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.
100 years ago (1916)

The local phone company has 408 patrons. This was an increase of about 100 during the past four years. During one week in January the operators had handled 10,603 calls; the most being on a Monday when there were1755. Patrons were requested to be patient if they didn’t get through right away because there were many times when the operators may be attempting to handle more than 200 calls an hour.Battery powered lanterns were becoming popular. A variety of models were handled by Hughes & Wischhoff. Their advertisement makes the claim that it is “a light which can be carried about [around] gasoline tanks, etc. with absolute safety”. They also stocked smaller flashlights powered by Everready batteries for both the ladies and men.

The Lohan Camp Fire Girls of Oregon joined with the Oneida and Opechee camps of Brooklyn for a grand council fire and program. Those from Oregon attending were Media Chappel, Dorothy Manson Margaret Cusick, Nera Clapp, Helen Hanan, Helen Shampnor, Beulah Hadley, Blanche Sprouled, Catherine McWilliams, Marguerite Osborn, Joyce Pasley, Frances Tipple, and Marie Vaas. A meal was provided by the Methodist Church.

The First National Bank of Oregon held their annual stockholders meeting. It was announced that the the bank’s total deposits were over $80,000.

Criddle and Kellor, who had been in the auto and garage business for the past six years, sold their building and equipment to the Fincher Brothers. The Fincher’s look forward to expanding their Ford auto business and repair service. Criddle & Kellor retained their farm machinery business and Criddle also remained the area agent for Buick autos.

The Oregon Creamery Co. advertised cottage cheese for 10 cents a pound; cream at 30 cents a quart and buttermilk at 5 cents per gallon. However, to get those prices you had to furnish your own container.

50 years ago (1966)

The Midland Service Station (located at the present day downtown Kwik Trip) offered a pair of seamless micro-mesh nylons for 33 cents a pair with the purchase of 8 gallons of their Fire Power Gasoline. The offer was good only during the month of January and customers were limited to three pair.

Oregon Heating and Sheet Metal Co., operated by Norman Champion and Earl Gransee, was sold to an Iowa corporation. The new company will operate under the name of Oregon Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. Norman Champion will serve as general manager of the company. The staff, consisting of Earl Gransee, Pauline Champion, George Delaware, Larry Ladell, Carol Orth, Raleigh Staley, Jim Culles and Bob Jones, will remain the same.

The OHS Junior Varsity wrestlers got ready for another season. Members of the team were Mike Garoille, Alan West, Jerry Anderson, Brian Dreher, Gary Henry, Bill Gray, Don Owens, David Dillman, Jim Cross, Doug Johnson, and Jim Lynaugh. Their coach was Fred Lehrke.

School crossing guards, Donna Henry, Peter W. Larsen, Gotthilf and Magdalena Schnabel and Sue Madsen were recognized for their work.

The Oregon Masonic Lodge installed new officers. Winston Hughart was installed as Master of the Lodge The other officers installed for 1966 were, Walter Subey, Cecil Deyoe, Everett Gouker, Eldon Neath, Scott Miller, Sr., Albert Alling, Robert Jenkins, Dauno Lahti, James Hannem, and Wayne Steinhorst.

The People’s Methodist Church held a consecration service for their new personage located at 432 Orchard Drive. Pastor C. Phillip Burt and his family will move into the new home during the week of January 16-23. The builder of the house was Walter Waefler, a member of the church.

The local VFW had been making their hall available for dances for teenagers after sporting events. The hall was dubbed “The Attic”. VFW advisors assisting with the events were Frank Johnson, Jerry Booth, and James O;Neal along with the Oregon Youth Council. However, to meet the requirements State of Wisconsin Industrial Commission, the VFW and other interested community groups were seeking $2,000 to upgrade the facility in order to continue the events.

After a recent blizzard, Syl Farris, Oregon’s Superintendent of Public Work, tried out the village’s most recent purchase, an Allis Chalmer I-40 tractor with end-loader. It had been purchased from Lappley Implement at a cost of $3,828.37.

Gary Olson and Glen Nelson won first place at the Youth Bowling Association’s Holiday Doubles Championship. They had a total score of 1252 pins.

The Oregon Post Office announced improved mail service. Beginning January 30th, mail will be dispatched seven days a week. A collection will be made from the letter box in front of the post office each Sunday and holiday.

1991 (25 years ago)

Plans for a new band shelter in Waterman Park were being discussed. The cost of the project was estimated to be $15,000 to $20,000.

