Andy was born March 20, 1909, the first child and the only son of Emil and Mary North.
Andy grew up below grandad’s Bluff where his father managed the stone quarry. Recalling some good times on the bluff Andy said,
“When I was a teenager I built a bobsled from oak. It had brakes and a bell on the back. Gladys and I, with friends from high school, would slide down Bliss Road in the bobsled from the top of grandad’s Bluff all the way to the church on Losey Blvd. We pulled the bobsled up to the top behind a friend’s old car. “
When he was young, Andy worked at the brick yard for John Schnell who was married to his aunt Julie. After high school he worked in the quarry.
“One of his jobs was operating the locomotive of a narrow gauge railroad that hauled the rock from the quarry site to the tramway. He also worked as a weighmaster at the crusher, a stone salesman, and as a supervisor of county trucks hauling away loads of crushed rock. ‘Working in the quarry wasn’t easy!’ Andy said. ‘Even getting to the top of the bluff in the winter time was a hard day’s work, especially if I had to carry fifty pounds of dynamite.'”(1)
Andy’s job ended with the closing of the quarry in 1935. He then worked for Allis Chalmers.
Andy married his high school sweetheart, Gladys Ott, in 1934. Four years later he built their home on 2628 King St. using the wood from Dominick Mader Jr.’s tobacco shed. Andy did most of the work on the house himself and he and Gladys have made it their home for 48 years. It is located about a block from his childhood home within full view of grandad’s bluff. In 1940 the North’s became the parents of their only daughter, Nancy.
In his retirement, Andy enjoys woodworking. A complete circus made of wood that he has made was on display at the La Crosse Library. He also has built train sets and many country items that his daughter paints and sells. Andy sees something he likes and then goes home and makes his own pattern.
Andy had been featured in many articles written about the bluff, since he has been involved with the early stone quarry and has lived at the foot of grandad’s bluff all his life.
- Nancy North was born in 1940. She is married to Ron Lepsch. Ron is retired from John Deer and Nancy works for the school system in Waterloo, Iowa. They have two children:
- Rhonda Lepsch was born in 1965 and is a college student. Rhonda won over 100 metals and trophies for high school gymnastics.
- Randy Lepsch born in 1967 attends Waterloo, Iowa Tech.
(1) Past, Present and Future, “Andy North and the Stone Quarry” by Gen Koenig (La Crosse Co. Hist. Soc.) Vol V.