Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 3, 2001, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


January 1876


The Clark County Zouaves have received their new guns.  They are the improved Springfield breech-loaders and the nicest model of gun available.  The men who are members of the Zouaves have reason to be proud of their organization and the outfitting provided.


(The Zouaves were a volunteer guard unit similar to the present-day National Guards.  The name “Zouaves” was derived from the French Army.  A soldier of the French Army was referred to as a “Zouave.” D.Z.)


Now we are threatened with trouble of another source.  It is stated that the accumulation of ice at the North and South Poles will tip this earth over in a few hundred thousand years and submerge this glorious country.  Let us pray we may not be alive to see it.


Invitations have been issued for a Centennial Dance, under the auspices of Whitcomb’s Quadrille Band.  The dance is to be held at Johnson & Comstock’s hall, in Merrillan, on Monday evening, January 3, 1876.  Supper will be served at the Blair House.  Tickets for dance and supper, $2.50, and a good time may be relied upon.


The grand opening dance held at Robinson & Co.’s new hall at Greenwood, New Year’s Eve, more than filled the expectations of those who attended.  The proprietors, in accordance with their announcement, had made all preparations for a grand opening.  Nothing had been neglected that could add to the enjoyment of the occasion.  The hall, though not large, is one of the nicest rooms to be found.  The music was furnished by the Augusta Band and the supper by W. H. Begley.  No improvements could be asked of either.  Quite a number of Neillsville people attended and all appreciated the kindness of the people in the flourishing little town.


At the meeting of Neillsville citizens which was held this week at Dickinson’s old stand for the purpose of finding a means of protection against fires in this village, a proposition was made.  It was proposed that we purchase a Champion Chemical Engine, manufactured at Louisville, Kentucky.  The idea was met with universal favor and it was the sense of the meeting that one should be purchased.


Last Wednesday, J. W. Cole, of Black River Falls, purchased J. J. Mason’s interest in the mercantile business carried on by Mason & Campbell, in Neillsville.  The new firm of Mason & Campbell commenced business last Thursday morning.  Cole will take up his residence here about the first of March.  Until then, Mason will remain in the store of which he was formerly one of the proprietors.  Starting in March, Mason will go to Wrightsville to take charge of the flouring mill which came into his possession through the transaction of the mercantile business.


Emery Brule’s (Bruley’s?) store has 500 barrels of heavy pork for sale.  He will sell it cheap if paid for in cash.


Our county’s Republic commenced in 1776, 100 years ago, with 13 States and 815,615 square miles of territory.  It was occupied by about 3,000,000 people.  The present population is 43,000,000, who occupy 37 States and nine territories, which embrace over 3,000,000 square miles.  It has 65,000 miles of railroads, more than sufficient to reach two and a half times around the globe.  The value of its annual agricultural productions is $2,500,000,000 and its gold mines are capable of producing $70,000,000 a year.  It has over 1,000 cotton factories, 580 daily newspapers, 4,300 weeklies and 625 monthly publications. 


Gates & Head and several other parties are laying in a supply of that cooler for next summer’s use.  It has taken about all the ice on the O’Neill pond to fill the various ice houses, the quality being unusually poor.


Commercial tourists pronounce Neillsville as the “little boss” town in the State.  They say the amount of goods sold here is astonishing. 


Campbell, Watson & Hommel, here in Neillsville, are building a fire wagon that is a gem.  It is designed to carry a supply of buckets for the fire company and the Champion Chemical Fire Extinguisher ordered from Louisville, Kentucky.  It is a masterpiece of mechanical ingenuity.


Last Tuesday, one of the lead-horses of a four-horse hitch, belonging to D. J. Spaulding, of Black River Falls, became restless while crossing the Black River Bridge in the Town of Levis.  The horse broke away and plunged off the bridge about in the middle of the structure, falling to the ice below, a distance of about 18 feet.  The strangest part of the matter is that the horse was not injured in the least.  After surveying the situation for a moment, the horse started for the shore, going down the river some distance, apparently looking for a place where the river bank was not so steep.  Finding such a bank, he made his ascent, trotted back on the bridge and took his place in the team beside his mate s if nothing had happened.


We hve received a copy of the Farmers Almanac for 1876, its 49th year, from its publishers, John P. Morton & Co., Louisville, Kentucky.  Its style is attractive, its content varied and valuable especially to the farmers.  One feature of peculiar interest is the theory of Prof. Tice and his forecasts of the weather for each week in the year.  Should his predictions prove as correct in the future as in the past, they will be invaluable to the agriculturist and of great interest to the reader.  The price of this almanac publication is but ten cents.


January 1931


William Schiller has purchased the home formerly occupied by the Kunert Treatment rooms and owned by Mrs. Mattie A. Hebron.  Schiller will remodel the building into a funeral home.  He plans on making extensive improvements, including landscaping, flower gardens and a concrete drive around the premises.  He will occupy a portion of the building for living quarters.  The establishment is expected to be ready for business by February 1, or soon after.  The home was formerly known as the L. B. Ring residence and was built by Dr. W. J. Brewster.


Pledging himself to a vigorous enforcement of the laws, Hugh G. Haight of Loyal, successor to V. W. Nehs as district attorney for Clark County, has opened his office this week in Suite No. 9 over the First National Bank.  Haight and his family have moved into the Gilman house on South Grand Avenue.


A fire on Saturday morning, starting from sparks falling on the shingles of the Carl house on South Clay Street, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Art Russell and family, resulted in considerable damage to their home and contents.  Russell, who recently returned from Eau Claire where he underwent surgery, was carried form the residence to the William Campman home.  Later in the day, he was taken back home.


