Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI
August 28, 1996, Page 36
Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
Index of "Oldies" Articles
Good Old Days
By Dee Zimmerman
The Neillsville Press, July 14, 1921
The City of Neillsville is to have a park, a real park, and one that its citizens may well be proud of; the fact heretofore mentioned that Jeff F. Schuster planned to open his tract of timber in the southeast part of the city to auto tourists, turns out to be much more and far better than that; Schuster came before the city council Friday night and stated that he stood ready to deed this tract to the city for a park as memorial to his father, the late Herman Schuster. The only condition attached to the gift being that the city should take immediate steps to open a roadway and streets into the park, drill a well and make some suitable provisions for the tourists to cook meals in the park.
Last week a committee of the Kiwanis Club went with Schuster to look the land over and be prepared to inform the city council to its fitness to park purposes. All were delighted with the prospects that the beautiful tract has to offer for a city park and camping places. It is about ten acres in extent. The entire tract is covered with original timber beautiful great trees – sugar maple, elms, basswood, ash, butternut and nearly every other tree that grows in Clark County, with pretty glades and glens – every feature to make it fit the ends to which the future will see it dedicated. Schuster has long seen its possibilities and he has patiently acquired and perfected title to the various lots to make up the tract, with view to prevent its being cut over and its beauty spoiled. The inspiration came to his mind that here he would create a suitable memorial to his father; he would present it to the city for all time, and in memory of Herman Schuster it would be called Schuster Park.
No more fitting monument could be created to any man than what this park is and will become. The primeval forest stands as it stood when Neillsville was founded – the only such city tract left in the city limits. It is easily accessible by two streets from the city and borders on the main highway coming into the city on the noted Pleasant Ridge road. The American Legion band is practically assured the time will come when a band pavilion will be built in the park for concerts and outdoor entertainment. Schuster Park means comfort, recreation, better health and greater happiness for the people of the city – not only for today, but through all coming generations.
Herman Schuster was a fine American immigrant. He came from Saxony, Germany when 17 or 18 years of age. In 1873 he came to Clark County and took a homestead in the woods of the Town of Washburn and moved his family there, where they lived three years. Schuster was a man of excellent education and readily adapted himself to business methods. Messrs Dewhurst and Hutchinson who had a real estate business in Neillsville discovered his talents and offered him employment in their office. This brought him contact with the public and later was elected Register of Deeds for Clark County, which position he held for 22 years. At one time he was owner of the Deutsch Amerikaner, a local newspaper, but didn’t put in much time on that paper, Schultz and Rubenstein having charge of it until the later bought it. After leaving the Register’s office Schuster went into insurance and real estate business with McConnell, later Chas. F. Grow becoming one firm. About year 1900 Schuster retired, leaving his interests in the business hands of his son, J. F. Schuster, who with W. A. Campman, continued to carry it on. Herman Schuster died in 1916 at Kirkland, Wash. He was a man of high ideals, lover of music, and literature, and a citizen of a high sense of honor.
Let us not forget that Jeff Schuster has given something to the city that has meant a considerable effort, possessed a high commercial value; but has brought and will bring to our people now and hereafter much that money cannot buy. We hope and believe that all of us will fully appreciate this gift.
Jefferson (Jeff) Franklin Schuster worked for the first telephone exchange in Neillsville, seeking the company’s first sub-scribers. Becoming impatient with its slow progress, he went to work in the abstract office of his brother, Lewis. He was then about 16 years of age, and remained in that business continuously until retirement. As time passed, he formed the association with Bill Campman, which ran many years.
The Schuster family was eight children of which Jeff was the third. The Herman Schuster home was on the south side of Fifth Street, between Oak and Clay Streets.
Jeff Schuster and Edith Moulton were married on Oct. 10, 1894. Not having children of their own, they provided a home for a grand nephew, Charles Moulton, while he attended high school here and a grand niece, Frances Moulton, who also lived with them and went to high school one year. Edith’s niece, Edna Nesbit Newell, daughter of the old-timer master of Black River, was a member of their household for some years. Their home was at 312 East 4th Street. One of Jeff’s hobbies was installing parquayed hardwood floors. Any house that the Schuster’s lived in while in Neillsville probably has such floors yet today. One of those houses is being restored and has three such floors, each of a different design. Jeff enjoyed and appreciated the outdoor recreation of camping, picnicking and such activities.
The gift of the park to his home city was a continuous satisfaction to Schuster. He was once asked by the Press editor whether the gift had been handled satisfactorily to him and he replied, “Definitely.”
Schuster had been a member of the city park commission, created in 1921. He was a longtime member of the library board and was active in the Neillsville community.
The band shell erected in the park was donated by the Hemphill family.
The Schuster Park is a memorial to both Herman and his son, Jeff Schuster. As you drive past the park on a summer weekend, you witness how many people are there to enjoy the facilities, not only local residents but also travelers. As a Green Bay couple said, “This beautiful park is a nice rest stop as we are traveling to the twin cities, especially when we have our grandchildren with us, we always stop here.” Jeff Schuster’s intentions have been fulfilled.
Woman golfers’ tri-county tournament was held at Mondovi last week. Neillsville women individual scores were: Mary Lee, 95; Sadie Haight, 98; Jean Chesmore, 99; Helen Campman, 103; Ted Wang, 103; Edith Hepburn, 104; Bernice Welsh, 106; Alta. Allen, 111; Edna Georgas, 112; Betty Daft, 115.
Neillsville Schools have seven new teachers: Margaret Barnes, English and Speech; Mrs. Orval Brown, Home Economics; Mr. Brown, Manual Arts; Lucille Vaughan, Science and Physical Education; Ruth Heagle, Music; Jeanette Ehlers, second and third grade; Dorothy Dirks, Economics.
Marriages: Martha Raab, Oshkosh and Orville Jake, Neillsville.
Ardith Counsell of Humbird and John Christie, Neillsville.
Luella Ratsch and Fred Daniels both of Neillsville
Nelva Jean Dahnert of Pine Valley and Lyle Prindle, Alma Center
One million trees have been planted on 1,000 acres in Clark County this year. 25 million more are needed to round out the program. Twelve years ago the forest was established. The nursery must be enlarged to fulfill the projected planting through the future years.
We take issue even with perfection. – Pascal
It is easier to know man in general than to understand one man in particular. – La Rouchefoucauld
Cleansing your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
--George Bernard Shaw
The Schuster family, front row: Gertie, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schuster, and Irma. Back row: Carrie Lee, Kernel, Jeff and Mattie.
The Schuster family enjoyed camping and relaxing in the outdoors on the summer weekends. This camping scene includes, left to right; Charlie Lee, Jeff Schuster, Carrie Lee (Jeff’s sister); Edith Schuster and the far right, resting in a chair, Herman Schuster.
Schuster Park entrance as it was originally marked with an automobile or carriage drive and a small entrance on each side for park visitors. A shale covered road wound its way through the park, which with some changes, is now hard surfaced. The entrance has also been replaced with two “stone sentinels.”
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