Thursday, December 29, 2011

Resurrecting the old fire bell

If you haven't driven past the Cuba City fire station lately, you are missing out on a piece of local history. The city's old fire bell is now nicely displayed for all to see.

The bell was cast in 1897 by the Centennial Bell Foundry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The foundry was owned by Scottish immigrant, Gardiner Campbell. The Milwaukee foundry was well known in the U.S. and beyond and was responsible for the 11-ton bell in Milwaukee's City Hall.

Probably one of the first images of Cuba City's fire bell can be seen in this photograph:

Cuba City was incorporated as a village in 1891, and you can see the first village hall, complete with a fire bell, at the left in this picture. This original village hall stood where American Bank is today.

A second village hall was built in 1920 on Main Street and the bell was moved to the new building.

For more information on Cuba City's firefighting history, visit the Fire Department's webpage.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Remembering the old bank...with a matchbook

A nice find on Ebay:

I love the artwork of the beautiful old bank on the matchbook. The building was torn down in the 1970s. The old bank stood on Main Street, south of City Hall, on the site of the current bank's (American Bank, formerly Cuba City State Bank) parking lot.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas at Florine's in 1917

Another newspaper advertisement from Christmas 1917. This time from Florine's:

Florine's was located in the building now occupied by Subway.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Toyland in Cuba City

Below is a 1917 Christmas advertisement from an old Cuba City business--Longbotham & Gibson: 

I don't have much information about the store at the moment. It was possibly located in the same building as the Cuba City National Bank. It had two floors, as the ad states that all toys were on the second floor.

The advertisement reads:

We wish to state that we are now ready for your Xmas buying, and in doing our part we have filled our store with sensible gifts for every member of the family, from the tiny little ones up to grandmother and grandfather.

You will find Toyland very complete with fun making toys as well as practical ones. As before TOYS WILL BE FOUND ON THE SECOND FLOOR, and we extend to every child a special invitation to visit this section as often as they please. This invitation is extended to all members of the household.

Practical and useful gifts will be found in prominence this season, and many useful articles can be found at our big store.

We urge you to do your buying early as it is to your advantage to do this, as your selections can be made easier and you miss the crowds of late buying.

We once more extend to you a special invitation to make Longbotham & Gibson's store your headquarters during the holidays as well as after.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

George Longendyke's egg carrier

This tin egg carrier advertising Crescent Macaroni and Cracker Company (Davenport, Iowa) was found at a local auction. Most interesting is the stamp on the top of the carrier:



George Longendyke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He arrived in Cuba City around 1895. Longendyke worked initially at R. B. Luckey's Cash Store, located in the building now occupied by Gile Real Estate and Insurance. (Mrs. Luckey was George's aunt.)

He later had businesses of his own on Main Street, including a garage/vulcanizing plant and a grocery store. According to a newspaper article in the Telegraph Herald, Longendyke operated his grocery store from ca. 1923-1938.

Image from the Cuba City Centennial book.

Longendyke was also active in the community, volunteering in Cuba City's first fire company in 1905 and serving a term as village president from 1922-24. According to Cuba City's centennial history, he was once a circus performer and was remembered dressing in clown costume and makeup to entertain Cuba City residents at a local talent show.

George Longendyke passed away at the age of 70. His  death was reported in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald and can be read online, courtesy of Google News Archive.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A pretty street

This photograph was taken of a Main Street residential area, looking north toward the Methodist Church. The church steeple is visible at the left. The houses on the right are located at 504 and 510 South Main Street. The photo is from the early 1900s.

Monday, September 26, 2011

St. Rose Catholic Church, Inside and Out

Built in 1895. The church was located on Madison Street, south of where St. Rose School stands today. It was torn down after work on a new church was complete in 1968.

The beautiful interior of the 1895 St. Rose Church. The rose window behind the altar bears the name of Rev. J. C. Bergen, the priest at the time the church was built.

I assume that this decorative tray was made to commemorate the building of the church in 1895, or to celebrate a later anniversary. Rev. J. C. Bergen is pictured beside the church. Rev. Bergen was the parish priest at St. Patrick's in Benton. St. Rose was a mission church of St. Patrick's and did not have its own priest until 1908.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Old St. Rose church and school

Located on Madison Street, where the current St. Rose Catholic School stands.
The church was built in 1895. The school was built in 1916. Neither are standing today. The Catholic rectory (which still exists as a private residence) can be seen peeking out behind the church in this picture.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cuba City gets a new water tower

Photo taken from the Cuba City Centennial.
Cuba City's first water tower was built in 1903 and was located in the northwest corner of what is today Veterans Memorial Park. Note the location of Cuba City's first village hall.
Here's another early shot of the water tower. Thank you to Rachel Knoblich, who kindly shared this photo belonging to her grandmother, Lillian Heitkamp Kirk.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jack and Maude Brooks in Cuba City

Thanks to Jim McCrea, former Cuba City resident and son of Guerdon "Butch" and Sylvia McCrea, for the following memories and information!

