Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI
March 4, 1993, Page 28
Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
Index of "Good Old Days" Articles
Good Old Days
Through the years, the names of Neillsville businesses or its owners have changed. We realize those many changes when we take a look back, 50, 75 or more years.
Names such as Unger, Dahnert, Bruley, Winn, Young, Shapiro, Danger, Clement, Stelloh came to mind amid many more which have disappeared.
Stelloh Implement, corner of 5th and Grand, gas pumps were along the 5th Street side. Visible in the show window, there was a new car on display.
Stelloh’s Garage & Implement Shop was on the corner of Grand & 5th Street with the front show window and entrance facing the Grand Avenue side. Fred Stelloh was the business owner for which the business was named.
Fred Stelloh was born in Milwaukee in 1889. His father, Henry, owned and operated a sash and door factory until c.1910-1920 when he sold the business. Having heard of real estate for sale in the Neillsville area, the family moved here purchasing land west of the Black River. They developed a farm, clearing the land, built a house and other buildings. It was located along he River road and the house remains now being occupied by the Marksteiners.
The younger son, Fred, moved with the parents and grew up on the family farm. He married Anna Martens whose parents also bought a farm along the River Road area after moving from Chicago. They were married at the Reformed Church named Peaceful Pines. The rural church was built on a lot near the family’s farms. Both families helped with the building and (were) members of the congregation.
Fred and Anna had five children: Frank, Alfred, Clarence, Florence and Lorraine. Florence (Thiel) of Marshfield and Lorraine (Zajac) of Neillsville are the surviving children of that union.
After Anna’s death, Fred married Elsie Glass and they had one daughter, Mercides Bhaldam, who resides in Richmond, Virginia.
A double tragedy struck the family when two sons, Frank and Alfred, were killed in a plane accident. Frank at age 21, was the pilot and Alfred, at age 18 and a Neillsville High Senior at the time, were killed when the bi-plane crashed near Neillsville on March 15, 1930.
The bi-plane owned by Frank Stelloh, Frank and his brother, Alfred, were killed in the plane when it crashed near the Clark County Fairgrounds, on March 15, 1930.
The first employment of Fred’s was working as a salesman for DeLaval equipment. Later he became a partner of Charles Seif in an implement business. Eventually, Fred decided to go into business of his own. He bought a livery stable building on the corner of Grand and 5th Street. It is believed to have been called the Dresden Stables.
After some remodeling, Fred started a farm implement sales and repair business. And for a time he sold and serviced cars.
Fred Stelloh, far left with an area farmer, salesman, and son, Alfred in the office of Stelloh Implement
Fred Stelloh, center, served as Mayor of Neillsville, 1934-1936
1934-1936, Fred served as Mayor of Neillsville. Some of the city’s changes curing his term as mayor were the development of the tennis court at Schuster Park, the Northside Park and placement of “stone sentinels” at the cemetery entrance.
Mr. Stelloh operated the Implement business until he sold that site.
He had owned the entire block except for the Kern house lot on the Northwest corner. The east portion was sold, the building razed and a new building constructed to accommodate a grocery business by IGA. Some years later, Bob and Caryl Solberg purchased the business once again a new building with enlarged parking lot occupies that site, known as Bob & Caryl’s IGA.
When Stelloh sold the business, he moved the repairing equipment to a smaller building along the 6th Street side of the lot, where Central Liquor is now located. He continued an implement repair shop for a number of years. The Stelloh home located on the Southwest corner of the lot was razed before the second grocery building was built. The first Fred Stelloh home was on the lot now owned by Wonder Wash.
Reviewing this family’s history, in a span of one hundred years, relates many changes.
(Photos and information courtesy of Lorraine (Stelloh) Zajac of Neillsville)
Compiled by Terry Johnson
FIFTY YEARS AGO
“About 80 pheasant cocks are expected to arrive here between March 8 and 20, according to word received by Game Warden Allen Champney. The birds will be held in the pens of the Clark County Rod and Gun Club in Schuster Park and will be distributed in Clark County by conservation clubs at Neillsville, Granton, Greenwood, and Owen.”
“Charles Neff of Neillsville has bought the bull Distinction Colony Sir Bonnie 862501 from John Wuethrich of Greenwood.”
“A group of eleven friends arranged a surprise birthday theater party for Glenn Roberts Tuesday evening, with a lunch at the Russell home after the show.”
SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
J. E. Ketel, county federal food administrator for Clark County, published a “Warning Against Hoarding” It was not permitted to have more than a 30 day supply of flour or sugar on hand. Violators’ could be fined $5,000 or sentenced to two year imprisonment, or both. Records were kept of all sales of these commodities so that offenders could be tracked down. There was an exemption for farmers raising rye or wheat. They could exchange their rye for rye flour and their wheat for wheat flour.
“The handsome Knorr and Rausch Ford garage of art brick and plate glass is completed. It includes a spacious show room and office at the front, a repair room behind these, and the large store room at the rear. It contains a lavatory, clothes closets, and basement…. The building is 50x125 feet.”
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
“The Chautauguans meet with Mrs. James O’Neill this month.”
“We have waited for that wood as long as is reasonable or decent. If you want to pay for your paper in wood haul it now, when it is wanted, or cash will have to be paid. Don’t wait for the spring break up and then say the roads are too bad, etc.”
“Next week Wednesday the parents of the city are desired to make the city schools a visit, to observe the work being done.”
In the March 2, 1893 Neillsville Times: “Saturday this week President-elect Grover Cleveland will be inaugurated at Washington. President Harrison will take his place on the map at the end of the long row of has-beens.”
“T. Grafton Owen returned from Winona Monday.”
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