Stoughton Council

115 years ago - 1908

• One by one the old pioneer is leaving us. Emerson Lyon, a resident of this section for 65 years, died very suddenly at his home in Dunkirk from paralysis. He came to this place in 1843, settling in Dunkirk, where his father built the Dunkirk mill, with which he has been connected since that time.

• A.J. Suby has purchased a buggy auto, and has taken the agency for the state, to sell the Success auto buggy, manufactured in Saint Louis. The buggy has been tried and proved a success, and costs less than a good horse and buggy.

• Our town will go dry the first Tuesday in July. It’s the will of the majority which is and should be all powerful in a government like ours. It is grating to one’s nerves to be obliged to to do something or refrain from doing it simply because some other fellow makes a fool of himself when given the rights of a freeman. But we must yield because the majority has so decreed even though our throats will become as parched as the grass in Death Valley.

• The members of W.C.T.U. have donated a public drinking foundation, which is to be installed on some Main Street corner. This is intended to quench the thirst of anyone who becomes dry after July 7th.

• A large class of young people were confirmed by Rev. M.H. Hegge, on Sunday last at the First Lutheran Church. Of the number, 38 were confirmed in Norwegian and 14 in English.

• Farmers in neighboring towns are dragging the roads which puts them in excellent shape in short order. The roads in this section are deplorable, but with the aid of a log drag could be made good. Will someone start the drag moving?

• G.O.Open has moved his harness building from the old stand west of the bridge to the building adjacent to the Hub office on S. Division Street.

• When it costs nearly $8,000 to make a fairly decent campaign for justice of the supreme court, what becomes of our boasted opportunities for achieving the highest honors ever created by man without money and price? There are no such opportunities. Offices paying a mere pittance cost those who seek them nearly double what they amount to. We create honorable places, and when a man in ordinary circumstances tries to get one of them he has not the price and it goes to the man who has, whether or not he is qualified for it or not. There ought to be some means devised to prevent the lavish use of money in campaigns. It is injuring our country, depriving it of the services of its most capable men.

75 years ago - 1948

• Electric energy generated by the three Stoughton hydro plants not only exceeded purchased energy in April but hit another all-time high. Constant flow of water in the Yahara was one reason. Another is the equipment installed in 1947; continuous 24-hour operation of all three plants and nearly maximum efficiency as possible. This included the Stebbinsville hydro plant which now, like the others, is remotely controlled from the city plant at North Fourth Street.

• Stoughton’s one-man art show being held in the Stoughton Public Library, will come to a close this weekend, it was announced Tuesday, More than 500 persons have stopped at the library during the past week to view the exhibit. From as far away as Chicago, several persons, acquaintances of Arthur Anderson, the Stoughton artist, have come.

• Recognizing that the vast amount of building now being conducted in Stoughton is throwing a great additional burden on G.W. Christiansen, city treasurer and assessor, the city council Tuesday night approved a resolution presented by alderman Alvin Gjertson to secure temporarily a part-time building inspector.

• The remains of Pvt. William H. Showers, who was killed in action in the European theater of war, will be returned to Stoughton for final burial next Wednesday.

• Representatives of the Southern Wisconsin Anti-Pollution Federation served notice last night that they plan to carry their battle to clean up the Madison area lakes to the legislature and the courts.

• Arthur Sveum, commander of the Stoughton unit of the National Guard, pointed out today that under provisions of the proposed new draft law, the person who enlist in the National Guard prior to enactment, will not be called by the draft, but can take their training in the Guard.

• The White House says recent tests of atomic weapons in the Pacific Ocean were successful in all respects.

50 years ago - 1973

• Stoughton High School joined other state high schools in sponsoring girls track and field teams.

• Stoughton Hospital revealed $1.5 million worth of renovations.

• Aldermen voted 9-3 to allow the city’s carry-out liquor stores to be open for three hours on Sunday, but the move was vetoed by Mayor Liniel Cooper.

• Nearly 300 students participated in the first annual bike safety rodeo.

• The Board of Education approved a contract to design additional classrooms and a swimming pool at Stoughton High School.

• Charles Jeffries, 25, of Madison, was dead on arrival at a Madison hospital yesterday morning following a motorcycle accident on Highway 51’s “death curve” outside Stoughton.

• Stoughton’s high school expansion will include a swimming pool - that’s a mandate of the electorate in Tuesday’s referendum. Residents in the district voted in a rather high percentage, with 63.6 percent voting “yes.” There were 1,865 votes cast, and the affirmative numbered 1,187 and 678 voting the other way.

• Windows are being rosemaled, Norwegian memorabilia is being taken from storage for special displays, lefse, meatballs and krumkake recipes are turning into tasty delicacies and Syttende Mai is in the air in Stoughton.