A rural extension of the Northern States Light and Power Co. line running out of Loyal was put into operation on Monday.  The line runs to Spokeville and around through Heintown in the Town of York.  Some 40 farmers are on that line.  About half of that number of farmers clubbed together and bought the wire for wiring their homes and premises.  They purchased the materials at wholesale prices and collectively hired electricians to do the work, saving a considerable amount of money on the jobs.


A preliminary survey is near completion, being done by Northern States Power Co., for an extension of its lines from the Clark County fairgrounds to Kurth Corners along Highway 10.  There are a sufficient number of applications for service signed up to warrant building the line.  It is reported that construction will begin early in the spring.


Lucas Strangfeld, whose farm is four miles north of Neillsville, looked out of a window last Thursday night and saw a fire blazing brightly in the woods in back of his house, upon a second glance, he saw someone dancing around the flames and heard revolver shots.  With visions that a wild man had invaded his premises, Strangfeld called the sheriff’s office.  Leo Miller, undersheriff, strapped on his heavy artillery, summoned Fred Rossman, Neillsville’s police chief, and both started for the region of mystery.


The two officers looked at the blaze from the Strangfeld yard and agreed that either a maniac or a witch was at work in the forest.  They tip-toed back into the woods where the weird figure jumped around the fire and shot his revolver.  At the proper moment, Miller stepped from behind a tree with a sawed-off shotgun and ordered the figure to put up his hands.  The “ghost” refused and it was not until Miller had shot a charge over his head that he threw his hands up in the air.


The captive proved to be a Neillsville area man who stated he had gone to the Strangfeld farm to frighten his friend, one of Strangfeld’s sons.  He said the “revolver shots” were .22 shells exploding in the fire.  He was taken to the Clark County jail and Hugh Haight; district attorney released him the following morning after delivering a stern lecture against “practical jokes.”


The new 24-inch concrete aqueduct from O’Neill Creek into the American Stores Dairy Co.’s Condensary was completed Saturday, according to R.W. Schmedel, manager.  The intake supplies water used in the cooling system and replaces three six-inch iron pipes. The project has been under way for two months and will result in a more efficient operation. With the latest Condensary machinery added recently in the canning department, the Neillsville Condensary now ranks with the foremost plants of its kind in the country.


The old N. C. Foster train depot at Tioga was moved some time ago by Sherman Gress to the farm of Emil Hinke. He will use the building for a granary and machine shop.


Those who have marveled at the warm thawing weather that has prevailed this winter are reminded by H. M. Root that during the winter of 1877-78, the roads from Neillsville to Greenwood were impassable that winter because of mud.  Ten years later, the community experienced temperatures that went down to 45 and 50 below zero.


O. W. Gluck, one of Neillsville’s outstanding basketball stars in 1923-24-25, who is now coaching at South Milwaukee High, is having the champion hard luck of the season trying to keep his squad together, according to the Milwaukee paper. 


“It started when Dan Nagley threw his shoulder out of place about four or five times during the football season. Then Donald Johnson, a great forward prospect, broke his collar bone which hinders him from playing basketball.  Henry Janusiak, a regular on the starting five last year, hurt a foot which he is still treating.  Next, Charles Leranth had to have surgery and Eddie Killingstead has had a charley horse problem.  Don Nagey, Duane Fowle and Henry Janusiak are all out do (to) the injuries.  The basketball season is only half over.”


It is about time Lady Luck smiled on Coach O. W. Gluck at South Milwaukee High School.


There will be two big basketball games at the Neillsville Armory on February 1st, Granton Blackhawks vs. Greenwood Red Birds and Thorp’s City Team vs. the Service Co. Team.


Albert Davis, of Granton, shipped out three car loads of hardwood logs from Kurth Siding last week and will be buying more timber.  Hardwood prices have gone up considerably.  Davis is buying for the Plywood Corporation of New London.


The Sanitary Market, operated by George May and William Ruchaber, has leased the Dewhurst building located next to the Sweet Shop and will move into the new premises about March 1.  The business of the Sanitary Market has enjoyed a continuous growth under the leadership of May and Ruchaber and they have found their quarters becoming too small.


Senator W. J. Rush of Neillsville, who is chairman of the State Legislative Judiciary Committee, was home from Madison over the weekend to attend to business affairs here.  The legislature is struggling with tax matters, according to Senator Rush.  Hearings to be held in a few days will concern taxation reform for utilities and corporations.


All ladies coats are on sale at W. G. Woodward Co. Store in Neillsville; Buy a good warm coat that features style and quality with prices from $4.98 to $9.90.


The Albert Degner Hardware has specials on spring paints.  Marshall Wells Interior Gloss finish paints are on sale the next two weeks.  Kitchen tint in 10 colors, plus white, can be purchased in gallons at $3.50, 1/2 gallons $1.80, quarts 92c or pints 48c.  Buy now


Harvesting ice on O’Neill Creek started soon after Neillsville became a village.  The Neillsville Brewery, located above the south creek bank, needed a large supply of ice each year for their brewery storehouse.  Home owners and other businesses purchased blocks of ice for refrigeration purposes until electrical refrigerators and freezers be-came accessible.  Tibbett Ice & Fuel, carried on the ice harvesting in the early 1900’s; storing it in sheds along the north bank of O’Neill Creek.  The Korman-Ghent Carriage Factory & Machine Shop, which faced Hewett Street, is visible in the background.



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