The Good Old Days 

Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 24, 2000, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast

And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past,

Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done

In his exploits with his buddies; they were the heroes, everyone.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,

All his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer, for old Bob has passed away

And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.


No he won’t be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,

For he lived an ordinary very quiet sort of life,

He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way,

And the world won’t note his passing; ‘tho a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great,

Papers tell of their life stories from the time that they were young,

But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed, and unsung.


Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land

Some jerk who breaks his promise and cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow who in times of war and strife

Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives

Are sometimes disproportionate to the services he gives,

While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal, and perhaps a pension small.


It’s so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago

That our Bob’s and Jim’s and Johnny’s went to battle, but we know

It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger with your enemies at hand,

Would you really want some cop-out with his every waffling stand?

Or would you want a soldier who has sworn to defend

His home, his kin, and country, and would fight until the end?


He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin

But his presence should remind us, we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part

Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,

Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple heading in the paper that might say;



Submitted by: Col Larry Burgess, USMC (Ret) From MILNET 21 May 1997



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


May 1875


The school board of Joint District No. 1, Levis and Pine Valley, are evidently wide awake and know how to pursue business with dispatch.  Under the direction of Mr. Satterlee work had begun on the new school house site the 12th of April.  Stumps were removed, logs rolled away, brush was burned and the grounds made ready on the first day’s work.  On April 20, after eight days of hard labor, the District had a neat and comfortable frame school house built on the grounds.  Classes were organized, Miss Emma Berrien installed as teacher and scholars were working at their desks.


The boys on the Black River east fork log drives, all veterans of the business, unite in pronouncing Ed Stanley as the best camp cook on the river.


Neverman & Co. will furnish the first lager-beer of the season next Wednesday.  It will be on tap at all saloons in the village and at their brewery.


Today we print a notice calling for a public meeting to be held at the Clark County court house on the evening of May 17, for the purpose of organizing a fire company in Neillsville.  This is a matter of which every property holder should have an interest.  The necessity of such an organization is now generally understood.  Last week’s heavy thunderstorm that passed over produced lightning which struck the W. C. Allen house and the G. W. Montgomery home.  Both houses were badly damaged due to fires started by the lightning.


The O’Neill House, long owned by Johnson and Myers, has been sold.  Last summer, the business became famous as the Ed E. Merritt Gift Enterprise.  The new owners of the O’Neill House are Thomas Chadwich and Robert Christie.  This is one of the best pieces of hotel property in the Northwest.  The present owners have leased the business to Mrs. Jas. Reddan, who is well known and has been engaged in the hotel business at Staffordville for some time.  Under her careful management, there is no doubt but what the house will be a credit to our village.


Last Monday evening it was reported that a log jam had formed at Mormon Ripple, which far exceeded anything every before seen on the Black River.  The water at the point where the jam formed and for several miles above was very swift.  Consequently, logs were driven into the jam with great force. The jam was about two miles long and in places they were piled fifty feet high by force of the current.


On Monday night, every available man was sent to that point to work on freeing the jam and on Tuesday, they succeeded in settling the jam about forty rods, finally being able to break it on Wednesday forenoon. The logs moved out in a body and lodged in an abrupt bend of the river about two miles below, near the head of the angels, forming another jam.  That jam being in slack water was much easier to move. The log jam was close to two miles in length.  The river bed was completely full, in many places stacked 15 to 20 feet above the water.  During the time the logs were set in motion, it was a sight well worth seeing.  Logs, most of which were each big enough to produce a thousand feet of lumber when sawed, were forced out of the groaning, shrieking mass and thrown into the air as lightly as if they were mere twigs.  It was a sight that no description can do justice.


Messrs. MacBride, O’Neill, Ring and French have been representing the legal fraternity of Clark County at the Circuit Court for La Crosse County during the past week.  It speaks well for the Clark County bar when our attorneys are called away to practice in other courts so much of their time.


Clark County beef is in great demand by bologna sausage makers.  The cattle feed on leeks that grow in the pastures this time of the year so no onions are required in flavoring.  A few thousand steers may yet be found for market, if the word becomes known.


(As we can remember, milking cows who feed on leeks tend to product onion flavored milk which isn’t appealing to the taste buds. D.Z.) 


Potts & Myers are doing an extensive business in fanning mills and milk-safes this season.  The fanning mill has been in use in this territory for the last two years and its superiority has been proven through the large amount of sales.  The milk-safe manufactured by them is the neatest thing we have seen and has become a household necessity.


(Recently someone called giving a description of the milk-safe.  It was built like a cabinet, having shelves with screening around the sides and front.  The screening allowed air to circulate around pans of containers of milk placed inside to be cooled, yet kept free of insects, etc.  The following day, the containers of milk were removed from the milk-safe.  The cream which had risen to the top of the container, as it sat, was skimmed off.  The cream was poured into churns to be made into butter.  The home-churned butter was placed in small Red Wing crocks, covered with parchment paper and stored in the cool basement.  On the next trip into town, the crocks of butter were taken to the general store to be sold or traded in on other merchandise.  A few of these antique milk-safes may still be in existence, if we can recognize what they are if we see one. D.Z.)


