Hemphill, Wallace L. (History - 1857)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.


WALLACE L. HEMPHILL, for many years one of Neillsville's most active and a man of wide popularity, was born in Clearfield, Pa., Feb. 9, 1857, that town being then known as Old Town. His parents were William and Jane (Smith) Hemphill, and he was the seventh born of their large family of eleven children. The subject of this sketch had but little schooling his boyhood, much of the knowledge he now possesses having been -. in the larger school of life. At the age of 12 years he went to work the day and was thus occupied for some six or seven years. He was 19 when, in 1876, he came west to Houston County, Minn., to visit his sister, a resident of that place, and there he spent the winter.


He then to La Crosse and entered the employ of the John Paul Lumber Company, for whom he worked during the summers for five years, and was a of their camp, south of the 26th Road, in the winter of 1877-78. Paul then placed him in the office of the company at Neillsville, where three or four years, after which he had charge of their logging as manager until 1898, when the logging industry came to an end. Hemphill now made a change of base, going to New Orleans, where charge of the New Orleans cypress saw-mill for one year and four subsequently returning to Neillsville. Here he bought the Neillsville mills, and the next nine years of his life were spent in their operation, which he retired from active work.


Aside from the industries mentioned above Mr. Hemphill was more or less actively concerned with other interests. He became identified with the Neillsville Bank as a stockholder twenty-five years ago, and also served as its vice president, later, on the death of Chas. F. Grow, as president. He was also vice of the bank at Cadott, Chippewa County, and a stockholder in the National Bank of Marshfield. At the present time he is interested as stockholder in the Neillsville Canning Co. In all the enterprises he took an active part, as in the logging industry, Mr. Hemphill showed fine executive ability, being exceptionally able in the handling of having in a high degree that requisite tact which enabled him to get them the maximum amount of work without exciting discontent on part. In fact, he was always very popular with them and they gave him the best they had in the way of service.


During his long residence in Neillsville he has at times assisted in the affairs of local government, serving two years as alderman and one term as mayor. In the Masonic order he has advanced as far as the Commandery, and is also a member--of the, Modern Woodmen. Mr. Hemphill was united in marriage June 10, 1989, to Mary Dewhurst, daughter of Richard and Maria S. (Curtis) Dewhurst.  They have one child, Frances. She was graduated from the Neillsville high school in the class of 1910 from the National Park Seminary of Maryland, with class of 1912, and from the Wisconsin State

University at Madison, in the class of 1916, and is now the wife of M. C. Rodolf, who is in the United States service.



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