Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 8, 2012, Page 14

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News



July 1882


On July 4th, the Hon. W. T. Price delivered the oration at Whitehall; C. Pope at Alma Center; B. F. French at Thos. Reed’s and L. A. Doolittle at Maple Works.                                                


Last night some unknown party borrowed a span of horses and democrat wagon from the barn of Jones Tompkins and forgot to register, in consequence of which papers were made out and placed in the hands of officers in Greenwood who went in search of the missing team.  It was found by tracks that the team had passed through Greenwood. About 10 o’clock today, James Bryden discovered a horse feeding by the side of the roadside a half of a mile this side of Hemlock Dam, with a halter on it, which looked a little unusual, so he tracked it back from whence it came into the woods.  Some dozen rods farther, he found its mate and the missing wagon. But the thieves, who could not stand the light of day, had taken the harness from the team, fed them with corn and decamped without leaving their address.


The wooden building, north of Mr. Hewett’s store, has been secured by the new postmaster, Mr. Campbell.  It is to be used as the new post office site. It is fast being made to assume a business like appearance.


The picnickers who were seen wending their way to Bacon’s woods last Saturday afternoon reported a good time.


Harvesting in the Court House Park has commenced.  The grass has been cut and stacked.


C. C. Edwards has opened a barbershop in the O’Neill House, So -

All who are weary,

Go sit in his chair, and while resting your body; he will cut off your hair.

He will polish your chin,

He’ll powder your hair,

The while you be dreaming, in his easy chair.                                 


Mr. Jacob Rossman has moved into his residence on Main Street and we should judge by appearances that he proposes to take advantage of city regulations and omit the fence, which never adds to the beauty of a building lot, serves only to prevent it from being used as a pasture.  If all of our residents would abide by the city laws and not let cows roam at large in our streets, then fences might be removed, and walks and streets could be kept clean and smooth. The appearance of our city would than be greatly improved.                                                 


Last Thursday, July 13, while Henry McGrath was hunting cattle on Section 31, 28, 1-E, he was shot at twice by some unknown party.  It is evident that whoever fired the shots meant to kill, as the first shot passed through his hat and the next passed through his arm.  It would seem that all the desperadoes are not in the Rocky Mountain region.


On Saturday, Dr. W. C. Crandall, one of the solidest businessmen of our city, sold his large and attractive drug store and his entire stock in trade to Messrs. C. A. and H. J. Youmans.  We are informed that the consideration was $6,000, half cash and the balance in three years. The cause of the unexpected move was the ill health of the Doctor, and his anxiety to try the effects of a change of climate.  He has been in business here about eleven years and has been very popular and prosperous.  He has succeeded in establishing a very lucrative trade and is getting a very snug and comfortable home for him and family.  Now very much to their sorrow and his own chagrin, and to the sincere regret of the entire community, he is compelled by the persistent and insidious encroachments of disease to abandon his old and tried friends, and the scenes of his prosperity and happiness for new scenes, new friends and new fields of labor.  He has not yet determined just where or when he will go, but he was affected so favorably by the climate of Colorado, during his recent visit here, that he thinks he will settle somewhere along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountain system, going as soon as he can put all his business affairs here in order.                                                                                


A new saw mill in Sherwood Forest will be in operation in a few days; Mr. Seeley is getting things ready for business.  He will have a good rig for sawing all kinds of lumber. Those who need lumber can go there and buy cheap for cash.


Mr. Barr, late of Greenwood, has a fine blacksmith shop completed and in running order, now in Thorp.


One perfect diamond is worth more than many defective ones.  One truth well fixed in the mind and comprehended is better than many half understood.  A small opportunity fully realized is better than a great one miss-improved.  Faithfulness lays up treasures in the heavens, which nothing can injure and no one remove.


July 1952


The boards and timber of the Youmans house tell a story of the olden days. As they come clattering down, in a cloud of plaster dust, they carry the people of today back 75 years and more ago, when the pioneers were transforming the forest into the beginnings of the Dairyland of today.