• While many students are trying to get up in the morning, a group of Art II students are rosemaling trash barrels in the city in the 7 a.m. class taught by Jim Sigglekow.

25 years ago - 1998

• A large crowd braved drizzly weather and a muddy cornfield to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Calvary Evangelical Free Church. Located near the intersection of County B and Lincoln Ave. The new church is slated for occupancy in January 1999. Participating in the groundbreaking were Bruce Dittmer and Bruce Nelson, building committee co-chairs, Sue Cellan, Tina Kalil, pastor Jerry Cellan, John Kalil, student ministries pastor, David Sheard, church chairman, and Scott Schaefer, adult ministries pastor.

• Clean up of the city landfill, labeled as an EPA Superfund site because of the toxic chemicals dumped by Uniroyal Plastics, began in late April. City taxpayers covered $1.5 of the project that covered land near Vennevoll and Skaalendal retirement communities.

• Stoughton High School students worked to design and build a web page for the Stoughton Opera House.

• Roger and Judie Nitzsche were named as king and queen of Syttende Mai. Remington Molnar and Natalie Fern Larsen were prince and princess. Ed Bryant was named to the city’s hall of fame.

• A committee of the school board recommended further study of switching the high school to a block schedule program. More research was needed. But a recommendation was planned for the next year.

• Residents urged the city council to keep multi-family housing out of the Sweetbriar neighborhood. • The city council’s Committee of the Whole recommended that no organized sports be played on the outlots near the Business Park North.

• The city’s Planning Commission approved the expansion of Pick ‘n Save. The store was to expand by about half its original size.

• The Stoughton High School baseball team took the Badger Conference title after defeating Sauk Prairie 8-7 in late May. Their hopes for a state title were dashed by a defeat to Fort Atkinson.

10 years ago - 2013

• If the city wins a state grant it decided to apply for last week, work would begin next year on restoring the banks of the Yahara River at Division Street Park. The riverbank has been eroding during periods of high water, and city officials hope to place large rocks or boulders along a 420-foot stretch of the river, just south of the Fourth Street Bridge. Once the boulders are in place, the city would backfill the area with dirt, grade and seed it.

• Stoughton school officials began grappling with how to balance school security with community access on Monday night. No action is expected anytime soon on a set of potential safety improvements presented to the school board. Officials decided that they wanted input from the district’s parents groups and more information about the pros and cons of the various alternatives, which ranged from new, secured entrances for the elementary and middle schools to new voice and video intercom systems to help identify and “buzz in” visitors at the schools, before advancing any proposal. Much of the discussion during Monday night’s board meeting turned on how to strike a balance between strengthening security and maintaining the tradition of welcoming, accessible schools that is part of the district’s identity.

• People who live in Cooksville, a hamlet of about 70 residents located some 22 miles south of Madison, tend to think of their community as “the town that time forgot.” “It’s a small but charming place,” said Cooksville historical Larry Reed. he thinks the community could attract more visitors and becoming a little more charming “if some creative person” would step forward to reopen the the Cooksville General Store, which closed in January 2012 when the former proprietor could no longer keep the business afloat. Built in 1847, the store is among about 30 buildings located within the Cooksville Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic places.

• With a strong commitment to Norwegian heritage, agriculture and community involvement, this year's choice for 2013 Syttende Mai king and queen was a natural one. Stoughton native John Anrseon and Verona transplant Darelene Arneson represent a wide variety of organizations as they serve as this year’s royalty. Both serve as respective presidents of Sons of Norway Mandt Lodge and the Mandt Lodge Building Corporation and Darlene has worked with the Stoughton Norwegian Summit Group and Destination Weekends.

• It’s a good time at the Yahara River Grocery Cooperative. The co-op’s cow, Half Pint, has just gotten a makeover. Next month’s Tour de Food, an annual bike tour of area farms and vendors, is already shaping up to be bigger than last year’s. And the co-op posted a profit for the first time ever last year, while this year is looking good so far. “Slowly but surely,” Wade Moder, president of the co-op’s board of directors, said after the unveiling of the repainted Half Pint. “I'm personally very optimistic for the future of the co-op.”

• Superintendent Tim Onsager on Monday night recommended an April 2014 election for an expected referendum issue. The school board has not yet voted on whether to seek one, although it is expected to do so in December under a broader, preliminary timeline outlined by Onsager during Monday night’s board meeting. Under a worst-case scenario, the district could face a shortfall of around $5 million once a referendum backed by voters in 2010 expires next year. The size of the hole will depend on the state’s biennial budget, which is expected to pass this summer.

Contact editor Scott De Laruelle

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