Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

February 28, 1996, Page 32

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Good Old Days 



By Dee Zimmerman


This week’s Winter Carnival, Neillsville’s annual event, was preceded by the annual Winter Festivals which began in the 30’s.


The first winter Festival was held on Feb. 5, 1938, and attracted a large crowd of spectators.  The Saturday event included wood chopping, sawing contests and a dog derby.  So large was the crowd that many, in order to obtain a better view of the lumber-jack contests climbed to the tops of several downtown buildings.  Hewett Street was jammed for several blocks while the contests sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce were on.  Included among the hundreds of visitors were many old time lumberjacks who used to swing hefty axes, some of whom were prevented only by age from taking part.


The wood chopping contest was won by Julius Martens of the Town of Pine Valley, who said he never worked in the woods.  He out-distanced other competitors by chopping through a 12 inch white oak log in 53 seconds to win the $5 prize.  The other prize winners and time were: George Elmer of city, a minute and 36 seconds, $3; Ed Struensee route 1, 1:42, $2.50; August Stremikis, Tioga, 1:50, $2; Henry Markwardt, 1:51, and Harvey Krause were given consolation prizes.


Donald and Leonard Drescher, brothers from the Town of Grant, won the $5 prize by sawing through an 11 inch red oak log in 36 ½ seconds.  Second prize of $2.50 went to August Stremikis and Ed Struensee with a time of 42 ½ seconds.


The dog derby held on East Sixth Street attracted a large number of spectators.  In a free for all race Arthur Halle, Town of Eaton, won first and $2.50 in cash and Louis Aumann second and $1.50.


In the boys junior class Sonny Shaw, son of Geo. Shaw, won first.  He had a real jockey outfit and with dog and sled was in attractive form.


In the boys senior class Arthur Halle won first with $1.50 cash and Norman Poppe second with $1.


The girls’ class had one entrant, Annabelle Garbisch, Neillsville who won $1.50 cash prize.


All-in-all it was a very successful event which drew a surprisingly large crowd and was a big day in Neillsville.


The Second Winter Festival held in Feb. 1939 drew many more contestants for its events.


Spring like weather with temperatures in the 30’s made ideal conditions for the outdoor activities.


The most popular contest was that of the Dog Sled Derby.  Long before the field of seven entrants was called to the post, the crowd had gathered at vantage points on the South Hewett Street Bridge over O’Neill Creek, and on the north and south banks of the creek on the ice of which the race was run.


While the wood choppers blazed away, with their axes on the white oak logs, the junior contestants “warmed up” their dogs on the oval ice-floored track – and attempted to keep their pets in line.


The 220 yard ice oval track was well surrounded.  One entrant, Ted Pierce, a Humbird boy, with his dog, started out fast in the first heat, leaving the rest of the field far behind.  Then, when spectators thought he had won, his dog took a “short cut,” running across the middle of the track to the finish line.  A couple trial runs had revealed the finish line location, so Pierce’s dog seemed to think the smart thing to do was take a shorter route.  However, a rule was broken and the pair was disqualified, much to Pierce’s disappointment.


Other participants in the “dog musher” group were: Donald Lavey, Annabelle Garbisch, Robert Shaw, Louis Aumann, and Herman Halle.


A crowd estimated at more than 3,000 persons gathered on Feb. 18, 1939, to witness the second annual Winter Festival events of dog derby, wood chopping and sawing contests.  The top photo shows the finish of the second heat in the derby, with Louis Aumann’s pet dog crossing the finish line in front of Annabelle Garbisch’s worthy pooch.  A portion of the crowd which gathered is shows in the background.  Bottom left is Julius Martens, defending wood-chopping titlist, who shared his crown this year with Ed Struensee (bottom right) and William Meihack.  Middle center shows Lawrence and Donald Drescher sawing two cuts to the championship and a record of 49 seconds.  Bottom center is pictured little Donald Lavey of the Town of York and his 15 month-old dog, Buster, winners of the dog derby.  The dog derby took place on O’Neill Creek, east side of the Hewett Street Bridge.


