Obit: Root, Homer M. (22 Jun 1845-1938)

Contact: Dee Zimmerman

----Source: Clark County Press, Neillsville, June 11, 2003; pg. 28. A collection of old clippings compiled by Dee Zimmerman for her weekly column "The Good Old Days" from June 1938.

Homer M. Root, for over 60 years a prominent figure in the business and official life of Clark County, passed away the Owen hospital, Sunday evening. His death is like the passing of a landmark. Root lacked less than a month of being 93 years of age, having been born in Guilford, New York, June 22, 1845. Engaging in the lumbering business along the Black River in 1869, he established headquarters at Greenwood. From 1874 to 1885, he and B.F. Thompson, in a partnership, logged 55,000,000 feet of pine. For 19 years, he followed the logging business, during which time he developed a farm near Greenwood. For ten years, Root served as clerk of the town of Eaton.

In the fall of 1888, he was elected as Clark County I Clerk, serving in that office for eight years, living in Neillsville during that time. Geo. E. Crothers was elected Clark County Superintendent in 1888 and became a lasting friend of Root, during that time. They enjoyed many visits during Root's illness of the last month. For a time, Root also served as Clark County Register of Deeds. For many years, Root was prominent in the Republican Party at county, district and state conventions. In 1886, he was chairman of the Republican State Central committee.

In 1898, Root opened a private bank in Neillsville, which later became the nucleus of the Commercial State Bank of Neillsville. Root served as the bank's cashier until 1916, when he then became its president. Probably no other man was so widely sought after for advice on financial and business affairs in Clark County for many years as Root.

Not only was Root a keen businessman, but he did a great deal of reading and he had a fine library in the home. Having a garden with many beautiful flowers also was one of his joys for many years. He always took a keen interest in his home community. For 11 consecutive years, he served on the Clark County Board.

Root was married in 1891 to Mrs. Mary J. Huntzicker, who preceded him in death.

In recent years, before his health began to fail lately, Root had made his home at the Merchants Hotel, in this city. Many of the local pioneers visited him there. Of a rugged constitution, Root hardly ever wore an overcoat, even in the coldest weather. A month ago, before he was leaving for the hospital, at Owen, he called on his old friends here in Neillsville to bid them all goodbye.

It is with deep regret that both young and old friends note the passing of a pioneer whose life encompassed almost the entire history and development of Clark County. It was in 1844, only one year before Root was born, that the first loggers came to Neillsville. In the development of Clark County, Root was an important figure.

Funeral services were held at the Lowe Funeral Homo, at 2 p.m. June 1, with Rev. G.W. Longenecker officiating. The body was taken to St. Paul for cremation, the ashes to be deposited in the cemetery at Greenwood.



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