Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI
April 2, 1997, Page 28
Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
Index of "Oldies" Articles
Good Old Days
By Dee Zimmerman
Clark County News, 1947
William G. Klopf, 88, pioneer resident of Neillsville and Clark County, died on January 18.
A former mayor, Klopf was at the helm of the city government for six years in the 1880s, during which time the two ridges over Black River were erected, and the old iron bridge over O’Neill Creek at Hewett Street, and the one on South Grand Avenue were constructed. He also served a number of years as alderman.
He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Klopf and with his father was associated with several enterprises in Neillsville in the 1880s. Born in Johnson, Sheboygan County, on Sept. 5, 1858, Klopf came to Neillsville with his parents when he was 13 years old.
His father had operated a feed mill and general store in Sheboygan County and resumed the general store business in Neillsville in a building later occupied by the Dangers (corner of 7th and Hewett streets). The building later burned.
After living here for a few years, Klopf’s father organized the Clark County Bank. The business built a new bank building on the west side of Hewett Street, in the 500 block, and conducted business there until its liquidation in 1898. It was during that period, also, that the Klopf’s were connected with the Neillsville Manufacturing Company, which was more familiarly known as the “furniture factory.” Klopf, who served as cashier of the Clark County Bank, was treasurer of the enterprise.
Later he became associated with R. W. Balch in the Neillsville Novelty Manufacturing Company which produced wash-boards and other items in what later became known as “the old drying plant.” The building, razed about 1940, was located on Seventh Street, opposite the Milk Products building.
The panic of 1898, which brought about the liquidation of the Clark County Bank, saw the financial fall of the Klopf family, which had become relatively well-to-do as a result of its enterprises in Neillsville. Klopf’s father sacrificed the major proportion of his wealth to pay depositors of the bank, with the result that the depositors of the bank received 100 cents on the dollar.
At the time of his death, Klopf was the oldest member of the Neillsville Masonic organization, both in age and in years of membership. He joined the Masons in 1884, and was a member of the chapter and of the Commandery.
On Oct. 28, 1882, Klopf married Mary Goldschmidt. The wedding took place at Belvidere, Illinois. They had two children, Clarence, of Madison, and Edna Swanson of Great Falls, Montana. Klopf’s wife died in 1911.
Town of Mead Flowage Proposal
The creation of a flowage of approximately 300 acres by damming the Eau Claire River in section 28, Town of Mead, was taken under consideration this week.
The area is located about 10 miles northwest of Greenwood in the county forest area. It is the location of a log and earthen dam used for logging operations until about the turn of the century. Some of the earthen fill and log pilings of the old-time logging dam remains on one of two sites proposed for the construction of the dam.
The backwater of a 14 ft. dam at this point would create a lake of about twice the area of that made by Rock Dam. It would be developed as a public recreational ground. Muskie, pike and bass would be planted in the lake to make it an attractive fishing spot.
Money for the project would come from a special fund controlled by the state conservation department. This fund is built up from the purchase of hunting licenses. Fifty cents of the total fee of $1.50 for each hunting license is earmarked for providing public recreational areas. The fund was established by the legislature when the license fee was raised by fifty cents in 1943.
Fire Destroys Fairchild Business Building
Fire completely destroyed the Holmes Store building in Fairchild on March 10. The loss included Gilbert Holmes’ stock of groceries and general merchandise, the building, and the incomplete locker plant which was being installed there by Louis Primus. The loss to Holmes is estimated at $3,000. The loss to Primus, who owned the building, is several times that.
The building was recently purchased by Primus for the purpose of housing a locker plant.
Standard Time Wins in County
Standard time wins in Wisconsin. With 2,870 precincts reporting, out of a total of 3,146, daylight time was given 282,333 favorable votes with 336,375 against.
Daylight time took a beating in Clark County, the result being 1,500 for daylight time and 4,957 against.
Thorp Gives heavy Majority in Favor of Becoming a City
The voters of Thorp went all-out for becoming a city. The result in Tuesday’s election was 355 for the change and only 85 for continuing as a village. This issue was mainly responsible for a heavy vote, one of the heaviest in the recent history of Thorp.
Selective Service Board Ends
The official demise of the Clark County Selective Service Board will be permitted to expire on March 31. During the past six and one-half years it, filtered more than 2,500 young men into the armed services.
Some of those attending the final official meeting at the Loyal Municipal building had served faithfully throughout the full life of selective service, beginning October 16, 1940.
At the close, those serving were: Walter Cattanach of Owen; Herbert M. Smith of Neillsville; Frank Degenhart of Loyal; Fred Laskosky of Loyal and Ross G. Lawrence of Thorp.
News of 1967
The Hediger-Swiss carillon bells were bolted in place in the A-frame tower at the United Church of Christ church this past weekend.
Fifteen tuned bells manufactured in a 700-year-old bell foundry in Switzerland make up the carillon which was donated by Herman Hediger, Christie milk products manufacturer. They were hoisted into place on the A-frame and bolted there by Wilfred Tesmer of the Tesmer Construction Corp., and Clarence (Bud) Bremer, both members of the United Church Congregation. Assisting also was Harvey Pischer of Neillsville.
As the bells were bolted in place, clappers and solenoids which activate them were installed inside each bell. Each unit had to be custom made, and was done by Max Feuerstein of the B&F Machine Shop, another Neillsville concern.
The bells range in weight from 75 pounds for the smallest to 600 pounds for the largest. The total weight of the 15 bells is 3,300 pounds, exclusive of the solenoids and the clappers.
The original electrical plan for activating the bells was drawn up by Wm. H. Yenni, head of Auto Test, Inc. of Neillsville and an electrical engineer.
Elliot Warlum, a local electrician will do the wiring which he estimates will take about two days to complete.
The console which holds the keyboard, installed adjacent to the organ, was built by Earl Ruedy, also a member of the congregation.
Clark County’s re-elected board of supervisors’ chairman, Hastings Baird, has set a record with his 17th term at their re-organization session this week. Baird is a Greenwood resident. The 27-member board also re-elected Hubert H. Quicker of Neillsville to his 16th consecutive term. Both men have served longer in their position than any other persons in the 103-year history of Clark County.
A newly-formed municipal Ambulance Service has started, ready to roll, providing service to area residents of 13 towns, villages and cities participating. Call of assistance may be made by calling Memorial Hospital in Neillsville.
To provide service to residents of the area as rapidly as possible, a special committee of the organization last week purchased a used 1964 Cadillac ambulance as well as cots, oxygen equipment and other essentials to place the unit into immediate service.
Neillsville high class of 1967 announces its honor students. Lorraine Short, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Short, is valedictorian; Kenneth Pischer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Pischer, is salutatorian.
The first steel bridge built across the Black River on Highway 10, Neillsville’s West side. The old railroad trestle is visible in the background.
The second bridge to be built on Highway 10, crossing the Black River, was replaced in 1977. The road has been renamed Cty Rd B since the recent re-routing of Highway 10 on Neillsville’s Southside.
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