As a kid, Jim remembers the Jack and Maude Brooks Stock Company coming to Cuba City every summer. This husband-wife team was based in Sabula, Iowa, and traveled with a troupe of performers to small towns in eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and northern Illinois. With them, they brought a tent, animals, and their own brand of vaudeville entertainment.

The theatrical company existed from 1911-1956. Jack and Maude Brooks initially played only in opera houses until they purchased tent equipment in 1921.

Photo courtesy of the Stevens Orchestra Project website (

For more information on Jack and Maude Brooks:

Maude Tomlinson Brooks biography on IAGenWeb
October 20, 1956 article in The Billboard

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Carousel with Cuba City connections

A 1911 C.W. Parker carousel located in Waterloo, Wisconsin, apparently has some Cuba City ties. According to a June 26, 2011 article in the Wisconsin State Journal, the wooden carousel belonged to Curtis Brothers Carnival, based in Cuba City, before being purchased by the city of Waterloo in 1925. It is thought to be Wisconsin's oldest operating carousel.
Check out the Wisconsin State Journal article:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cuba City's Old Grade School and High School

The current Cuba City Elementary School and High School were built in the 1960s. Here is a picture of the old grade school and high school, which was built in 1905 at a cost of $17,000. This picture includes an addition that was built in 1915, doubling the school's size.
The school was located on South Jackson Street, south of the old school gymnasium, "the Pit." After Cuba City's new public schools were built in the 1960s, the old school building was razed.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tornado strikes Cuba City in 1892

Cuba City has seen its share of severe weather over the years, but perhaps the most devastating storm to hit the community occurred on the evening of June 22, 1892. It struck around 6:30 in the evening. News of the twister could be found in newspapers across the Midwest, and beyond.

The Clinton Daily Age in Clinton, Iowa, reported that the storm "destroyed every business house in the town."

The Pentwater News in Pentwater, Michigan, reported that a stone home belonging to George Wilkinson was one of the tornado's first casualties. The paper describes horses being lifted in the air and set down, unharmed, yards away. The article ends with these chilling words: "Not a tree, windmill or house is left standing between Cuba City and Hazel Green."

The Milwaukee Journal was a little less sensational in its description of the storm damage. The newspaper reported that there were remarkably no fatalities and only one injury. Two buildings were listed as destroyed: the residence of Samuel Clemens and a photograph gallery. Two other buildings lost their roofs: Wilson's store and Samuel Clemens hardware store. Train transportation was disrupted for days as four bridges and a stretch of track on the Galena line were destroyed.

News of the tornado could be found as far away as the Boston Evening Transcript.

Check out scanned images of these articles in the Google News Archive:

Clinton Daily Age
Pentwater News
Milwaukee Journal 
Boston Evening Transcript 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

WPA benefits Cuba City

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a federal relief program instituted as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1935. Its purpose was to put Americans to work on all kinds of new projects during the Great Depression. In August 1935, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald published a list of approved projects for Grant County, Wisconsin. Cuba City made out well with its approved WPA project : a gymnasium for the school district that is still standing today and better know as the "Pit."

A few excerpts from the Telegraph Herald article:

"Smelser township asks for $16,000 to resurface town roads and build culvert bridges."
"School house gymnasium addition, Cuba City, Reedsburg, Benton, La Forge, Ridgeway, Cassville school district No. 2 and 3 in Harrison township."

---Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa; August 18, 1935
See the actual article via Google's News Archive.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Fiedler Store

In 1919, brothers Harold and Paul Fiedler bought out E. D. McNett's Quality Store and went into business on Cuba City's Main Street. The store was located in the building now housing Gile Real Estate and Insurance.

Image from the Cuba City Centennial book

The following are priceless photographs that belonged to Lillian Heitkamp Kirk, an employee at the Fiedler store through the 1930s. A huge thank you to Lillian's granddaughter, Rachel Knoblich, for allowing their use here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heitkamp Brothers

The Heitkamp Brothers owned one of Cuba City's early businesses. According to the Cuba City Centennial, the general store was located at Main and Clay Streets, and the store operated in the early 1900s up until October 1911.

Image from the Cuba City Centennial.

 In October 1911, Dillon Donohoo purchased the store from the Heitkamp Brothers and went into business with Edward Jacobi.

Image from the Cuba City Centennial.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cuba City's early days

A view of some sort of celebration on Main Street in the late 1800s. The photograph was shot looking north. Immediately on the right is the Northwestern Hotel (site of Mound City Bank today). North of that is the hardware store of H. H. Fiedler (Hindu's Corner Bar today). The sign on Fiedler's reads:


This wonderful image is courtesy of Rachel Knoblich. It belonged to her grandmother, Lillian Heitkamp Kirk.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Christmas in Wartime

A Christmas issue of the Cuba City News Herald in 1917.

Scary Santas

If you were a loyal reader of the Cuba City News Herald in 1917, this scary Santa Claus appeared on the front page of each holiday issue to help count down the weeks until Christmas.

Dopey Makes Haul

The following article appeared in the September 21, 1917 issue of the Cuba City News Herald. Spelling errors were not corrected.


A dope fiend gained entrance to Dr. MacDonald's office, Friday, and stole a quanty of morphine and codein and a gold ring. He was aprehended at Benton where the ring, which he had pawned for board, was returned.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Before High School was Mandatory...

