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Yellow River Pioneers

– by William Hiles, Sr. & Sheryl Hiles, 1987. Produced for the Pittsville Historical Society in connection with the celebration of Pittsville’s 100 years as a city. It is a study of how an eleven mile stretch along the Yellow River in West Wood County was developed. Soft cover, 8-1/2 x 11, 125 pages. $14 + $4 shipping.

Reading, Riting, Rithmetic, and Recess

– by Sally Winkels, 1998. Histories of country schools in the towns of Cary, City Point, Dexter, Hansen, Hiles, Remington, Richfield, Rock, Sherwood and Wood. Soft cover, 8-1/2 x 11, 120 pages, $10 + $4 shipping.

Eight STORIES OF OUR LIVES books have been published featuring Pittsville area residents. Three or four stories are in each book. The books are soft cover, 8½ by 5½. Each book costs $9 plus $4 shipping and handling.

Book 1, Published April, 2015, 90 Pages

Stub Haumschild was a Pittsville native who served in the Navy as a radio operator, worked manual labor, and eventually found his niche in life as a barber. He lived away from Pittsville for most of his adult life, but returned to his roots in retirement.

Marge Zdun was adopted to Pittsville life. The woman who is remembered as the bike rider in town was always active, agile and smiling.

Tom and Jackie Cunningham are rural Pittsville transplants. They followed a twisty path from Ohio to finally settle in the heart of Wisconsin. Tom liked change; Jackie was always by his side.

Book 2, Published August, 2015, 102 Pages

Dorothy Clauson was born in Chicago, Illinois. The family lived there until her dad lost his job during the depression. They were bankrupt and moved to Nekoosa. At age 10, her mother died. She became a homemaker caring for her dad, four brothers, a cousin and herself. She married Ken Clauson, managd the Veedum Store, babysat grandchildren. She fulfilled her life caring for others.

Preston Smith and Dorothy Bowden were brother and sister. Their lives started on a farm southwest of Pittsville. Many of Preston’s years were lived away from Pittsville, but his desire to retire in the Pittsville area brought him back to his roots. Dorothy’s life took her to Milwaukee, Madison, marriage to Cliff Bowden, a farm north of Pittsville, home in Wittenberg, a farm near Veedum, and finally full circle to the farm of her childhood. In the circle, she raised ten children and did much of the farm work.

Marie Rosenquist, sometimes known as Mrs. Grany, also experienced the effects of the depression. She carries detailed memories of hard work, a full life and people who cared and loved.

Book 3, Published January, 2016, 104 Pages

Irene Rasmussen’s grandparents were Pittsville pioneers. She is part of a large, close-knit family, raised on a farm in Dexterville/Cranmoor area with detailed memories of life as it was in the last century. She is a great cook, kind hearted, hard working and an expert, self-taught knitter.

Bob & Izzy Rademan originate from Waukesha area. She was an honor student with college aspirations, but no student aids to fund college back then. She achieved success as a secretary. He was the farm boy who enlisted in the Army to serve his country in WWII. Together they were on their way to a successful life as farmers until a driver on the wrong side of the road ended their dream.

Mildred Wagner is into the second century of her life. Her Bowman heritage exemplifies patriotic ancestry. She has experienced many seasons of life.

Book 4, Published April, 2016, 106 Pages

George & Gerry Behselich began married life and currently live on the Behselich farm–a Centennial Farm. Life in the middle took them to a farm on Polish Road, a farm in Sherry, back to the home farm. Retirement was in Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin Rapids and back to Pittsville. George says farming is in your blood: “Born a farmer, farm all your life, end up farming in pots, and die a farmer.”

Marge & Al Lippet also knew the love of farming. Their married farming career ended when Al was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Before married life, Marge served her country working as a secretary in Civil Service. Al served in the Army in WWII. Marge returned to secretarial work after their farm sold becoming a Certified Professional Administrative Secretary.

Arline Zalabsky cut and permed hair for many Pittsville ladies. She and her husband, Jerry, worked as a team starting in the corner of a local tavern, then to having a shop attached to their home. They experienced the times of husbands not wanting a man to do their wife’s hair to beauty shops cutting men’s hair.

Book 5, Published November, 2016, 86 Pages

Fred Trachte was a Pittsville area native–residing at the home farm his entire life. He worked on the farm as a child, farmed with his parents, purchased the farm from his parents. Farming years ended when the barn burned. He also worked off the farm to help “make ends meet”. His last 27 years of life saw him as Santa, bringing joy and awe to many young lives.

Joyce Trachte entered this world in Chicago. She received a toy barn with little animals as a special Christmas present when young. Little did she know that love for her barn and animals would lead to working a farm, marriage to Fred and a fulfilled life in rural Wisconsin.

Jack Frost says he would not change a thing about his life–always busy, but never bored. He was a CCC worker, farmed, sold machinery, worked for the Granges at Sandhill, logged, worked construction. He still managed time to hunt, fish and trap.

Book 6, Published February, 2017, 108 Pages

At age 18, April 29, 1943, Don Hahn joined thousands of other young men when he was drafted. On D-Day, he was in the 2nd wave to hit Normandy Beach and fought through the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged August 7, 1945. He and his wife successfully farmed and retired on the land where he was born . . . scars of war memories remain forever.

Wally Kleifgen’s parents immigrated from Germany. His mom died when he was just two years old. Life included being “sort of an orphan” as his dad was the town baker requiring long hours in the bakery. He attended Pittsville schools, being encouraged by a high school teacher to pursue a college degree. He became a dentist.

Helen Kleifgen is another Pittsville area native. Hers is the story of a young girl making her way through farm life, a good education, experiencing a variety of employments, and marriage to Emil Schuerer connecting her to Little Bull Falls. Many may remember her as an employee at Pittsville Bank when it was owned by Burt and Shirley Iverson.

Book 7, Published September, 2017, 110 Pages

Born to be a teacher. Lois Potts worked to achieve that goal. She completed a Normal School degree, taught at one-room schools and Pittsville Elementary school. She completed a Bachelors Degree at Stevens Point University. Each step along the way emphasized what she believed. She was born to be a teacher.

Evelyn Horn exemplifies a woman who dedicated herself to whatever her goal was in each step of her life: dedicated student, degreed nurse, immersed in farming, committed to education through the school board and experiencing retirement to the extent her physical status permits.

Del and Alma Lamberts’ lives began in the northern part of Wisconsin. She worked on the home farm, married Del, moved with him through his employments. Del’s work life started in the woods, served in WWII, attached to Sandhill Game Farm through trapping and returned to logging.

Book 8, Published June, 2018, 108 Pages

Town of Remington celebrates 150 years since the first town meeting held in July, 1868. Unincorporated Babcock is within the Town of Remington, therefore also celebrating 150 years.

Phil McKeel was born and raised in Babcock. He left the area to serve in the Air Force and work and live in other areas, then returning to his roots. He served as Town of Remington Chairman for over 30 years.

Dorothy Griswold Sowatzke was born in Babcock area, and never wandered too far away. She recalls life without many of the conveniences, but a rewarding life.

Leonard Seebruck served in the Army Airforce as a radioman on bombers. He returned to Babcock to marry Merna Thurston and raise six children.

Ken & Shirley Kuhlka’s families moved to Babcock when Ken and Shirley were pre-schoolers. Their lives were entwined from those years forward. They lived in Illinois for a few years, but quality of life drew them home to Babcock.

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