Index of "Good Old Days" Articles

Clark County Press, Neillsville

September 18, 1996, Page 32

Transcribed by Sharon Schulte

The Good Old Days

September, 1881

The OíNeill House has been leased for the term of three years by Mr. John Carhart, of Appleton, who is to take possession of the house about the first of October.

A party of engineers commenced the survey of the Neillsville & Northwestern Railroad last Monday. The survey was commenced at this place and is to be extended to Wausau, Marathon County.

A combination of circumstances, in which the wind and weather took the lead, "busted" the County Fair for this year wide open. After the rain let up, there was not time enough to get the ground in shape before the time appointed for holding the fair, and that is why it did not come off.

A call from citizens of this county has been made to James OíNeill, Jr. of this place, asking him to become a candidate for District Attorney. Without wishing to detract from other candidates we can cheerfully commend the good judgment of those who OíNeill the most satisfactory qualifications for that office. He ranks among the best lawyers of the state and his large practice before the circuit and supreme courts show him to be one of the most successful ones. He is a man of integrity.

E.E. Crocker and Geo. Keys, of Neillsville, are up doing the tin work on the cityís school house.

The woman who was to appear before Justice Lee last Saturday to answer to the charge of keeping a house of ill fame, came up missing on that date, having previous to that time packed up all her moveables and gone to parts unknown, and as her departure was all that was desired, it is not likely that her present whereabouts will be inquired into.

Eaton and Thomas, the celebrated chicken hunters of Greenwood, returned from their annual prairie hunt last Saturday, bringing with them a good supply of game which they liberally divided among their neighbors.

Work on the turnpike, between Longwood and Withee station, has been indefinitely suspended on account of the heavy rains. It is so late and so wet now that it probably wonít be finished until another year.

Al Warner killed the first bear of the season last Saturday. Nearly all the young men of Greenwood got excited over his success and armed themselves with Remingtons and have gone to the bush in search for more.

Weston & Schofield have commenced building piers for a new bridge across Black River, at their Greenwood mills. We understood they intend to rush the work through and complete the whole thing this fall. The town board has laid out a road running past the new school house and continuing through to the river to connect with the anticipated bridge. The improvement will be of great advantage to the town besides being of much value to their mills.

1863 view of Neillsville's north side, with Hewett Street bridge crossing O'Neill Creek at lower right. The lower far left is the Neillsville Flour Mills building built by Chauncey Blakeslee in the fall of 1862. The frame structure housed the two run of stone that ground fifty barrels of flour in twenty-four hours, powered by water in the creek. Its original cost was $6,000. In 1867, additions were made on the mill and an engine was substitued for water power. Additions were made again in 1870, including runs of stone enabling seventy-five barrels of flour to be ground in twenty-four hours. Across the creek was the O'Neill Saw Mill. (Photo contributed by Ardyth Rossow, a descendent of the Allen's a pioneering Loyal Family.)

September, 1896

A marriage at the residence of Mr. John Brasier of Loyal, on the evening of the 9th, their eldest daughter, Hattie, to Fred L. Fisher of Battle Creek, Michigan. The spacious residence of Mr. Brasier was well illuminated in honor of the occasion. A select company of immediate friends filled the house. Many valuable and useful presents were contributed, all of which were duly appreciated. Assumptions spread of some 30 covers was duly served, consisting of meats, cake, fruits and ice cream, to the delight and satisfaction of all. Miss Hattie has been one of our successful teachers in this county for a number of terms. Mr. Fisher is at present a machinist, but is preparing for the medical profession. The happy couple left for Battle Creek the same evening. The honors of the evening were nicely performed by Miss Helen and Mr. Charles Rice, B.M. Fullmer officiated.

Mrs. Anna Dangers will show the ladies of Neillsville and vicinity the largest and latest styles in Pattern Hats that has ever been shown in the city before. A special sale will be continued at her shop all next week. 10 per cent discount for cash on all trimmed hats, feathers, ribbons, etc.

Everyone along pleasant Ridge is invited to a dance to be held at the new Conrad school house on Saturday evening.

A load of young people from Wilcox community drove to Christie Thursday evening and gave Miss Lottie Demuth a very pleasant surprise party.

We are sorry to note the fact that John S. Owen Lumber co. is to shut down next Saturday, but the company is looking for better times if McKinley is elected to propel the smoke stacks of this county.