This advertisement encouraging parents to send their children to the Cuba City High School was in the August 31, 1917 issue of the Cuba City News Herald. The original part of this brick building was built in 1905 and the addition was added in 1915. For those who don't remember the old school, it was located south of the "Pit."  

Text from the advertisement reads as follows:

The Corps of Teachers
Prof. Frank E. Ralph, Sup. Prin.

High School Teachers:
Miss Regina Whaley, English
Miss Mabel Bevers, History and Science
Miss Laura Magee, Domestic Science
Miss Leone McDermott, German

Grade Teachers:
Seventh and Eighth Grades--Celia Connell
Fifth and Sixth Grades--Miss Marguerite Mahr
Third and Fourth Grades--Miss Alma Willey
Second Grade--Miss Verna Peacock
First Grade--Miss Ella Calvert

Send your children to one of the best high schools in this section
All tuition pupils for both grades and high school will be accepted.

Board of Education
Thos. Willey, Dir.
H. D. Meloy, Clerk
H. S. Winn, Treasurer

Three distinct courses of study are now offered students of the Cuba City High School.
(1) A four years English course.
(2) A two years German course.
(3) A two years Domestic Science course. This course includes study of foods and work in plain and fancy sewing and is offered in the grades as well as in the high school department.

Our new high school building, one of the finest in Grant County, is modern and up-to-date in every respect. It is well lighted, equipped with a fan system for heating and ventilating, bubbling drinking fountains, indoor toilets, has an assembly room with a seating capacity of 150, and a fine gymnasium.

Tuition of pupils from outside the district paid, as heretofore, by the towns in which they reside.

All desiring a first-class high school education should attend.

Opportunities are offered for vocal instruction and training in band and orchestra music in the grades and throughout the High School.

Every member of the corps of teachers is an experienced pedagogue and every consideration will be given for the proper training and care of the pupils.

Graduates of this school can enter any College or University of this or any other state without examinations.

Arrange to attend the Cuba City High School this year.

Dummy Police?

In the summer of 1917, the newspaper mentions something called "dummy police." These things were placed at busy intersections and were meant to encourage safer driving. I have no idea what they looked like, but they must have been transportable because some jokesters took Cuba City's dummy police on a little ride:

$25.00 REWARD

A reward of $25.00 will be paid for information as to the parties taking the "dummy police" metal standards from Main St., Cuba City, Wis., and taking them to Shullsburg and Benton.

Village Board of Cuba City
 John Berning, Marshall

--Cuba City News Herald, August 24, 1917

Red Cross Hard at Work

During World War I, the newly formed Cuba City branch of the Red Cross was hard at work. Members met several days a week to make items for the war effort. Here is one of their schedules:


The schedule for the local Red Cross work for next week is as follows:

Tuesday--Compresses and Slings
Wednesday--Wipes, Drains and Fracture Pads
Thursday--Laparotomy Pads and Head Bandages
Friday--Rolls and T. Binders

--Cuba City News Herald, August 3, 1917

The hard work paid off and many supplies were shipped off for use in the war.

Red cross surgical dressings shipped this week were as follows: 92 head bandages, 24 T-binders, 148 single compresses, 83 double compresses, 41 triangle slings, 177 wipes, 75 rolls, 55 laboratory pads, 45 drains, and 8 suits of pajamas. Did you make one of these? -- Cuba City News Herald, August 17, 1917

Those who didn't contribute their time making supplies found other ways to help out. Cuba City residents could donate materials to the Red Cross:

"Old sheets, pillow cases, or table cloths--or any old white muslin--that anyone wishes to donate for Red Cross work, may be left at headquarters any afternoons except Monday and Saturday."--  Cuba City News Herald, August 3, 1917

Residents could also attend fundraisers for the Red Cross, like the one below:


The Red Cross Society is going to have an Ice Cream Social at the City Park, Saturday evening, August 18. The proceeds are to be used in buying yarn. Everybody come.

--Cuba City News Herald, August 17, 1917 


Friday, March 18, 2011

Liberty Bond sales soar in Cuba City

One way Americans were asked to show support for the war effort during World War I was by purchasing Liberty Bonds. The bonds were an investment, said to draw interest at 3 1/2 percent. By June 22, 1917, the total sale of Liberty Bonds in Cuba City was $27,100. That would be over $468,000 today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.

Not all towns had such impressive sales. The following blurb from the Platteville Journal was reprinted in the Cuba City News Herald on June 22, 1917:

"Platteville cannot be over proud of the number who subscribed for Liberty Bonds, the sale of which closed last week. It was way below the number subscribed in other towns of this size and places much smaller. Cuba City for example--had a much larger list."

