Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 30, 2002, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


January 1907


G. P. Turneaure of Madison and G. H. Hawley of De Pere were here last week looking over the proposed dam sites on the Black River.  They spent a couple of days surveying and making estimates, but returned to Madison without leaving any defined report to the city council.


Frank Glass and Miss Elso Wegner were ranted a special license to marry last Thursday.  Mr. Glass is one of the popular employees of the local furniture factory.  They will reside at the home Mr. Glass has already prepared for them.


The masquerade ball held at Granton on Tuesday evening was well attended.  Those from Neillsville in attendance were: Misses Lefa Lowe, Katie Donahue, Tillie Gaden, Katherine and Lena Saupe; Messrs. R. J. Glass, Fred Rossman, Frank L. Stannard, Joseph Ritzen, Nick Schereer, John Herrian and Gust Deutsch.


Last Monday morning the Neillsville Business College opened for classes in the old High School room.  Its enrollment of 17 students is an auspicious beginning.  Prof. A. Cathers has been employed as principal of the new college.  He is a young man who has had considerable experience as a teacher of short-hand, typewriting, bookkeeping and their auxiliary branches in the Stevens Point Business College.  W. E. Allen has been here all week attending to the preliminaries of the opening.  The following pupils were enrolled Monday: Blanche Crocker, Mayme Woodward, Ernest Lynch, Harold Grow, William North, Grover Lippert, Helen Marsh, Alice Ring, Agnes Porath, Mrs. Nettie Short, Harry Blum, Frank Lockbran, Blucher Paulus, George Wolff and Mrs. Mable Boone.


A number of people from York Center attended the York Center Telephone Company’s stockholders meeting at Loyal on Saturday.


If you want to feast your eyes on nice rugs, 9’x12’, in Brussels, velvet, Wilton and Axminster, just step into Tragsdorf, Zimmerman & Co.’s store and see what they have.  Their prices are low, from $9 to $25 per rug. Also, if you want a good steel axe, go to Tragsdorf, Zimmerman & Co.’s.  Their steel axes have handles that you can bend like a rainbow without breading (breaking) and for only 25c.


A new industry seems to have started in York Center.  Instead of farmers hauling their grist to the mill to be ground, they can have the mill come to their farm.  R. Tree took his mill to Wm. McMahon’s place to grind grist last Saturday.


Last Saturday night, Alfred Marth went stargazing.  He counted all the stars in the Milky Way, above Lover’s Lane and Clay Street.  Then he got dizzy, which caused him to fall down and Mother Nature painted a beautiful composite landscape in black, blue and red over his right eye.


Mrs. Alice Burge is selling her house and eight lots located opposite the Catholic Church on Neillsville’s north side. She will sell the house and lots cheap if all the property is bought at once.


R. Franz, of the Shortville area, held a rock hauling bee on Monday.  He plans to build a new barn this spring so will need rock for the foundation.


There will be worship services at the Hewettville Congregational Church on Friday evening, January 25.  Kindly take notice and spread this announcement around that we may have a good attendance.  Subject of the sermon will be, “Can a Man be Born Again When He is Old?”


Emery Bruley returned from Milwaukee on Tuesday, to his home here in Neillsville.  He reports that the business of the Bruley Steel Fence Post Co. is increasing rapidly.  The company now has eleven salesmen on the road, selling, and all are doing quite well.


John S. Owen has tendered his resignation as postmaster at the Owen post office.  A petition is in circulation asking Congressman Esch to recommend the appointment of T. H. Wylie to succeed Mr. Owen.  There are said to be at least two other aspirants for the position.  If Wylie succeeds in landing the plum he will locate his office in the room just vacated by the barber.


January 1947


Lawrence Drescher is Neillsville’s new chief of police; Herman J. Olson, several-term sheriff of Clark County, will be the new night policeman, taking over after his term as sheriff expires on January 6.


Dan Cupid has been one of the busiest little men in Clark County during the last year, for marriage licenses issued here have reached an all-time high.


In the last year, 336 marriage licenses have been issued in the county. This compares with a previous high of about 250.


The return of men from the world’s battlefields to home pastures and the high prosperity of the present time have combined to make Mr. Cupid’s marksmanship unusually effective.


Just before Pearl Harbor, in 1942 (1941?), the marriage license business here took a slight spurt.  When the United States entered the shooting foray, the marriage business suffered a slump as the civilians turned soldier.


In 1944, the last war year, licenses dropped to 147.  The end of World War II was accompanied by a spurt, which sent the total to 216 for 1945.  Then came the record-shattering marriage boom of the year of 1946, County-record watchers were a little disappointed, they wanted to see the volume reach 365, a marriage license for each day of the year.


Masonic services were held Tuesday afternoon for William G. Klopf, 88, pioneer resident of Neillsville who died January 18, following an illness of several years.


A former mayor, Klopf was at the helm of the city of Neillsville government for six years in the 1880’s.  During that time the two bridges over Black River were erected, the old iron bridge over O’Neill Creek at Hewett Street was put up and the bridge on South Grand Avenue was constructed.  He also served a number of years as an alderman.


