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 (1914)The Summer Chautauqua arrived in Oregon under the sponsorship of the Public Library. The library was selling season tickets to the events for $2.00 from which they received a 20% commission. It was seven days of inspirational lectures and concerts. Concerts were given by Reizenstein’s Columbian Marine Band, Travers-Wick Symphonic Orchestra,The Springer Mandolin Band, Shaw’s Colonial Cadets and the Oberlin Ladies’ Quartet. On the evening of the fourth day Reizenstein’s Columbian Marine Bank, accompanied with soloists, presented “a grand musical festival” which ended with what was termed “a spectacular production of the Battle of Manila Bay”. Lectures covered such topics as “Weeding Out Life’s Garden”; “The Individual and His Problems”, “Sixteen Years in the Land of the Czar”, and “America as an Irishman Sees It.”

Julius Lewer announced that he will use the dining room of his Portland Hotel an an ice cream parlor. The bar room all be converted into a lunch counter and serve hot and cold lunches and soft drinks at all hours.

The chair factory in Brooklyn is moving to Rockford, Illinois. Edward Carlson, who operated. the factory stated the move was necessary because the owners of the building have failed to make needed repairs. It was stated that the roof leaked like a sieve.

The Village of Oregon calls a special election to authorize the issuing of bonds in the amount of $1,5000 for the purpose of extending the waterworks system to qualified residents.

Looking for a nice house and lot in 1914? The Oregon Land Company described a house and lot for sale on 3rd. Street as follows: “A good seven room house with pantry and summer kitchen, good cellar, and cistern pump in kitchen, wood shed and coal bin, cement washing platform, a good well and barn, and poultry house. There is a three-fourth acre of land for an orchard, berries and garden. Price: $2,600, with one-half cash payment; time can be arranged on balance at 6 per cent.” The Oregon Land Company recently started in business and was run by Charles Rice, Julius Lewer, and Ambrose Cullen.

The Pease Bros. purchased J. F. Litel’s Kissel Car and will convert it into a truck for handling their rural telephone business.

Livestock dealers, Richards and Roberts, have purchased 26,000 sheep from Rea Bros. of Billings, Montana. The sheep will be fed this fall in the surrounding area.

50 years ago (1964)

The 20-20 Card Club celebrated their 20th anniversary with a trip to Wisconsin Dells. The trip included a banquet along with special entertainment organized by former Oregon resident, Jack Custer. The group stayed at the Dell View Hotel. Attending the event were Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Albertson, Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Lawry, Mr. and Mrs. Orrill Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. William Steinhauer, Mr. and Mrs. William Ace, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Norman Champion, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Ellis, Mr. and Mrs. William Sholts, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Bossingham,, and Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Freitag.

The following boy scouts of Troop #50 were top award winners at the Scout Court of Honor; Bob Thornton and Bob Connors received 1st. Class awards. Keith Knutson, Glenn Thorne, and Barry Zuercher received their star scout awards.

The newly formed Chamber of Commerce held their 1st. Annual Meeting at HMC Church. Lt. Gov. Jack Olson was the guest speaker.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Combo is formed to promote Oregon Maxwell Street Days here as well as in the surrounding communities. Members of the group along with their assumed nicknames included: “Tex Benecke” Champion, “Tom Dorsey” Mossman, “Gene Krupa” Dukerschein, “Benny Goodman” Brown, “Eddie Peabody” Carroll, “Clyde McCoy” Erfurth, “Lawrence Welk” Ellis along with Tubadier, Bob Hoffman. Others helping out were Minnow Moll on the trumpet, Boob Kissling on the alto Sax and Elmer Duerst on the base drum.

Members of the Chamber of Commerce are reminded that the red vests worn by many members would be the new Chamber “trademark” for future events and that members not having a vest should order one soon from Mrs. Clyde Robinson.

Voters in the Oregon School District turned down (503-319) a referendum to build a new $1,500,000 senior high school as had been recommended by the Board of Education.

Dave Dess, OHS track coach, announced that OHS would expand their Inter-scholastic Athletic Program in the coming year to include cross-country participation.

The Oregon Furniture Store and Funeral Chapel were sold by the owner of the past 10 years, Mrs. Evelyn Mortensen, to Mr. and Mrs. William Kenney of Waukesha. (the furniture store was located at the site of present day DeBroux’s and the funeral chapel on the lot near U W Health Clinic.)