If patriotism was not enough to spur residents to purchase liberty bonds, the newspaper provided its own sort of encouragement by printing the names and amounts of bonds purchased by individuals. The lowest denomination of war bonds listed--$50.00--would be about $864.00 today. The following article appeared after the first big war bond campaign:

Cuba City News Herald, June 15, 1917 

$17,500 IS RAISED


Consequent upon the visit of Mr. Wright, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the following committee was chosen to solicit Liberty Loan Bond buyers and the results of their canvas appear below:

Jake Harris, chairman; Rev. J. J. Maguire, Ferdinand Schmieder, Andrew Hendricks, Jos. Longbotham, S. E. Smalley, Clem Heitkamp, Matt Weber, Henry Willey, L. W. Porter, Tom Byrne, Ed. Hartlip, Pat Cullen, George Wiederhold, Henry Schmieder, Chas. Loeffelholz, C. H. Bartlett, R. F. Conlon, Nic Jungels, and John Clemens.

Andrews, Joe $50.00
Byrne, Thomas E. 300.00
Byrne, John 300.00
Byrne, Ed. 300.00
Bartlett, C. H. 100.00
Byrne, Wm. 100.00
Burbach, Fred 50.00
Brewer Brothers 100.00
Banfield, Thomas 50.00
Byrne, Chas. 50.00
Bertram, C. H. 50.00
Byrne, C. J. 100.00
Bussan, Joe 100.00
Bray, George 50.00
Barker, Robert A. 50.00
Belken, Henry 50.00
Booth, George 50.00
Byrne, Mary Ann 300.00
Brewer, William 50.00
Brady, Dr. D. L. 100.00
Cuba City State Bank 5,000.00
Clemens, John 500.00
Cullen, Patrick 200.00
Cullen, Wm. 50.00
Conlon, R. F. 100.00
Clemens, Chris A. 100.00
Calvert, James J. 100.00
Curtis, W. E. 50.00
Calvert, Thomas 200.00
Clemens, C. C. 50.00
Cullen, George 50.00
Cook, Mrs. 200.00
Doyle, C. P. 200.00
Doyle Children 100.00
Doyle, Margaret E. 100.00
Dall, Margaret 200.00
Deiter, August 50.00
Deiter, Louis 50.00
Daniel, Alfred 100.00
Donohoo, C. D. 100.00
Dall, Ben H. 50.00
Dowling, Frank 100.00
Dowling, Curtis 50.00
Donnell, Dr. J. E. 50.00
Eustice, Charles 100.00
Eddy, Caroline 50.00
Eustice, A. J. 50.00
First National Bank 5,000.00
Farrell, Thomas 100.00
Fiedler, J. A. 50.00
Faherty, Emma 100.00
Fiedler, H. H. 100.00
Flynn, L. C. 50.00
Florine, F. A. 100.00
Fager, Oscar 50.00
Gray, Alfred 150.00
Grimm, Peter 100.00
Grimm, William 50.00
Garvey, George 50.00
Gray, John 50.00
Gill, Solomon 100.00
Gilbert, William 50.00
Galligan, James F. 50.00
Hartlip, Ed. H. 300.00
Hendricks, Andrew H. 50.00
Harris, Jake 500.00
Heitkamp, Clem 50.00
Heil, George F. 100.00
Heil, Adelbert 100.00
Heil, Arthur 100.00
Heil, Peter 100.00
Holt, Henry 50.00
Harris, Dr. J. G. 50.00
Hartung, Joseph 100.00
Hoppenjan, John 50.00
Hird, Joseph 100.00
Hendricks, Matt 300.00
Hoff, John 50.00
Hoff, Herman 50.00
Horsley, James 50.00
Hendricks, John 100.00
Harvey, Jos. 50.00
Huntington, G. A. 100.00
Harker, Albert 50.00
Hauser, Jos. J. 50.00
Haug, Albert 50.00
Heslop, Chris. 100.00
Hindermann, John 50.00
Heil, Mrs. Ann 300.00
Jungels, Nic 50.00
Jansen, Henry 50.00
Johns, John 100.00
Jenkyns, John 100.00
Jones, J. W. 50.00
Jones, Bert 50.00
Jones, Clyde 50.00
Jeffrey, Edward E. 50.00
Jeffrey, T. J. 50.00
Jackson, Arthur T. 50.00
Johns, Joe 50.00
Jenemann, George 50.00
Jenemann, Henry 100.00
Kellner Brothers 100.00
Kingsley, Chris. 200.00
Kivlahan, L. F. & Son 200.00
Kay, John 50.00
Kenney, J. E. 100.00
Kaiser, B. J. 50.00
Longbotham, Jos. 50.00
Linck, Nicholas 100.00
Loeffelholz, Chas. 50.00
Lowe, W. T. 50.00
Lacke, Phil 50.00
Lebben, A. W. 50.00
Lindsay, W. J. 100.00
Lebben, John 50.00
Maguire, Rev. J. J. 200.00
Mering, Michael 100.00
Murphy, Faley 50.00
May, Henry 100.00
McGaughey, B. A. 50.00
Marshall, William 50.00
Marvel, G. W. 100.00
Mitchell, H. W. 100.00
McFarlane & Mattert 200.00
Millman, T. E. 100.00
Minnick, James 100.00
Meloy, H. D. 50.00
McNett, E. L. 100.00
McNett, E. D. 100.00
Osborne, Robt. A. 50.00
Patterson, Cyrus W. 50.00
Premising, Leo 50.00
Pierce, Thomas 50.00
Pinch, James 50.00
Pierce, Robert 50.00
Porter, L. W. 500.00
Peacock, A. L. 100.00
Runde, Clem 50.00
Rasque, Ernest 50.00
Runde, Albert 50.00
Ralph, George C. 50.00
Rochek, Adeline 100.00
Rosemeyer, Anton B. 100.00
Richard, Lewis 100.00
Reese, John 100.00
Richards, George and Chas. 50.00
Riley, William 50.00
Riege, Floyd 50.00
Runde, Mrs. H. 50.00
Runde, Mrs C. 100.00
Runde, Arthur 50.00
Raisbeck, Wm. A. 150.00
Schmieder, Henry 100.00
Schmieder, Ferdinand 100.00
Smalley, Hon. S. E. 100.00
Stender, Fred 50.00
Staver, Jos. 100.00
Stokel, Jos. 100.00
Schneider, John 100.00
Schnorrenberg, Orville 50.00
Schneider, William 50.00
Sampson, Thomas 50.00
Slaats, Frank 50.00
Schuh, Nores B. 50.00
Saltzman, Frank 100.00
Stephens, John 100.00
Smalley, Luverne R. 50.00
Schneider, Jos. 50.00
Stephens, Frank H. 50.00
Schardt, Frank 50.00
Scadden, Ed. 100.00
Scott, H. E. 50.00
Turner, Ed. 50.00
Tebben, Frank 50.00
Toomey, Matt 50.00
Udelhofen, Otto 50.00
Vanatta, Will 50.00
Vosberg, T. J. 50.00
Vosberg, George 100.00
Weber, Matt 50.00
Willey, W. H. 100.00
Wiederhold, George, Jr. 100.00
Willey, Walter H. 100.00
Willey, Thomas 100.00
Whaley, Sam 50.00
Winn, Henry S. 100.00
Webster, Thomas 100.00

