 78 students; Freeman, 38; Orchard View, 57; Bell Center, 44; Star Valley, 33; Towerville, 27; and Haney Area, 55… The Second Annual Gays Mills Apple Harvest Festival will be held September 30 and October 1 and will include a colorful Main Street parade and a Maxwell Street sale by village merchants. The Viroqua Barbershoppers will perform Friday night, there will be square dancing for young and old, and a chicken barbeque will be served both days. Highlight of the Saturday afternoon program will be a greased pig contest. Adding a patriotic touch to the two-day event will be 20 new 50-star American flags bought by Gays Mills businessmen and residents during the Lions Club’s drive last spring. Persons who are desirous of entering a float or parade horse should contact Gerald McCullick.