Heritage Q and A - 1988
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Heritage Q and A - 1988

Heritage Q and A was a historical column researched and written by "Mr. Beloit" Laurence A. Raymer, Beloit College class of 1934, and long-time editor of the Beloit Daily News. His column ran in the BDN from 1986 - 1992. This web page includes a list of questions used in the column. The Beloit Archives holds a complete collection of his columns, available for research.


January 7, 1988

Q1: What were some of the patriotic songs of World War I both over here and 'Over There?' And did the songs contribute to final victory?"

January 12, 1988

Q1: Do you remember the ski slide on Big Hill and the glory days of ski jumping here?

January 15, 1988

Q1: Carl Swanson talks about the old "aeroplane daredevils."

Q2: Do you have any recollections of 1920, which was an important year in my life?

January 19, 1988

Q1: Do you remember when we were kids, and everyone was bothered by swarms of houseflies in the kitchen, at the dinner table, and even in the bedroom at night?

January 22, 1988

Q1: Our 92-year-old friend A.J. Nelson of Greenview Drive sends over a couple of his favorite scenes from long ago. Of course, they include horses, one of his great loves. And he asks: "Do you recall scenes like these?"

January 26, 1988

Q1: Can you remember back to a time when people carried chestnuts to improve their health?

January 28, 1988

Q1: Do you remember a little sheet written, published and distributed by Louis Taylor Merrill called, "The Searchlight"?

February 2, 1988

Q1: I wonder how many people living in Beloit today remember when the size of the dollar bill was much larger than the one in use today.

February 5, 1988

Q1: Do you remember when Beloit had a lot of horses and wagons around the streets? That wasn't too long ago, was it?

February 9, 1988

Q1: Feedback on A.J. Nelson's collection of horse photographs.

Q2: Do you remember the Fiske Company on State Street?

February 12, 1988

Q1: Do you remember when the YMCA downtown had a very fine cafeteria?

February 16, 1988

Q1: Could you tell us something about a publishing company named Racine Feet Knitting Co.?

February 18, 1988

Q1: Do you recall the toy store operated by Ralph and Millie Kant? It was a popular place downtown. What happened to the store and the Kants?

February 26, 1988

Q1: I've heard people talk about vaudeville in the good old days. Were these stage acts?

March 1, 1988

Q1: A.J. Nelson talks about his days when he lived on Sixth Street just north of Portland Avenue.

March 3, 1988

Q1: I've heard of several cities platted for Rock County never materialized. Can you tell us something about this?

March 9, 1988

Q1: Clayton R. Garland writes about his memories in Beloit.

Q2: Didn't Beloit host several presidential dignitaries along with other famous people?

March 11, 1988

Q1: Since coming to Beloit and reading the Daily News I've heard and seen reference to 'Bean's Shoe Hospital,' which must have been well known. Do you have something on this?

Q2: Whatever happened to the tradition of big family breakfasts? Remember how it was the big meal of the day, and all members of the family had to be in his place or else?

March 15, 1988

Q1: Do you remember when Beloit was the home of the world's largest Saxophone Band?

March 17, 1988

Q1: Heroes and Heroes: "Daddy" W.J. Dougan talks about his memories of 'homespun heroes' in Beloit during his daily milk deliveries.

March 23, 1988

Q1: Charles Hansenwrites an interesting letter about Beloit's population over the years.

Q2: With all these commercial bread doughs and biscuits mixes all ready for the broiler, oven or microwave, does anyone make baking powder biscuits from scratch anymore?

March 25, 1988

Q1: V.L. (Red) Nemetz, recalled the days when railroads were important to the Greater Beloit area, and the country. 'We used to meet all our friends coming and going at the two railroad stations in Beloit. How about some memories of the railroads?

March 29, 1988

Q1: Do you remember an automobile called the ' Oakland'? What are some of the other old cars of yesteryear?

Q2: You people have written so much about Caleb Blodgett that I'm wondering if anyone else ever was here before he was. How about it?

April 5, 1988

Q1: Do you remember the fun we had building and flying kites, and the big 'Kite Days' Beloit used to have?

April 7, 1988

Q1: The Anderson Cycle Shop is downtown Beloit was a popular place for kids a couple generations ago. Do you remember it?

Q2: Are grocery prices pretty high compared with 50 years ago? What did folks pay, say in 1932?

Q3: Do you recall an area down by the tracks south of Shirland Avenue called Hobo Jungle? Where exactly was it located?

April 14, 1988

Q1: Do you think people had a better attitude in the old days? That they were better equipped to deal with the things at hand, didn't have so many mental anxieties, and didn't need counseling?

April 20, 1988

Q1: I've heard that the "good old days" were not so good for women. There must have been a lot of drudgery for a wife and mother. How about it?

April 22, 1988

Q1: You have mentioned Henry R. Talmadge in your column several times. Could you tell us more about him?

April 27, 1988

Q1: "What's the story on the picturesque little Nye school on Nye School road west of Beloit?" All the information on the school necessary for a nice yarn has been provided by Mr. and Mrs. Bob North, Frances Heyerdahl, and others interested in the project.

April 29, 1988

Q1: Our Feb. 5 column brought back a lot of happy memories of Irving Roberts of Madison, who graduated from Beloit High in 1925. He thinks back over a number of interesting topics, and asks how many we remember.

May 4, 1988

Q1: With the plowing and planting season at hand, can you tell us something of early farming when oven were used to 'break' the land, and the economy was based on farming?

May 6, 1988

Q1: How were things in Beloit in 1926?