Oregon High School opened their computer lab to the public for a charge of $1.00 per night which included the use of the lab and a computer. The school lab had IBM 25’s computers with 640k of RAM, 5” disk drives and color displays. The software included Word Perfect 5.0, Lotus 123, and Microsoft Works.

At the Annual Chamber of Commerce dinner and program Bill Faust, owner and operator of Bill’s Food Center was named Oregon’s “Small Business Person of the Year”. Bill and his wife, Dorothy, had served the Oregon area since 1978. The Civic Improvement Award went to Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Stikestad for their remodeling of the former Lappley building which will now accommodate their business, Tri-County Appliance.

Boy Scout Troop #168 converted a regulation school bus to a carrier to be used by the troop. The bus had been donated to the troop by John Lappley.

Over one hundred and fifty 4th, 5th, and 6th Brooklyn Elementary School students participated in the 6th Annual Jump Rope for Heart event. A record $8,000 pledges were received. Coordinator for the event was Pete Hockett, Brooklyn physical education director.

The Fourth Annual Choral Festival, organized by OHS choral director, Thomas Mielke,was held. The featured choirs this year were from Kenosha Tremper, Merrill, Mount Horeb, and Waukesha South. Singers from eleven other high schools joined in the festival activities as well. Lawrence Diebler, former instructor and choral director at the UW Madison, was the featured instructor. One of the festival events featured a choir of 600 singing John Rutter’s “Gloria” and K. Lee Scott’s “A Welsh Carol.” Those in charge of the festival included Ray Antoniewwiz, planning committee chair; Ann Reisdorfer, awards; Ed Smith, clean up; Sue Klein and Karen Mattern, food; Nancy Jones, host director’s room; Sue Smith mailing/communications; Colleen Ristau and Louise Uphoff office; Jim Reisdorfer programs; Charles Uphoff publicity; Wayne Ristau, set-up; and Ken Jones admission & tickets.

Miles Weaver, undefeated OHS wrestler, set a new school record by winning the heavyweight championship at the Mid-State Invitational held at UW-Whtewater. Weaver won four straight matches all pinning his opponents. The second win at the tournament was the 100th in his varsity career—-a new OHS record. He went on to be named the most valuable wrestler at a major tournament and was also awarded a trophy for recording the most pins in the least amount of time.

Roger Price, chairperson for the Oregon Sesquicentennial Committee, announced that 1991 calendars celebrating the event were now on sale at local businesses. The committee that developing the calendar consisted of Florice Paulson, Chuck Cell, Eeda Lumley Clarice Christensen, and Bob Gannon of the Oregon Observer.

10 years ago (2006)

OHS students of Dave Ebert’s statistics class raised $516.24 for the Empty Stocking Club. Members of the winning team were Login Swineherd, Ryan Symdon, Tim Nelson, and Jonny Mountford. Ebert’s classes raised a total of $1,451.85.

Laura Atkinson is one of 32 finalists in the Girls 14-15 category to compete in the National Football League’s Punt, Pass, ad Kick competition. She was one of the top four scorers in the nation in her age group.

OHS 200-yard freestyle relay team of Matt Olp, Joey Kneel, Greg Thelen, and Brock Watson broke a record time at the Stoughton Invitational Tournament. Matt Olp went on at the Baraboo Triangular Tournament to break two records, one in the 100-yard butterfly and the other in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The OHS wrestling team took third at the Janesville Craig Invitational. Derik Booth led the way with a first place finish in the heavyweight division and Alan Hady and Luke Ballentine with second place finishes. Tyler Johnson, Sean Cherry, Danny Gratz, and Shane Peterson all placed fourth in their brackets. The team continued their successful ways at the Badger Conference Tournament and the Racine Case Invitational. John Jones was named Most Valuable Wrestler at the Racine Case Invitational and Brian Zimmerman took gold for the team in the 171 pound bracket.

Holy of Mother of Consolation Catholic Church began a year of celebrating the150th anniversary of their parish. The year long observance started with a special Mass held on Sunday, January 15th The first Masses of the parish were celebrated at the Fox family cabin in 1844.

Teachers of the Oregon School District, working without a contract since the beginning of the school year, were working the bare minimum during the period mediation.

Dale Schulz, a fourth grade teacher at Brooklyn Elementary school, was recognized as a “Topnotch Teacher” by Channel 3 News. He was presented with a special plaque by program anchors Rob Starbuck and Susan Simon.

If you enjoyed this column, consider getting involved with the Oregon Area Historical Society: Phone: (608) 835-8961 or e-mail: oahs@frontier.comAlso check out our website at OREGONAREAHISTORICALSOCIETY.ORG or become our friend on Facebook.