Bayfield County Journal
Bayfield County Journal Yesteryear Column

Zoe von Ende Lappin, granddaughter of P.J. Savage, editor of the Iron River PIONEER from 1898 to 1952, has obtained permission for us to post the Memories and Yesteryear columns that are printed weekly in the Bayfield COUNTY JOURNAL, successor  to the PIONEER and other newspapers in the county. The COUNTY JOURNAL announced the upcoming Web postings in its Dec. 3O, 1999, edition with the headline, "Genealogy columns to appear on the web".

I would like to thank Eric Sharp, Editor of the Bayfield County Journal for his willingness to work with us in our genealogical search. We look forward to the wonderful articles that will appear here. Thank you also to Zoe von Ende Lappin for all her work and the hours of typing.

County Journal,  Dec. 16, 1999


Tony Woiak

Taken from the Washburn Times December 11, 1924

    (Instead of having a steady 107- or 108- year old column, at times I will jump around from year to year, as some people suggested.) Washburn’s “Boy Mayor” Paul Ungrodt urges folks to pay their taxes and takes up a cause on why taxes town are so high. (Back then, Washburn was having a great deal of financial difficulties, and Ungrodt helped get Washburn going again. Things were so bad, the town couldn’t even afford to pay a lot of their teachers for months at a time.)

Rev. Perry Gibson of Winthrop, Minn., was home visiting his mother, Mrs. John Gibson, who was ill. (Mrs. Gibson’s husband ran the Northwestern Fuel Company for many years. After he passed away, she took over. She had a small office around where the Bremer Bank is today. Mrs. Gibson is the oldest person buried in Washburn Cemetery, almost 107  years of age.) Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Bongrief celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

50 Years Ago

Taken from the Washburn Times Dec. 8, 1949

Born, a girl to Mr. and Mrs. Toivo Bakkala on Dec. 6. Deaths: Levor Lein, 82, brother of Washburn merchant and former Bayfield County sheriff; James B. Fisk, 74, DuPont employee who owned Fisk’s Northern Repair Shop on East Bayfield Street. (Jim’s repair shop was in the middle of the block, right next door to the Elliot Peterson family.) W.H.  “Hank” LaHaie, 52, WWI vet, who also played semi-pro baseball, pitched for the Madison Blues and was known as “LaHail” because of his fast ball.  “Big Jim” Wiggs pitched for the Washburn Athletics around 1900 and usually struck out between 15-20 batters a game. He played for one of Washburn’s all-time best teams and may have been Washburn’s greatest baseball player, bar none. His team took on all comers and usually beat them, thanks mostly to “Big Jim.” He had such good stuff that he was signed by Major League Hall-of-Famer Connie Mack. “Big Jim” Wiggs didn’t last long with the Philadelphia Athletics. He had great arm strength but was erratic and wild. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that one of Washburn’s own played for one of the best managers in baseball history and had enough talent to catch the immortal Connie Mack’s eye.

25 Years Ago

Taken from the Washburn Times Dec. 12, 1974

There was an open  house at Mt. Valhalla to show off the new chalet. Responsible for the new building was the Washburn Men’s Club and the Washburn Snowmobile Club. St. Louis school children  unable to pay full price for milk can get it for free. Mrs. Roy Roberts held a shower honoring Nancy Bruneau. (This column is dedicated in memory of Mrs. Roy Roberts, who was phy. ed teacher at St. Louis.) The WHS Castle Guards, behind Scott Foss’ 26 points, Scott Sneed’s 15, and Billy Doucette’s 13 points, defeated the Black Bears of Glidden in basketball 73-56. South Shore nipped the WHS girls in overtime 46-39, despite Jane Lindsey’s 14 points. Washburn Fire Chief Walter Hovey reports that the new fire hall on Washington Avenue is coming along nicely.

10 Years Ago

Taken from the County Journal Dec. 14, 1989

Behind Kurt Kick’s 19 points, followed by Mike Siroin’s 16, and Ray Dickerhoff’s 14, the WHS Castle Guards defeated the Bayfield Trollers in Indianhead basketball action. Will Johnson has a two hour video entitled “Summertime in Washburn.” Dr. John Telford was president of the Chequamegon Area Ski Trail Association (CHASTA). Karlyn Holman was appointed to the Wisconsin Arts Board. The city council gives the go-ahead to  close the dump, landfill in the Town of Washburn. Elsie Fleming was the Northern Lights Personality of the Month. She was born in Hinckley, Minn., and was 4 years old when the Great Hinckley Fire swept through.

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