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)One of the most destructive cyclones (i.e., tornadoes) passed through the Oregon area at about 10:00 o’clock Monday morning of May 11th. Numerous barns, tobacco sheds, and silos were blown down. There was a loss of life on the Bartlett farm west of the Village, when Bernhard Fredrickson and his three year old son, Lyman, were caught in the destruction of the barn. Barnhard escaped with just an injury to his hip but his son, Lyman, was killed. Other buildings destroyed in the area included a large barn and two sheds on the Dreher/Matson farm and a large barn, windmill and shed on the Charles Friday farm. Ed Fisher lost all his farm buildings; only his house remained standing. On the south end of Village Charles Devine’s barn was completely turned upside down and left standing on its ridge boards leaning against his house. Sofus Nelson reported that along his mail route there were 22 tobacco sheds, two barns and four silos down. Mail carrier, H. V. Chapple, was caught in the storm and had his wagon turned completely over. Nearly every area farmer sustained losses. In the Village scores of trees were torn up and chimneys blown down. The front of J. P. Brophy’s harness shop was blown in. (for more details and photos about this storm, see the OAHS website: OREGONAREAHISTORICALSOCIETY.ORG/Oregon History/ Memorable Storms. or “Cyclone Passes Over Oregon.”

A referendum proposition for organizing a union free high school was defeated. In the Village, 215 votes were cast; 97 men voted for the proposition and 35 against; 71 women voted for and 12 against. From the outlying areas there were 226 votes cast of which 60 were for the proposition and 166 against.

The Wintermute Bros. and Hall’s Circus came to Oregon. Some of the attractions advertised were Jargo, the largest elephant on earth and Wallace the largest, longest, and heaviest lion in captivity. Also featured was a taking horse and musical ponies playing familiar tunes on Sweet Toned Swiss Bells.

50 years ago (1964)

Of the OHS music students competing at the state solo and ensemble contest in Oshkosh, Kathryn Ringhand received first in “Class A” for her cornet solo and Nancy Jallings and Carolyn Olson received a first in “Class A” for their clarinet duet. Those receiving seconds in the category were Kay Ringhand and Rich Olson for a cornet-trombone duet and the vocal trio of Kay Ringhand, Florence Kellor, and Betty Knox.

The Annual Madison Suburban League Music Festival was held in Oregon. The event hosted 13 area high school bands, along with several choruses and glee clubs. Making the arrangements for the event were Oregon band director, Richard Churchill and the chorus and associate director of music, Joseph Stratman. The Oregon Band Mother’s, headed by president, Peg Kellogg, made arrangements to feed an anticipated 1,200 participants.

The Village purchased a new fog machine to fight mosquitoes. Children were warned not to follow the truck too closely in order to avoid breathing in heavy concentrations of the fumes. The fogging would be done after about 8:00 p.m. so as not to interfere with outdoor activities.

The Oregon Woman’s Club held their Annual Dinner and installed officers for the coming year. The new officers were Mrs. Marie Nelson, president; Mrs. Maurice Olson, first vice-president; Mrs. Syl Farris, second vice-president; Mrs. Jay Winter, secretary; and Mrs. Norman Champion, treasurer.

The Chamber of Commerce kicked off a contest to find an appropriate slogan for the Oregon community that could be incorporated into an emblem as well. First prize would be $25.00, second prize $15.00 and third prize $10.00. The board of directors would judge the entries.

Oregon Sports Shop opened for business. The owners were Ralph “Rufus” Thornton and Jim Packard. The shop was located on Main Street in the McManus Building (a building at the present day site of Pivotal Point Acupuncture Center). They handled all types of equipment from guns and fishing rods to baseball and softball equipment and golf balls.

The Lane Tank Co. of Menomonee Falls puts a fresh coat of paint on the historic water tower.

The Civil Improvement Committee of the Chamber of Commerce gives the War Memorial a face-lifting prior to the annual Memorial Day ceremonies. Some of the Chamber members working on the project were Earl Wheeler, Ron Erfurth, Bob Wischhoff, Don Bates, and Jim Haight along with the help of many volunteer firemen.

Holy Mother of Consolation 8th. grade graduates were Debra Gross, Kathleen Johnson, Barbara Kemp, Tom Shea, Lester Gammeter, Dan Webb, John Dahlke, Mary Jane Johnson, Kathleen Kinney, Mary Tauchen, Robert Staley, Joseph Palmer, Gregory Wethal, Michael O’Neill, Thomas Baxter, and Frederick Clark. Fr. Charles Monroe was the parish priest and Sister M. Lueida, the principal of the school.

