Dunn County Historical Society

Dunn County Historical Society Formed in 1950, the Dunn County Historical Society discovers, preserves, interprets and shares knowledge about the history of Dunn County and its role in Wisconsin, and inspires interest in the past.

Thanks to all who participated in our second Frost Fair on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The well-attended event featured ...

Thanks to all who participated in our second Frost Fair on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The well-attended event featured interesting craft demonstrations, and craft and food vendors. The Blue Caps and the Sand Creek 9 played three innings of 1860 rules base ball. The very competitive Chili Cook-Off offered many varieties to pick a favorite from.

Thanks to all who participated in our second Frost Fair on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The well-attended event featured interesting craft demonstrations, and craft and food vendors. The Blue Caps and the Sand Creek 9 played three innings of 1860 rules base ball. The very competitive Chili Cook-Off offered many varieties to pick a favorite from.

FROM THE FILES | Sofi DoaneFor the week of February 19, 2020PHOTO CUTLINE:  City Receives New Squad Cars Wednesday, Feb....

For the week of February 19, 2020

PHOTO CUTLINE: City Receives New Squad Cars Wednesday, Feb. 19, 1975 -- The first of five squad cars purchased recently by the city was put into use last Wednesday when Bob Willow, right, of Bob Willow Chevrolet-Olds. Inc., turned over the keys to Officer Jim P. Wozniak.

The city purchased five Chevrolet Malibu squads from the firm for $17,845 and all are expected to be in service by the end of this week. Four are black and white and carry the Menomonie Police Department decal while one "unmarked" car will be utilized for detective work.

Police Chief Ron Hansen reports the city has been divided into three zones and one squad will be in each zone 24 hours a day. The other squad will be used for patrol activities throughout the city.

135 Years
Saturday, Feb. 21, 1885

Brer McLean continues to bellyache about that new brickyard. They say he has been kicking himself ever since he learned of his failure to sell some of his own land to these parties for their yard, which may account for these tears.

The friends of Mrs. T.S. Heller will be pained to learn that she is very ill and no hopes entertained for her recovery.

Messrs. Solvey & Fladten, of North Menomonie, are storing a large quantity of ice for next summer’s consumption.

The West Side boys have invested in a set of boxing gloves, and now employ their spare time practicing the manly art.

J.M. Ingraham, the Broadway druggist, has given evidence of his faith that warm weather is coming by the purchase of a handsome Tuft’s Arctic Soda Fountain at an expense of $600. He proposes to furnish a beverage that cheers but does not inebriate.

125 Years
Friday, Feb. 22, 1895

Samuel Peters, of Wabasha, Minn, is engaged in building a side-wheel steamer which will be used by Knapp, Stout & Co. Company in towing logs on Lake Chetek, this state. The boat will be 60 feet in length with a 14-foot beam.

The prospects in Menomonie next spring are good for more healthful and satisfactory business conditions than expected last year. The colossal lumber operations of The Knapp, Stout & Co. Company will continue, as in the past, unaffected by industrial; and business disturbances. The immense brick-making plants located here will greatly increase their output, some of them expecting to start up their works which have not run full time for two years, on the first of March. Other smaller industries are arousing for an aggressive spring campaign, and sewer laying and possibly street paving will provide labor for considerable number of men. Altogether the outlook is more hopeful than it has been since 1892.

100 Years
Thursday, Feb. 19, 1920

Peter Shellhouse a well-known town of Red Cedar farmer, living twelve miles east of the city, dropped dead of apoplexy at 10;15a.m. Saturday in the Menomonie court room in the court house. Upon arriving at the municipal judge’s office, Mr. Shellhouse complained of the cold, saying that the drive had been a long, cold one and because of the drifts he could not drive his horses faster than a walk. The temperature was below zero. He showed signs of suffering and seemed numb from the cold. “Step closer to the radiator, Mr. Shellhouse,” said Judge P.B. Clark, “and lean over it. You will get warm more quickly.” As Mr. Shellhouse took a step forward, he suddenly fell backward. He clutched at a chair as he sank down to his knees then fell to the floor, rolled upon his back, and all was over. The exposure had no doubt induced the attack. The remains were taken in charge by Frank Hintzman, undertaker. The remains were placed in the vault in Evergreen cemetery awaiting burial.

