Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 27, 2000, Page 20

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


December 1885


James Finnigan’s new blacksmith shop on Second Street, opposite the O’Neill House barn, is fitted up with every convenience for doing the best blacksmith work.  Patrons may feel sure that their work orders left at Finnigan’s shop will be done with thoroughly good workmanship and at very reasonable charges.


Graves & Son of Loyal have purchased a section of timber from the Fullmer estate to be put into their planing mill.  John Clow will have the job of hauling the cut timber to the mill.


Joe Marsh, government official of Spokeville, has very serious thoughts of giving his saw mill property to someone else as the post office demands most of his time.


A. K. Pryor, of the Town of Sherman, has for the past three months seemed to be enjoying life greatly.  Now, we have heard he is a newly married man so that must be the reason for his joy.


Tom Hommel has never been known to quail in the face of an emergency.  He had to get the rink surface smoothed for the Miller sisters exhibition in short order.  He hitched an unshod pony to a large circular grindstone.  With a sprinkling of sand and a boy on board at the driver, he started the caravan across the sanded surface.  Hommel’s idea worked, as the rink floor became very smooth.


The Miller sisters exhibition of roller skating was held at the rink Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  It was one of the most graceful and charming entertainments that we can record with superlative emphasis.  Their ages are respectively, seven and eleven years.  They glided through their evolutions and changes in skating without a single mistake.  They were greeted with an almost constant fire of applause form the bewitched audience.  They wore elegant costumes and knowing many in the audience, they supplemented their skills in performing.


A group of ladies living in Fairchild have all signed the following resolution: “We, the undersigned ladies of Fairchild, in order to give a high moral tone to society, will not associate with any young man who smokes or chews tobacco, or uses intoxicating drinks.”  The undersigned young men of Fairchild, said: “We will not beau any young ladies around, who wear hoops or bustles, paint, pad or chew gum.”


On Christmas Eve, at the Loyal Methodist Church, there was a well prepared, good old-fashioned Christmas tree.  Every-body, old and young, gent and lady, little boy and little girl, seemed to enjoy the occasion.  There was popcorn, candy and nuts for nearly everybody, as well as a very large number of presents, among which you could find almost anything.  On the following evening, there was one of the best conducted surprise parties held at the residence of Rev. G. N. Foster, that anyone could imagine. While the Reverend and his family were away visiting at the Hotel Allen, nearly all of the residents of the village turned out and took possession of the Reverend’s home.  Those who came prepared a delicious oyster supper.  After the supper was prepared, Charles Redmond called at the hotel with a story notifying the minister that there were a couple of young folks who wished to be married and they were waiting at the residence of J. C. Gwinn.  You may imagine the Reverend and his family’s surprise as they came into their home and found 35 neighbors and friends in possession of the castle. Everything went off smoothly and all enjoyed themselves.


W. W. Taplin, founder and machinist, will do mill work, pulleys, hangers and more.  He has a full supply of piping, brass and iron fittings.  Also, he is a dealer in all kinds of mill-saws, belting, packing and Babbitt metal.  Saw gumming in all of its forms is also available.  Tappin’s shop is located on the North Side in Neillsville.


Resolutions for the New Year, 1886: Swear off; Quit chewing; Stop drinking; Eschew smoking, in cigarettes is death.  Vanity is akin to immorality.  Happy New Year!  Love Your Neighbor; Do good unto your enemies; Think of your debts, pay them.


December 1935


Greenwood area farmers gathered on Monday night to discuss rural electrification.  It was a part of the nation-wide campaign to bring to farmers and rural communities the advantages of electric light and power, now enjoyed in the cities.


The meeting was promoted by County Agent, W. J. Landry and about 250 farmers were present. Senator Loomis of Mauston was the principal speaker.  If a sufficient number of people in a community are interested, it is possible to form an independent cooperative. In certain cases, a government loan may be available for the purpose.  In other instances it is advised to form a unity for distribution only, purchasing the current from an established system from which a line is extended.  The government also offers loans to poor companies in certain cases to help extend lines along rural highways or into communities where a sufficient demand for current is found.


There was a large representation at the Greenwood meeting from the Willard community and a considerable number from other neighborhoods.


A representative of the Northern States Power Co. was present at the meeting to offer such cooperation as that company can give.


Governor La Follette gave an announcement this week in regard to the Wisconsin Emergency Relief.  The WERA will be liquidated and it virtually sounds as though the Clark County relief department will be doomed, although funds on hand may be sufficient to carry on area relief work until spring.


With support of the Federal and State governments withdrawn, the county will scarcely be able to continue the relief department and the problem of caring for the needy will be tossed back in the laps of the towns, villages and cities.


The governor announced that $26,000,000 in funds still remains in the WERA treasury and this amount will be divided among the 71 counties.  It is expected that Clark County’s share will amount to between $17,000 and $18,000, to be added to the $10,000 relief fund appropriated by the county board at its November session.  According to Calvin Mills, county clerk, the $28,000 will carry the relief load for a considerable period, providing the WPA program does not fall through and the old-age pension absorbs some of the expense now charge to the relief department.  It is said there are 106 persons in the county eligible for old age pensions.


