The Thomas Sacco Band from New Orleans on a parade float sponsored by the Rivoli Theatre in October 1922. The band was led by a 7-year-old boy known as “Little Sousa.” -- Courtesy University of Wisconsin-La Crosse / #3105

The Thomas Sacco Band from New Orleans on a parade float sponsored by the Rivoli Theatre in October 1922. The band was led by a 7-year-old boy known as “Little Sousa.”

Courtesy University of Wisconsin-La Crosse / #3105

The Talented Kids of La Crosse

Every person has a story to tell, and in the case of the children in La Crosse, it seems like most of them are pretty interesting.

Fifteen-year-old ventriloquist Don May at his home in 1938. -- Courtesy Karen (Lovold) Schultz

Fifteen-year-old ventriloquist Don May at his home in 1938.

Courtesy Karen (Lovold) Schultz

Rosella, aspiring photographer that she was, jumped at the chance to pose with her camera when the family had photos taken in 1917.

Rosella Morrow Miller holding her camera in 1917. -- Courtesy Adrianna Miller

Rosella Morrow Miller holding her camera in 1917.

Courtesy Adrianna Miller

Many early photographers made money by taking horse or goat carts door-to-door and having children pose for pictures in them. Here young Albert is enjoying himself on a play wagon in similar fashion.

Albert Funk having fun on a wagon along South 13th Street in 1923. -- Courtesy Gretchen Funk Geary

Albert Funk having fun on a wagon along South 13th Street in 1923.

Courtesy Gretchen Funk Geary

Joyce Anderson was a La Crosse celebrity by the age of six, singing with her father’s band “Andy Anderon and the Merrymakers” and then breaking out on her own as "Baby Joyce" on KSTP radio. A bit of a wild child, a relative recalls a story in which Joyce came home one day with an extraordinary amount of money, and when questioned by her parents she explained that she had been singing at Ma Bennet’s brothel next door. The ladies working there had thought Joyce so adorable that they sent her off with a windfall of cash. Needless to say her parents were impressed by her ingenuity, but barred her from returning there in the future.

Joyce Anderson with an Anderson Tire outside her dad’s store on State Street, 1931. She was a local singing star and often sang for money outside of Ma Bennet’s next door. -- Courtesy Brooksy Beilke-Skoug

Joyce Anderson with an Anderson Tire outside her dad’s store on State Street, 1931. She was a local singing star and often sang for money outside of Ma Bennet’s next door.

Courtesy Brooksy Beilke-Skoug

Learn more stories of the citizens of La Crosse, and see hundreds more beautiful historic photos, in the Tribune's new hardcover pictorial history book La Crosse Memories.

La Crosse Memories: The Early Years Cover
La Crosse Tribune presents La Crosse Memories: The Early Years

$44.95

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