Other Area News of 1939


Emma Roessler moved her printing equipment and business from her residence to the brick building on Seventh St., near Grand Ave.


Gertrude Ellen Northup and Gustave De Mert were married at Waukon, IA, February 15.  Upon their return home, a group of relatives and friends gave them a shower and dancing party at the Grant town hall.


Marian Raine, of Town of Pine Valley, and Marvin Wm. Ziegler, of Town of Seif, were married Feb. 18 at Globe Lutheran parsonage.  Attendants were Lucille Raine, Melva Catlin, Chas. Foote and Harold Ziegler.  A wedding dance was held at the Moose hall Tuesday evening when friends and relatives showered them with gifts.


Doris Ziegler, Town of Seif and Forest Klueckmann were married March 4 at the Globe Lutheran Parsonage, Rev. W. Motzkus officiating.  They were attended by Myrtle Klueckmann and Bertie Schultz.  A shower was held for them at the Weston town hall, where neighbors and friends presented them with many gifts.  The young couple will move onto their Globe area farm April 1st.


Members of the Southern Clark County Conservation Club met to make arrangements for the forthcoming conservation banquet at the Moose hall.  The Neillsville Kiwanis Club and Junior Chamber of Commerce will assist with the dinner.


A Big Car at a Small Price – 1939 Ford V-8 Coupe, with 60 H. P. engine, taxes extra… $548.00.


Penney’s Dollar Days – Bedspreads 80” x 105”, cotton $1.00; Blankets, 72” x 84” 2/$1.00; Lace cloths, Bargain Scoop, $1.00; Handbags, excellent styling, $1.00; Patchwork Quilts, 72” x 78”, $1.00; Girls wash dresses 3 for $1.00; Children’s sweaters 2 for $1.00; Men’s & boy’s dress shirts, $1.00 each, Men’s work pants, heavy duty, $1.00.


A & P Food Store Specials – Salmon, 1 lb. can 10¢; Sunnyfield Flour 49 lb Sack 99¢; Grapefruit 80 size 7, for 25¢; California lettuce, large heads, 2 for 15¢; A & P White Bread 1 ½ lb loaves, 3 for 25¢.


Schiller’s Furniture Store Special – 6 pc. Ensemble: King Koil Mattress, 1 Pepperell Blanket, 2 Pepperell sheets, 2 Pepperell Pillow Cases – all for $19.75. 


H. H. Van Gorden & Sons featuring week’s specials – Carload of Malt Sprouts, on track, $17.00 per ton: Oatmeal per bag $2.50.


Stables Nite Club will have a Big Balloon Dance Sunday, March 5, a prize in every balloon.  Located on Highway 10, 6 miles west of Neillsville (now is Wildcat Inn).


Notice! Degener hardware Store in Neillsville will have a Sale – Closing Out Hardware, beginning March 4: South Bend De Luxe Range $89.50.  First – Class Red Barn Print (Paint), 5 gal. Kit $1.00.  Pure Manila Hay Rope, per 100 ft. $3.95


Neillsville Maytag – Economy Maytag Washer $59.95


Bollom’s Market – We handle only the best in meats and our grocery stock features the best Monarch Brand canned goods.


Neillsville Cagers tied for championship of the Mississippi Valley Triangular conference with Augusta High.  They defeated Black River Falls at Jackson County seat, in overtime, 28-26.  John Perkins, local agricultural teacher, coached the team in the absence of Coach Vernon Anderson.


Nearly 400 cords of pine in eight foot lengths is piled in the railroad yards in Neillsville, awaiting transportation to the Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Co.  The pine is being first freed of bark by local men, who strip it off by hand labor, mostly with axes.  The Press found the following at work on the big pile: Otto Kutchera, John and Ernest Gaden, Otto May and Walter Zank.



The two greatest stimulants in the world are youth and debt. – Benjamin Disraeli 




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