Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

February 5, 2003

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 




Compiled by Dee Zimmerman




Clark County News


February 1883


Parkhurst has sold the poorer half of the 160 acres, not long after he purchased it from C. C. Sniteman for $100.  The consideration passing for the land was a gold watch chain, probably the best one in town.  This shows Parkhurst’s dollar was well invested, to say the least.


The public always likes to hear of new enterprises, especially in Neillsville.  It is therefore with great pleasure that we announce that Messrs. M. E. Hamlin and Sanford Coggins have formed a co-partnership for the purpose of opening and carrying on a furniture and cabinet-making business.  They have rented the brick store on Third Street, owned by Ring & Youmans. They will, in a short time, put in a stock of the best line of goods for this market.  Both gentlemen are fine workmen.  Considerable alterations will be made in the store to accommodate their business.


Last week Sunday, the temperature was 42 degrees below zero at Shortville and has stayed around 40 below all week. There’s not much news of the area as everybody is too frozen to make a stir for better or for worse.


The taffler, at the Shortville boarding house, undertook to build a fire with kerosene and came near burning up the men’s sleeping apartment.  But no damage was done except that caused by a man who went through a window. 


(Taffler, a logging days term, was a boy or man who cared for the oxen and horses in the stables.)


The Canon Bros. are engaged in clearing a road down to the G. B. W. & St. P. railroad, some nine miles south of their place.  They intend to draw shingles down the road for shipment on the railroad.


J. Welsh, is drawing hay for T. J. LaFlesh’s at Sherwood Forest.  He gets the hay from Mr. Archer in Pine Valley.


The lumbermen around the Dorchester area have been having a hard time logging.  The snow is three feet, or more, in the woods.  The weather continues to be very cold, much like it was in 1873.


On the 29th of January, Peter Kinzel was married to Miss Katie Chadanchy, at the residence of Phillip Kinzel, in the village of Dorchester.  J. J. Lansworth, Justice of the Peace, performed the marriage ceremony.


The two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Wechokee, in the Town of Lynn, died of diphtheria last week.  Their son is still very sick with the same disease.


No better proof could be had that the Spencer hotels are first-class with the traveling-men.  The fact is that the travelers aim to get to Spencer when there is a prospect that the trains will be snowed in.  On last Tuesday, when all indications were that a big snowstorm was approaching, eight traveling-men arrived on the train from Eau Claire, all stopping at Spencer, to stay at the hotels in waiting for the roads to be opened.


The consolidation of the firms of C. M. Upham & Bros., the Marshfield Furniture Co. and the Marshfield Veneer Co. are now under the incorporated title of Upham Manufacturing Co.  Now accomplished, a full set of officers has been elected and are as follows: Directors; C. M. Upham, W. H. Upham and M. H. Wheeler; President, W. H. Upham; Secretary, M. H. Wheeler; Treasurer, W. B. Baker.


Stop at the European restaurant, in Neillsville, opposite the Clark County Bank.  Proprietors are Finnigan & Burge.  They serve warm meals at all hours and have oysters to be purchased by the can or dish.


February 1938


A fire burned the interior and roof of the two-story Lawson building, at Granton, on Thursday afternoon.  It caused a loss of $4,000 or more and resulted in injury to a Granton fireman.  Chief Louis Spry suffered very painful injuries to both legs and other bruises when he fell about ten feet from a building while fighting the fire.  Carl Bladl was overcome by smoke after entering the St. Dennis flat to recover some jewelry that belonged to Mrs. St. Dennis.  Luckily he managed to make his way out of the building.


The Neillsville fire department responded to a call to help fight the fire, which was one of the biggest in years in Granton.  The Granton and Neillsville firemen got most of the water out of the historic big spring near the Omaha railroad tracks. The first depot was built by the big spring when the railroad company looked for the best supply of water for their engines.


The fire is believed to have originated from an overheated stove or pipe in the flat occupied by Ray Hoeft.  He buys eggs and butter for a Manitowoc firm, using that flat for his business.  About a dozen cases of eggs and quite a number of crates, stored in the wooden annex, burned.  Timely work by the firemen kept the fire from spreading to the Paul Spaete grocery and meat market, which were only a few feet away.