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cars are a bargain, even during wartime

Loeffelholz Bros. & Wagner published the following advertisement in the Cuba City News Herald in late 1917. The business was located at the Ford garage on Main Street in Cuba City, across from City Hall today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Red Cross in Cuba City

During World War I, Cuba City residents helped the war effort in many ways. One was by joining the local branch of the Red Cross. Each week, the Cuba City News Herald published the names of residents who joined the organization. Judging by the number of names, I think that nearly every person in town must have joined. Fear of not getting one's name published in the paper may have been a contributing factor to the size of Cuba City's Red Cross branch!

Cuba City News Herald, May 18, 1917


Cuba City Branch Organized Wednesday Evening

At a meeting held at the City Hall, Wednesday evening, the local branch of the Red Cross was organized.

Miss Emma Schreiner, of Lancaster, who had previously been appointed chairman of the county organization, appointed Mrs. S. E. Smalley as chairman of the local branch, and at Wednesday evening’s meeting the following officers were chosen:

Chairman—Mrs. S. E. Smalley
Vice Chairman—Mrs. C. H. Bartlett
Secy.—Mrs. Jacob Harris
Treas.—H. D. Meloy
Executive Committee—the above officers and Mrs. W. T. Lowe and Mrs. John Ralph.
Membership Committee—Mrs. Richard Brewer, chairman, Miss Grace Pascoe, Mrs. George Gill, and Miss Emily MacDonald.
Finance Committee—Mrs. Wm. J. Schilling, chairman, Mrs. H. D. Meloy, Mrs. G. W. Mattert, Mrs. F. Faherty, Mrs. J. L. Conlon and Mrs. J. J. Bass.

As soon as school is out, the High School gymnasium will be the meeting place of the society. The ladies of the Platteville organization will come down for the next meeting that will be held, the time to be announced later in the News-Herald.

Everybody is urged to join in this movement—man, woman and child. The fee for joining is $1.00. Half of this amount goes to Washington, D. C., for the upkeep of hospitals and the other half is to be used in buying needed materials.

Be a booster for the Red Cross and this good old U. S. A.

The Draft - World War I

In the spring of 1917, reminders of the coming war were seen often in the local newspaper. First, men were encouraged to volunteer for military service.

Cuba City News Herald, April 27, 1917


Applications for enlistment may be made through me. The call to the colors applies to Cuba City as well as elsewhere. For particulars, enquire of the undersigned at the shooting gallery.  – B. H. Williams

Then, men were required to register for the draft.

Cuba City News Herald, May 25, 1917


The law requires every man who has passed his twenty-first birthday on June 5 to register that day for army service. There are no exceptions. All men from 21 to 30 must register. Exemptions for health or other reasons will come later. A prison sentence is the penalty for failure to register.

Some of Cuba City's drafted men are shown in the photograph below, taken from the Cuba City Centennial book.

