Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

  March 2, 1994, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Good Old Days" Articles 



Good Old Days   

By Dee Zimmerman


The era of local scenes on postcards seemed to be popular in the early 1900s.  Families didn’t have access to cameras at that time.  Traveling photographers or local studios would take pictures which would be reproduced on a postcard that were used to jot down a message on the other side and mailed to friends or relatives.


A collection of such cards of Loyal scenes taken in the year of 1908 through 1922 have returned to the home area, now on display at the Clark County Historical Society’s Jail Museum.  This thoughtful gesture retains some of our history.  Unfortunately not all have identified the people on the photos, only the event and location at the time the pictures were taken.


The August 22, 1873 issue of the Clark County Press reported on a visit to Loyal: “Paying a short visit to this fast growing municipal infant, we were much pleased with its evident prosperity and the hopeful energy of its inhabitants who have a well founded faith in its future importance.


The leading institution of the place is Grave’s Steam Mill owned and conducted by Graves & Son.  It is a very complete steam saw mill, of large capacity, supplied with the most improved machinery, and from the splendid pine in that vicinity is turning out some of the best lumber we have ever seen.   The mill supplied with it lath saws, planer, and everything else to be found in a first rate saw mill, which are kept busy in supplying the growing demand for lumber.


Gwin and LeClaire are proprietors of the leading mercantile establishment, and their shelves contain a fine stock of general merchandise as any one would wish to select from.


Frank Butler also keeps a good stock of general merchandise, which will soon be removed to a large store building on the main street, now being built for him by Graves & Son.  Butler commenced business there last fall.


We were pleased to find our old friend, John Affolter, well established in the furniture business, and busy with his preparations for extending it.  He is putting up a very nice store building in which he proposes to keep as good a stock of furniture as can be found in this county.


F. C. Hartford keeps a very comfortable looking hotel which we could not test without slighting the hospitality of our old friends, Mr. and Mrs. John Gwinn, with whom we had tea.  It bears a good hotel reputation, however, and looks inviting enough to justify it.


Several other places, wagon shops blacksmith shop, etc, we had not time to visit.  The immediate prospects of Loyal are very encouraging.


A news item in the March 13, 1874, Press stated, “The splendid steam saw and planing mill of Graves & Son, of Loyal, was totally destroyed by fire last Friday night.  The fire seems to have originated in the planing room, the cause not known.  When discovered, the flames had gained such headway that nothing of any consequence could be saved.  The mill was valued at $8,000 and we understand Graves refused that amount for it but a few weeks ago.  It is probably that the mill will be rebuilt, as it is a necessity to the county in furnishing finished lumber.”


June 12, 1874: “Three gentlemen have been looking around Loyal the past week for white oak timber with the intention of putting up a stove factory should they find the location.  They are members of a Milwaukee firm.  We are glad to notice among our latest arrivals that of Harry Philpot and family, late of Meosho, Dodge Co.  He is a brother of T. B. Philpot, also, of Loyal.


The Loyal and Neillsville stage has got well into its summer work now and under the superintendence of its obliging proprietor, Col. Williams, passengers can go to and from these places Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays.  This is indeed a great boon for Loyal and surrounding country.


The Sabbath School is now busy practicing their new pieces for the Sabbath school picnic to be held in a grove of trees near the village on the 4th of July.  We wish them success.


John C. Gwinn has been busy laying sidewalk around his store and clearing up his lots, which is a great improvement.”


And so we end this article with the news of 120 years ago.


Be wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so. – Earl of Chesterfield.


Photo #1: Methodist Church and Advent Church, corner of Main and South Streets, c.1900.  This postcard was mailed in Greenwood on November 4, 1908, by Leta Hutchins to Gertrude Holmes, Granton.  Both churches were established and built in the late 1800’s


Photo #2: Entrance to the Loyal Cemetery, scene during the days of the horse drawn hearse, c.1910


Photo #4: Loyal Class Play, 1909.  The cast left to right: James Colby, Lucy Arquette, Cecyl Blancher, Laura Baker, Joe Zinz, Clarence Etta and Warren Cain.  Many of us remember James Colby, as he was an officer of the Citizen’s State Bank, living his lifetime in Loyal.


Photo #5: Loyal Band (no identification), card was mailed in Loyal on July 13, 1908, by John Geiger to Miss Fern Redmond, Loyal.


Photo #6: A “pep band” in front of the Loyal Drug Store.  Posters on the front window advertised a baseball game with the Wausau Business College team to start at 3 o’clock.  Ice cream cones were advertised on a poster $.05 each at the drug store.  It was the days of the boardwalk and when little boys went barefoot during the summer.  In recent years, we have seen the Loyal Hobo Band marching and playing in their annual Corn Festival.  Apparently the tradition of a pep band has carried on through many years.


Photo #7: The old Loyal Mill Pond.  The skating rink that was located on East Mill Streets area pond.  This view shows that many people, kids and young adults, enjoyed that winter activity.  There are also some make-shift hockey sticks to be seen in the photo, so it was possible a hockey game had been in progress on that day.  (An un-mailed card bearing the name of Miss Kate Ruplinger, Colby)



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