25 years ago (1989)

The Chamber changed the name of their annual buy and sell summer event from “Pennies Day” to “Maxwell Street Day”. The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus was in town for the event. Arrangements for the activities were made by Jeff Bergey, the Chamber’s retail committee chairperson and Rick Waldschmidt.

The Oregon Straw Hat Players presented a production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. David Lawver of Madison played the role of Tevye as well as directing the production. Family groups that participated in the production included Cindi and Jill Ellefson; Mark and Katie Harring; Judy and Paul Heitmann; Dick and Chad Kopenski, Margaret and Jim Mach; Pete, Annette, and Jace Nichols; Ann, Gloria and Jonathan Rosen; Bill Brindley and Julie Brindley Prohaska.

Bill Laughlin and Blayne Outhouse represented the Oregon Chapter of the FFA at the state convention. Laura Shotliff was awarded a FFA State Degree for her work with both dairy animals and goats. Laura went on to attend the FFA conference in Washington D.C.

Four local residents performed well at the Badger State Games. Derek Schaefer took first in the 17 and 18 year old division of the decathlon; Nicole Northrup took second in the 100-meter hurdles and first in the 400-meter relay; Brenda Blomstrom took first in the 17 and 18 year old division for the 1500 and 3000 meter runs; and Tera Reese took second in the triple jump and first in the 400-meter relay.

The Village Board accepts the recommendation of a special committee that Oregon remain a village and not apply for “city status.”

The Oregon-Brooklyn VFW Post installed the following officers for 1989-90: Steve Lawrence, commander; Maynard Stoehr, senior vice commander; Leroy Schumacher, junior vice commander; Bary Bothun, quartermaster; Bob Keenan, judge advocate; Ed Rezabeck, chaplain; Charles Curran, surgeon; Walt Stampfli, service officer; Len Tronnes, office of the day; Oscar Larson, adjutant; Bob Storie Joe Vondra, Darwin Utynek, trustees.

Dave Hanson, teaches a summer school program for children in grades 4—6 called “Computer Exploration for Kids”. The class serves as a preview for the expanded use of computers in schools.

10 years ago (2004)

Oregon Community Bank and Trust hosted over 300 people at the grand opening of their new office at 101 Alpine Drive. The bank announced that they will be opening on Sunday’s noon to four o’clock.

Oregon natives, Lance Corporal William Graff and Lance Corporal Karl Larson, members of the Golf Company, 2nd Battalion of the 24th. Marines will be leaving for training in California and may be headed to the conflict in Iraq.

Seven OHS students earned child care teaching certificates for their work in child day care facilities including classroom instruction during the past year. Those earning certificates were Jessica Fiedler, Jill Bergey, Jessica Hutter, Amanda Lynch, Meghan McCarthy, Amanda Heffron and Chelsae Kronser. Their instructor was Juanita Hunkins.

The Oregon School District office was given the 2004 Employer of the Year Award by the W.O.R.C. for accommodating individuals with disabilities as well as making their office a model of excellence and care for all their employees.

The Independent Bank of Oregon (located at what is now The Bank of Cross Plains, Oregon Br.) opened for business.

Steve Staton retired from the Oregon School District after 27 years of service, the last 16 years of which he served as principal of the Oregon Middle School.

The Straw Hat Players presented a production of the musical, “Narnia” with a cast of 60 including Wendy Jones as the White Witch, Philip Staley as Asian the King of Narnia, and Nathan Fosbinder as Edmund. Querida Funct directed the production.

The U19 Oregon Crush Soccer Team claimed the silver medal at the 2004 Badger State Games. The team members were Kory Raisbeck, Matt Gehn, Jon Verkullen, Kevin Krenz, John Gasner, Pat Swalles, Nick Frautschy, Andrew Krenz, Peter VanCalligan, Jason Howards, Jack Kneebone, Will Frain, Kyle Stephens, Aksel Johannessen, Steve Halford, Kyle Smith, Klye Sweaney, Derek Bridenbach, and Drew Thompson. Their coach was Keven Gasner and Manager Dave Gasner.

The U11 Boys Classic Soccer Team placed 2nd in the Oregon International Soccer Tournament, losing only to Wisconsin Rapids. The team members were David Johnson, Ben Scherschel, Cain Fleming, Tim Bublitz, Garrett Frankson, Austin Thomason, Matt Thomas, Alex Zimmer, Kyle Onesti, Brooks McMahon, Mitch Schuch, Jake Schubert, Jake Torpy and Sean White. Their coach was T. J. Vanderschee.

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