This old house on the farm now owned by C. A. Paulson, located on Pleasant Ridge, in Section 19, Town of Grant, has long been known as the Youmans house named for the lawyer who resided in it in the latter part of the nineteenth century and who was probably its best known occupant. He came into possession of it March 8, 1884. The deed of that date was drawn to him and to his partner in the law, M. C. Ring.


But Mr. Youmans did not build the house.  That was the work of John S. Dore, who made the sale to him.  Mr. Dore has almost entirely faded from local memory.  His name does not appear in the county histories. The only person remembering him, so far as The Press can find, is W. J. Marsh, of Neillsville, who says he was a farmer, very tall, who, after selling to Mr. Youmans, went to California.


Mr. Dore had big ideas.  The house he built was the largest and most ornate of any in Clark County up to that day. An old volume on Clark County, running back to the Youmans days, says that the house contained 14 rooms and that is consistent with present evidence. Eight of the rooms were very large, and with the spacious halls and stairway, took up the main rectangular portion of the building. That portion had 12-foot ceilings.  The trim was butternut.  Dore had lived in the house with only lath on the walls.  One of the first things Youmans did was to plaster the walls. The whole area was surmounted by a large cupola, or observation tower, amply supplied with windows. That cupola disappeared in later years, cut away because it trapped the inclement weather and dumped it into the house.


Mrs. Casper Marty, whose connection with the property will be explained later, was told years ago that Mr. Dore used this cupola, as an observation post from which to watch his men at work.  That story may have some truth in it, for Mr. Dore owned 400 acres and had needed to boss the job. But another possibility is that Mr. Dore, perhaps with lines running back to New England, was affected by a style of architecture then current.  It was quite the thing, in the nineteenth century to place a cupola on top of the more ambitious houses. That custom doubtless started with the old sea captains of New England, who used these high towers from which to watch the ships come and go.  Accustomed to the height of the bridge, the old captains were irked by the ground view and provided a bridge upon the land. There, even in retirement, provided themselves footing more to their liking. The influence of theses old captains upon residential architecture may still be found in the old houses of the east and of the mid-west.  Mr. Dore, in building a magnificent cupola, was in line with the best style of his day.


Mrs. Marty is under the impression that Mr. Dore ran into some financial difficulty and that impression is borne out by the records.  On June 30, 1883, he gave a deed to R. SW. Stafford on nearly all of his holdings, one of the considerations being that Stafford would assume a mortgage of $3,500 and would clear Mr. Dore’s homestead, upon which his large residence stood.


It is entirely possible that Mr. Dore found the cost of the 14-room house a little extreme, even in those days of low costs. But the trouble was not insurmountable.  Within a year he had placed himself in position to give clear title, to a quarter section, including the land upon which the house stood.  Thereafter he faded from the local scene, with no spectacular impact upon it, so far as W. J. Marsh can recall.


The exact date of the construction of the house cannot be established, but it is possible to infer it with some degree of accuracy. It certainly lied between 1871 and 1883, for Mr. Dore did not buy the place until July 5, 1871, and it was his homestead on or before June 30, 1883.  He had bought the land from one, William Steelman, who is utterly beyond the local reckoning. The Press has been able to find no local knowledge of him.  Mr. Marsh cannot recall having heard of him.  William A. Campman cannot remember coming upon his name in other realty transactions.


The records show that it was Mr. Steelman, who secured the original government patent. The date of that patent was February 20, 1857. The patent was issued to the name of Franklin Pierce as president.  Mr. Steelman held the land until 1871, when he deeded to Dore. At that time Steelman resided in Sutter, California, a name, which recalls the gold rush of 1849. The inference was that he followed the crowd to the excitement in California.


Mr. Youmans, the new owner, had resided in Neillsville.  He had married a daughter of B. F. French, the honorable pioneer.  He had resided with his bride in the French home, located on the site of the Neillsville Library.  There, on October 18, 1884, was born their son, Guy C. Youmans.  C. A. Youmans moved to the farm and entered upon an ambitious program of livestock breeding.  He went into Shorthorns and then Holsteins, importing registered cattle from the state of New York.  Then he shifted to horses, bringing in registered English Stallions. Also he went into sheep, having a large flock of Shropshire.


