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Car trapped in ice on Lake Menomin

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1961: Entombed in ice Sunday afternoon on Lake Menomin was the 1960 model car of James N. Koenig, St Paul Park, Minn. Koenig was attempting to go into the lake area under the bridge that leads to the Evergreen cemetery when his car broke through the ice at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. He escaped without injury and the car was removed Monday.

135 years

Saturday, Jan. 5, 1884

Several weeks ago, F.J. Willimann, the popular toy dealer, advertised that to every person who purchased one dollar’s worth of goods at his store before Jan. 1, 1884, he would give a ticket entitling him or her to a chance in a raffle for a $100 music box, the drawing to take place in Concert Hall, Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 1. The scheme proved exceedingly popular and the way the toys disappeared was a caution.

One thousand and ninety tickets were issued and the drawing took place as intended in the presence of about 50 expectant ticket holders. Number 366 provided to be the lucky ticket, owned by Mrs. Michaels, a poor widow lady who lives in the second ward. Mr. Willimann expects to repeat the experiment another year on a larger scale.

125 years

Friday, Jan. 5, 1894

Ephraim Hoover and Ed. Campbell of Rock Falls are incarcerated in the county basile upon a charge of highway robbery preferred by Enoch Hoover, brother of Ephraim.

The story of the complainant is that on Saturday evening, Dec. 30, while on the road one and a half miles from Rock Falls, he was accosted by two men who at the point of a revolver demanded his money. Preferring not to be perforated with cold lead, he gave up his wealth to the amount of about $60, whereupon he was allowed to go in peace.

Enoch immediately hurried to a house nearby where he obtained the assistance of three or four men and a search made for the robbers. A light snow having fallen they were easily tracked to the home Mrs. Elias Hoover, mother of Enoch and Ephraim.

Here Ephraim Hoover and Ed. Campbell had just arrived and when charged with the robbery, weakened and confessed the crime, but maintaining that it was intended as a practical joke to test Enoch’s courage. They were arrested, and will have their examination in this city before Squire Shafer.

If these men get safely out of this scrape the probability is that they will carefully abstain from practical jokes in the future.

100 years

Thursday, Jan. 12, 1919

The New Year’s Eve dance at Knapp was a great success, the hall being crowded with young people, many coming from the adjoining towns. An oyster supper was served at midnight. Everybody reported a fine time.

Gust Braaten returned recently form an absence of 18 months spent in Western Canada, near Yellow Grass, Sask. Mr. Braaten is here to spend the winter, but expects to return to Canada next spring.

He says that farming is much easier up there than in this locality, for some reason that wheat is practically all they raise there, making less drudgery. Speaking of the dry wave that is sweeping through Canada, Gust says that whiskey sells at $10 per quart, and at that price, it can only be procured through the medium of “blind pigs.”

He says there was a custom at one time of going over into Montana with autos and returning with gasoline tanks, one of them filled with whiskey, but the authorities were not long on getting “wise to the game.” Such violators of the law were fined $500 and in some instances their autos were taken from them, so it did not prove profitable to those caught.

75 years

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1944

Marriages and births dropped off in number, but deaths increased during 1943 in Menomonie, according to figures on record in the office of City Health Officer John W. Klingman. The increase in deaths the past year is attributed to the fact that more people were brought to the city hospital the past year, and that many of the city-recorded deaths are of people from outside the city.

Register of Deeds Fred C. Pauly reports that for Dunn County, there were recorded during 1943, 1,306 births, 234 deaths and 165 marriages. The 1,306 figure includes several hundred delayed birth registrations. They were made by people whose births were not previously on record at the county office.

The Menomonie post office that has been making records in recent years, shattered all old records during 1943 when the local office did business totaling $52,818.86 according to Postmaster C. V. Porter.

50 years

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1969

Mary Moore may be the reason you started work on time this morning. Mrs. Moore works for the Audichron Company in Atlanta, Ga., a firm that provides time and temperature announcement service by telephone to more than 500 cities, including Menomonie.

Time announcement has advanced considerably since the days when operators sat in glassed-in booths, reading the time aloud whenever as red light flashed. Audichron’s unique machine is composed of three recording cylinders.