The fixtures and stock of “Shorty” St. Dennis, who operated a tavern in the two-story part of the building, were moved to safety as also were most of his household goods located in the upstairs flat.  Fire and smoke caused some loss, which was partially insured.  “Shorty” was able to move back into the building again Friday and resume business. 


Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evening, Shirley Temple in “Heidi,” will be shown at the Adler Theatre, in Neillsville.  She will star as a sweet little girl of Switzerland, with Jean Hersholt.  There will be continuous shows Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. to accommodate the large crowds turning out to see the ever-popular Shirley Temple.  On Monday, there will be a special school matinee at 4:05 p.m.


Wesley Vanderhoof, who died at his home in the Town of Sherman on January 7, was one of the four surviving Civil War veterans of Clark County.  The other three veterans are Thomas Goodell, of Spokeville; Albert Darton of Loyal and Sylvanus Warner of Thorp, all of whom are past 90 years of age. 


Wesley Vanderhoof was born on a farm in Pequanic, Norris County, N. J., October 16, 1843, son of Jacob and Jane (Miller) Vanderhoof.  He grew to young manhood there, receiving only a limited education.  In 1861, he answered the call of his country and enlisted in Company E, 8th New Jersey Regiment.  Being mustered in at Trenton, he accompanied the regiment when it was sent to Washington.  He saw and participated in much hard fighting.  At Chancellorsville, he received a hip wound and lay in the field for six days before he was picked up and taken to Mt. Pleasant hospital at Washington.  There, he recovered, later being able to rejoin his regiment.


He took part in battles at Williamsburg, Yorktown, Harrison Landing, Fair Oakes, Deep Bottom and the fighting in front of Petersburg.  At the close of the war, he came west and after spending a few months at Plymouth, Wis., he came to Neillsville in 1869.  He helped build the first turnpike road in Clark County, leading north out of Neillsville.  He spent his winters in the woods and worked at log driving in the spring.


In 1884, Vanderhoof bought a farm in the Town of Sherman and later that year, his parents and other members of the family came to Clark County to join him. There were no roads at that time, the land being covered with pine and hardwood timber.  There were only 17 houses that had been built between his farm and Neillsville.  He was a member of the Clark County Board for six years and often walked from near Spencer to Neillsville for its meetings.  Most of the family provisions were carried from Spencer, located four miles away.  He built a log house and barn, acquired a yoke of oxen and a few chickens, but it was two years before he added a cow to his livestock.


On Sept. 6, 1882, he was married to Ellen Clark.  Six children were born to this union: Pearl and Alfred, living on the home place in the Town of Sherman and with whom Vanderhoof made his home; Guy, of Chippewa Falls; Maude, Mrs. Robert Sleyster, Cochrane, Wis.; Hazel, Mrs. Martin Hein, Chippewa Falls, Wis. and Frank, who passed away in 1937.


He leaves also three sisters and a brother, Mrs. Ed Kayhart, Town of Sherman; Mrs. Sarah DeGraw, Loyal; Mrs. Martha Neil, Seattle, Wash. and Lige Vanderhoof, Priest, Idaho.  His wife passed away in May, 1929.


Being a good farmer, Vanderhoof, gradually increased his acreage until he owned several hundred acres of land.


Military rites were conducted at the Methodist Church, Spencer, January 10.  Rev. Geo. R. Carver officiated.  Burial took place at the Cole (Coles) Cemetery.


There were nine bidders on the Black River Bridge job on County trunk “G”, out of Greenwood.  The Eau Claire Engineer-ing Co. of Eau Claire had the low bid, $45,742.38.  It is planned that the bridge will be built during the summer of 1938.


Clark County Highway Commissioner O. J. Weyhmiller spoke at the annual road school held at Madison last week.  He stated that before highways could be made dustproof in front of a number of Clark County creameries, condensaries and cheese factories, it first was necessary to build up a new road bed.


Sandy clay or sand and gravel had to be hauled and average of 10 miles to create a satisfactory sub-base before the oiling treatment could be applied to quiet dust.