May 10, 1988

Q1: Remember Smith's News Agency at the corner of Cross Street and West Grand Avenue?

May 13, 1988

Q1: Jake Barraco, accordionist at Rocco's Supper Club and one of the fine musical traditions of the Beloit-South Beloit community, wrote the basis for a column a while back on "The Songs of War." It made a real hit with readers. Now Jake, who also teaches and plays in Uncle Julius' Polka Band, asks the question: "Does the comical song have a place in American music?"

May 18, 1988

Q1: Wasn't Wisconsin's Civil War governor a resident of this area? And wasn't there some tragedy in his death?

Q2: What can you tell us about 'Buffalo Bill' and his visits to Beloit?

May 20, 1988

Q1: Do you recall that the pioneer Smith family of Beloit had two or three generations of firefighters in its midst?

May 25, 1988

Q1: Did the legendary Buffalo Bill Wild West Show ever play in Beloit?

Q2: What was Beloit like in 1915?

May 27, 1988

Q1: Where did Beloit get its name?

June 1, 1988

Q1: What's the story on telephones in Beloit?

June 3, 1988

Q1: Indian Trader Thibault is often mentioned in the literature of Beloit's beginnings, but nothing seems to be mentioned after he sold his holdings to early settlers. Whatever happened to him? Do you have anything on this?

June 9, 1988

Q1: One of the great bandsmen of the Beloit tradition is Quentin O. Brown of Boyd, Wis., who writes a great letter about the old dance band days.

June 15, 1988

Q1: Do you remember the Broder family and Broder home?

June 20, 1988

Q1: I see by the paper that the high school Class of 1928 is going to have a 60th reunion. What was it like back then, going to school and living in Beloit?

June 24, 1988

Q1: Do you remember the late Father O'Reilly, and what a wonderful person he was?

July 1, 1988

Q1: Whatever happened to radish and onion sandwiches/recipes like those?

July 7, 1988

Q1: Didn't Logan Museum at Beloit College sponsor several expeditions?

July 11, 1988

Q1: Letter from A.J. Nelson, experience in Los Angeles

Q2: The Old Bill Restaurant

July 15, 1988

Q1: Remember the lovely old observatory made of stone?

July 18, 1988

Q1: Can you tell us about the Yates-American plant, and Mr. Yates? I've heard that at one time it was Beloit's biggest industry.

July 25, 1988

Q1: Whatever happened to love and romance as the subject of entertainment? Classic film, Interview with Ginger Rogers.

August 2, 1988

Q1: Did you know Roger Birdsell who worked at Yates-American?

August 4, 1988

Q1: I've heard about the famous outings of the Rotary Club at the Scout camp between Rockton and Roscoe. Did you ever attend one?

August 10, 1988

Q1: Whatever happened to "chicken a la king?" It was served everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

August 16, 1988

Q1: Alan T. Dale and the work he did for the school board.

August 18, 1988

Q1: Dr. Jim Ellis of Rockton. Wasn't he a top-notcher in Boy Scouting?

August 22, 1988

Q1: Can you shed some light on why the image of the turtle holds such a strong reference in this area?

August 24, 1988

Q1: Whatever happened to the interurban line which operated between Janesville and Rockford?

August 29, 1988

Q1: Fred Benti did a great job as director of pupil personnel. Do you remember him?

August 31, 1988

Q1: We're new to Beloit and our children are in the McLenegan School area. In whose honor is the school named?

September 6, 1988

Q1: What do you know about bridge?

September 9, 1988

Q1: We rode bikes on trips near and far 50 and 60 years ago. Remember? Bike history.

September 14, 1988

Q1: Funeral of Andor (A.J.) Nelson. Remembering Nelson.

September 16, 1988

Q1: Does that ferry still operate at Merrimac across Lake Wisconsin or the Wisconsin River?

September 21, 1988

Q1: Didn't Rockton have a pretty fair skating rink at one time?

September 27, 1988

Q1: What was Beloit like in 1879?

October 4, 1988

Q1: Who painted the faces on a wall in South Beloit just to the north of city hall and why, and who do they represent?

October 7, 1988

Q1: Remembrance of old Beloit by A.J. Nelson's daughter, Muriel Nelson Clifton.

October 19, 1988

Q1: Hasn't Beloit had other city Christmas trees besides the one near the City Hall dedicated a couple years ago?

October 26, 1988

Q1: Beloit in the early days had wooden sidewalks, which were excellent subjects for Halloween pranks, but did you know that one such community sidewalk was made of solid mahogany?

November 8, 1988

Q1: Remembering Norman Brown Trexler

November 10, 1988

Q1: What are the criteria for enshrinement into the Beloit Hall of Fame?

November 15, 1988

Q1: About the Beloit Sports Hall of Fame

November 18, 1988

Q1: Remember the railroads of Beloit in the 1950s?

November 25, 1988

Q1: Do you recall the great Pet and Hobby Shows staged annually by the YMCA?

November 30, 1988

Q1: What do you know about the Burlington ( Wis.) Liars' Club? Isn't this a pretty famous outfit?

December 7, 1988

Q1: Bill Kreamer gave the city of Beloit 44 years of exemplary service. Do you remember him?

December 14, 1988

Q1: How big was Beloit 100 years ago and who were some of its civic leaders?

December 21, 1988

Q1: Do you remember the Royal Candy Shoppe on West Grand Avenue across the street from the old Beloit State Bank?

December 30, 1988

Q1: How did folks pay their health bills in the old days? Were medical costs cheaper and in tune with low wages?