Elroy locals came out June 9 to see a well known member of the community inducted onto the Elroy Historical Society Wall of Honor and witness the unveiling of the Hutchinson mill stone.
Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was in attendance, and spoke to reflect on the legacy of Tilmar Roalkvam, who was commonly known as “Mr. Elroy” for his dedication to the community.
“We are very honored to put him on our wall of fame,” Elroy Historical Society Member Zach Bender said of Roalkvam.
Thompson described Roalkvam as someone who was “bigger than life, and he had that infectious smile.”
Bender said the Hutchinson mill stone was used many years ago to grind grain in Elroy near the railroad bridge. “These kinds of mills were very crucial and instrumental to founding settlements like Elroy,” Bender said. “It was an important part of town for many years.” The stone dates back to 1850.
Bender thanked the Elroy street department for transporting and helping display the mill stone.
Roalkvam, an Elroy native, passed away May 30, 2005 at 86 years old. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and received a Bronze Star before going on to own and operate Tilmar’s Milk Service in Elroy and working as a rural mail carrier for many years.
“He loved his country, he loved his state, and he loved his city,” Thompson. “(He spent) 40 years running and as chairman of the Elroy Library. I can remember when I got elected governor he came to me and he said ‘We need some money Tommy, from the state.’ He wasn’t shy.”
Roalkvam’s son David Roalkvam spoke on behalf of the family and thanked the Elroy Historical Society. “My dad would be honored with this presentation,” Roalkvam said. “On behalf of him and our family we thank you all for this.”