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Yesterday in La Crosse

State Road School had a brief name change, 51 years ago

Brad Williams

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In the summer of 1969, Mrs. Mauree Applegate Clack of La Crosse died.  She had taught education at La Crosse State for 21 years.  Later that year, the La Crosse School Board voted to change the name of State Road School to Applegate School in her honor.  But that didn’t please parents, or the State Road PTA.  Hundreds of people petitioned the board to keep the State Road name, with the PTA president protesting that the board didn’t hold a public hearing before making the change.  Another opponent argued that Mrs. Clack had no direct ties to State Road School, and complained that people were getting “a little fed up with having to name something after somebody”…pointing to the renaming of Cape Canaveral in Florida to Cape Kennedy.  The building went back to being State Road School.

La Crosse Alderman Ferdinand Sontag was annoyed that nothing was happening to the old Central High School.  The building on Cass Street had been vacant for two years, and Sontag said the school was “doing nothing.”  Old Central was finally torn down three years later, and is now the site of Weigent Park.

A new high-rise for the elderly was being planned for north La Crosse.  The 8-story building on Liberty Street would house 100 tenants.  The high-rise didn’t have a name yet, but it was eventually named after city Housing Authority commissioner Olga Sauber, and it’s still called Sauber Manor.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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