Clark County Press, Neillsville,

October 25, 2006, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

October 1911


The Zion Church, in the Town of Pine Valley, was the scene of a pretty wedding Wednesday, Oct. 4.  Richard Hagedorn and Miss Ida Dux were united in the holy bonds of matrimony, by Rev. Reiff of Granton.  The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Dux, of Pine Valley, a handsome and refined young lady.  The groom, son of Mrs. Mary Hagedorn is an industrious young gentleman.


The happy couple will begin housekeeping at once at the groom’s home in Globe.


Commencing on Thursday of last week, Wm. True and a force of at least 300 men worked almost steadily in their effort to save the Dells Dam and to avert the Black River Falls catastrophe.  Their efforts were to no avail.


From Monday night until Friday morning, Mr. True, who is the superintendent of the Dells and Hatfield dams, worked with his crew night and day.  When Mr. True rode into Neillsville Friday morning, on horseback, he was in a pitiful state of exhaustion.  The steady rain of all Thursday night and the consequent rising waters had been fought all night, but at 2 a.m. Friday Morning, Mr. True realized that there was no hope, so commenced phoning to Black River Falls, Hatfield and all points where there would be danger from the flood, to warn people to be prepared for immediate vacating.


At 4 a.m. he phoned the warning at the Dells Dam could go out at any moment, getting his crew and family to places of safety.  At 6:05 a.m. Friday, the west wing of the dam, or the containing earthen part of the reservoir went out, and the great flood of water rushed through on its work of destruction.  The concrete part of the dam held, but the water rushed around the west end of the dam and ate a hole in the dike at least 300 feet wide and with a depth of the bottom of the river.


At Hatfield, the on rushing waters were temporarily checked, but the leash only proved to make them the more angry and raging.  At ten a.m., the Dells Dam break was repeated at Hatfield, the west wing or earthen dike going out.  From Hatfield, the waters rushed down the river to Black River Falls, in a succession of waves a foot high, rising higher and higher until when the full force of water struck Black River Falls, the sand bank at the west end of the dam, which was over 50 feet high, crumbled and washed away like a house of cards.  Bear in mind, that each succeeding rise of one foot in the river, finally piled up a 150,000 acres of water, which soon was to rush down and destroy Black River Falls.


George Schultz, who has known Black River Falls since childhood, advised the engineers that they were not allowing a sufficient size and number of gates through which to drain off the waters in flood time.  According to scientific calculations, the gates were of sufficient size to carry off the maximum amount of water that the engineers were familiar with, but they didn’t know the Black River and its possible force of flood waters.


In response to a call for financial aid issued by the Black River Falls City Council, Mayor W. Huntley of Neillsville has called a public meeting to be held Thursday evening, Oct. 12, in the Opera House, to take steps in offering aid.


Clark County had been threatened by a drought during the months of August, September, and early October until a trifle over 20 inches of rain has fallen, this past week.


With the installation of the new telephone system, expected to be completed this week, Neillsville may point with pride to one of the most modern and complete systems in the state.  The work of changing the switchboards and telephones has no doubt caused a little inconvenience to subscribers, but this can be overlooked and will be forgotten with the excellence of the service, which will be forgiven in the future.  The new system, installed, is made by the Kellogg Co. of Chicago, one of the largest manufacturers in the world.  This system is one of their most modern products.  The new system is a central energy one, requiring that all the power for operating the phones be generated at the central office.  This does away with the dry batteries used with each phone in the old system.  Electricity is taken from the electric light wires and stored in cells located in the central office, which guarantees a steady power in storing clear talk at all times.


October 1946


The Neillsville City Council voted Tuesday evening, to extend Clay Street 330 feet southward from First Street.  This will open an area upon, which houses are projected for John and Tom Flynn and Mike Krultz, Jr.


Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Christie moved recently, from the upper to the lower flat in the house at the corner of Prospect and West Tenth Streets, and his brother, John and his bride, are now living in the upper flat.  Mrs. Dale Schweinler and son, who had been living in this house, have gone to join her husband, Capt. Dale Schweinler, at Easton, Pa.


Earl Darling has purchased the Arthur Wagner house on North Prospect, and has moved his family from a home, which they had lived in for some time, northwest of the city.  Mr. and Mrs. Roy Olson reside in the upper flat of the Darling house.


More battles over government activities may be more numerous and intense than those of half century ago, but they had them even then.  Last week, was the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of rural mail delivery.  A bit more than that many years ago, it afforded the hottest fight ever witnessed in Congress.  The cost of free mail delivery in the big cities had steadily grown as it was improved.  Smaller cities had no such service, and rural communities obtained their mail if and when somebody went to town for them.  Then Postmaster General Wanamaker sent a message to Congress in which he recommended that rural mail service should be tried out.  For four years previously, the farm organizations over the country had been their principal advocates.


The original sum voted by Congress was $10,000.  Only three routes were established of an average length of 20 miles.  The experiment was successful, and the farmers demanded more.  But four years later, there were only 82 rural routes.  A faster pace was set and now there are 22,197 routes with a total mileage of 1,441,538 miles.  That cost for the last fiscal year was about $107 million.  The revenues have vastly increased as the service has expanded.  So popular was the innovation of delivery of mail to the homes, that smaller cities and villages were included in the program.  At the beginning, the Post Office Department always was operated at a loss.  Through the improvement of its service, the department has become self-sustaining.  One of the most prolific sources of increased revenues has been airmail.  So large have the airmail receipts become that on October 1, the airmail stamps were reduced from eight to five cents.


Confirmation services were held Sunday morning at the Neillsville Methodist Church.  Those confirmed were: Miss Leona Kauffman, Miss Donna Mae Stanton, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Drescher, Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. William F. Lowe.  Six members were received into membership by transfer from other churches: Mr. and Mrs. Eldie Vickery from Marion, Ind., and Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Manz from Black River Falls.


