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 (1911)
The hitching sheds at the Presbyterian Church caught fire. The fire spread from the sheds to the roof and to the east side of the church which it completely destroyed. However, there was little damage to the interior of the church with the exception of some charring of the woodwork and water damage to the walls and furniture. Fireman, J. F. Jensen was injured while assisting in hauling the hose cart to the nearest fire hydrant. The tongue of the cart had jammed into the calf of his leg. The Rev. M. G. Allison, pastor of the church, commended the local firemen for bringing the fire under control, limiting the damage to the church. (NOTE: Although reported in the Observer at the later date, the fire occurred on Friday, the 24th. of February.)50 years ago (1961)
Cletus Brown, proprietor of Brown’s Barber Shop, announced that Don Kneifl will be joining him in the barber shop. Cletus commented that making the shop a two chair establishment would provide prompt service for his customers. Today, Don Kneifl’s son, Curt, is in business as Dad’s Barber Shop at the same location.

Leo and Gene White, father and son, purchased The Oregon Coffee Shop from Gladys Meredith and her son, Matt. The new business was known as”Whitey’s Café.” The restaurant was located in the building now occupied by Brietbach Chiropractic before it was extensively remodeled.

The season for the OHS boy’s basketball team came to an end when they were beaten by Waunakee (55-40) in the finals of the district tournament. Their overall season record was 16 and 4. Coach Elmer Duerst gave his team credit for all their efforts in overcoming their handicap in size.

The Pure Milk Association announces that their Dairy Lane milk now comes in new plastic coated, wax free, non-leak cartons. The local Dairy Lane distributor was David “Butch” Xander of Town and Country Diary.

Police Officer, George Johnson, celebrated 25 years of service to the Village of Oregon. Over the years George had been a familiar sight at the downtown intersection, always on hand to help school children and others safely across the street. He had also served the Village in several other capacities, including village hall custodian and maintenance man.

Fire totally destroyed Holy Mother of Consolation Catholic Church on Tuesday, the 14th. of March. The fire had started in a room in the northwest corner of the building and from there advanced upward into the attic of the main part of the structure. Assisting the Oregon firefighters were units from Brooklyn, Belleville, Verona, and Stoughton. The church had been built in 1885, with a new side entrance just recently completed. Father Alvin Kutchura announced that masses would temporarily be held in the Village Hall. On the following Sunday, over 200 members of the parish met, resolving to rebuild the church as soon as possible. Several committees were organized including a new building committee consisting of E. A. Kozloxsky, Mike Molony, Tom Grady, Francis Powers and Roland Cross and a finance committee consisting of Lee Dunn, Dr. R. J. Gross, Dr. J. W. Plummer, Paul Kohlman and Thomas Fahey.

25 years ago (1986)
With the OHS boy’s basketball team’s win over Stoughton and Fort Atkinson’s loss to Monona Grove, they gained sole possession of the Conference title for the first time since 1962. They advanced to the post-season tournaments, defeating Madison La Follette (65-63) but losing to Sun Prairie in the regional finals (82-69). Dan Lyons, Dan Kissling and Larry Gnewuch were named to the All-Badger Conference 1st. Team.

As part of Youth Art Month, Leif Hansen, a senior at Oregon High School, set up a display of his drawings and pottery in the lobby of Oregon Community National Bank. Following high school graduation he was looking forward to attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

The Oregon Junior High bands presented their Festival/Clinic Concert. The concert featured the OJHS Percussion Ensemble performing a number called “Oreintale”. Members of the ensemble were Angie Clark, Van Davenport, Erin Farrar, Serena Gilmour, Isaiah Goines, Jared Hook, Mark Lizak, and Sean Tesar.

The Oregon Sound Company, under the direction of Michael Wilhelms and Gay Shaw, placed 2nd. in the 8th. Annual Watseka Mid-West Swing Choir Invitational held in Watseka, Illinois. The group also won a special award for their outstanding choreography which had been developed for them by John Abrams, a former member of the group.

Sheryn Rodrigues, owner of Sheryn’s Best Way Cleaners, announced that she had sold the business to Bud Beyler. The business having opened eight years ago, was one of the original businesses to locate in the Oregon Shopping Plaza,

Lee Warner, president of the Oregon FFA Chapter, was awarded with the year’s DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award. The award is presented to a senior agricultural student who attains the highest degree of proficiency in scholarship and leadership in a supervised agricultural program. Lee is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Luverne Warner.

The OHS Mock Trial team placed 2nd. in the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Mock Trail Tournament. Members of the team were Bob Ebbe, Julie Jones, Eddie Kreul, Erik Blasch, Russ Phillips, Karyn Thornton, Chris Forest, Jenny Phistry, Karen Forsberg, Lisa Bright, Paul Powers, Chris Cain, Bill Batterman, Dan Berg and Jenny Uphoff along with their teacher-coach, Brian Root and attorney-coach, Chuck Cell.

10 years ago (2001)
The Board of Education approved the purchase of the PowerSchool Student Software Application Program at a cost of $85,000.00. The web-based application will enable the district to record student data in real-time and share this information with teachers, administrators, parents, and the students.

The OHS boy’s basketball team’s season came to a close with a loss to Stoughton (66-46) in the regional finals. This past season, Mark Johnson scored his 1,000th. point and became the Badger Conference scoring champion by averaging over 22 points per game. Mark was named to the Badger All-Conference 1st. team. Teammates, Lance Bavery and Ryan Breidenbach received honorable mention.

The OHS girl’s basketball team, after winning over Stoughton in the regional finals, lost to the defending state champions, Janesville Parker (69-44) in the sectional semifinals. Andrea Johnson finished her career as one of the best girl basketball players in the school’s history. She was named to the Badger All-Conference 1st. team. Her teammate, Erin Johnson, received honorable mention.

The Village Park Board approved the expenditure of $5,000.00 for the purchase and planting of trees along the open stretch of Oak Street from Brook Street to the edge of the school property near Prairie View. A grant of $1,500.00 from Alliant Energy helped cover the cost.

The OHS players presented “Harvey” for their spring play. The cast included Jared Larson as Judge Gaffney; Rachel Miller as Myrtle Mae Simmons; Katrina Harms as Veta Louise Simmons; Drew Baryenbruch as Dr. Sanderson; and Mike Neuenfeldt as Elwood P. Dowd.

The Bank of Brooklyn held an open house for their 100th. Anniversary. Although the bank first opened in July of 1900, the anniversary celebration was delayed until a recent remodeling project could be finished.

Tom Sink’s 5th. Grade class in Brooklyn Elementary School presented its annual Shakespearian production. This year’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, was the same one presented 14 years ago when he started the annual event. With his retirement at the end of the school year, this would be his final production. He will be leaving after 26 years of classroom teaching.

The Oregon Lioness Club was recognized by Police Chief Doug Pettit for the defibrillator they had purchased for the Police Dept. Those attending the recognition were Lioness Club treasurer, Darlene Groerier; secretary, Dorothy Milestone; and past secretary, Tammy Rockenback.

The Oregon Board of Education approved the reconstruction and expansion of the high school track lanes from six to eight as part of an overall $400,000 maintenance project which also included improvements to the swimming pool.

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