Questioning the Locals | Jackie Dotseth

registered nurse and business owner of Wilson Place Museum

WHO: Jackie Dotseth
AGE: 74 and six months
WHAT: Registered nurse (former director of nursing at Dunn County Hospital & Health Care Center) and business owner of Wilson Place Museum, Dotseth Trucking, and Olde Towne Conference Center & Restaurant
LIVES: North Menomonie
IN THE CITY FOR: "I was born and raised here, except after marriage I lived in Knapp, WI for six years, and came back in 1963."

I have been called many things, both good and bad. Thinker. Doer. Mover. Shaker. “Firm but fair” (a quote from the hospital employees). My favorite book as a child was The Little Engine That Could. “I think I can” is my personal motto.

What place in town considers you a “regular?” Menomonie Family Restaurant

What frustrates you about the Chippewa Valley? Oftentimes small business owners are encouraged to come here, but all too often they are forgotten for various reasons or even discouraged by the red tape.

What is one of the best experiences you’ve ever had in the Chippewa Valley? Working as the first and only registered nurse at the Dunn County Hospital, and establishing first professional medical services for the 190 resident patients. This was in 1963. In 1972 we moved into the new health care center and established it as a nursing home and an acute psychiatric treatment center.

What is your favorite item in Old Towne or Wilson Place Mansion? The volume of original documents and artifacts retained since 1846 within the estate of Wilson-Stout & LaPointe (the founding Wilson family).

For those of us that haven’t been there, why should we visit? As stated by Dr. Lymbergh, professor emeritus of American history from the Smithsonian, “it’s a microcosm of American history within the walls of Wilson Place.”

What’s your favorite historical place in the Chippewa Valley, other than Wilson Place and Old Towne? Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts

Is the upkeep difficult at a historical home? Yes, but it’s not unreasonable when it is maintained in a manner that prevents deterioration. It does need financing and continuous upkeep in order to maintain that goal.

What is your favorite piece of local trivia? The original identifiable attitude of our Indian logo: dignity, strength, honor, pride.

On your death bed, you get one meal from a local restaurant, what would it be? Prime rib and a decadent dessert.

Describe your last encounter with the police department. 1963, I had just started working as a nurse at the DC Hospital. I was running late for work, and speeding on east Highway 12. An officer followed me into the driveway of the hospital. I reached for my driver’s license, but had forgotten my purse. I got a ticket (though the officer’s mother was a patient of mine).

Which do you prefer and why: craft fair, antique mall, or flea market? Flea markets, because there are often surprises to be found.

What book, TV show, or movie would you recommend to the members of our city council? The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

You used to be on the city council yourself. What sticks out in your mind from those days? The futuristic planning of the city manager, which resulted in being ready for economic development in the industrial park when industry sought community sites and opportunities to come here. We were ready.

What local store do you find yourself frequenting most often and why? Wal Mart, for convenience when in a hurry. It’s near us.

What sort of economic development would you like to see in our area? More manufacturing to increase manpower opportunities, plus perhaps more shipping and receiving jobs.

Who is the greatest Wisconsinite of all time? Sen. James Huff Stout, second generation of William Wilson, founder of Menomonie. Stout was an economic developer and creator of traveling libraries and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

What part of the Chippewa Valley have you never visited? Leinie’s Lodge

If you could rename Menomonie, what would it be? I would never change this historic name, but if the economy doesn’t change it will be “Me-No-Money!”

If you could magically add one store, restaurant, or shop to the area, what would it be and why? The busiest store in town is Goodwill, perhaps a larger United Way thrift store would help more people, plus donations could also be made by locals for everyone’s benefit locally.

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