In Clark County, there have been favorable and unfavorable comments upon this dust-proofing of highways in front of creameries and cheese factories, Weyhmiller stated.  However, he expressed the personal opinion that such treatment of the highways is a good policy to continue.


Fire, last Saturday, caused a loss at the Sherman Loos machine shop and foundry at Colby.  The loss is estimated at $4,000.  The interior of the building and expensive machinery were badly damaged. 


John Moen and Major Glass have begun the manufacture of sleds at the Moen carpenter shop.  The gliders are fashioned after the Eskimo type of sled and sledge.  It is planned to build each style in three sizes.  They will be built entirely by hand, light in weight and durable in construction. The rawhide lacings will add strength, beauty and flexibility.


The sled will carry four persons, three sitting and one standing or may be used as a dog sled.  The merits of the sleds have been proven through actual tryouts, being a combination of toboggan, sled and skis.


No doubt, when Neillsville has its next dog derby, there will be many of these sleds in the show drawn by huskies of this community.


The federal government purchased about 25,000 cases of peas in Clark County during the week.  Some of these have already been shipped out to various points to be used for relief purposes.


There are six pea-canning factories located in Clark County, as follows: two in Neillsville and one each in Owen, Colby, Loyal and Dorchester.


Senator Merwyn Rowlands of Cambria is a member of the board that has been handling disposition of the surplus peas in the state.  Although the pea crop in Wisconsin was below average this past year, the heavy production of peas in Oregon glutted the market and made for lower prices.  It is to help relieve this situation facing pea growers and canners that the federal government has stepped in to buy up a substantial part of the surplus.


Owen and some other factories are planning on less acreage for the coming season.


Stories of the Street and Town by the Editor –


By the way, the new post office, in Neillsville, is getting well along toward completion.  It will seem like a short time before the post office will be moved to its new location.  It is located where the stately three-story O’Neill House once held sway as a popular stopping-place for travelers over a wide section in this part of Wisconsin.  As the late George Crothers once remarked, out of the ashes of the fire that destroyed the hotel years ago, there arose, Phoenix-like, the new post office.


The painful spot on the right hand of Harold Ebbe, who has been in charge of the construction work being done at the new post office, was diagnosed by Pete Warlum, last week, as being that of a blister.  Warlum stated that it could come only from hard manual labor.  Needless to say, Ebbe took much pride in the fact even though he may have been as pleasantly surprised as some of his friends when apprised of the fact.


For a little while last week it looked as though the cows at the county farm were practicing an act for Ringling Bros. circus when they jumped, danced, and snorted every time the electric lights were turned on.  Superintendent Wm. Plummer was mystified by their actions until he noticed they wouldn’t touch their drinking cups or feed.  An investigation disclosed a short circuit in the wiring that caused the cows to become “electrified” every time they touched any metal parts of the barn equipment.


A newspaper item brought to Mrs. Julia Sward*, of Stevens Point, the knowledge that she was the only heir to the estate of her rich brother, Charles Wheelock.  Her brother died in British Columbia and left a large ranch, and other rich holdings now to be hers.  Mrs. Seward* last heard from her brother 26 years ago.  (*note two different spellings of the surname)


A ranger station will be built by the Clark County Forestry Department at the northeast corner of the courthouse lot, facing Sixth Street, construction to begin immediately.


It will be a frame building, 24 by 30, with a partial basement and will house an office, garage and storage room.  A fine fireplace will be built of Clark County fieldstone.


The O & N Lumber Co. had low bid on the material and Art Carl, the bid on construction work.


Three floorshows have been billed for Club 10, east of Neillsville, for Thursday evening, February 24.  There will be staircase and roller skate dancers, as well as music by Billy Wolgast’s Electric Band and dancing beneath the crystal ball.  Dinner choices of chicken, fish, frog legs or sandwiches will be served.



Ruins of the O’Neill House, after the fire that destroyed it, can be seen in the center of the photo with the chimney standing tall above the smoldering debris.  The corner lot, where it stood, is now occupied by the Neillsville post office that was completed in 1938.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts)



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