Oregon History Timeline for January 2020

Compiled by Jerry Neath of the Oregon Area Historical Society


100 years ago (1920)

The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank of Oregon occurred Tuesday afternoon January 13th. Directors elected were A. H. Sholts, J. J. Lindsay, John B. Kiser, Phil O’Brien, W. L. Ames, W. A. Sholts, W. H. Stone, T. C. Tipple, and C. N. Shilton. Officers elected were: A. H. Sholts, president; H. A. Stone, vice-president; and C. N. Shilton, cashier.  It was noted that the bank has had steady growth.


The soldier’s memorial has been placed in the center of the village by Fred Schlimgen’s force of men from Madison. It is an imposing monument of granite and as far as known is the first World War I soldiers’ monument of a permanent nature to be erected in the State of Wisconsin, if not the first in the nation. The column, which is 9 feet high and 3 1/2 feet in diameter, is of Hurricane Island granite and is highly polished, while the base and cap is of Barrie granite. On the column is the inscription, “Erected in Honor of Those Who Served Our Country in the World War—-1914-1918.” Above the inscription is engraved the United States shield, and partially encircling the shield are two laurel leaves with their stems crossed below the lower point of the shield. The base cap and column weigh in the neighborhood of 13 tons and the top of the cap is 17 feet and one inch above the street grade. Corner posts and chains encircling the memorial will complete the job. The dedication of the memorial has been deferred until warmer weather. There are still a few unpaid pledges. The committee requests that the same be paid to the secretary or left at one of the banks.

Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Lincoln, who last fall purchased a home on South Third Street and moved there from Elroy, observed their golden wedding anniversary on New Year’s Day. They were married at Wautoma on January 1,1870.

The University of Wisconsin Glee Club gave a concert (under the auspices of the Oregon Choral Union) at Olson’s Opera House on January 23rd.

At their congregational meeting, HMC Church elected B. J. Flood, treasurer and Frank Sweeney, secretary.

The fourth in a number of Library Entertainment presentations was given at the Opera House.   Mr. Sholts gave a lecture, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and the following musical selections were performed: vocal numbers by Eleanor Barry; a duet by Mr. and Mrs. Shilton; piano solo by Louis Pease, and a group of child impersonations with piano accompaniment by Vergene Buche.

The Oregon Telephone Co. installed a new switchboard.

In a mathematical contest between members of the Starr and Oak Hill schools, Helen Noyce of Oak Hill came out victorious.

Every manufacturer of or dealer in motor vehicles must make a monthly report to the Secretary of State on the number of automobiles sold and to whom they were sold.

The School Board of the Flint School in Rutland has hired Mr. Ingebritson of Madison to teach for the remainder of the year.


50 years ago   (1970)

The publishers of The Oregon Observer, Vi and Butler Delany, and their staff, Pat Severson, Michael Snowden, Mary Wilson, Henry A. Busch, and Richard Rygh wish all a very Happy New Year!

Mrs. Earl Wheeler was hostess for a holiday bridge luncheon at her residence at 657 Oak Street.   Those attending included Mrs. Phillip Helgesen, Mrs. Joseph Stratman, Mrs. Frederick Kivlin, Mrs. Erwin Lappley, Mrs. Carl Otteson, Mrs. C. A. Meister, and Mrs. E. A. Kozlovsky.

Velma Waefler announces that winter ceramic classes will be starting January 5, 1970.

Phil and Brandie White announce the opening of their new ceramics and gift shop in down town Oregon, located at that time in the former bakery, which was adjacent to the Observer office now the location of Gerlach Flooring.

The Village of Oregon Board approved a new policy concerning corner lot assessments.


The remodeling of the Village Hall has started for purposes of expanding the library. The Village Clerk’s office has been moved downstairs on a temporary basis until the project is completed.


The winner of the Boa-Ski Snowmobile in the contest sponsored by Paul’s Supermarket was Mrs. Dale (Glenola) Lyons.