25 years ago (1989)

Members of the Town of Dunn Cemetery Task Force received land stewardship awards at the annual Arbor Day Celebration for their efforts in restoring the Dunn Burying Ground and researching the history of the Town. Those on the task force were Jo Reynolds, chairperson, Lorraine Hawkinson, Dorothy Berkan, Margaret Lalor, Jackie Jeardeau, Pam Crapp, Lottie Halverson and Marian Berman.

The theme for the OHS Junior Prom was “Together Forever” and the theme song, I’ll Be There For You”. The king and queen were Ron Wendt and Kathy Crossen.

The OHS Orchestra’s Concerto Concert featured four soloists. Performing with orchestral accompaniment were violinist, Scott Eisfeldt, performing Bruch’s “Violin Concert in G. Minor”; violinist, Tammie Behr, performing Mozart’s “G Major Violin Concerto”; trumpet player, Dean Trexel, performing Hummel’s “Trumpet Concerto” and pianist, Laura Nitsche, performing the first movement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Italian Concerto”.

The Oregon Odyssey of the Mind team won second place in their division of 20 teams at the State Competition. They also received the coveted Renantra Fusca Award for exceptional creativity in unexpected situations. The team members were DeeDee Paster, Andrew Lederer, Eli Paster, Ryan Werth, Anna Thayer, and Zak Paster.

The Brooklyn Schools Odyssey of The Mind team placed 6th. in their division out of 13 teams in at the state competition and, like the Oregon team, won the Ranantra Rusca Creativity Award. Members of their team were Angie Burmeister, Kara Schulz, Kevin Gasner, Bryan Mihlbauer, Patrick Newman, Jerry Robert, and Micah Wyss. The team was coached by Dave Gasner.

Grand Opening Ceremonies for the new community swimming pool were held. Jerry Luebke, fund raising chairman, Erin Farrar, Miss Oregon, and school board member, Ken McGlauchlen had the honor of cutting the ribbon, opening the facility. Heather Durkin, Sarah Dettwiler and Joe Bergey, winners in a drawing among the Oregon School District students, were the first ones in the new pool.

The OHS boys’ track team won their third straight Badger Conference Title. Contributing to their successful season were Aaron Hans, Tom Richardson, Bob Richardson, Dave Williams, Derek Schaefer, Jake Oelke, Brad Brayshaw, Andy Lynch and Kevin Mittlesteadt. Their head coach was Tom Mueller.

A class of two hundred graduate from OHS. Bradley Simplot was valedictorian and Jennifer Uphoff , salutatorian. At the graduation ceremonies School Superindentdent, Linda Barrows, presented a plaque to Audrey Appel in honor of her husband, Henry Appel, who had served as high school principal for the past 27 years, but recently resigned due to health problems.

Jeanette Essie and Amy Martinson, pupils of Mrs. Pike’s Advanced Art Class at OHS displayed their art at Community National Bank.

10 years ago (2004)

The Village of Oregon and the City of Fitchburg attempted to reach a new phase in their negotiations to establish a joint business park.

The Oregon School District held a retirement celebration for their 2004 retirees. Those retiring were Jeanne Batha, Ann Benedict, Carol Connelly, Carolyn Holland, Marcia McKenna, Jack Mitchell, Mary Ann Reid, Helen Schoebel, Nancy Sheldon, Lanell Wagner, Dorothy Wendt, Joan Zuhse, June Schuett, and Nancy Miller.

The OHS boy’s baseball team went undefeated in conference play (8-0) capturing the Badger South Conference Title. They had an overall season record of 16-2.

Dane County dedicated the Lyman F. Anderson Agricultural and Conservation Center (formerly the Fen Oak Resource Center) in Lyman’s memory, recognizing his many years of service to the County. The oak savannah to the south of the building was also renamed in his honor.

The Theme for the OHS Prom was “New York Nights”. Ryan Stace and Claire McGahan were the King and Queen for the event.

A Leap Above Dance Co. had several winners at the state-wide dance competition. Bonnie Fischer and Whitney Krause won a gold trophy for their duet. Also winning a gold trophy for their duet were Kim Fischer and Aleah Schroeder. Sarah Imhoff and Jessica Klahn received a silver award for their duet. Soloist, Lindsey Jensen, won a silver trophy. Aleah Schroder won a gold trophy as a soloist as well as being the recipient of the Standout Dance Award.

The Village Board passed an ordinance which prohibited bicycles, in-line skates, skateboarding or “other play vehicles” on any public or private property where signs were posted.

OHS students representing the local DECA Chapter attended the international competition in Nashville, Tennessee. The team of Pat Whaley and Mike Moran, competing in the subject of Financial Services Management, won National Awards of Excellence.

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