News:  Clark Co. 1897 Jail Museum (Sep. Mtg - 2013)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Roberts, Smith, Witte, Dobes, Lukas, Lovelace, Seif

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) 9/25/2013

1897 Clark County Jail Museum (September Meeting - 2013)

The 1897 Jail Museum board of directors met Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, for the monthly report to the members. After the secretary’s and treasurer’s reports, president Stephen Roberts reported on the successes of this past museum season. The number of visitors is increasing every summer due to volunteers - the guides, the receptionists and the administrators - who have done so much to increase the public’s awareness of The 1897 Clark County Jail Museum. The internet connection is paying off with more attendance and interest from visitors to the Neillsville area. There were visitors from Utah, Oregon, Minnesota, Arizona, Texas, Finland and Germany this year, in addition to all parts of Wisconsin.

The directors also considered what events the museum will have during the Autumn Harvest next month. The board may provide limited tours or host an exhibit of the fabulous collection of photos, perhaps a “Remember When” day Saturday, Oct. 12.

Building maintenance projects need to be completed soon, between the heat of this past summer when no one wanted to climb up in the tower to fox the trap door to the roof, and the coming cold of winter when they will not be able to paint. The kitchen table leg was repaired and certain lights were fixed. A project that may be completed this winter may be preparing screens to fit the exit doors to allow ventilation without insects to enter.

New acquisitions include: A book from the People (Unitarian) Church, Neillsville, 1891 (Jerry and Alice Smith); photos of the Neillsville Country Club area and Division St. (Richard Witte); sheriff’s badge worn by Frank Dobes (Wallace Lukas family); a copy of “Collection of Mead Lake Nostalgia” (Brad Lovelace, one of the authors); vintage tools (Mary Jane Seif estate); Greenwood photos; additional items from the herb Smith estate (Jerry Smith).

Recent acquisitions need to be cleaned and entered into the museum inventory. The handwritten acquisition records from the past need to be added to the computer records.

Representatives from the museum will attend the Wisconsin Historical Society West Central Regional Meeting Sept. 21 at the Stanley Area Historical Society Museum ( and the Wisconsin Historical Society Annual Conference Oct. 11 and 12 at the Hotel Mead, Wisconsin Rapids (

The new museum brochure will be updated and published soon. The “Images of Clark County” book continues to bring in revenue to The 1897 Clark County Jail Museum, as well as to the various member of the Clark County Historical Society.

The board will continue to streamline the guided tours as it handles more and more visitors and needs to manage them more efficiently so everyone has the most enjoyable experience possible. After the meeting those attending enjoyed good conversation and sharing of information as always.

The next membership meeting (open to the public) will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Museum at 215 East Fifth Street in Neillsville. Call any of the officers or the museum office (715-743-2150) to leave a message for those to help out or for a tour or to do some research or local history on families. Further information is available at the museum’s website at or its Facebook page www.facebook.com1897CCJM.



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