It was six years ago on Tuesday of this week, when the local Service Company was called into the Federal Service.   On October 18, 1941, the International situation looked so forbidding that the United States took the step of calling the National Guard into service.  Soon thereafter, the local boys took their departure for the South and for their training.  They were in advanced preparation when the Japs blew the international situation wide open by bombing Pearl Harbor.


To the local soldiers, who saw early fighting and who went through the New Guinea campaign, it seems difficult to realize that so much time has passed.  This was the comment of Capt. Archie Van Gorden, who drew the anniversary date to the attention of The Clark County Press.


Willard Community News:


Mildred Podobnik, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Podobnik, Sr., and Ernest Arch, son of Louis and the late Elizabeth Arch of the Town of Eaton, exchanged vows Saturday, October 26, at the Hooly (Holy) Family Catholic Church at Willard, with the Rev. Bernard Ambrozic performing the double ring ceremony.


Mrs. Ivan Ruzic and the choir sang.  The bride was given away by her father.  They were attended by Angela Arch, sister of the groom, and Emil Podobnik, brother of the bride.


A pre-nuptial shower was held at the Arch home a week ago and a reception at the bride’s home last Saturday; also a free dance at the West Side hall.


They will be at home at the Arch farm in the Town of Eaton.


Mrs. Frank Lesar and Mrs. Oestreich, teachers of the Willard State Graded School, attended the Teacher’s Convention at Eau Claire, Friday.


Seven Wisconsin hunters bagged 133 pheasants as they combed the wheat fields of South Dakota, last week.  The total figured to 19 each, out of a legal limit of 25.


Those included in the party were: Ray Paulson, Frank, Tony and Charles Svetlik, Joe Urlaub, all of Neillsville; Fay Raymond of Fond du Lac, and Gene Hart of Milwaukee.


They did their hunting around Doland.


The South Dakota fields were literally swamped by hunters, they reported.  On their way there, they said, carloads of hunters drove in long lines, following one another.


Arne Mathewson has resigned his position with the city water department and is now working for a local garage as a parts man and bookkeeper.  Mathewson’s position, in the water department, is temporarily being filled by Robert Wilsmann, son of the water department superintendent.


Swift changes in the wildlife situation of Clark County have been reported in the Milwaukee Journal, by a special correspondent.  The article, published Sunday, told the story of a survey made with the help of Al Clumpner, the local conservation warden.  Says the article:


In the towns of Sherwood and Washburn in the southeastern part of the county, Clumpner showed where aspen and scrub oak, growing rapidly, have created ideal conditions for deer, with the result that the whitetails have moved in, bag and baggage.


The little patch in Clark County is not exceptional.  The same thing has happened in many other parts of Wisconsin.  Back in 1936, the deer kill in Clark County was 488.  Last season, it was 1,801.  It may go higher in the season starting November 23.


“Here’s what happened,” said Clumpner, waving an arm at dense stands of brush. “In 1934, we had a big fire in these towns.  The folks here still refer to it as the Sherwood burn.  It did a pretty good job of removing forest cover, some of it good-sized stuff.”


“The deer in the burn area, for several years after the fire, were not numerous.  But when the new aspen, scrub oak, birch and sumac began to show up about as high as a man, maybe a little higher, deer came into the country in numbers.”


“It was just to their liking, brush country.  It is a scrubby looking country, but contains all kinds of feed for deer.  You see, deer are not grazers, but are browsers.  They literally eat trees and here were young trees with tender shoots, which turned this area into a regular outdoor cafeteria for whitetails.”


A farm sale of $24,000 tops the current boom in the realty of Clark County.  The sale was of the 300-acre farm of Keller Bros., in the Town of Eaton.  Included was the personal property.


The purchasers are Mathias J. Mondloch, Delbert J. Mondloch and Roland A. Mondloch.


The personal property, included in the sale: consists of 68 head of livestock, there being 32 milch cows and 36 head of young stock and bulls, and also a full line of machinery.


The sale is one of a long list of transfers recently made in Clark County.  From these transfers, it is clear that the realty market is moving at a more rapid pace, despite the higher prices.  It is possible that the relatively rapid movement of recent months is associated with the rising values.  The testimony of Fran Gander, supervisor of assessments, is that farm values of Clark County have responded to the boom more slowly than values elsewhere.  He attributes this to the relatively large number of Federal Land Bank foreclosures in this area.  The sale of these properties, he said, has tended to hold in check the rise in prices.  Thus it is entirely possible that farm prices which seem high to local buyers are not high to buyers coming into Clark County from outside.  Elsewhere, they may have found that values are on an even higher level.


The Keller sale is one of the very large farm transactions of the past seven years.  The Keller brothers, who made this sale, conduct their business under the name of Keller Bros. Distributing Co.  They are also owners of the Silver Dome in the Town of Hewett.  They purchased the farm in question, three or four years ago, and bought two other farms at the same time.  Members of the corporation are Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Keller, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Keller, and Walter and Paul Keller.


Another sale of note is that of Club Ten, located on U. S. 10, east of Neillsville at Kurth Corners.  Sale of The Club Ten was made by Otto Hainz, to Mrs. Mary Walters, of Beloit, and her two sons.  The sons will run the business, and Mrs. Walters, it is understood, expects to make her home in Neillsville.  The lessee of Club Ten has been Darrel Tompkins.



A brush dam, pictured above, was placed in the Black River, near Greenwood, in the late 1800s.  Made up of small logs and tree branches, strategically placed together, the dam was capable of holding and slowing down the river water under normal conditions.  However, a fast current, as in flooding conditions, quickly broke up the dam, carrying it downstream.




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