News: Clark Co. - 1897 Jail Museum (April Meeting - 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Roberts, Tufts, Meeks, Erpenbach

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) /2014

The 1897 Clark County Museum (April Meeting - 2014)

The April 1, 2014, monthly meeting of the 1897 Clark County Jail Museum (Museum) was called to order by President Steve Roberts, and the secretary and treasurer’s repots were read and approved. Roberts reported on the Jail Museum’s participation in Neillsville’s Heritage Days celebration this July and the fact that the museum will be open Saturday and Sunday (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) that weekend.

Next, a discussion was held regarding the need to upgrade the computer system and software. A decision was made to acquire a new computer system with significantly more operating speed and hard drive storage, as well as upgraded operating software. The Museum will also upgrade the collection management (PastPerfect) software with an application to the Wisconsin annual mini-grant program for 50 percent of the cost.

Spring cleaning has begun and will be completed in time for the annual school tours and the start of the summer tour season Memorial Day weekend. Each May (which the WHS celebrates as “Wisconsin Historic Preservation Month”), the Jail Museum invites all public and parochial elementary schools to visit the Museum free of charge. Invitation letters to each school have already been mailed.

Small maintenance issues were reviewed, including relocation of certain displays, adding security feature to exhibits and the deterioration of the west side porch overhang. The Clark County Property Committee and the Neillsville Historic Preservation Commission will be contacted to discuss this matter further.

The Museum has recently acquired some new photographs that feature former (1899-1900) Sheriff William S. Tufts family and the Meeks family. These are the grandparents and parents of Co. William B. Tufts. This group of photos also included pictures (circa 1900) of bridges over the Black River.

Natalie Erpenbach, Museum administrator, reported on four upcoming tours in may and early June of this year, a grant request that was still pending with the City of Neillsville Tourism Committee (City Room Tax grant funds), and the Museum’s upcoming annual meeting Saturday, May 10, 2014. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the Museum, and an election to fill two open board of director positions (expiring in 2016) will be held. There will also be reports of the Museum’s activities for 2013 and the upcoming events and plans for 2014 and beyond. Current and new member, volunteers or interested parties are all welcome to attend this important meeting.

The Museum’s temporary exhibit, “The Civil War and Clark Count Wisconsin,” will still be in place for the summer of 2014 and 2015. As the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War approaches, the museum takes time to remember the soldiers and families of Clark County who served their country and endured hardship from 1861-1865 during the course of the Civil War. Although it was originally thought to last only a few months, the war finally ended in April 1865, at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. But it wasn’t until Oct. 9, 1865, the (local) soldiers of Company I, 14th WI Regiment returned home and mustered out of service. Plan to visit this exhibit and learn more about the Civil War Veterans of Clark County.

Board and member meetings are always held the first Tuesday of each month, at 7 p.m. at 215 E. 5th St., Neillsville. Anyone interested in volunteering their time of relents, would like to take a tour or are interested in doing some local family history or family research, call or email the museum for more information. Visit the Museum’s website at or the Museum’s Facebook page at



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