This Month in History
The following material was compiled by Gerald Neath for the Oregon Area Historical Society from material published in the Oregon Observer.
1915 (100 years ago)

The recently organized First National Bank of Oregon opened for business in their new building on Saturday the 2nd of January. The building in recent years was the the site of Hagstrom Insurance and now the present day Recreational Concepts. The facade of the bank is of Bedford stone and still has the visible inscription “First National Bank”. Local businesses were used as much as possible for the bank’s construction. The carpentry work was done by W. D. Lamont; the heating and plumbing by Prichard, Cusick & Barry; the plastering by Andrew Christensen and the painting by Peter Christensen. There were over 50 local area stockholders. The bank officers were A. H. Sholts, president; H. A. Stone, vice-president; and C. N. Shilton, cashier. The Board of Directors consisted of Wm. L. Ames, C. N. Brown, J. J. Lindsay, Phil O’Brein, A. H. Sholts, Wm. Sholts, H. A. Stone, C. N. Shilton, and R. C. Tipple. The bank later closed during the depression of the 1930’s and didn’t reopen.The OHS basketball team opened their season with a win over Verona (50-6). Those scoring for Oregon were Anderson (center) 7 baskets; McWilliams (forward) 8; Elliott (guard) 4; and Tjipple (forward) 5. Two free throws were made by McWilliams.

The Village Board called a special meeting to consider the application made by J. L. Litel for a franchise to install an electric light plant for the Village. The Board voted unanimously to grant the franchise. The meeting was attended by nearly 100 local taxpayers.

The following was noted on the front page of The Observer concerning opera and the outbreak of World War I in Europe: “The present season of grand opera at the New York Metropolitan Opera House is especially notable for two reasons: owing to the great European war, New York is the only one of the large operatic centers to give its regular projected season of grand opera; the magnificent revival of Carmen with an all-star cast, including Farrar, Caruso, Alda, and Amato has proved one of the greatest successes ever known in the history of opera.”

Mrs. J. T. Hayes placed a notice in the paper that she had another fresh supply of Brown Herb Tablets, excellent for stomach, kidney and liver trouble, and that they were marketed in Oregon exclusively by her.

H. P. Christensen, reminded customers that he would continue home delivery of milk at 5 cents a quart and cream at 40 cents per quart as long as customers would be prompt with payments and the return of bottles.

1965 (50 years ago)

The OHS boy’s basketball team opened their post-holiday season tied with Waterloo for second place in the Madison Suburban Conference. However, they were later to lose to Waterloo 61-47, dropping them down to third place. Members of the varsity team were Dave Hopkins, Dave Williams, Woody Hilleque, Dennis Judd, Dennis Knipfer, Jim Bossingham, Bob Buchner, Steve Alme, Ron Tauchen and Larry Wegger. Jack Statz was the head coach and Dan McClure, manager.

Randy Lawry, ice fishing at Nelson’s Golden Rule Resort in Hayward with his parents and sister, landed a 9 pound walleyed pike.

Dagmar Schramm of Graz, Austria, Oregon High School’s first foreign exchange student, was honored at a PTA meeting, where she related some background about her home country and of her experiences during her stay here.

Arnie Schultz (Schultz Motors) opened a used car lot on the south end of Oregon (site near the present day Cousin’s Subway Shop) A special offer for his opening was for a 1960 Ford Falcon, 4 door station wagon with radio and heater for $545.00.

Wisconsin Mold & Tool Co. (WISCO) moved their downtown office and operations location in the McDermott Building (then known as Oregon Industries, Inc.) to the site of their new facility on South Janesville Street. The McDermott building was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William Kenny, who plan to open a Ben Franklin Store there.

Oregon Boy Scout Troop No. 50 re-organizes: Meeting at the home of Earl Wheeler, the following officers were elected: Ed Owen, chairperson; Maurice Neilson, secretary-treasurer; and Jim Cannon, institutional representative. The Southeast will be Richard Schoebel with Elmer Speech and Bill Dorman assistants.

Jeweler, Earl Reeve, advertised his watch and clock repair services located at 115 North Main Street. He sold new Bulova and Caravelle watches as well.

The Chicago, Northwestern train depot in Brooklyn was being torn down. The original depot, built in 1864, burned down in 1882 at which time it was rebuilt and later remodeled in 1911.

The Oregon Fire District displayed their equipment for the coming year. It included 1) the 1929 Pirsch Pumper (used exclusively for calls within the Village); 2) the 1958 International 4-wheel drive pickup carrying 150 gallons of water and equipped to fight grass fires; 3) a 1951 Dodge custom-built rescue unit; 4.) a 1948 GMC with a 900 gallon tank with a 500 gallon per minute pump; 5) the new 1964 International with a 1500 gallon tank and a pump with the capacity of 750 gallons per minute; and 6) a 1956 International with a 1200 gallon tank.

