|Blue Front Store ad from the Westby Times|
Jacob Post Michelet was born in Moland district, Nedeness Balliwick July 20, 1796. He attended the military academy in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1809-1815. He also attended the military academy in Oslo, Norway. Jacob Michelet Married Gregine Olsen July 6, 1829, and they emigrated to America in 1851 and came to Coon Prairie the same year. Three of their seven children were William E.J., Johan and Charles.
Jacob Post Michelet settled in Section 35, town of Christiana and was one of the first to be buried in Coon Prairie Cemetery November 19. 1866.
Dr. William E.J. was born in Lillehammer, Norway, January 9, 1846 and came with his parents to Coon Prairie. After his preparatory education in Sparta, he studied at Northwestern University and Rush Medical College, Chicago, and became a doctor in medicine in 1879. He worked in his profession in Chicago until his death in 1921.
Lawyer Charles J. Michelet was born in Lillehammer, Norway, March 24, 1849 and came to Coon Prairie with his parents. After preparatory schooling in Sparta, he became a student at Northwestern University, Chicago. After a full course in law he became a lawyer in 1879 and joined his brother William, in Chicago.
Johan Michelet was born in Lillehammer, Norway, December 12, 1830 and along with his brothers came with his parents to Coon Prairie. Johan was married to Johanne Kvaernstuen on June 4, 1861. Two of his six children were Josephine and Charles.
Johan Michelet held the following Christiana township offices: Chairman, Assessor and Treasurer. He also served as member of the Vernon County Board.
Sometime in the 1860s Johan built a warehouse in Westby and was the first local grain buyer. From 1884 until 1888 he was the Postmaster of Westby and from 1891 until 1905 operated the Blue Front store selling general merchandise.
Josephine Michelet in the 1880s and ‘90s had a millinery shop in Westby, location unknown.
Lawyer Charles Jacob Michelet was born in Westby June 18, 1881 and graduated from Viroqua High School in 1900 and from Michigan University, Ann Arbor in 1905 with B.A. degree and from the same university’s law school in 1908. Portland, Oregon is where he went to Practice law.
In 1905 Johan Michelet sold the Blue Front Store. Hagen Dry Goods
While Johan Michelet owned and operated the Blue Front Store, Mrs. A. Rice operated the Red Front Store specializing in women’s clothing. The location of the Red Front Store is unknown. Both the Red and Blue Front stores were part of a nationwide chain.
Besides the Michelet offspring who became lawyers and a doctor, many other Westby descendants and others who lived here for only a short time have gone on to greatness. Two examples are: The student center of Oklahoma University is named after a Westby descendant and in Chicago there is a skyscraper named after a former Westby resident.