Back row: Luverne Johns, Luverne Smalley, George Belken, Earl Wright, Bob McCrea, Ben Conlon, Larry Flynn, Bill Wimmer, Earl Deutman, Harry Andrew, George Knight.
Middle row: Charles Wright, Paul Fiedler, Wm. Heitkamp, James Galligan, Ellsworth Cook, Leonard "Curly" Arthur, Arthur Droullard, Edward Faivre.
Front row: Ben Galligan, Albert Hird, Earl Knox, Wilfred Walton, Steve Cole, Nicholas Schmieder, Robert Peacock.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mobil Station

A shot of the Mobil station, located on Main Street where Munyon's is today. At the time the picture was taken, Paul Richardson ran the station. In fact, that may be him in the photo.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wartime Advertisements - 1917

Newspaper advertisements for Cuba City businesses turned patriotic when the U.S. entered World War I.

This advertisement for Hendricks' Shoe Store appeared in a 1917 issue of the Cuba City News Herald:

These wartime ads for E.D. McNett's Quality Store also appeared in the Cuba City News Herald:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

12,000 People Celebrate the Fourth of July in Cuba City

By the summer of 1917, Cuba City was gearing up for war in Europe. The Fourth of July seemed like the perfect way to show off the town's patriotism and what a celebration they planned! 

This is the front page of the Cuba City News-Herald on June 29, 1917:

And here is the newspaper ad announcing the plans for the big day:

Event planners had high hopes for Cuba City's Fourth of July celebration, and it appears that it was a great success. According to the following article, at least 12,000 people flooded Cuba City on July 4, 1917!

Cuba City News Herald  July 6, 1917

Some Celebration

Cuba City Has Great Patriotic Demonstration

It wasn’t a mere celebration—it was a patriotic whirlwind and the largest crowd in the history of the city, conservatively estimated at 12,000.

The day’s doings opened up with a concert at the North Western depot by the Cuba City Military Band.

Then followed the grand street parade—a marvelous presentation of patriotic, fraternal and civic events.

The baseball game between Benton and Hazel Green was a hotly contested feature and was won by Benton the score being 2 to 0.

The afternoon’s program at the city park opened by a band concert. Then followed the chorus, “America,” sung by the little folks and the vast audience.

Hon. S. E. Smalley gave the address of welcome in his customary pleasing manner and the Milledgeville Drum Corps favored the audience with a number of selections with fife and drum, each member of the little company being a veteran of the Civil War.

John P. Lacke then read the famous Declaration of Independence and was followed by a number of vocal selections by Jos. V. Ryan, the Irish rag time king of Ft. Dodge, Iowa.

Mayor Harris headed the parade and was followed by mounted riders, Messrs. B.A. Clemens, Alfred Turner, James Galligan, and Homer Ralph, who were to have impersonated Washington, Pershing, Lee and Grant, but owing to the costumes not arriving were caused to wear civilian clothes.

Then followed the Milledgeville Drum Corps in a decorated auto, playing patriotic airs, which added much to the military aspect of the occasion.

Then followed a decorated car containing Hon. John Stephens, C.A. Bazinett, Jno. Clemens, Hon. S.E. Smalley and C.C. Clemens. The next in line were the Benton Boy Scouts, who paraded in true soldierly style. Then came the members of the Cuba City Fire Department in natty new uniforms, each bearing a “Star Spangled Banner.”

The Cuba City Military Band then came along in their swell uniforms of white and blue and playing inspiring strains of patriotic music. The band was followed by a company of local cadets under command of Capt. Frank Florine, Jr., and with only two weeks drill surprised the crowd with their precision which was equal to that of United States Regulars. We believe this is a move in the right direction and efforts should be made toward making it a permanent institution of our city for the good of our boys. Next came the school children with radiant, joyous faces, no doubt partly inspired by the easy traveling due to our fine street pavement. A word of appreciation is due Messrs Ben Conlon and Alban Fiedler and the Misses Harris, Hendricks and Peacock in directing the children.

The section of the parade consisting of the floats included the Red Cross, Rebekahs, Royal Neighbors, Eastern Star and Daughters of Isabella—and it would be hard to pick a winner from such an excellent line-up.

Decorated autos advertising the Big Chautauqua to be held in Cuba City, July 24-28, McNett’s Quality Store, the Maxwell and Hupmobile autos, and the Chalmers car were in the line of march. Then came a number of boys mounted on ponies, followed by Louis Cunzenheim with his tractor and binder.

The wind-up of the parade was “Maud’s” brother hitched to a cart.

Hon. J.W. Murphy, of Platteville, then delivered an address fired with patriotic zeal which was enthusiastically received. He also gave an understandable explanation of the Red Cross movement.

Then came the drill by the Benton Boy Scouts—a very creditable exhibition.

“The Star Spangled Banner” was then sung by the children on the platform and the audience all standing.

Daylight fireworks (the first shown in our city) were next on the program, followed by the various races, which were pulled off in a creditable manner.

The evening program opened with a concert by our military band, followed by a brass quartette consisting of Messrs. Kellner, Warner, Stephens and Goldthorpe, who played “Southern Songs” in a pleasing manner.

