Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin
June 5, 2013, Page 10
Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"
Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
of "Oldies" Articles
Compiled by Dee Zimmerman
Clark County News
Woods & Company, of here, recently sold all the logs bearing their mark in Black
River and its tributaries, excepting O’Neill Creek, to firm in Davenport, Iowa.
It will include nearly twelve million feet, which is a safe estimate.
A Winnebago camp of six lodges, and
sixty-two individuals living three miles above Atchison, Kansas, was visited by
the local news reporter on Aril 15. Thirteen years ago they went to live at
Crow Creek, on the Missouri River, in Dakota. About the time of the Sioux
massacres, four or five years ago, they started down the Missouri River and for
the past three years have been living with Iowa Indians near White Cloud. They
are now on the way to their old homes in Wisconsin, on the Mississippi River,
above Prairie du Chien. They have a fleet of sixteen canoes and are going down
to the mouth of the Missouri River and then will paddle their way up the
Mississippi to their destination of old hunting grounds.
Butter has been very scarce in this
region for some time and commands most any price that may be asked for it.
The old frame building, which stood
opposite the Hewett, Woods & Co. store, was successfully removed to another part
of the village by Mr. M. Mason, last week. The manner in which buildings have
heretofore been moved here, by putting the structure on rollers and hauling it
along by several yoke of oxen was discarded in this instance. Mr. Mason sensibly
employed the use of capstan, and safely placed the building on the place it now
A place is now being prepared in
this village for the manufacture of brick by the enterprising firm of Hewett,
Woods & Co. Mr. Edward King will have charge of the yard. Heretofore brick
makers have declared the clay did not contain enough sand; but Mr. King, who has
had considerable experience in the business, says there is plenty of sand,
though the clay is not of the best
Mr. S. C. Boardman will commence
this week to set out thirteen acres of hops in the Town of Grant, four miles
east of Town. There are other persons in the county who contemplate starting in
the business this spring.
The other day two boys, about ten or
twelve years of age, entered O. P. Wells’ hardware store in this village, with a
few pounds of iron, which they sold. It was afterwards discovered that the
hardware merchant had purchased the same iron before it came into the possession
of the youngsters they having taken it from a pile of old iron near the store
belong to Mr. Wells. While we may laugh at the joke on the merchant we see a
deploring instance of juvenile depravity. We understand that this is not the
first time one of them has been guilty of so bad an act. We hope they may be
brought to a realization of their situation in time to be saved from a downward
course toward infamy and destruction.
One of Bill Price’s two-horse livery
rigs from Black River Falls came into town a short time ago in charge of a
gentlemanly appearing fellow, who circulated about here for a few days, then
suddenly disappeared from sight. The fragments of a buggy upon a wagon bound
for the Falls last Friday morning excited curiosity and upon inquiry it was
learned that these fragments, together with two lame horses and a man with a
sore head was all that remained of the fancy rig, which came to this melancholy
state of affairs by the man going it a little too fast. One word, however, will
give a concise, yet clear and comprehensive answer to all inquiries as the
original cause of this small disaster, “whiskey.”
Mr. Eyerly is building a small house
just south of Dr. French’s. Louis Sontag is excavating the earth for a cellar
under the building soon to be put up on the corner west of C. C. Blakeslee’s
With woods on fire, considerable
damage has been done owing to the exceedingly dry weather this spring. Fires
emanating from burning brush piles on newly cleared land have spread through the
woods with great rapidity, destroying a large amount of standing pine timber,
fences, blackberry brush and such. It has been two weeks, since May 11 that any
rain has fallen here. The timber is suffering principally upon Wedge’s creek,
northeast of here and also to some extent on the Cunningham south and southeast
of here. In the northern part of the county, where the great bulk of our pine
timber exists, the fire has done less damage.
On Wedge’s Creek - a camp belonging
to Mr. E. H. McIntosh was burned to the ground, but, fortunately there were but
a few logging implements left there after the winter’s work so the loss was
small. Mr. Calvin Allen’s camp is thought to be in great danger, if not already
burned. If destroyed, Mr. Allen’s loss will be considerable as many logging
tools were stored there. In some places logs on the bank of the creek and even
those in the stream, those thrown above the water line in huge piles by jams,
have caught and added their strength to the flames. They bear various private
On O’Neill Creek - there have been
no camps consumed, but a great deal of green timber is forever destroyed.
On Cunningham Creek - the timber on
that creek has had considerably less damage.
Farmers have been compelled to keep
up a strict watch over fences, but despite their utmost exertions their fences
have been swept away.
The weather is still very warm and
dry. If this drought continues much longer, none will escape the damaging
effects, which will surely follow.