Local organizations meet to discuss the need and type of highway signs for the entrance to the village.   Attending were representatives from the Optimists, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and others

The Bank of Oregon notes in their ad that accounts are now insured by the F.D.I.C. to $20,000.

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Sllbaugh, along with their guests, the David Winch family, enjoyed watching the Super Bowl followed by dinner.   NOTE: This was the 4th Super Bowl (last NFL/AFL championship game). Kansas City won over Minnesota 23-7 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

A major topic of discussion at the Town of Fitchburg Board meeting was the possibility of creating a village out of the present town. However, it was stressed that the present boundaries of the Town of Fitchburg should remain in tact.

The motorcycle ice races held at Lake Harriett on Sunday, January 26, drew a record crowd. There were approximately 175 spectators and 40 contestants present. There are about four to five race dates left, depending on the weather.

Bob Gray, 130 pounds, and Russ Bentley, 165 pounds, both finished first in the 7th Jefferson Invitational Wrestling Tournament.

Carol Ruth Seymour was named Oregon High School’s Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow.


25 years ago (1995)

The Jefferson Street pedestrian tunnel under the train viaduct was temporarily closed due to a weakening of the structure. The tunnel underpass, a large, oval concrete passageway had been installed in 1988.

It was reported that nearly 25% of all the drinking water pumped in the village was suspected of leaking through cracks in the water lines. A record 17 million gallons pumped could not be accounted for during the last three months. A leak detection survey will be needed.

The cost estimate for the expansion of the village’s sewer plant rose to $6.3 million. This would still be more cost effective than hooking into the Madison Sewage Plant on Madison’s south side.

At the Jefferson Invitational Wresting Tournament, the OHS team came in third. Helping the team was Brad Pernot (112 pounds) and Jeremiah Nelson (140 pounds) who both won individual championships with 3-0 records.

The Oregon Athletic Booster Club sponsored the 4th Annual Prime Rib Dinner event. The proceeds went towards the support of the Oregon Athletic Department. The guest speaker was Mark Johnson, former Olympian and NHL hockey standout.

Superintendent, Linda Barrows, reported that the school district enrollment is 3,115, plus a few additional students enrolling since the beginning of the school year.

The Pom Pon Squad recently competed in the WACPC Regional competition in Milwaukee. Both the Pom routine and novelty routine earned 2nd place trophies.

Gwen Stark, an OHS senior, and captain of the Pom Pon Squad traveled to Hawaii last month to perform with others across the country at the 13th Annual Aloha Bowl pre-game and half- time show.

Mary Culp was honored at a retirement tea for her 21 years as an employee of the Oregon School District.


10 years ago (2010)

Sandy Ambrosius opens a dog massage/therapy business in Oregon, which will include services for other dog related needs as well. She has been certified to work as a sports massage therapist for dogs.

The Autumn Woods Professional Centre, located across from the Oregon Middle School, holds its Grand Opening.

The Bible Church celebrates 20 years. Rev. Scott Ziegler, its founder, was its head pastor until June of 2007.


The Oregon Public Library celebrates its 100th birthday in the year 2010. Head librarian, Susan Santner, plans many special events throughout the year. One of the early events will be a “community read” of Jerry Apps memoir about country life and special foods.


The Village Board approved spending up to $8,400 for a security camera to be installed at the Village Hall in addition to the two cameras already there. The new camera will be positioned outside the main entrance.

It was reported that the village police building was having problems with ice dams and will require fixing soon before more damage occurs.

Cary Sign Co installed a new sign for the remodeled Oregon Community Pool. Fabricating the sign took about six weeks.

Greg Riss, a senior at OHS, who plays the marimba, was one of four teenagers who were selected to compete in the Bolz Young Artist Competition. The four were winners of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s competition. They would continue on to perform under John DeMain and the Madison Symphony with the performances being broadcast over Wisconsin Public Radio. Greg continues his winning ways later performing with both symphony orchestras.

Gerard Pehler retires from the Oregon Police force after 32 years of service.

Bob Prahl, after more than three decades as head coach of the OHS football team decides to retire.