75 Years
Wednesday, Feb 21, 1945

Chief asks curb on snowball throwing

Throwing snowballs is a risky practice, is the warning issued by Police Chief Fred Einum. The chief said many complaints have been registered with the police department by citizens about youngsters throwing snowballs at pedestrians and at cars. The chief says he doesn’t want to spoil the kids’ fun, admitting he enjoyed the fun too, when he was young. But he does ask the youngsters to confine their snowball-throwing to fights among themselves and not endanger oldsters.

Taxes are Collected

A total of $156,114.16 in city taxes has been collected by City Treas. C.A. Pinkepank. The amount of taxes to be collected for the year is $233,802.44. Tax collections in January were several thousand dollars more than the amount collected in January of the year before.

50 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1970

Officials Report Meningitis Victim In Good Condition

John A. Nordin, 20, Bayfield, who is hospitalized here with meningitis, is reported in good condition, Stout State University officials said Tuesday. Nordin, a junior majoring in industrial technology, was admitted to Memorial Hospital Friday after he complained to university health clinic officials of having a headache, very sore throat and being weak. Dr. A. E. McMahon, who was filling in for Dr. Witt, the university’s physician, reported Nordin's symptoms were similar to the numerous flu cases in the area and tests were made when the student developed a stiff neck Saturday morning. Students who reside on the floor with Nordin at Milnes Hall were given prophylactic medication as a precautionary measure. Other persons in his classes and those who had been in contact with him also are in process of receiving medication. Meningitis, which is an inflammation of the meninges or the three membranes which envelop the brain and spinal cord, is transmitted orally and is described as being moderately contagious.The case has been reported to the District Medical Health Office at La Crosse. In a statement, Dr. Witt said he feels this is an isolated case. "There is no evidence of an epidemic, but we are on the look-out, of course," he added.

25 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1995

New construction and expansion of existing businesses highlighted economic development in 1994 in Dunn County, according to the annual report of the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation. Major Commercial and industrial projects included: Philips Plastic broke ground for its new origin Center. 3M Company said it planned to expand its production facilities. Swiss Miss announced an $18.2 million investment in its Menomonie facility. Cardinal Flat Glass constructed an approximate 30,000 square foot building to be used primarily for warehousing and storage. TRAC, Inc., purchased 9.1 acres in the Menomonie Industrial Park for a shop and office complex. Four Seasons FS, Inc., started construction on its headquarters in the town of Elk Mound. Banks Hardwoods loaded its drying kilns with lumber in January 1994 and will dry some 8 million board feet of lumber annually. Village of Boyceville welcomed Nor-Wes Aviation, a firm that provides flight instruction, a pilot supply shop, and aircraft rental sales and service.

15 Years
Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005

Boyd board bashes booze

A sign hanging on the wall of the Boyd Village Hall Monday night read, "I'd rather do business with an honest drunk than a sober liar." But times might be changing in the Chippewa County village of 680 people. The village board put its foot down Monday on the consumption of alcohol by public servants before board and committee meetings. Some board members have been attending meetings after they have been drinking, according to Boyd trustee Laurie Helgerson. Village President Richard Schoch says it's a practice that has to stop. Helgerson said drinking by board members hasn't been a serious problem, but any drinking before meetings is problem enough. The drinking issue arose at a recent committee meeting that Helgerson chairs when she said a committee member became disruptive. "We've had discussions at previous meetings that members shouldn't be drinking," she said. "When it happened again, I felt we should revisit the issue' Helgerson says because board and committee members are making decisions on the public's behalf, they have no business being under the influence of alcohol. "There's been meetings where it's gotten so bad that they can't carry on a meeting,” Schoch said. "That's too bad." But he vows that people disrupting meetings will be a thing of the past.

10 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

POLICE BEAT -- Must love dogs

Two rural Menomonie neighbors entered into a disagreement Saturday after a dog owned by one of the neighbors began playing a little too rough. According to a report filed by the Dunn County Sheriff Department, a 60-year-old woman went outside at her residence on 350th Avenue outside Menomonie Saturday with her two golden retrievers and was less than thrilled to find her neighbor's pitbull running loose.