On the first cylinder, Mrs Moore records the message, such as “Good afternoon. Your telephone company brings you the correct time.” She records the 12 hours on the second drum and the minutes on the third drum. When a call is placed, the cylinders are synchronized to sound like one complete message.

It usually takes Mrs. Moore about an hour to make one recording. “But it depends on your mood,” she admits. “It can take as little as 30 minutes, and it can take as much as half a day.”

25 years

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 1994

Mary Kenefick of Menomonie wasn’t due to have her baby until Jan. 14.

But when she started having contractions at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, she and her husband Todd didn’t waste any time.

They went to Myrtle Werth Medical Center Friday evening and Mary gave birth to a baby boy at 1:12 a.m., Saturday. Austin Raymond Kenefick is the first baby born in Dunn County in 1994.

“We didn’t know if we were going to have a tax deduction baby or a New Year’s baby,” Mary said.

Austin was born 7 pounds and 13 ounces. He is their second child.

Three-year-old Sean told his mom if she had a girl it would be hers. If she had a boy, it was his baby.

15 years

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2004

Mad cow disease will be costly to Dunn County farmers. Just how costly will be determined by future events.

Jim Faust, Dunn County UW-Extension agriculture agent, said the market for beef cattle has dropped 20 cents a pound since the discovery of mad cow diseased Holstein in Washington State.

“On a 1,000 pound steer, that would come to $200,” Faust said. “And that’s real money.” He said that there are about 5,000 to 6.000 beef cattle in Dunn County and, if losses come to $150 to $200 a head, the total loss could be between $2.5 and $3 million in a one-year period.

Faust said that the U.S. Department of Agriculture officials “are doing a great job” in trying to allay consumer fears of eating beef. “They took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and went above and beyond what they might have done to help out the farmers,” the ag agent stressed.

“I’m usually critical of how the U.S.government does things,” Faust said. “But I see none of the slowness and inaction that has characterized other actions.”

Time will tell if the U.S. Agriculture Department’s moves will allay consumer fears.

10 years

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009

It isn’t how much it snows, it’s when it snows.

That’s the conclusion of city and county officials as they tallied overtime hours worked during December by road crews.

Officials at the Menomonie Wastewater Plant, who manage instruments provided by the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minn., said it snowed on 13 days during December, with a little rain tossed in on one occasion. These snowfalls, which ranged from one-half inch to four and one-half inches, totaled about 25 inches.

“If every snowfall began at 7 a.m. on weekdays, we wouldn’t have any problem with overtime,” commented Randy Eide, the city’s director of public works. “But Mother Nature doesn’t watch the clock. Our main concern is safety, but we watch the bottom line, too.”

According to Eide, the city in 2007 budgeted $55,000 for overtime in 2008 within the street department. The city finished the year (Dec. 31, 2008) with about $5,000 in the pot, he added.

Eide said a majority of the $50,000 was “consumed” by December storms.

Contacted Friday, a county highway department spokesperson said the county, which also plows, salts and sands state roads, had a December payroll of $238,342 that included 975 overtime hours.

5 years

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014

Dunn County News top 10 stories for 2013:

1. Semi carrying fertilizer crashes into red Cedar River.

2. May 2 snowstorm blankets Chippewa Valley.

3. Council debates dredging Wolske Bay.

4. Demolition planned, but no development on Leever’s site.

5. Former Wheeler police chief sentenced in sexual assault case.

6. Menomonie school district voters pass building referenda.

7. Minnesota woman robs downtown bank.

8. Chickens now roost in city backyard.

9. Irvington man creates life-sized Tonka truck.

10. Sorensen, Stratton to retire in 2014.

After five straight nights of lows between 15 and 20 degrees below zero as of Friday, Chippewa Valley residents should be use to the cold. But get ready, because it’s about to get even colder.

The National Weather Service is calling the approaching Arctic cold front “a very dangerous and historic cold air outbreak,” and issued a wind chill warning from Saturday through Tuesday. For reference, all we could muster this past week when temperatures never got above zero for three days were a series of wind chill advisories.

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Sofi Doane is the Collections Manager for the Dunn County Historical Society. She can be reached at 715-232-8685 or


Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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