Partially offsetting this saving, however, would be the salaries of the relief administrator and his assistant now paid by the WERA.  With the discontinuance of the WERA, these salaried would have to be paid by the county.


“Border line” relief cases which are ineligible for county relief have confronted the city of Neillsville with a serious problem, according to Fred Stelloh, mayor.


“A large number of people are in actual need, but are being turned down by the Clark County relief department as ‘border line’ cases,” said Stelloh.  “The city has no funds for handling these cases, inasmuch as all city relief funds are paid into the county for distribution through the county relief department.”


It is the hope of the Mayor that some solution of the question can be worked out so that the city can assist this class of needy.


A meeting was held at the Neillsville city hall Saturday in which were gathered the foremen, timekeepers, sponsors and others in charge of WPA projects in Clark and part of Jackson counties.  They were there to receive instructions and to discuss their problems with the WPA officials of this district, who have their headquarters at La Crosse.


Officials went into considerable detail, explaining the set-up for carrying on the work which must be carefully planned and every effort is being made to organize the work.  It must be carried on as efficiently and economically as the nature of the work will permit.  Bearing in mind that nine-tenths of the workers must be taken from the relief rolls, which results in some difficulty in finding suitable workers for all projects, adjusting the workers to the various jobs, we can see some of the problems of the officials and foremen.  There are the problems of securing tools and equipment, providing for transportation of material and sometimes of the workers, providing for the safety, protection, medical aid and compensation of the injured – all with their many and intricate minor problems. We can see how difficult the entire scheme becomes.


Barnes, the chief engineer pointed out that carrying on WPA projects presented many difficulties not found in contract work where one man is in command, with power to “hire and fire,” as his judgment dictates.  In WPA work, if a man is discharged, he immediately becomes a public charge and a burden on the taxpayers; therefore it is necessary for foremen to use all the tact possible in handling the men and in conjunction with the county project supervisors re-adjusting men to other jobs in certain cases.


In the talk given by each official; clear and definite information was given to foremen.  The reports and records seem quite complicated and go into every detail. At first it may be hard for foremen and timekeepers to fill out the forms without error.  Some delay may therefore follow in getting checks into the hands of the employed men on time, but this will doubtless be overcome in the near future.


An announcement was made at the Kiwanis meeting on Monday evening in regard to the magazine drive for the CCC boys.  Capt. Peterson will be coming to Neillsville with a truck on Friday to pick up books and magazines.  All books and magazines should be tied in bundles and placed on porches or other accessible places where Capt. Peterson and the Boy Scouts can get them.  You may also notify Ray Munger of such literature to be picked up and he will report to Capt. Peterson.


About a dozen women under the direction of Mrs. Julia Dwyer are busy these days at rooms in (the) Moose Hall, making clothing of various sorts to be sent out to persons on relief.  Some garments are made to order and sold, the proceeds going to relief.  They have also made up a considerable amount of bed clothes. The material is furnished under the WERA and the WPA.


The women employed are those in need of work and have the skill to do it. Some of them furnish their own sewing machines and the Community Club furnishes some machines.  The women work seven hours per day and put in 140 hours per month.


Beginning with a social program at 8 o’clock, led by Miss Eva Clouse and Mrs. Bernard Dodte, the people of the Methodist Church will celebrate New Year’s Eve.


At 10 o’clock, the men of the Methodist Brotherhood will take charge of the service in which plans for the Year 1936 will be presented by the leaders of the various organizations within the Church.


The closing part of the program will be a worship service conducted by the pastor, the Rev. P. B. White, which will continue until the New Year has been ushered into being.


“The Globe Trotter,” the official paper of Globe CCC Camp, was received last week at the “Press” office.  It is a newsy little magazine, printed by mimeograph.  The covers are Christmas red and green, illustrated by artistic drawings that are very clever in design.


Among the “locals” we find mention of the following Clark County boys: Felix Giolkoz came to us last July from Clark County and is on the bridge crew.


Edward Dimler, another July man, hails from Clark County and works with Nathness improving our forest stand.


Guy Dunnow came here last July with a Clark County bunch.  He is now one of our K.P.’s.  Walter Brenner comes from Clark County.  He works on Schweder’s crew. 


Harlen Bladl also comes from Clark County.  He entered last July and is working for the Army on the wood detail.


George Borden is the thirteenth name on our list.  He is from Thorp, came to us last July and works under Nathness.


Cecil Brown is a July enrollee from Clark County.  He also works on the Nathness crew.


Alvin Canfield is our chief debater.  He hails from Granton as of last July and has remained here.  He has lost a few coins on baseball, betting on the Cubs.  He now works on the bridge crew.


Ray Canfield is the K. P. foreman.  He also came from Granton.  He is always bothering Happy Hanson for a new pair of gloves in place of those he has just burned up.


Above is a late 1800s view of Neillsville’s West Sixth Street, looking east, toward Hewett Street, from the West Street intersection. The winter scene shows some snow along the board walks.  A harness shop is at the far left with a furniture store next door. There have been many changes on the street in the last 100 years. 



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