1990 (25 years ago)

The Oregon PTO sponsored a food products fundraiser, the proceeds from which will be used to purchase new playground equipment for the middle school, replacing the worn wooden structures. Oregon Elementary student, Dana Simmons, and Middle School student, Jeremy Jones, each won a $50.00 savings bond in drawings sponsored by the PTO and food supply company for those students who had sold more than 15 food items.

Oregon Scout Master, Ron Vernon, presented Jason Oelke and Andy Tweaky with their Eagle Scout Awards.

Charlie Allen was the leader in the first round , scratch division, of the Oregon Golfer’s Bowling Tournament, rolling games of 256, 177, and 277.

The Panther Wrestling Club gears up for another season. The club is run by board members, Kathy Krueger, Joan Smithback, Kim Jones and Carol Hargraves along with head coach, John Bauman. Some of the students participating included Chris Ace, Mark Noyce, Ricky Disch, Randy Disch, David Krueger, Joshua Jones, Jeremy Jones,and Jeremy Ace.

Roger Price, president of Oregon’s Sesquicentennial Committee, begins planning and fund raising for the celebration in 1991.

Pastor Immanuel Petersen, former pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, received the distinction of be coming Pastor Emeritus in recognition for his continued involvement with the church and community over the past years since his retirement in 1973.

About 90 Chamber of Commerce members attended the annual meeting at Tucker’s Inn in Oregon. Jo Grady Dosch of Dosch’s Floral was awarded with the “Small Businessperson of the Year” recognition. Retiring chamber president, Roger Price, passed the gavel to the new president, Alice Seeliger. Those newly elected to a term on the board of directors were Anne Timmel of Valley Bank, Eric Peterson of Foxboro Golf Club and Mark Mortensen of WISCO Industries.

The school busing issue was settled. Of the 8 options considered, option no. 8 won with 86 votes. Busing will be provided for all K-8 students living more than .5 mile from school in Oregon and Brooklyn.

Two area farm families, Wilfred and Dorothy Wendt of Brooklyn and Harold and Marian Shotliff of Oregon were among 2,500 dairy farmer-members of Wisconsin Dairies that were honored for having herds that produced quality milk production during the period September 1988 to August 1989.

OHS undefeated heavyweight wrestler, Miles Weaver, set a new OHS record by pinning an opponent in 4 seconds at the Jefferson Invitational. Weaver, having a 17-0 record, was named “wrestler of the week”.

2005 (10 years ago

The MadFest Juggling Festival was held in Oregon, hosted by the Oregon Juggling Club which had been organized in 1995 by Dan Tomaro. Long time member, Carol Lochner, worked on the arrangements for the festival in Oregon. It was reported that over 300 people attended the opening juggling event on Saturday.

The OHS wrestling team placed four in the top five categories at the Mid-State’s Wrestling Tournament and placed 11th out of the 38 teams participating. Those wrestlers placing in the top five were Donnie Beers, Brian Zimmerman, Mike Hockett, and John Jones. Other Oregon wrestlers having tournament victories were Derek Booth and Adam White.

The Oregon eighth-grade girls took first in the Tri-County League, winning over Middleton 45-34. Team members were Amy Schick, Kayla Crowley, Caithyn Walker, Shana Johnson, Annie Heifner, Erika Gundlach, Laura Atkinson, Kari Hanson, and Courtney McCaw. Their coaches were Dave McCaw and Jim Crowley.

The Village of Oregon Planning Commission moved to recommend the approval for the building of a Walgreens Pharmacy on the corner of North Main Street and East Netherwood St. and the Village Board gave its approval to move forward with the project.

Oregon School District students solicited donations the week of January 17-21 to assist the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Mary Kay Bishop, guidance counselor for the Oregon Middle School and Rome Corners, organized the fund raising efforts to coincide with the week of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The motto for the district wide project was a quote of Martin Luther King, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”.

The School Board established a Youth Sports Advisory Committee to review and recommend policies pertaining to the district’s youth sports philosophy. The committee was headed by Ryan Mangan, the district’s sports administrator.

Michael Way, Oregon School District’s technology director, announced he will retire when his contract expires in June of 2001. He had worked for the district for 30 years teaching auto mechanics, drafting, electronics, etc. and in 1991 became the district’s first technology director, helping the District transition from a world of paper to the world of electronics.

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