He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Klopf and like his father, was associated with several enterprises in Neillsville in the late 1800’s.  Born in Johnson, Sheboygan County, on September 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 that general store business in Neillsville, in a building later occupied by the Dangers.  It was located at South Hewett and Seventh Streets, on the vacant corner lot now owned by Schultz Sales and Service.


Later, Klopf’s father organized the Clark County Bank.  The bank business built the building now occupied by Berger’s store and conducted business there until its liquidation in 1898.  It was during this period, also, that the Klopf’s were connected with the Neillsville Manufacturing Company, which has (been) more familiarly known as the “furniture factory.”  Klopf, who served as cashier of the Clark County Bank, was treasurer of this enterprise.


He later 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.”  This building, razed about seven years ago, 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 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 October 28, 1881, Klopf was united in marriage to Mary Goldschmidt.  The wedding took place at Belvidere, Ill.  Two children were born to the union: Clarence, a salesman now living in Madison and Mrs. Edna Swanson of Great Falls, Mont.  Mrs. Klopf died in 1911.


Number 21 – that’s the number to remember; for it is the new telephone number of the Clark County Highway and Police headquarters radio station.


The radio station has been moved from the forestry building which it had occupied since its inception, into the county jail.  Thus, the jail becomes the central headquarters for all county emergency needs.


From the two-room headquarters just off the west entrance to the jail, members of the County Highway police, the Sheriff and Under-sheriff and the County Forester will be immediately available via radio.  All calls notifying headquarters of accidents, hold-ups or similar nature, should be made by calling Number 21.


Herman North has become president of the Neillsville Bank.  He was promoted from his longtime position as cashier, by action of the directors.  In the presidency he succeeds Mrs. W. L. Hemphill, who retires also from the directorate.


In his new relation, North will continue his active service to the bank.  He has the desk at the east side of the front office and will occupy it regularly.  He will be constantly available for consultation and assistance to his successor.


North is succeeded as cashier by E. E. Hart, who comes from the Marion State Bank at Marion, Wis.  Hart has also become a stockholder and a director.  He will take over the active duties as cashier, which North has carried for more than 32 years.


Hart was chosen to relieve North because of the record which he made at Marion.  He went to the Marion bank 10 years ago, when banking was difficult.  The assets at that time were less than $400,000.  The Marion State Bank, under the 10-years of Hart’s management attained assets of some $2,500,000 in a municipality of 1,100 persons. 


The change is of significance to the Neillsville community, since it concerns one of the oldest institutions of continuous service in Neillsville.  North becomes the fifth president.  The first was Judge Richard Dewhurst, father of Mrs. Hemphill.  Judge Dewhurst became president when, in 1881, the bank was changed from a private bank to a state bank.  He served until his death in 1895.  Dewhurst was succeeded in the bank presidency by Charles F. Grow.  Grow was a leading attorney of his time who was a partner of J. F. Schuster in the business now known as Schuster & Campman Abstract & Title Co.  Upon Grow’s death, Grow was succeeded by W. L. Hemphill and upon Hemphill’s death, his wife, Mrs. Hemphill, became president.


North’s service in the Neillsville Bank runs back to the days of Grow’s presidency.  He recalls that Grow was a lawyer of a prodigious memory, who could often quote the law verbatim, without referring to the books.  He was the bank’s attorney, as well as president and ws highly regarded in the community for sound judgment.


The first bank cashier was Joseph Morley, who was in service when Herman North entered the Neillsville Bank 48 years ago.  North did whatever there was to do in that early service, being then, as always since, a dedicated worker.  Upon the death of Morley, the title of cashier passed to Carl Stange, who assumed the position somewhat reluctantly and who passed much of the responsibility to North.  In 1914 Stange resigned and the title, as well as the toil, passed to North.  North recalls that the year of 1914 was momentous in his experience.  In that year, he took on the big load of the bank, the First World War started and he got married!  He thought a lot was happening then, but that wasn’t a circumstance to the load that built up with the passing years.


“The promotion of Herman North to the presidency of the Neillsville Bank was a mark of appreciation of his long, arduous and devoted service,” said George Zimmerman, a director.


“The directors and stockholders are also conscious that here is significance in the resignation of Mrs. Hemphill from the presidency and from the directorate.  Her retirement comes about in accordance with her long-time desire.  It marks the first time in 65 years that there has not been a member of the family connected with the active direction of the bank’s affairs, either as an officer or director. This relation has been important to the community, as well to the bank, because the family has made it a matter of pride and honor in contributing to the integrity and solidity of the bank.  The soundness of local economy has inevitably been related to the standing of the Neillsville Bank and the standing of the Neillsville Bank has depended, in no small degree, upon the integrity and public spirit of the Dewhurst-Hemphill family.  It is fortunate from every standpoint that Mrs. Hemphill, though retiring from official responsibility, retains her stockholding interest.”


North will be the first of the bank’s five presidents to have a desk in the bank and to be in regular attendance.  All of the others were active in other lines.  Judge Dewhurst was at one time Clark County Judge and had many business interests, including lumbering and other business enterprises.  Mrs. Hemphill has remained modestly in the background during her period of service.


The Neillsville Bank was established as a private bank by James L. Gates in 1879.  The private bank was purchased by Richard Dewhurst in 1881, who with associates, secured a state charter in September 1883 and continued operating the bank under the name of Neillsville Bank.



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