A series of tableau followed which Messrs. Faherty, Ralph, Fiedler, and the Misses Heitkamp, Hendricks, Harris and Byrne, interpreted various personages in the early history of our country. A group of songs by Joseph Ryan, accompanied on the piano by Mrs. C.H. Bartlett, amused the audience, and their numbers were followed by another series of tableau impersonated by Messrs. Clemens, Galligan, Fiedler, Riker, O’Neill, Fields, Splinter, Cummins, Burns and Turner, the Misses Byrne, Heitkamp, and Varker, and Mesdames Clemens, Jacobi, Brewer, and Heil.

Four reels of movies by Loeffelholz Bros. delighted the vast audience and the grand display of fireworks wound up a day that will long be remembered.

The vast crowd is to be commented on their orderly deportment for there are few cities of the size of Cuba City entertaining such an enormous crowd with in which there is not more or less disorder. Not a single accident occurred to mar the day’s celebration demonstrating a truly sane Fourth. An unusually large number of autos were parked about the city and it is doubtless due to the presence of the “dummy police” signs at the street intersections that not an auto accident occurred.

The dance at the Auditorium drew a record-breaking crowd and the Merry-Go-Round and various stands drew capacity business.

A man was nabbed in the morning by the police for circulating anti-draft literature.

We cannot bring this account to a close without giving credit to whom credit belongs for the unqualified success of the parade. On the shoulders of one man rests the lion’s share—C.E. Turnbull. He has merited the sincere appreciation of all of our citizens for his excellent work.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

William H. Pascoe

One of Cuba City's earliest businessmen was William Henry Pascoe (1850-1917). "Billy" Pascoe lived at 213 N. Main Street. He operated a hardware and/or general store at the current location of C&Js General Store (the north building) on Main Street. According to Cuba City's Centennial history, W. H. Pascoe was a tinsmith and a sheet metal worker.

The following obituaries appeared in the Cuba City News Herald at the time of W. H. Pascoe's death.

Cuba City News Herald, May 4, 1917

W. H. Pascoe Dies

Cuba City’s Oldest Merchant Passes Away Monday

The community was shocked, Monday, to hear of the death of W. H. Pascoe, Cuba City’s oldest merchant, who passed away at a Platteville hospital on Monday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m., after an operation for obstruction of the bowels.

Mr. Pascoe had not been in the best of health for some time but no thought of the seriousness of his case was entertained until a few days prior to his demise.

Cuba City News Herald, May 11, 1917


William Henry Pascoe was born at Jefferson, near Hazel Green, Sept. 24, 1850, and died at the hospital at Platteville, Wis., April 30, 1917, at the age of 66 years, 7 months, and 6 days.

His early years were spent on the farm with his parents where he grew to young manhood. Later he went into business and he has been identified with the business interests of Cuba City from the first when there were only a few settlers here. His business record in our city covers a period of over forty years up to the time of his death.

In early life he became a Christian and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and through the remainder of his life has been a member of the same.

In the year 1878, Jan. 16, he was united in marriage to Miss Emily Vincent at Galena, Ill. To this union were born five children: Grace of Cuba City, Vinton of Platteville, Willis of Chadron, Nebr., Mrs. Frank Rochek of Cuba City and Mrs. Chas. Latham of Benton. Beside his wife and children he leaves to mourn his loss three brothers and three sisters: Mrs. Harriet Stephens of Cuba City, John of Carroll, Iowa, Mrs. Mary Stephens of Madison, Wis., James of Albia, Iowa, Samuel of Des Moines, Iowa, and Mrs. George Ralph of Cuba City.

On May 2, 1903, he joined the Masonic Lodge, being a member of Georgetown Lodge, No. 185, of this city.

“Billy,” as he was familiarly known, was a man of generous impulses and there was a daily beauty about his ways that won every heart. In temperament, he was mild, conciliatory and candid, and he gained confidence when he seemed least to seek it. At his death the grief that was felt over the close of his long career was widespread and sincere. His best monument will be the good report that he has left behind him in this community where he has lived for more than sixty-six years.

The funeral services were held, on Wednesday, May 2. A short service was held at the home and was followed by services at the Methodist Episcopal church, conducted by Rev. J. Henry Chatterson. The attendance was probably the largest in the obsequious history of the city. Interment was made at Mt. Pleasant cemetery, the Masonic Order having charge of the services at the grave.

During the funeral services all the business places were closed.

The relatives from away who attended the funeral of Mr. Pascoe were the following: Three brothers—John, of Carroll, Iowa; James, of Albia, Iowa; Samuel, of Des Moines, Ia.; one sister—Mrs. Mary Stephens, of Madison, Wis.; and Dr. and Mrs. Geo. Stephens, of Kenosha, Wis.; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Perry and Miss Mary Perry, of Scales Mound, Ill.; Miss Aletha Opie of Warren, Ill.; Mrs. John Anderson and Mrs. J. Knelling, of Mineral Point, Wis.; Harry Vincent and Stella Hicks, of Benton, Wis., Mr. and Mrs. Albert Eustice of Platteville; and the following from Galena: Capt. Wm. Vincent, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Vincent, Will Vincent, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Bratton, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Vincent, Mrs. R. Kuster, Mrs. Laura Eustice, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Eustice, Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Vincent, Mrs. Pierce Richards, and Mrs. John Brown.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Putting Cuba City on the Map

By 1917, more and more people were hitting the roads in automobiles, taking fun day trips or even longer excursions. Cuba City officials saw an opportunity to cash in on this tourism by becoming a destination along the Indian Head Trail, a multi-state affair that would hopefully attract many motoring tourists to the area. 