But C. A. Youmans was not a dirt farmer.  His chief interest was in law and in politics.  He was district attorney, county judge and state senator.  Eight years on the farm was enough.  Then he moved back to town.  Eventually, he turned the farm management over to his son, Guy, who had taken a course in agriculture at the University and who put his education to work on the farm.  He stuck to it until 1913, when he moved to town and devoted himself to handling livestock and real estate, also interesting himself in a cooperative elevator in Neillsville.


In 1913, the Youmans place went into the hands of Charles Altemus, who came up from Rock County.  His daughter, Emma had only recently married Casper Marty, and the young people were looking for a start on a farm.  So they established themselves upon Mr. Altemus’ invitation, in the southeast portion of the big house. There, on the first floor, they had three rooms.  After three years it was arranged that the Marty’s should move from the site of the old home, to a portion of a granary, which stood between the house and the barn.  This was taken some distance to the east, becoming their home for three years, and is the eastern or lower section of their present residence. After three more years, they moved a 2-story four-room part of the original Dore home and joined it on the west, creating the Marty home as it now stands.  Mrs. Marty recalls that the house moving was done by the late Sherman Gress, who used the old style winch, with power furnished by horses.


Mr. Altemus split up the 400 acres of the Youmans holdings. He sold 40 acres to Rush Hake; transferred 131 acres to the Marty’s; sold 129 acres to C. A. Paulson.  Mrs. Altemus moved to town and lived in what is now the Georgas Funeral Home.  His first wife died in an auto accident in 1925, and two years later he married Elsie King, a former teacher.  He had moved to California in 1926, died in 1933.  It was he who removed the cupola from the old house.


The Ross Paulsons lived in the old house for about a decade, and tried to do something with it. But it was badly run down and they were elderly. Then the C. A. Paulsons succeeded them in possession and succeeded to the problem of the ancient residence.  After living in it a few years, they concluded that the old place was beyond them and that the way to fix it up was to tear it down.


It is an odd coincidence that too many persons connected with this place have established themselves in California.  Mr. Steelman, the original owner, was there when he deeded to Mr. Dore.  Mr. Dore went there after he sold to Mr. Youmans. The Youmans-French family established themselves there.  Mr. Altemus made his home there in latter years.


(The Dore-Youmans farm was located about 1 ½ miles east of Neillsville, south side of Hwy 10, where only the original barn remains. DZ)



John S. Dore built the above large, ornate house on his Pleasant Ridge farm about 1875, losing the property after 12 years as owner, selling to a local attorney, C. A. Youmans, whose son, Guy Youmans, operated the farm for a number of years.  Next farm owners were the Altemus family, who eventually split up the farm property, selling off acreage plots to nearby farmers. A portion of the house was moved a short distance east, as an addition to the Marty farm home, and the remaining portion was purchased by the Paulson family, who eventually tore it down in July of 1952.


Corp. William Stabnow arrived here Friday after spending the past year in Korea.  The serviceman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Stabnow of Greenwood, will spend 30 days here with family.  


John Mrotek of Loyal Flying Eagles club won the county championship in the tractor contest and will be representing Clark County at the State Fair.  John showed great skill and accuracy in putting a tractor through its paces.  His competitors were boys who had son their way through local contests: Rueben Garbisch of Granton, Robert Tichy of Loyal, Neil Broeren of Thorp and Leland Mayenschein of Butler.                      


The following schools in the Town of Levis will open Aug. 25: Meadow View with Mrs. Dale West as teacher; Dells Dam with Mrs. Hagen; and Riverside with Mrs. Fred Palmer.


School buses will be operated by Fred Subke and Ted Janicki.       


Among recent real estate transfers was the purchase of the former Rev. Koehler residence, bordering Schuster Park, Neillsville. This property has been purchased by Carl R. Wegner and Bernita Wasserburger, Clark County nurse.  The purchase was made from Ada Koehler and Irene Koehler, heirs of the e state.  The residence will become the home of the young couple upon their marriage, at a date later to be announced.


People who don’t take responsibility when young will never have it when older.





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