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 Seibel Bros. brought their novelty shows to town, performing in one ring under a big top tent. They boasted of having 150 trained animals which included 75 thoroughbred ponies, 50 performing dogs, 25 educated moneys plus clowns of all kinds. After their arrival they held “a grand street parade” thru the Village. A military band “of all solo artists” provided the music .The opera house hosted a performance by the famous Danish violinist, Skovgaard, accompanied by pianist Alice McClung and contralto soloist, Marie Ellenbrook. It was noted that he had played before King Christian of Denmark, King Oscar of Sweden, King Haakon of Norway and Kaiser William of Germany. He played a Stradivarius violin worth $13,000.

A week long Chautauqua Program included a variety of lectures and musical performances. Some of the lectures were “Big Bugs and Big Humbugs” by Mattison Chase; “Truth and Shams” by Senator J. G. Camp; “The Great Outdoors” by Col. G. O. Shields; and “The Price of Victory” by the Hon. William Cady. Musical performances were provided by the Colonial Cadets; Professor Herman Bellstedt ’s band and Herbert Wick’s symphonic orchestra.“The Seminary Girls” provided various types of entertainment throughout the week. Season tickets for all events throughout the week were $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children.

The Oak Hall Creamery Co. decided to move their operations to the Village of Oregon. The board and stockholders voted to purchase two lots from J. F. Litel, located just south of the mill, close to the railroad track; giving them access to a sidetrack. Their intention is to build a modern facility there and to change the name of the business to The Oregon Creamery Company. The members of the Board of Directors , i.e., Andrew Madsen, Eugene Barry, Geo. Thomson, Frank P. Ace, and J. F. Litel, were all re-elected to another term.

Eleven graduated from Oregon High School. The graduates were Catherine Melville, Esther Reilly, Florence Tipple, Ethel Williamson, Herman Anthony, Catherine Barry, Ernest Culb, Dede Elliott, William Grady, Lyle Hawley, and Edwin Nelson. The class presented a memorial to the school of a life-sized bust of George Washington which was placed in “a conspicuous place” in the main room of the High School.

Wisconsin State Fire Marshall, Clem Host, encouraged the use of lightning rods on all buildings, considerably reducing the loss due to fires. Local merchant, W. D. Lamont, reminded residents that he was available to install such rods.

William Usher started operating The Independent Oil Co. in the Village for the purpose of wholesaling and retailing oil products. His storage tanks were installed just south of the ice house. (Janesville St?)

1965 (50 years ago)

The newly elected officers of the Oregon Chamber of Commerce were Norman Champion, president; Ron Erfurth, vice-president; and Allen Gasner, treasurer. Butler Delany was again appointed by the board to act as executive secretary.

One hundred and twenty seniors graduated from Oregon High School. This was the first time that an Oregon graduating class passed the 100 mark. The valedictory address was given by Kathleen Moore and the salutatory address by Judd Nelson.

Bill and Helen Kenney held the Grand Opening of their Ben Franklin Store located at 105 North Main St., (present day location of the MacWilliams offices and Chocolate Caper).

The Oregon Fire Department along with those from Verona and McFarland responded to a barn fire on the John Stone farm. The loss was estimated at $25,000 to $30,000. Some of their cattle were taken to the farm of F. N. Abrams where they were cared for until they could be returned. There was no loss of cattle.

The Rev. C. Phillip Burt is the new pastor at the People’s United Methodist Church.

Lee Henry, on a fishing trip at Lake Minocqua, with his son Gary Henry and Bill Kenney Jr., landed a 16 pound, 29 inch muskie.

The board of the Oregon School District borrowed an additional $250,000 in addition to the recent bond issue for of $1.5 million, enabling them to proceed with the construction of the new senior high school. and to provide funds for two additional classrooms, lab equipment, finishing the football field, etc.

1990 (25 years ago)

Anchor Bank breaks ground for a new Oregon facility. The new facility, located at their present site, 705 North Main Street, will have 2,800 square feet on the main floor and the drive up will be expanded to two lanes. Present at the ground breaking ceremony were Village President, William Kortte; Chamber of Commerce President, Alice Seeliger; Village Board Member, Mark Mortensen; Anchor Property Manager, Ed Hill; Anchor Senior Vice-president, Tony Catdtelino; Oregon Branch Manager, Dawn Grinnell; and Don Lehman from Vogel Construction. The ground was broken with a double-handled shovel, representing the team work between Anchor and the community. The doubled-handled shovel had been made by Roy, Clarice and Arlen Christensen.

The Oregon School District nominated the following persons to the national volunteer award program for their outstanding services to the district during the past year: Sue Zimmerman, Florence Kellor, Leo Crapp, Karen Witte, Patti Peterson, and Carol Bride.

Michael Grorich, a student at Oregon Elementary School, was the top reader and top fundraiser in the READaTHON in support of MS. He read 50 books and collected $235.50 for the charity.

Ted Boucher announced his retirement from the Oregon School District. He came to Oregon in 1966 and taught physical education and health for 24 years at the Junior High School. He also served as athletic director and coached track.

OHS Juniors, Jessica Ace and Tammy Grady received first place rankings at both the sub-district and district forensic contests and advanced to the state competition where Jessica received a silver, second place ranking, and Tammy a bronze, third place ranking.

The Summer Fest parade judges awarded WOW for the most humorous entry; having a theme of “Happiness Happens on WOW.” The Sno-Blazers won the award for the most beautiful float.

George Williams became the OHS’s first state track champion, running in the class B mile run.

2005 (10 years ago

The Oregon Historic Preservation Commission, with the approval of the Village Board, awarded a contract to Mead and Hunt to serve as a consultant for the establishment of a residential historic district. The homes on West Lincoln Street will be surveyed for a possible historic district designation.

Rev. William Mack is the new pastor at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Shannon Schlack, competing in the pole vault, and Heather Archibald,in the triple jump, advance from the sectional competition to represent Oregon at the State Track Meet.

Matt Weber, competing in the boy’s sectional competition in shot put, advances to the State Track Meet. OHS golfers, Eric Knapp and Erik Johnson, advance to sectional competition.

The Oregon Youth Bowling Leagues finished their season. The “Pin Busters” of the Too League earned first place. Members of the team were Matthew Turk, Hayden Peters, Kyle Koch, Brady Turk and Parker Alsteens.

Oregon for the second time is one of the sites for the Parade of Homes. Of the seven homes located on Bergamot Boulevard, still for sale, range in price from $634,900 to over $1 million dollars.

The Summer Fest Miller Entertainment Tent feature the popular bands, “Lost Highway”, “Midlife Crisis” and “Swing Crew”.

People’s United Methodist Church held their first worship service in their new church located at 103 North Alpine Parkway. Prior to entering the building and following the last service at the North Main Street location, church members met at the intersection of Jefferson and Ash streets and carried a torch (‘the flame of Christ’) down Hwy. CC, to the new facility.

The School District Board authorized the purchase of approximately 10 acres of land on the village’s west side at a cost of $24,400 per acre for the site of a future elementary school.

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