Sealed bids with 250 cords of 30 inch wood will be received up to 1 p.m. of October 19, 1896.Wood to be sound, hard, body wood (red oak, elm and ash will not be accepted), delivered Ė 150 cords at south side school building, and 100 cords at north side, before March 1, 1897.

Bids may be left with either of the undersigned: Chas. F. Grow, R.W. Balch, C.S. Stockwell; School Board.

September 1936

Neillsville football star, Lowell D. Schoengarth, former all conference back from the Neillsville High School, was named this week by Coach Harry A. Stuhldreher as one of the sophomore half backs on the official 1936 University of Wisconsin varsity grid roster.

Saturday night, the cheese factory run by Albert Gotter, near the Catlin school house on Highway 98, east of Loyal, burned to the ground. The residence part with the household goods and the garage also burned.

Memories of what the North side of Neillsville once was a sizable center of industry.

Sternís mill was busy cutting logs into staves, heading and other products when the barrel was the standard packing container. A cooper shop occupied the building and a shed later used by Leslie Marden to keep some livestock. (A cooper made casks or barrels). Mr. Servaty owned a vast yard of stave piles that reached the river where the pumping station was later located. Chas. and John Servaty split the staves with a horse sweep machine. Geo. Miller conducted a carpenter shop and worked there when not employed building buildings. He rode to and from his work on one of the first safety bikes in town.

"Pussey" Hewett and Tony Hein owned the only two high front wheel bicycles in town. It is said Tony, Wisconsin was named after him. The Nevermans did a thriving ice business on the north bank of OíNeill Creek. Louis Rossman conducted the First and Last Chance saloon where the N.S. fire house was later (east side of Hewett, between 9th and 10th opposite the old Northside store.) A meat market stood nearby.

F.A. Balch and son (Rella) had a general store in the old Furlong store building and the white horse Bob, with Fred as chauffeur, handled the delivery end. F.A. Balch years later invented the Crystal Glass washboard, which was made for some years. Mr. Schmidt had a marble and tombstone works just south of the Balch store and Carl Neverman was employed as stone cutter. Those were the days when the mallet, chisel and buckskin gloves were the only tools of the trade.

The Huntzicker Hotel stood at the crest of the hill where Dr. W.A. Leasonís home was later (1002 Hewett). The hotel was moved to the south side of the creek to be named the Merchantís Hotel.

Tom Robinson with Martin Kapka and three or four helpers did blacksmithing, horse shoeing and wagon & carriage business where the Lange creamery held forth just north of the bridge. Four or five homes were built from the buildings by Judge OíNeill. A house with a steep roof stood next to where the hotel was on the north. Dan Kennedy, wife and daughters Bessie and Gertie, lived there. Kennedy had logging crews in the woods in those days.

Dr. Pitcher had a dental office over the Balch store and divided his time with work in Loyal and Greenwood as well. Those were the days when Hamlins Wizzard Oil gave street medicine shows.

A.S. Leason and son made wooden pumps and windmills. Ralph put on the red and green paint with the brush of a true artist, as had done some landscape scenes in his spare time. Some of the Leason windmills still stand on old farmsteads within Clark County.

Wallace W. Taplin had a foundry and machine shop next to Leasonís where he did a big business for years. His machine shop had the most complete line of machines outside of Milwaukee it was said. He was a well educated gentleman, a writer, a great reader and a great machinist, founder, and pattern maker. He invented a cheese box machine and the Taplin saw gummer. Herman Korman, who lived next to the shop, was the machinist there before he founded the business with Fred Wolff of Wolff and Korman down by the OíNeill Creek Bridge. During the war between Japan and Russia, Wolff and Korman contracted to make a number of wagons and heavy sleds for the Russian Government.

They took first prize on farm wagons in competition with wagons from West Bend, Strudebaker, Barton, Heyder and Birdsell for several years. Credit for their excellence was in part due to the paint jobs put out by Ira Wolff and James Campbell.

R. Knoop did shoe cobbling at his home on Bruley Street before he started a shop down town. Grandma Saupe carded wool and made yarn for the knitters in the neighborhood.

Free and Phillips had a mill on Hewett Street. John Hein built a store and warehouse next to the electric light and water plant, near the creek, having previously been on 5th Street.

Like the towns of Hewettville, Staffordville, Mapleworks, etc., they are now but businesses of the past, lost in the dust of time.



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