The Patrons of Husbandry dedicated their new hall at Humbird last Saturday by giving a festival to the patrons of the order. There were over one hundred and fifty members present, twenty-six being from White Oak and Maple Works Granges.


Mr. Montgomery purchased the old school house and had it removed to a lot near his residence.  He intends to use the building as a carpenter shop.  The removal of the building adds to the appearance of the school house grounds.


Italian street musicians were giving concerts in the saloons and on the streets during this week. 


May 1930


A large congregation of people attended the exercises held Sunday to dedicate the new bell at Christ Ev. Lutheran Church at Chili.  Speakers at the occasion were Rev. Hoeh of Maple Works and Rev. Rathke of Auburndale.


An echo of baseball history which began in 1880 at Neillsville and has been floating around in the corridors of time for the last 50 years will burst anew Sunday afternoon.  Frank Hewett, mayor, will throw out the first ball to mark the season’s opening of the Black River Valley league with Neillsville and Owen playing. 


Louis LaBonte of Stanley is establishing a novel eating place and confectionery store on the H. J. Brook’s lawn along Hewett Street.  The building will be an old passenger coach from the Northwestern line that used to run from Stanley to Jump River.  The coach was taken off the tracks, the seats removed and then it was shipped on flat cars to Neillsville.  Sherman Gress was the engineer in charge of transporting the rail car, placing it on the concrete foundation which had been set-up on the Brooks premises. The car is painted a bright red and will attract much attention.


Frank Quesnell, who has been running a restaurant for LaBonte in Stanley, will move his family to Neillsville and manage the new restaurant, “Al-Aboard”.


With the opening of the trout season on May 1, Neillsville’s population shrank to less than zero for two or three days.  People who ordinarily don’t get up until the sun is half-way across the sky were rolling out at 2 or 3 a.m.  Some came back with fish and some didn’t.  Ben Brown passed all opposition when he landed two German brown trout, one being 26 inches long, weighing 5 Ľ pounds and the other weighted 3 ˝ pounds at 20 Ľ inches long.  In addition, he caught several speckled trout. They were all landed from a creek near Hixton.


Frosty Kurth has carved his name on the halls of fishing fame, Sunday, when he hooked a big German brown trout in Hall Creek near Humbird.  Bunky Lyons and Charles Gates took part in the landing and helped drag the fish upon the shore.  The fish weighed five pounds and nine ounces.


There will be a grand opening dance at Hank Markwart’s barn located opposite the Clark County Fairgrounds on May 7.  Music will be provided by the Whoopee Band Boys, singers and entertainers. Come and see the new decorations and accommodations.  The usual good management and music will provice (provide) a whoopee fun time at Markwart’s.


The Loyal Legion Post will hold a three-day celebration from July 4th through the 6th.  They are making elaborate plans for the affair.


Clark County’s new speed cop has been instructed to carry on a campaign against reckless driving, according to Otto J. Weyhmiller, Clark County Highway Commissioner.  The state driving laws will be enforced, drivers will be urged to drive on the right side of the road, stop at all arterioles and exercise due care at all times they are driving their cars.


A meeting was held at Loyal on Tuesday and a complete reorganization was made of the Loyal State Bank which suspended operations a few months ago.  A number of stockholders took shares and an entirely new board of directors was elected.  The bank’s name will be changed to “The Clark County Bank.”  A favorable agreement was entered into with all depositors.


Enjoy a delicious chicken dinner plate at the Woodland Hotel in Owen.  The chicken special is server every Sunday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. for 75 cents per plate.


The hall at Columbia caught fire Saturday night in some unknown manner and burned to the ground.  A dance was held there in the early part of the night, the lights were extinguished and there was no sign of fire when the hall was closed.  The hall was a two-story building and was owned by the shareholders of the Columbia Cheese Factory Co.  It had been formerly used as a cheese factory for a good many years.


No one in the community knew of the fire until morning, when the village saw only a bed of ashes where the hall had stood.


Florian Thiel of the Town of Washburn was 80 years old on May 6.  On the morning of his birthday, he got up before 4 a.m. and walked to Neillsville to attend early Mass, walking a distance of 13 miles.


Thiel lives alone on his farm, tends a nice garden and keeps a large number of colonies of bees.  Most of his cleared farm land is leased to neighbors.  He does all of his own housework and is a neat housekeeper.


A circa 1930 scene in the Clark County Register of Deeds office:  The staff at that time included, left to right, Della (Lawrence) Chase, George Rude, Hazel Hubing and Marie Covell.



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