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Days Gone By

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River Falls, 54022
River Falls Journal
715-425-5666 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Submitted photos are always welcome for this column. Black and white or color photographs will be scanned and returned in original condition with photo credit given. Call Pat Hunter, 425-1561, for more information or e-mail your photos to phunter@rivertowns.net.

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10 YEARS AGO

JULY 11, 1996

Headline of the week: "Beauty in eye of this beholder."

Marie Anna Dusek, 80-year-old resident of WelLHaven Senior Apartments, underwent a corneal transplant procedure that restored her vision and faith in the medical profession.

Fr. Gerald Harris returned to the parish he grew up in. The son of Mabel Harris, he graduated from River Falls High School in 1969, attended UW-River Falls, and became a registered nurse before becoming a priest in 1979.

This year the Firecracker Golf Tourney featured nine sudden death playoffs, with Joe Standberry, one of the top five amateurs in Minnesota taking top place, Dick Cameron of Hudson winning the senior division for the second year in a row, and Dane Olson and Terry Kerr split consolation championship. John Moen defended his 1995 Master's title by defeating Duane Pechacek in the title match.

Mary Roen won first place viewer's choice honors at the Minnesota Quilter's Show last week. This was the second year in a row she won the title.

20 YEARS AGO

JULY 10, 1986

Headline of the week: "Farley wins Firecracker tournament again."

River Falls native Dave Farley, 26, made it two years in a row by winning the 29th annual River Falls Golf Club Firecracker golf championship. This is his third title since 1982. Eddie Miller won the Master's Division. He had won in 1984 and was runnerup in 1985.

Pat Kusilek, son of Norman and Natalie, qualified for a spot on the Wisconsin High School rodeo team.

Mark Helminiak, 1986 River Falls high school graduate, was chosen to play in the Shrine All-Star game next week. He was named to the Middle Border All-Conference first team two years in a row, and the Wisconsin High School Football Coaches All-Region team. In addition to football, Helminiak also participated in basketball, wrestling and track, and will attend the University of North Dakota on an athletic scholarship in the fall.

30 YEARS AGO

JULY 15, 1976

Headline of the week: "Doctoring both people and fishing plugs keeps this River Falls man busy."

For the past 20 years Dr. Orv Grassl has been practicing medicine in River Falls and for the last four years he has been inventing and manufacturing fishing lures under the trademark of "Grassl's Double OO."

In order to conserve water and electricity the utility department asked that no sprinkling be done between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and those with odd and even house numbers sprinkling on alternate days.

The River Falls Bicentennial Commission arranged for a bicentennial plate to be available by River Falls Days. Designs included six artistic conceptions of the area -- William Ammerman contributed sketches of a Mann Valley farm and old Main Street of 1876; Helen Adams contributed views of the junior high school (now the River Falls Academy) dating from 1927, and the Kinnickinnic Church built in 1868; Helen Wyman drew views of South Hall, UW-River Falls of 1898, and the Hanging Bridge built in 1925; in the center is the inscription River Falls, Wisconsin, 1976.

40 YEARS AGO

JULY 14, 1966

Headline of the week: "Storm damage may exceed $125,000, no one injured."

A fast-hitting wind, rain and possible tornado hit the city Sunday night causing extensive damage -- hundreds and hundreds of trees were toppled and damaged (39 downed in one block alone). Tom Giere Ford lost its roof and the entire building flooded, Erickson Industries roof was also damaged and building flooded, Croix View Liquor Store also lost its roof, the club house at the golf course was severely damaged with a dozen golfers huddled in the basement during the storm; the Larry Schorn, Oscar Lee, Frank Yanish, Ed Hanson and DeForrest Morrow farms were heavily damaged but crops appeared to be OK, and the utility department lost $20,00 in lines, poles, connectors, etc. Greenwood Cemetery lost many trees and windows at Lund's, Schultz Variety and Kahut's TV were blown out.

River Falls Fire Chief Bob Aide promised a "tough crackdown" on fire truck followers. Prime example was Sunday night after the wind storm when the rural trucks were attempting to get to the Rollin Schweizer farm and the bridge "was blocked with sight-seers."

50 YEARS AGO

JULY 12, 1956

Headline of the week: "F.O. Grassl joins River Falls Clinic."

Former fighter pilot for the Air Force, Dr. F.O. Grassl was moving his family to 311 E. Division St. and joining the staff at River Falls Medical Clinic.

Contracts were finally signed and worked started on the building just north of River Falls to house Erickson Industries of Roberts.

Recent improvements in the fire department raised River Falls from a seventh class to a sixth class insurance rating, saving the residents about $3,000 a year on insurance.

River Falls attorney Charles E. White filed as a Republican candidate for Assembly. His campaign slogan will be "A White Vote is Your Right Vote in 1956."

60 YEARS AGO

JULY 11, 1946

Headline of the week: "College students will conduct survey in River Falls this week."

River Falls college students organized to conduct a survey of the city to see how many residents have rooms they can rent to students. The public was urged to cooperative as much of the data will be used later by college authorities.

Less than 30 people, about one percent of the population, attended the school board meeting and approved increasing the tax levy by 50%.

An electric storm last week hit three farms causing many livestock deaths. On the Edmund Huppert farm north of the city, eight cows were killed. Joseph Schultz, on the Pomeroy farm, lost two cows, and Frank Filkins & Son in Clifton lost a cow and a colt.

70 YEARS AGO

JULY 9, 1936

The Odd Fellows and Rebecahs gave Mr. and Mrs. George Tho. Smith a reception in honor of their golden wedding anniversary.

The City Council set water sprinkling hours for 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Those who watered other hours would get their water shut off.

Grocery specials included Wheaties at 11 cents for an 8 oz. pkg., tuna fish 2 cans/29 cents, bananas 3 lbs./19 cents, watermelons 59 cents/each, cantaloupes 2lbs./19 cents

80 YEARS AGO

JULY 8, 1926

Five baby deer were born in the Glen Park deer pen, bringing the total up to 15.

Despite sweltering heat nearly 500 voters attended the annual school meeting and voted down the resolution to expand the school board from three to seven members. At present the law requires three members, but this membership may be increased to seven by resolution of qualified voters.

The Lusk Furniture store moved from its store adjoining the new Stewart Mercantile Store to the new building recently erected by John Larson directly across the street, immediately south of A.W. Lund Co.

130 YEARS AGO

JULY 6, 1876

In answer to a question, the county school superintendent said the state law says no teaching can be done in German or Norwegian or any other language other than English.

At the July 4th celebration Judge Joel Foster reminisced on early years; but his careless use of some pioneer expressions called forth a mild reproof from a preacher.

The calaboose (city jail) was finished and ready for customers, but yawned in vain for victims during the hilarious 4th.

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Pat Hunter
(715) 425-1561
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