The woman stated that the pitbull, owned by a 49-year old man who lives in the area, began playing with her two dogs and eventually began to bite her younger golden retriever on the neck and pin the smaller dog to the ground. The woman then contacted the Sheriff's Department over the alleged attack, stating that the pitbull's bite did not break her dog's skin. The pitbull's owner told the responding deputy that he believed the dogs were simply playing and that his dog liked to play rough.

The owner of the pitbull then told the deputy that the woman's husband had visited him at his home and threatened to shoot his dog. The husband was questioned and said he may have been a little grumpy over the incident. The husband was advised that two wrongs don't make a right, the pitbull's owner was told to keep his dog on his property, and no charges were filed.

5 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

A year after ending its live theater offerings, Fanny Hill's restaurant and inn will also be shutting down. Dennis Heyde, who has owned Fanny Hill for 26 years and calls it the city's oldest family-owned restaurant, announced Thursday that it will close Feb. 22. Despite being honored through the years by AAA for its fine dining and Wine Spectator magazine for its extensive wine list, Heyde said businesses levels no longer warrant keeping the business running.

He said Fanny Hill continues to be a place that people seek to celebrate a special occasion. For example, Valentine's Day weekend has the bed-and-breakfast sold out both nights and a third-party a theater presentation sold out Saturday night, while the dining room is braced for a busy weekend.

"But there are a lot more days in the year where customers are needed to be a viable operation," Heyde said.

He said that ending Fanny Hill's live theater productions in 2014 was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make. "To say goodbye was an emotional time I will never forget" Heyde said. Another factor in the closing the restaurant and bed and breakfast was that Fanny Hill wasn't attracting as many tourists, and the motorcoaches that delivered customers in the thousands were no longer doing so, Heyde said.

"We thank everyone who have supported us over the years," Heyde said, "and thank our wonderful staff for all they have and continue to do for Fanny Hill and our customers."

Looking for musicians for the upcoming production of John Russell's "Black Friday." See details below:

Looking for musicians for the upcoming production of John Russell's "Black Friday." See details below:

As you know, the MTG is collaborating with the Dunn County Historical Society and the Mabel Tainter Theater to stage Black Friday, written by local playwright John Russell.

This is NOT a musical, however we will need a pit orchestra for the production, to serve as in-character musicians for Ford's Theater to play a handful of not-too-complex Civil War-era tunes, including Hail to the Chief. Space is limited, and priority will be based on instrumentation. Musicians will be in period-appropriate clothing, and there are a handful of lines spoken among them.

Last week (or perhaps two weeks) of April

May 1 (7:30pm), 2 ( 2:00pm & 7:30pm), and 3 (2:00pm)
May 8 (7:30pm), 9 (2:00pm & 7:30pm), and 10 (2:00pm)

Contact us and we can put you in touch with the right people!

ONE MORE REMINDER: Le’Trice D. Donaldson will speak on her book "Duty Beyond the Battlefield" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. ...
History professor publishes book on African-American soldiers

ONE MORE REMINDER: Le’Trice D. Donaldson will speak on her book "Duty Beyond the Battlefield" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Rassbach Heritage Museum in Wakanda Park as part of Black History Month.

As he crawled through the Arizona desert, both legs wounded from gunshots, Corp. Isaiah Mays knew his fellow soldiers were counting on him. He kept thinking, “I

DO NOT ENDANGER OLDSTERS, FIGHT AMONG YOURSELVES » From the February 21, 1945 Dunn County News

» From the February 21, 1945 Dunn County News

We have a Fantastic Beast now residing in Fulton's Workshop to inspire visitors! Come down and see Buckbeak and learn ab...

We have a Fantastic Beast now residing in Fulton's Workshop to inspire visitors! Come down and see Buckbeak and learn about how STEAM makes MAGIC! (don't forget to bow when you meet a hippogriff, they are very proud creatures!)

A sculpture – made entirely of corrugated cardboard, brown paper, and glue - by one of our students, Anna Strong, has lived in Micheels Atrium for the past few years. While we have all grown to love Buckbeak the Hippogriff, it was time to send it off to pasture (using a horse trailer!). Thanks to our wonderful friends at Fulton’s Workshop and the Rassbach Museum, Buckbeak has now found a new home in Menomonie, so that the public can visit and enjoy it for years to come!


