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Columbus Area Historical Society


After 63 years, the Columbia County Teachers College, located in Columbus, closed its doors for the last time. Twenty-two members of the graduating class of 1971 received their two-year degrees. In its lifetime, the school sent more than 2,000 students out in the world to teach school, many in rural areas.

John C. Ibisch, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Ibiisch, who attended Zion Lutheran School, Northwestern Preparatory School and Northwestern College in Watertown, and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary was called by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod to serve as pastor of a congregation in Maumee, Ohio.


Shawn Briggs, whose family hails from Columbus, was hired by Atlanta’ TV station WXIA-TV 11. Briggs produced and co-hosted an hour-long talk show at WTMJ-TV Milwaukee.

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The Columbus Education Association announced the teachers of the year for 1989-91 were Mary Jane Premo, kindergarten teacher, and Ed Zahn, English, Speech, and social studies teacher. Zahn also was head of the Drama Department and coach of the forensics team.


Emogene Johnson and Jim Fritchen retired after a combined 62 years as teachers at Columbus High School. Fritchen served for 32 years beginning during the 1959-60 school year and Johnson for 30 years, beginning with the 1961-62 school year. Johnson taught physical education health, and served as Girl’s Athletic Association advisor, cheerleading advisor, girls’ basketball coach, volleyball coach, softball coach and assistant athletic director. Fritchen taught English and served as English Department chair. Fritchen coached basketball, baseball, and football. As a basketball coach he won six conference titles and took his 1963-64 baseball team to the state tournament.


The Columbus Community Hospital Board of Directors announced intention to consider an affiliation with SSM Health Care of Wisconsin.

Columbus played host to the third annual Columbus Carriage Classic. Horses, carriages and drivers participated in a drive through city streets, in addition to driving competitions More than 20 state and local artists participated in an “Arts on the Boulevard” exhibition.

Follow us on Facebook at Columbus, WI Area Historical Society, or email The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of the month or by appointment.


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