News: Columbia- Recollections of History (Jonkel - 1974)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Jonkel, Simonds, Pierce

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/04/1974

Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin” History (Jonkel - 1974)

Sunday, July 7, marks another milestone for Mrs. Mabel Jonkel, Baraboo, when she will have a coming-out party for her book, “Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin” at the annual picnic of the Clark County Historical Society at Snyder Park.

Young at heart, Mrs. Jonkel relives the joys and sorrows of the once thriving village of Columbia, located southwest of Neillsville. Probably as no one else could recall the story, she had gone through clippings, pictures and her mother’s store records to be accurate as to the many happenings.

Columbia was a promoter’s dream while others were scrounging up some 13 million for the first World’s Fair in the United States. It was the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. So Columbia was rightfully named.

Anyone having money to travel should have money to buy land and buy they did! For years the Town of Hewett collected taxes from all over the world. Some never saw the land but others came to make the great little settlement of Columbia the best planned community in Clark County.

It would be stealing her thunder to detail the heartaches and joys of events in Columbia. It is her book, modestly told in her own way. Columbia had a number of firsts, not only for Clark County but also for a big company. There is also the “suburb” of Columbia, Dells Dam, where Mabel’s half-brother, Erwin Simonds, managed the store while the Dam was being built.

Along with the author and book being at the picnic, there will also be a display of the treasures relating to the Columbian Exposition which Mrs. Vahla Pierce has collected through the years.

The potluck picnic dinner is at one o’clock. Coffee will furnished by the society. All former residents of Columbia and all residents of the Town of Hewett are especially invited to pack a picnic basket and come. Anyone interested in the historical society is also invited to come to the picnic at Snyder Park, west of Neillsville.



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