#stout #SOAD #schoolofartanddesign #rassbachmuseum #fultonsworkshop

VIOLIN MAKES INTERESTING JOURNEY   » From the February 20, 1908 Dunn County News

» From the February 20, 1908 Dunn County News

VALENTINES NO FADING FASHION » From the February 20, 1908 Dunn County News

» From the February 20, 1908 Dunn County News

Our friends at the Menomonie Theater Guild are looking for actors with a certain "look" for the upcoming production of J...

Our friends at the Menomonie Theater Guild are looking for actors with a certain "look" for the upcoming production of John Russell's "Black Friday," which recalls the last moments of President Abraham Lincoln’s life in that fateful balcony seat in Ford's Theater.

Join us for Black Friday auditions at the MTG next week: Tuesday and Wednesday, 2/25 and 2/26, from 5:30 - 7 PM, with callbacks on 2/27 if deemed necessary. We guarantee that this show will be like nothing you've ever experienced before! ALL are welcome and encouraged to audition!

FROM THE FILES | Sofi DoaneFor the week of February 12, 2020PHOTO CUTLINE: Eiseth Hits 214 Triplicate [Wednesday, Feb. 5...

For the week of February 12, 2020

PHOTO CUTLINE: Eiseth Hits 214 Triplicate [Wednesday, Feb. 5, 1975] -- A Menomonie bowling record was set Tuesday, Jan. 21, when Lloyd (Ike) Eiseth rolled a 214 triplicate in the Miracle Mile League. The previous high triplicate at Menomin Bowl was a 203 rolled by Carol Scholfield.

135 Years
Saturday, Feb. 14, 1885

We understand that a few nights ago some parties fastened the windows and doors of Mr. P Glancy’s house; afterward jamming the chimney full of old clothes causing the house to fill with smoke: they then gave the alarm of fire, when the excited inmates came flying through the window, it being their only exit as they supposed. Liquor seems to be the cause of it all.

The Menomonie Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway depot has been profusely draped with white and black crape as a mark of respect to the memory of S.S. Merrill, late general manager of that road, whose death occurred last Monday. All engines and trains will be similarly draped. The funeral vestments were sent from the central office and will remain in position for the term of thirty days.

125 Years
Friday, Feb. 15, 1895

About three weeks ago a couple of young men appeared in Menomonie, announcing their purpose of making a city directory. Failing in this, one of them, C.H. Freeman, solicited advertisements for hotel cards and thus temporarily dallied with industry. Last week Sheriff Howison received instructions from St. Paul to arrest C.H. Freeman for forgery committed in that city. On Monday afternoon Undersheriff Wright and W.H. Scanlan effected the arrest in Tainter’s bank, while the young man was engaged in an attempt to induce Mr. French to cash a check for $200 on the Chemical Bank of New York, having the forged endorsement of N. Ladon, of this city. Being searched, sixty dollars in money and a revolver were found on Freeman’s person. On Tuesday the prisoner was taken before Squire Shafer who bound him over for appearance at the March term of the Circuit Court. In default of bail Freeman was remanded to the county jail.

100 Years
Thursday, Feb. 12, 1920

High Wages Lure To Girl. Story of Madelyn Covell, Whose Murder Stirs Knapp Village.

Never in the history of this little village, writes the News correspondent at Knapp, will a case be watched with such keen interest as that of the trial of Ralph La Count that is now pending in the Minneapolis court for the murder of his sixteen year-old wife, Madelyn Covell La Count, who was found murdered in the La Count cottage on the C.J. Winton estate at Northome, Lake Minnetonka, late in the afternoon of Sept. 12, 1919. Mr. La Count was the chauffeur for Mr. Winton. Madelyn Covell was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Covell, formerly of Knapp. Madelyn was lured to the city by the high wages and was employed in a private family as a nurse girl. She was married to Ralph La Count in February 1919. Lindgren, the gardener, and La Count, were indicted jointly for the murder as they are supposed to be confederates in the crime. The friends of the family join in wishing the perpetrator of so dastardly a crime will be brought to justice.

75 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 14, 1945

Announcement Wednesday by the Navy Department that the U.S. aircraft carrier Ommaney Bay has been sunk in the Philippines by a Japanese air attack, caused a stir of local interest in Menomonie for Lt. Commander Palmer O. Brekke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Brekke, was damage control officer on the ship. Mr. Brekke received a letter from Lt. Com. Brekke on January 22, which caused the father to become somewhat suspicious because the paper on which the letter was written was not Ommaney Bay stationery. The father thought at the time something had happened to the ship. Apparently, Lt. Com. Brekke came out of the sinking without injury, for no word to the contrary has been received. This is the second time Brekke has escaped from a sinking ship. He was also a survivor of another aircraft carrier that was sunk in September 1942, in the Solomons engagements.

