Fotos from the past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr.
The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors has defeated a measure that would have provided funding for the expansion and renovation of Pine Crest. Recent action by the governor’s office made the board shy on requesting the bonding for the project, but new legislation expected in September should alleviate those concerns. Supervisors Brown, LeMay and Burton voiced strong support for the funding. In other Board action, the new position of part time Corporation Counsel to assist the District Attorney was approved. The maximum salary for the new job will be $12,000 per year. The supervisors also approved the extension of the mandatory retirement date for Captain Bert Strasman, Sergeant Roland Moore, and Deputy Kenneth Edmonds of the Sheriff’s Office. The board instructed Sheriff Ronald Krueger to hire four new deputies to replace the three retiring men and one additional person who has resigned.
Last week readers learned that Milton Wistein had purchased the Krueger Funeral Home from his boss Norbert Krueger and will now operate it as the Wistein Funeral Home. On the obituary page Wistein lists his first funeral, his old boss Norbert Krueger. Krueger died on Saturday at Holy Cross Hospital. The 59-year-old Krueger was a life-long Merrill resident who attended school at the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science. He operated the Krueger Funeral Home on Third Street in Merrill from 1940 until July. He was a member of St. Robert’s Catholic Church where his funeral was held yesterday. He is survived by his brother Emil of Tomahawk and two sisters, Mrs. Aurelius Duginski of Wausau and Mrs. Myron Priebe of Merrill.
Russ’s Bar became the Merrill Slo-Pitch League champion on Thursday without swinging a bat. Russ’s was tied with the Blatz Bombers with the best record at 13-2 in the league, but Club 107 defeated the Bombers in league play giving Russ’s the championship. Les & Jim’s has captured the Pot Belly League Slo-Pitch Tournament at Gleason this past weekend. They defeated Knotty Pine Par in the championship game by a score of 2-0. Golde’s Music Bar of Merrill placed third.
Once again the Prairie Dells Dam has made it to the floor of the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors and once again there is hope that the structure may not be doomed. The county has accepted a proposal from Gribble and Kleisch, a Madison based company, who is offering to de-water the dam and do a proper inspection to see if the structural damage is repairable. The company told the county the normal cost for such a project would be $50,000, but they are willing to do it for a bargain price if the county would entertain future offers for them to locate a power generating station at the dam if it were feasible. The board voted in June of 1984 to repair the dam but reversed its decision when a serious leak was discovered last November. The board also approved raising the salary of the yet to be hired county waste manager to $24,000 from the proposed $20,000 salary. The solid waste committee told the board that 19 people applied for the job but all withdrew when they learned how low the salary was set at. The solid waste committee also voted to purchase land at the intersection of US Hwy. 51 and County Rd. H for future exploration for a landfill site.
Park City Credit Union has opened a drive up for banking at their Merrill headquarters. This is part of the expansion of the building located on East 2nd Street in Merrill. Two lanes of drive through convenience now await customers.
The flow of immigrants from Europe along with steady jobs in northern Wisconsin brought people to Merrill in the 1800s, and a group of Norwegians looking for a place to worship organized The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church. Later known as Synod Church and now known as Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the 514 families and 1,342 confirmed members are now celebrating the birth of their church 100 years ago. The first charter members are still known names in the community: John A. Johansen, Gabriel Stephenson, Anton Martinson, Mikkel Martinson, Nels Anderson, Peter Peterson, Louis Knutson, Nels Evjue, Ole Gunnesgaard, Jacob Odegaard (not the current form we know), John Kolstad, Mrs. Anna Olsen, and John Lokemoen. In 1902 trouble in the church caused a separation and 15 families formed Zion Evangelical Church which was built two blocks from the original church. The churches rejoined in 1917 and occupied the brick church at Second and Logan streets before building the present church in 1966. The first pastor of the church was Rev. Paul Koren who was paid a salary of $5 per year from each family he served. Prominent former pastors included: Rev. L.O. Oien, Rev. J.H. Myrvang, Rev. Hjalmar Madland, Rev. C. Hougstad, Rev. A. Green, Rev. C.G. Eidnes, Rev. J. M. Hestenes, Rev. Harold Peterson, Rev. M.H. Quail, Rev. Lindley Jacobson, and Rev. Gerhard Bertheim. Currently Rev. John E. Henning and Rev. Dan G. Olson serve the congregation.
Huge thunderhead clouds rolled through the area last Wednesday creating havoc in the process. Lightning strikes caused damage throughout the area including one that split the chimney at Franklin Elementary School in half exploding bricks all over the ground. Lightning also struck a home on Cooper Street. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Three county committees will gather tomorrow at the Safety Building conference room to discuss how the county is spending money and to clarify the role of the county administrative coordinator. Finance Committee chair Helen Kenney requested her committee, along with the Executive Committee and the Personnel Committee, meet to discuss where the $29 million in tax dollars are being spent and who has the authority to spend them. Kenney stated they will also discuss concerns regarding having the administrator work with the department heads and their respective committees to spend money responsibly.