From the files: Rock Falls' blacksmith burns to ground

2013-10-07T14:46:00Z From the files: Rock Falls' blacksmith burns to groundBy Dustyn Dubuque | For THE NEWS Chippewa Herald
October 07, 2013 2:46 pm  • 

"In the midst of a Civil War of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations..."

— Saturday, Oct. 10, 1863

President Lincoln would continue this Thanksgiving Proclamation speaking on peaceful industry and the high yielding of iron and coal than ever before.  The population of the nation was increasing, the strength of the country was beginning to grow, and the national defense was intact, Lincoln would continue.  The point of this proclamation was that on the upcoming Thanksgiving everyone in the country, servicemen in foreign lands, and the men at sea should take a day to give thanks for all that they have.


If you like my "From the Files" article every week, I will be a part of the "Heritage Speaker Program" on Sunday, Oct. 20th at the Dunn County Historical Society.  Here I will be speaking at length of many of the interesting stories I had found in the newspapers over the past year.  I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012

University of Wisconsin-Stout contributes almost $300 million a year to the Chippewa Valley economy, including about $179 million from the skills students bring to businesses and industries after graduating, according to a new economic impact study.  The study by Economic Modeling Specialists International determined that UW-Stout contributes about $294 million annually to the Chippewa valley economy, or about 2.4 percent of the economic output.  The accumulated credit hours achieved by former UW-Stout students the past 30 years translate to $178.7 million in added regional income each year due to the higher earnings of students and increased output of businesses.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1988

The Thunderbird Mall in North Menomonie is celebrating its 15th birthday this week with a wide variety of promotions and giveaways.  Terry Siebold, who with her husband, Bruce, is promotions manager for the mall, said each of the 23 stores will be offering a special prize.  In addition, stores will offer specials based on the number 15 - 15 percent off, for example, or 15 items for a certain price.  Five stores in the mall have been tenants for the full 15 years — Dick's Red Owl, Snyder Drug, Myron's Hallmark, the Thunderbird Lounge, and Dunn County Mutual Insurance.

Gov. Tommy Thompson has signed five contracts totaling $1.6 million for new safety rest areas being developed on I-94 in this county.  The project includes buildings, lighting, and landscaping.  The new rest areas will be connected to city utilities and will be large enough to serve present and future traffic.  Paving of the ramps and parking lots were completed in July under a separate contract.

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1963

G. H. Bakke, formerly of Menomonie, renamed to State Highway Commission for six-year term by Gov. John Reynolds.  Bakke was appointed to the commission in 1957 by Gov. Vernon Thomson, a Republican.  A graduate of the Dunn County School of Agriculture, he was elected to the assembly from Dunn County on April 3, 1951, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Earl Hanson.  In 1952 he was named chairman of the Assembly highway committee.

Arthur C. Gilberts, manager of the Menomonie Farmers Credit Union, re-elected president of Wisconsin Credit Union League.  He is also director of the Credit Union National Association.  This group directs the activities of the international credit union movement.  As state president, he is the presiding officer of the 25-member state board that meets quarterly and at executive committee sessions that are held monthly.  Gilberts joined the Menomonie concern as manager in 1949.  Previous to that, he was employed by the Menomonie Farmers Union Cooperative.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1938

Request for $61,232 from the city to help in the operation of the city schools for the 1938-39 term contained in annual school board budget, signed by Present R. L. Pierce and Supt. Will G. Ballentine, presented to city council.  A year ago the budget called for $55,264.  C. A. Pinkepank, the council's representative on the school board, said the increase in the amount requested is due partly to slight salary increases for teachers.

Menomonie's farm festival held in the city Friday and Saturday that was sponsored by several organizations proved what can be done to help boom business for home town stores, bringing to the city crowds of people for the two days.  The event had for its general chairman G. E. Wiseman and he was assisted by Secretary F. F. Monahan of the chamber of commerce.

Thursday, Oct. 16, 1913

Beginning today, The Dunn County News will be published as a weekly newspaper.  Diligent inquiry by the present owners among The News readers, both in city and country, has convinced the management that a once-a-week edition is almost universally preferred.

B. Bieri, for the past five years manager of the Hall estate farms near Knapp, has accepted the position of manager of the famous Woodend farm on Lake Minnetonka, MN, owned by A. C. Loring, president of the Pillsbury Flour Mills company of Minneapolis.  The farm to which Mr. Bieri goes contains 400 acres besides an 80-acre park at Mr. Loring's summer home adjoining.  On the farm are kept 150 head of registered Guernsey cattle, as fine specimens as can be found in the country.  The milk and cream produced on the farm are bottled and sold to private customers, being widely known as a sanitary product and commanding a fancy price.  The Hall estate farms contain 2,400 acres, although not all of this extent is under cultivation.  Mr. Bieri is president of the Holstein-Fresian Breeders' Association of D1unn County and also of the Jersey Breeders' Association.

Friday, Oct. 12, 1888

Mr. John H. Knapp's condition as we go to press is substantially unchanged from last week.  For 25 days he has not tasted food and of course his weakness is now excessive but his mind remains clear and his unparalleled.  His marvelous vitality is the wonder of all.

The Republican convention for the county of Dunn was held pursuant to call at the courthouse in Menomonie, and was called to order by W. J. Cowan, chairman of the Republican county committee.  On motion George Shafer was chosen chairman and E. M. Drake secretary of the temporary organization.  It was moved and carried that all nominations shall be decided by ballot and that no informal ballot shall be declared formal.

Last Saturday evening, Billie Steler's blacksmith shop in Rock Falls burned.  The family all being in the house at the time, the fire was not discovered until too late to save anything.

Saturday, Oct. 10, 1863

By the President of the United States: The year that is drawing to a close has been filled with fruitful blessings of fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties which are so constantly enjoyed the we are prone to forget the source from which they cone, other have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heard which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful Providence of the Almighty God.  In the midst of a Civil War of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.  

Dustyn Dubuque, UW-Eau Claire Public History intern at DCHS, can be reached  at 715-232-8685, or

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