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Wednesday Nov. 2, 1955: Following a number of improvements in the REC hall in the basement of the Mabel Tainter Memorial building, local youth have been flocking there when the place is open. The new juke box on the side was purchased this fall and affords plenty of good popular music without breaking records, something that was a problem with the phonograph in the past. Parents are invited to visit and look the place over anytime.

135 Years

Saturday, Nov. 10, 1883

Dr. Wallace, who came to this place about a year and a half since, quietly stuck out his shingle and commenced dealing out little pills. He speedily gained a large practice and made many friends, concluding lately that other fields held out for him greater inducements. He has moved to Menomonie. Clear Lake loses, in the opinion of very many, their best physician and a citizen who was always enterprising, public-spirited and yet bore an enviable reputation for being a gentleman and minding his own business. Menomonie can congratulate herself on this accession to her medical fraternity, and can fully trust his skill as a first-class homeopathic physician.

125 Years

Friday, Nov. 10, 1893

Fire caught in rubbish in the rear of the Chinese laundry on Broadway Tuesday morning. A fire alarm was sounded and the department promptly responded, but the blaze was extinguished before the boys put in an appearance. Expense to the city was about $60.

Forty heavy draft horses consigned to The Knapp, Stout & Co. Co., for use in the pinery, arrived from down the river last week. What is the matter that Dunn County farmers don’t raise horses to supply this demand?

Painters, paper-hangers and scrub women are at work renovating the Central House preparatory to the reopening next week of that popular inn. Minehost Hanson has enjoyed a summer’s rest and is now ready to again feed and house the traveling public.

100 Years

Thursday, Nov. 7, 1918

George A. Johnson, the engineer on the Great Northern Railroad who pulled the last train out of Cloquet, Minn., during the recent fire there and in the surrounding forest, died Sunday afternoon at his home, two miles south of Irvington, of pneumonia brought on by Spanish Influenza. The strain and exposure incident to his experience in the fire so weakened him that he fell an easy victim of the epidemic.

He had been in service on the Great Northern, running out of Superior. When the fire drove thousands from their homes in Northeastern Minnesota and threatened to wipe out the two great cities at the head of the lakes, he was sent out on rescue work. It was his steady hand that pulled the throttle of the locomotive which drew the last trainload of survivors out of devastated Cloquet. Through burning forests he sat at his post, determined to bring his precious cargo to safety. He succeeded, though the heat was terrific and the strain was intense. As he drew away from the doomed city, the train took fire and part of it had to be cut off. The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon from the home, interment was made in Fairview cemetery.

75 Years

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1943

Twenty young people and the teachers of the Boyceville high school held a Sadie Hawkins Day dance at the Municipal Hall Friday evening where a very nice time was enjoyed by all.

Monday’s wet snow hit hard at Menomonie’s telephone service, snapping wires by its weigh. Poles went down near highways. Manager M. A. Mattison reports 324 telephones were put out of service on the Menomonie exchange. Of these, 204 were in the city and 120 in the rural area. Seventy-five poles were tipped across highways and the repair men had to fix 80 wire breaks. Repairs were made as quickly as possible, but it was two days or more before telephone service was fully restored.

50 Years

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1968

Did any Menomonie Senior High student ever “lose” his report card between the time he received it and when he arrived home from school? If this practice did exist for obvious reasons (we doubt it), it will come to a halt this year. Principal Lyle Pollock reports that student achievement is now recorded by computers and results will be mailed to parents some time this week. He adds that these report cards will not have to be returned to the school. Is this another example of how machines are taking the challenge out of living? After all, it took a little intestinal fortitude to face dad and turn over a report card that contained a C, three D’s and a F. Now parents will meet the student at the door and he won’t have an opportunity to formulate an appropriate explanation.

Grand opening will be held at Mr. Mac’s, Menomonie’s newest drive in, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7, 8 and 9, announced Harold Thomas, manager. Featured at Mr. Mac’s, located on North Broadway, during the grand opening celebration will be a five-cent sale. Mr. Mac’s is owned by Harrison Enterprises, Litchfield, Minn. The firm owns a number of Mr. Mac’s and McCarthy drive-ins in Minnesota.

25 Years

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1993

The person who wins the mayoral race next year could be making $3,400 more a year than the current mayor makes. The current salary for Mayor Charles Stokke is $6,200 a year. A motion was made last night to raise the yearly salary to $9,600. Councilman Dennis Kropp said no raises in the near past makes the proposed 64.6 percent raise much needed. “When you take a look at hours Mayor Stokke puts in, it still figures to be minimum wage,” Kropp said.

Dunn County Board members voted unanimously to designate the City of Menomonie Fire Department as the official level B hazardous materials team. “It has taken three to four years to get to this point,” Menomonie Fire Chief Chuck Vind told the board. The city and county have relied on the cities of Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls for Level A and B emergencies, often requiring a 40 minute wait. ... Any one of the trucks carrying hazardous chemicals on the interstate or the state highways could be a big problem, Johnson said. The board approved a $5,000 transfer from the general fund to the Emergency Government budget, for the Level B Hazmat team.

15 Years

Wednesday, Nov., 5, 2003

Dunn County hosted the Tri-County Soil Judging Contest recently. The contest is an annual event open to schools in Buffalo, Dunn and Pepin Counties. Students judge four pits for soil characteristics and make decisions as to the best management for these sites. This year’s contest was held on the Ed Hartung Farm near Menomonie. Approximately 64 students representing four schools participated in the contest.

Larry Natzke, USDA-NRCS Area Resource Soil Scientist, was the official judge. Personnel from the Dunn County Land Conservation Division and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service organized the contest. Staff from the Pepin County Land Conservation Department and Natural Resources Conservation Service assisted with the event.

10 Years

Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008

Locally, overall voter turnout in Dunn County for the 2008 presidential election didn’t break any records. County clerk Marilyn Hoyt reported that the countywide turnout was 68 percent. A total of 22,821 electors voted for president this year; in 2004, the count was 23,155 — or 72.5 percent.

“I know that seems low for the rest, but it’s great for Dunn County,” Hoyt said, noting that tally is usually closer to 30 percent and the county offices up for election all ran unopposed. “Of course that depends on if it’s a big race like sheriff — it wasn’t like two years ago with the sheriff’s race.’

According to city clerk JoAnn Kadinger, Menomonie’s voter turnout was even lower at 60 percent. “There were 218 more voters this time, which is not much of an increase over four years ago,” she said. Out of 14,432 registered voters, 8,697 cast their ballots. In the last presidential election, the turnout was 65 percent.

5 Years

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013

It has been several years since the Menomonie Mustangs have had a Big Rivers Conference swimming champion. On Saturday, Claire Kraft changed that when she won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:29.41 — nearly 5 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. The mark dropped 8 seconds from her previous best time.

“She looked very strong in the water,” said Menomonie coach Kia Kraft. “She has been preparing all season for this race, and I was very happy to see it all come together.” Claire also finished second in the 200 free with a time of 2:02.45, dropping nearly 4 seconds from her previous PR.

“This was a great meet for the girls,” said Coach Kraft. “Just about every a single person had at least one personal best. This is s a proud moment for me as a coach but an even more exciting moment for the girls. They have been working hard all season, and to see their hard work pay off is fantastic.”

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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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