Armstrong, A. S. (History )


Janet Schwarze






A. S. ARMSTRONG was born in La Crosse and came to Clark County with his parents in 1870, settling at Neillsville. Mr. Armstrong relates his early experiences as follows: "We later moved to the forty-acre farm of Gile Holway, two miles north of Loyal. When 19 years old I ran a camp in the woods and for eighteen years handled logs on the Black and Chippewa rivers. For thirteen years I had charge of the Hemlock Dam as foreman. We used to run on an average of 1,000,000 feet an hour through the dam in the spring and summer. This dam was built in the summer of 1879. I was with the Black River Improvement Co., who discontinued work in 1905. Our logs of hemlock and pine all went down the Black River by way of the Dells Dam to La Crosse. At that time we used to put through 150,000,000 in course of the season. My mother and her sister came into this county in the winter of 1855 from Halfway Creek, near La Crosse, and cooked in the logging camp of her brother-in-law, Abner Gile on Gile's Creek, three miles north of Greenwood.


"I came to Greenwood in 1875 and lived on my father's farm, which is now in the city limits. At that time there were three stores, four saloons, and one blacksmith's shop. The second schoolhouse then stood on the corner where the Greenwood State Bank now stands. Father used to bring all supplies by wagon from Sparta, while mother was cooking in the camp. During my days we freighted our supplies from Hatfield, Jackson County, and the stage brought mail and passengers from Black River Falls. This town was a rough place. The loggers would come in, spend their money for whiskey, get drunk and fight, and many times they tore up the sidewalks. In 1885 a creamery was started here, but failed. They later tried it again, but failed for want of cows. I ran a store and post office at Hemlock for two years, and also ran the sawmill, but the flood of 1914 took the dam and gristmill and sawmill out."



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