Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Papal blessings

In October 1925, the sisters and pupils of St. Rose Catholic School received blessings from Pope Pius XI, commemorated in this beautiful certificate.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Something's cooking at the Northwestern Hotel

Thank you to Darlene Rielly for sharing this glimpse inside the kitchen of Cuba City's Northwestern Hotel in 1909.

Ceil Thomas, Retta McKernan, Marcella Hardy and Margaret Byrne

Road gang of Elk Grove

Thank you to Darlene Rielly for sharing this photo of the "Road Gang" of Elk Grove, Wisconsin. These men helped build Highway 81 in 1926.

(L-R) Front row: Unknown, Joe Hazzard, Lou Gabel, George Gabel, Ed Staver, Lou Lersch, Elmer Heins, Will Rasque, Jessie Parker and ? Craiglow. Back row: George Belken, Henry Belken, H.J. Wedig, Bill Murray, Phil Belken, Henry Aurit, Herman "Red" Staver, John Goldsworthy and Leo Gerlach.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cuba City landmarks go down

Thank you, Mary Hofer Furlong, for sharing these photos of the deconstruction of the water tower, bank, and hotel!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Why Cuba City?

Visitors often wonder how the name "Cuba City" came about. Most guess that there is some connection to the country, but that is not the case. In fact, the original name, decided upon by the town's founders, was Yuba. The Cuba City Centennial book, published in 1975, describes two possible origins of the name.

The first version states that one of the town's three founders, Solomon Craiglow, had great success while mining on the Yuba River in California, so he chose Yuba to commemorate his good fortune. The centennial book cites a 1923 history of Cuba City for this information.

The second version is more colorful and supposedly comes from a 1930s interview with the son of town founder John Stephens. The three men responsible for platting Cuba City in 1875--John Stephens, Solomon Craiglow, and Madison Y. Johnson--were discussing the future town's name when an argument ensued. John Stephens offered up the name Stephensville, to which Solomon Craiglow responded, "You b' damned, we won't." Stephens took the exclamation in stride, saying, "That's it. We'll call it Yuba!"

Unfortunately, another Yuba already existed in Wisconsin. The first letter was changed to "C" and, though the town was referred to both as "Cuba" and "Cuba City" in the following years, it was officially recognized as Cuba City by the U.S. Postal Service in the 1920s.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dillon Donohoo, Cuba City businessman

After acquiring this great piece of Cuba City history--a yardstick from the Dillon Donohoo store--I decided to look into its origins.

Dillon Donohoo yardstick

Dillon Donohoo arrived in Cuba City in April 1900.

Dillon Donohoo

He worked for his brother, John (J.C.) Donohoo, at Donohoo Splinter & Co., where he managed the grocery department. This building is the former home of Donohoo Furniture and Owl Furniture and is now occupied by Antiques & Salvage.

Dillon Donohoo had his sights set on a business of his own and, in 1911, opened a hardware and variety store just down the street, at the current site of the Dead End Bar & Grill. In October 1911, Donohoo purchased the Heitkamp Brothers General Store on the corner of Main and Clay Street, in what is today Antiques Unlimited.  He partnered for a time with Edward Jacobi and later operated the business on his own until 1916.

 In 1916, Dillon Donohoo moved back to the Donohoo Splinter & Co. building, this time as its new owner. He operated the Dillon Donohoo store there, adding furniture to the grocery and dry goods business.

Dillon Donohoo sold the grocery and dry goods department of his store to Edward Schroeder and Russell Taber in 1946 and continued in the furniture business until his death on October 14, 1946. His sons, Sam and Donald Donohoo, purchased and continued to operate the furniture business in Cuba City for many years.

**All information and photographs were found in the Cuba City Centennial book.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dr. C. S. King in Cuba City

Just today, I received a question about Dr. C. S. King and the Cuba City Hospital. Dr. Cedric S. King arrived in Cuba City in the spring of 1947. He worked alongside Dr. Terry for a few months before opening his own office above the Cuba City theater.

In June 1948, Dr. King moved into roomier quarters. The former "Harris house" or "Harris building," located on South Main Street, was transformed into a hospital. The following article from the Cuba City News Herald announces the hospital's opening:

Cuba City News Herald (June 3, 1948)

The text of the article reads:

"Cuba City is to have another fine hospital. Dr. C. S. King has purchased what is generally known as the Harris building on South Main street and it has been remodeled, renovated and changed over to a modern hospital. The site is ideal for a hospital, being in the residential area and free from undue noise and excitement.
The doors of the new hospital will be thrown open to the public on Sunday, June 6, 1948, for inspection. No doubt a great many people will give it the “once over.”
The first floor of the building includes an emergency room with blood-transfusion facilities, x-ray and fluoroscopy and the latest type of physical therapy, a reception room, and consultation, examination and treatment rooms.
The second floor will constitute the hospital proper with delivery room, nursery and kitchen. There will be facilities for ten beds and the fire escapes and fire control apparatus will conform to the regulations of the State Board of Health.
Herewith is shown a picture of the hospital, which will be known as Dr. King’s Hospital, and also a picture of Dr. C. S. King, owner and operator of the hospital."

In 1953, Dr. King built a much larger facility on the edge of town. The Cuba City Hospital celebrated its grand opening on November 23, 1953. It operated as a hospital until July 1985 and now serves as a nursing home.

Dr. King's memoir, Bedside Manner, is available at several libraries in this area and can be purchased from from your favorite bookseller.