Obit: Hemphill, Wallace L. (1857 - 1930)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Hemphill, Dewhurst, Grow, Smith, Rodolf, Longenecker, Schmedel

----Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Feb. 6, 1930

Hemphill, Wallace L. (9 Feb. 1857 - 30 Jan. 1930)

W. L. Hemphill for many years one of Clark County’s most active and prominent citizens passed away at his home on South Hewett street, Thursday evening, January 30, after a long illness -- a progressive paralysis, which covered a period of 18 years.

Wallace L. Hemphill was born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, Feb. 9, 1857, and he had nearly completed his seventy-third year at the time of his death. His parents were William J. and Jane (Smith) Hemphill, and he was the seventh of the a family of eleven children. He started out at an early age at work for others, having few opportunities to secure an education, but with quick intelligence, fitted himself for many important duties and positions in life.

When he was 19 years of age he came west to Houston county, Minn., to visit a sister who lived there, and after spending a few months at her home he went to La Crosse and secured work with the John Paul Lumber Co., for whom he worked many years. He worked one winter for Coleman’s in their camp in this county south of the "Twenty-six Road." He was then placed in the John Paul Lumber Co. office in Neillsville where he had charge three or four years, after which he was made manager of the Company’s logging operations in this county, continuing as such until their logging business closed out here in 1898. Mr. Hemphill then went to New Orleans, where he had charge of a cypress saw mill for a year and four months and then returned to Neillsville. A short time later he bought the Neillsville Flour Mill and operated this for nine years. He also was identified with other business enterprises -- a mill at Cadott and also the bank in that village . For many years he was a stockholder in the Neillsville Bank, becoming its vice-president and later on the death of C. F. Grow, becoming president. In all the enterprises with which he was identified he showed excellent executive ability. In logging days he had charge of a large number of men and was very popular with them. Among his friends and associated he was familiarly known as ‘Bob" Hemphill.

For many years he took an active interest in local civic affairs, serving two terms as alderman and once term as mayor of Neillsville. He was frank, outspoken in his views, unbiased and independent in his action in public affairs and commanded the admiration and respect of all with whom he came in contact.

He was untied in marriage with Mary Dewhurst, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Richard Dewhurst, June 10, 1889. During their married life she has been a competent assistant, and a faithful, patient attendant at his side during the long years of his invalidism. To them was born one daughter, Frances, Mrs. M. C. Rodolf of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Besides the wife and daughter he leaves three grandchildren Betty, Patricia and John Rodolf; also two sisters, Mrs. T. M. Alexander not at Jacksonville, Florida; Mrs. Allen Wrigley of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, and one brother Thomas Hemphill of Williamsport, Pa.

The funeral was held Monday afternoon under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge of which Mr. Hemphill was long an active members, Rev. G. W. Longenecker also officiating.

Mrs. Rodolf and daughter, Betty, arrived from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday night to attend the funeral.

* Note there was a photo included in this write up.

----Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 9 Feb. 1930


The Kiwanis club at its dinner Monday adopted a resolution honoring the memory of W. L. Hemphill and directed that a copy by sent to the members of his family. The resolution follows:

We, the members of Neillsville Kiwanis, would pay tribute to the memory of W. L. Hemphill and record our respect and admiration for him as a man and citizen and for the work he did in former years in the development of this community. He was a faithful and competent workman on the foundations of this county’s and city’s industrial and civic affairs and the influence of his life will long he felt here. We extend to his wife, daughter and grandchildren and other relatives our sincere sympathy.

R. E. Schmedel of the American Stores Dairy Co., place before the club a list of the various committee head and the dates on which they are responsible for entertainment features to be presented at the dinners throughout the year.



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