50 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 1970

72 Teenagers to ‘Investigate’ New York City

Seventy-two Menomonie young people care. They care about the environment, about world hunger and about over-population. And in August they are going to travel 2,100 miles to prove it. They are local high school students who, under sponsorship of Lutheran Campus Ministry, will attend the International Luther League Convention in New York City, They will be among 16,000 teenagers from throughout the world who will meet to consider the shape of the world today under the theme “We Say We Care.” According to Rev. Wisner the young people will not spend their free time sightseeing, but instead will spend their mornings meeting people of New York “where they’re at” -- ghettos, urban centers, coffee houses. Traveling in two buses, the group will cook their own meals and use sleeping bags for their overnight stops in churches along the way. Stops will include three days in Washington, D.C., and overnights in Gettysburg, Pittsburg, Albany, Niagara Falls and Michigan City, Ind.

25 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1995

Colfax Village trustees have scheduled a public meeting at the Colfax High School on Feb. 27, to hear from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on exactly what action is required at 18-Mile Creek Dam, according to Village Clerk John Jahr. “They want to get a vote on whether people want to rehabilitate the dam or dismantle it,” said Gail Svee, a village resident, and on of 30 or more members of the public who came to the board meeting. “A lot of older residents were upset at the thought of the dam being taken out,” said Svee. “They referred to the area before the dam as a jungle of weeds, bushes and trees,” Svee said. Tom Hubbard from Short Elliot Hendrickson engineering in Chippewa Falls, appeared at the meeting to answer questions. He pointed out that if the sludge in the pond turned out to be something that could not be spread on fields, the cost could go up. Hubbard projects a cost of $133,500 for abandonment, and $280,000 for rehabilitation.

15 Years
Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005

On Dec. 26, a devastating earthquake and tsunami destroyed a 3,000 mile stretch of coastline in Southern Asia, killing over 250,000 people. In an effort to support the needs of those affected Andersen Corporation is launching a fundraising campaign among associates, many of whom have expressed an interest in finding ways to help. The Bayport Foundation of Anderson Corporation will match each dollar employees donate by Feb. 25 up to $125,000. Andersen Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood windows, patio doors and storm doors, celebrated its 102nd anniversary in 2005. The company is privately owned with annual sales of $2.3 billion and has a strong history of commitment to its business partners, employees, community and environmental stewardship. Anderson markets products throughout North America and in South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

10 Years
Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010

School Board says yes to Wakanda addition

By the 2011-12 school year, the students and staff at Wakanda Elementary School will finally have room to better spread their scholastic wings. On Monday night, the Menomonie School Board approved up to $3.5 million for an addition to relieving the cramped conditions currently being experienced thanks to increased enrollment at Wakanda. The project will be funded through borrowing under the state’s revenue limit, rather than asking voters to approve spending through a referendum. The preliminary design chosen by the board will add another 15,500 square feet to the northside of the building off the multi-purpose room and media center (library). With the addition, Wakanda will join the ranks of Oaklawn and River Heights as a three-section elementary school.

5 Years
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2015

UW-Stout and Menomonie police have teamed up to learn the identity of the individual who slashed the tires of 24 cars in and around a university parking lot.

Sgt. Jason Spetz from the UW-Stout Police Department reported that early Wednesday morning, 19 cars parked in the large lot in front of Johnson Fieldhouse were damaged, along with five in the 2000 block of Fifth Street East. Each of the 24 vehicles had two tires slashed.
"This is the first [incident] this calendar," Spetz, noting that the campus was alerted via email and social media about the issue in November; "We had a couple of similar cases - not quite as many vehicles towards the end of 2014, so this is something that's ongoing that we've been investigating for a couple of months."

Both police departments believe the same person is involved in both the university and city slashing cases.


1820 Wakanda St NE
Menomonie, WI

Located in Menomonie's Wakanda Park near the Wakanda Elementary School, the Lions Club Game Park, and the water park.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00


(715) 232-8685


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