From The Automobile Blue Book, 1918, Volume 5, Page 163

The following newspaper article describes the trail and Cuba City's participation in the venture:

Cuba City News Herald, February 2, 1917

Indian Head Trail

No Better Auto Route in the World

Mayor Marshall and C. C. Clemens were the Cuba City representatives of the enthusiastic meeting held in Prairie du Chien, Monday, which was called to discuss the proposed route of the Indian Head Trail. There were about one hundred enterprising men present, fifty of them being from towns along the route of the proposed trail, other than Prairie du Chien.

Mr. Fitch and W. L. Miller of Galena spoke of benefits of proposed trail to Galena, Mr. Cox spoke for Hazel Green, Mayor Marshall and C. C. Clemens for Cuba City, and of the good work Cuba City is going to do on the roads during 1917 from the macadam at St. Rose to the “Corners” at the cemetery south of town. R. I. Dugdale spoke for Platteville and Lancaster and H. C. George, on the benefits to the mining companies.

There were several from McGregor present, who advocated the converting of Marquette State Park, in the northwest part of Grant Co. and the park at McGregor, Iowa, into a National park.

Speakers from Viroqua and Bloomington spoke favorably regarding help from their communities, providing the Indian Head Trail passes through their towns.

The meeting levied the following assessments for the Indian Sign Boards and advertising in the automobile routing books. This money is to be raised by public subscription:

Hazel Green------------------------$75
Cuba City---------------------------$100
Patch Grove-------------------------$50
Prairie du Chien-------------------$200

The signs have already been placed from Savanna to Galena, assessments made and paid.

The Indian Head Trail will appear in the 1917 automobile route books, showing the trail running from Savanna through Galena, and Cuba City and as far north as Prairie du Chien and perhaps to La Crosse as was stated by a representative present, of one of the largest auto routing book concerns.

A banquet was tendered to all visitors by the proprietor of the Rosencranz hotel.

Another meeting will be held in the course of a few weeks.

The Indian Head Trail is the means of putting Cuba City on the automobile map, as the trail runs through to St. Paul and Minneapolis to the north, and to Chicago by way of Galena and Savanna on the south.

A month later, it was confirmed that the Trail would extend north to Minneapolis. The following newspaper article describes the great things envisioned for the Indian Head Trail by its planners.

Cuba City News Herald, March 9, 1917

The Indian Head Trail

The Chamber of Commerce of Minneapolis informs the Indian Head Trail Association that the Highway committee has approved of the plans of Illinois and Wisconsin cities to extend the Trail into Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce announces that it will send a delegation to the meeting to be held at La Crosse in the near future.

The Indian Head Trail is thoroughly organized from Prairie du Chien south to Peoria, and is marked from Galena south to Peoria. The Trail Association has also secured the service of Jens Jensen, of Chicago, the famous landscape architect, to become the architect of the Indian Head Trail.

The association is now at work listing the great places of historic value along the route and there is a great wealth of early history from Galena north through Cuba City to La Crosse.

The Indian Head Trail will be the means of bringing to the attention of the tourists of the world, the wonderful places of historic lore through where the cradle of civilization was rocked in the north central states.

The association is also paying much attention to the wonderful scenery to be found from Milledgeville, Ill., to La Crosse, Wis., and this, of course, includes the great state park at Prairie du Chien.

The Association plans to make the Indian Head Trail the equal of the Lincoln Highway, and that means that the Indian Head Trail becomes the great north and south route of the United States. The Gulf of Mexico and the Canadian border are the objective ends.

By April 1917, Cuba City's markers for the route had arrived. The Cuba City News Herald (April 27, 1917) reports:

The markers for the Indian Head Trail have arrived and will be placed at once. The design is of an Indian head and is very distinctive in contour and color.

A mention in the Hazel Green section of the Cuba City News Herald (August 17, 1917) further describes the Indian Head Trail markers:

The Indian Heads are attached to the telephone poles, which together with the yellow and red painted rings on the poles, mark the Indian Head trail through our village and town.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wiederhold Tavern

The current location of Doolittle's Pub & Eatery on Main Street has a long history as a tavern. Before opening Kellner's Hardware Store, Christopher Kellner ran a tavern at this spot in 1884. He sold the property in 1886. George and Joseph Splinter were later owners of what they called the Splinter & Splinter tavern.

George Wiederhold came to Cuba City (from Dickeyville) in 1898 and bought George Splinter's half interest in the bar, making it Splinter & Wiederhold. In 1910, Wiederhold bought Joseph Splinter's share and ran the Wiederhold Tavern until his death in 1930. The tavern remained in the family and was run by George's son, Sylvester, also known as "Whitey." (Dates are courtesy of the Cuba City Centennial Book.)

Below is a drink token used at Wiederhold's Tavern:

George Wiederhold and wife, Julia (Holt) Wiederhold on their wedding day, May 13, 1902: