Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 5, 2000, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County Press

April 1880


Mrs. Tibbett has a fine new sign for her business, “Star Restaurant,” which was probably painted by that London artist that we have living amongst us now.  The work upon it is excellent and the sign is an ornament to the village of Neillsville.


L. Weeks’ furniture store and cabinet shop is a very busy place.  Since he has moved his shop upstairs, he has more elbow room and is now turning out extension tables, sets of drawers, bureaus, etc. at a lively rate.  Also, he has a constant run of repair work.  “We don’t have time to breathe,” is the expressive way Mrs. Weeks puts it.


On the evening of April 2, there will be a donation at Firemen’s Hall by the people of this village for the benefit of Rev. D. C. Swartz, our worthy Methodist minister, who has recently been so sick.  This donation will be a most pleasant occasion, as the selection of the hall ensures plenty of room for walking, chit-chat, etc.  It also provides sufficient space in reserve for the donations of food and money. A general attendance is desirable and a cordial attendance is extended to all.


David Riedel, who lives a mile east of Garbusch’s corners, has put a windmill and is now ready for business. His windmill is fitted for grinding all kinds of feed.  The mill has capacity sufficient to fill the needs of this kind for farmers in that region.  The mill is also rigged for sawing wood. Riedel also makes use of the mill to run a turning lathe for anyone needing that kind of work to be done.


Hon. N. H. Withee has been shipping oak timber by way of the Black River from Hatfield to La Crosse, using the raft-boat, Kate Waters, as transportation.  Presently, the raft-boat is being generally over-hauled and reconstructed by the McDonald Brothers. This statement carries with it a suggestion that will not be lost to our business men, the great resource of wealth in timber.  Clark County has rich supplies of hard timber, an article of export as soon as the railroad comes with reduced costs of transportation by which to haul it to market.  Selling staves is already putting money into the pockets of the area people in spite of the distance necessary to haul it.  There is a continual demand also from the Mississippi River companies for ship building timber.  Mills for converting the logs into planks, staves, etc, have already begun to be established in various parts.  As facilities for transportation increase, the milling industry will increase with growth and development.


Last Sunday, many people were seen at the Main Street Bridge watching the logs as they passed down O’Neill Creek and through the chute.  The run of logs was very good.  Most of the logs belonged to W. T. Price who was here in the village to watch the log run, a total of 5,800 logs passed through on Sunday.


A horse pulling a buggy, driven by Mrs. O’Neill of the O’Neill House, stopped on Main Street last Monday and declined to be coaxed into moving.  The driver alighted letting Mr. Markey get into the buggy to manage the horse.  Some other gentlemen, passing by, pushed the buggy forward, then backward.  Mrs. O’Neill applied the buggy whip to the horse and he still wouldn’t budge.  After some time and when everyone had given up with coaxing, the horse finally moved on the way homeward.


Myers Brothers have furnished nine elegant chandeliers for use at the Clark County court house.  Three of them each sustain six lamps; three have four lamps in each and three are furnished with three lamps in each.  The chandeliers area massive with a rich bronze finish. The three larger ones will be hung in the court room.  One of the four lamp chandeliers is to be placed in the hallway on the first floor and another over the main stairway.  The others will be put in other rooms and offices.  It seems that the most appropriate place for the third four-lamp chandelier would be the County Clerk’s office. The County Board holds its sessions in the County Clerk’s office and is frequently compelled to do night work.  The cost of the whole lot of chandeliers was $136.


A new bridge will soon be built across Cunningham Creek near McPherson’s a short distance north of the newly established post office of Shortville.  The bids for the job were opened last Saturday.  M. D. Burns’ bid was accepted, being the lowest.


Poles have been put up for telephone connections between Neillsville and the Hemlock Dam.  The wire will have its Neillsville terminus in the telegraph office at Geo. Hart’s place, so the telegraph will be available from Neillsville to Dells Dam.  The poles placed up in the village are equipped with new wire which is crooked and untrimmed, appearing anything but ornamental.


April 1945


Aside from the published notices, there were two ways to know that Tuesday was Election Day in Neillsville.  One was to watch the snow fall and the other was to see Oluf Olson take down the storm house in front of the main entrance to the court house.


Olson has been around the Clark County court house for some thirty years.  His recollection is that he has taken down the storm house at least 25 times, when it has been snowing, out of the last 30 years.  To him, it made no difference that on this election the snow was falling.  He worked right along as the snow kept coming down; confident the return to winter would be of a short duration.  To him, it was Election Day and time to take the storm house down.


The Ray Strebings have bought the property on East Division Street, in Neillsville, where they reside and conduct their grocery business.  They have been renting the property and now have purchased it from H. H. Van Gorden of Merrillan.


Forty-one high school boys of the area were recently enrolled in a radar refresher course at the vocational school in Marshfield.  The course was completed March 22, and the following day, they all took the Eddy test for the naval radar work. Paul Bartell, Jr., and Synclare Ayers of Neillsville High School were two of the 25 boys who passed the test successfully.  They will now be able to continue radar work. 


On Wednesday, Paul Bartell went to Wausau and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman first class.  He returned home Friday night and will complete his high school courses.  After graduating in May, he will await his call for active duty.


Synclare Ayers is also a senior student at Neillsville High School.  He plans to complete his high school studies and is presently assisting his father on the family farm in the Town of York.


Retailers of Clark County are burning extra electricity and working at both ends of the clock this week as well as the next week.  They are struggling to produce pricing charts for OPA (Office of Price Administration).  They have been given a deadline of April 20 to produce the completed charts and make effective the new pricing regulations.  One local retailer, viewing the prospect as one of a two-man combination, said that in their business alone the work would take two men, two weeks.


The purpose behind these labors is explicit and understandable.  The OPA wishes to make sure the forthcoming merchandise of a work day sort shall not be subject to price-boosting, but shall be sold upon the mark-up currently employed.  Having set up controls for manufacture and distribution, the government is trying to make sure that the benefit will be passed to the consumer. The hope and aim is to reduce the current prices of badly needed articles and to increase the supply of them. The purpose is to bring about a reduction of eight percent in certain categories, such as the price of work shirts.


The Central Hotel at Greenwood has been purchased by Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Howard. The hotel will be re-opened after being reconditioned.


Volunteers are being sought to help with tree planting in the Clark County forests. The Rotary members voted to assist and to invite general cooperation from members of the community.  Twelve Rotarians volunteered to work next Sunday.  More workers are needed, not only then but whenever they can work during the season.


The project calls for planting 500,000 trees this spring.  So far, less than 100,000 have been planted.  Covell has been able to find only four steady workers.


Anyone interested in helping plant trees can notify Covell in advance, or meet at the Deep Rock filling station, Sunday at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.


Neillsville area residents joined the nation in a final tribute to President Franklin D. Roosevelt who recently passed away.  Business places and offices were closed from 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.


St. Mary’s Church held a special hour of prayer, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, in memory of the President with about 250 people attending.  The Methodist, Zion Evangelical and Reformed, Congregational and Christian-Missionary Alliance Churches offered special prayers and each congregation joined in singing selected hymns during their Sunday worship services.  The Missionary Alliance sang the President’s favorite hymn, “Faith of Our Fathers.”


Miss Martha Erpenbach, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Erpenbach of Neillsville, and John Bergemann, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Bergemann of Granton were married Monday morning, April 16, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  The Rev. Fr. J. A.  Biegler performed the double ring ceremony.


The bride’s maid of honor was Miss Eileen Bergemann of Kenosha.  Miss Sylvia Nelson of Adams and Miss Elaine Meissner attended as bridesmaids.  William Erpenbach was best man while Garfield Freeburg and Erwin Gilbertson served as ushers.


A reception for 60 guests was held at the bride’s parents’ home following the marriage ceremony.


The bride is a student at the Business Institute of Milwaukee and the groom is now in the U.S. Navy. 


A roadside park will be established and operated in cooperation with the Conservation Commission of Wisconsin, which proposes to erect a fire tower on the site. The tower is already available and will be put up within a few weeks, ready for operation this summer.


The project was worked out by a Rotary Club committee headed by Al Covell, the Clark County forester, who has been working with the state of Wisconsin authorities.  Advised of the state’s desire to locate a fire tower in the approximate vicinity, Covell approached Eric Schoenherr who owns the proposed site located on the corner of his property.  Covell reported back to the club that Schoenherr was very cooperative and willing to release a sizable plot, despite the fact he would thus give up a substantial part of his best tillable land.


Covell went out Wednesday to survey the proposed site and to determine the exact boundaries.  The purpose was to secure sufficient land so that cars can be driven around the western margin of the hill, making a circuit around the fire tower.  This plan will call for some road building, the planting of trees and provision of picnic accommodations.


The entrance to the roadside park will be from Highway 10, which runs along one side of the property.



To most people nothing is more troublesome than the effort of thinking.


Black River loggers guided a winter’s harvest downstream near Neillsville in 1877.  This photo is from the Guy Schultz Collection.  Schultz’s father was a logger during that era and lived by the river in the Dells Dam area.



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