A late 1954 photo taken of the new Neillsville High School facility located
at the end of East Fourth Street, as it appeared near the completed
Heavy bidding is indicated for the
new high school building of Neillsville. Fourteen contractors are known to be
figuring the general contract; 18 the plumbing and heating; 12 the electrical
work. There may be even more bids than this.
The architect and the school
authorities have a line on the bidding, for the reason that bidders must have
copies of the plans and these are loaned out upon a deposit. The copies have
been exhausted and some use is being made of plans held in the office at
Neillsville and in the office of the architect.
Neillsville’s A & W Stand is now
open for business; our Root Beer System has been remodeled, and we hope to give
you colder & better Root Beer; Frozen Custard, by the cone, pints or quarts; Hot
Dogs, Bar-B-Q; Hamburgers
National Home Demonstration week is
being observed by Clark County Homemaker clubs this week, May 3 to 9.
Chairman of the Loyal Center is Mrs.
Philip Schecklman; secretary, Mrs. George Zuehlke. The Loyal Center comprises
10 clubs: Pelsdorf, Beaver homemakers, West Loyal, Veefkind, Beaver Center
Homemakers, Coles Corners, Heintown, Up and Coming, Welcome Neighbors, and
Spokeville. These 10 clubs have a total of 131 members. Two of these clubs have
been organized for 25 years; the youngest club, Welcome neighbors, will be a
year old in October.
The membership of the Loyal Center
clubs ranges from 10 to 19 members.
The Withee Center homemakers have a
total of 160 members within its 11 clubs.
Garden Club and Withee Homemakers
are both 25 year clubs this year.
John Schmidts have purchased the
Sherman Nelson farm in North York Township.
Eighteen new members were received
into the Christie Methodist Church May 17 at the church services. This is the
largest group taken into the church within the last ten years. Those joining
were: Edward Anderegg, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Buchholz, Mrs. Everett Buettner,
James Buettner, Mr and Mrs. N. Arnold Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Helmuth Levandowski,
LeRoy Levandowski, William Lavrence, Mr. and Mrs. James Meade, Mr. and Mrs.
James Nozar, Everett Schaefer and Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Vandeberg.
The violent tail of a twister came
down and gouged at the heart of the Harold Hohenstein farm, 12 miles southeast
of Neillsville on Wednesday, May 20. It shattered the barn and scattered pieces
of it over a forty-acre area. I moved the cement stave silo four inches off its
base. It tore and twisted off big, healthy pine trees around the house, leaving
stark, barren stumps standing from eight to 20 feet above the earth.
It drove two splintered planks from
the barn through the flat roof of the house and into the ceiling of the second
floor. It pitched a 2 by 8 plank through an upstairs window and buried its end
into the chimney. It lifted off the chimney above the roof and ripped up the
roof of the house on the west side only.
Hohenstein’s is the only place in
Clark County where this twister struck. From the “V” shape in which it broke off
the pine trees, it appears that the tail had come down just at the Hohenstein
place, and then had arisen again.
Sally Lila, infant daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Earl Chubb, was christened at Grace Lutheran Church at Nasonville
Sunday. Sponsors were Jerry Schmidt and Lila Sternitzky, who were also dinner
and supper guests at the Chubb home on Sunday.
The passing of George Frantz this
week cuts ties with Clark County’s early days’ history.
George was born in the old log
cabin, which had been built by his father, George Frantz, Sr., as a home for his
bride, Barbara Sontag. Before marrying her in Jefferson County, the elder George
had made his start in Clark County. Coming here as a bachelor in 1948, he had
made a little stake by making shingles by hand, and had built a log cabin on the
land, which became known as the Frantz farm in Section 23, Pine Valley, a place
owned in recent by the Borde family.
After the wedding George started
north with his bride in a covered wagon. As he approached his forest home, he
learned that the Indians had burned the cabin down. So the couple went to a
lumbering camp, he to cut timber and she to cook. They thus retrieved their
slender fortunes, until finally they were able to go to his 100 acres and put up
a second cabin. It was there that the Frantz children came, nine of them. In
these last years, Neillsville has intimately known three of them, the brothers
Rudolph, 84, George, 88, and Conrad, 96.
George began his working yrs as a
roustabout, a logging man. Like Conrad and Rudy, he did farming with steam
engines. He ran the engine for the old Neillsville drying plant, forerunner of
modern-day dehydration. He did carpenter work on about 15 houses in the city;
worked in the canning factory for a time. He retired to live in a pleasant
little home on Court Street, with his wife, fished and played cards with his
A story of the three brothers was
written up by Keith Bennett in 1950, a local writer of The Clark County Press.
From that article, excerpts are printed below:
“George often discussed the Indian
movements along the course of the Black River in the early days. Occasionally a
hundred of them seemed to be passing the Frantz farm, he said, and often they
would come inside to examine the home and its contents.
“George recalled suffering from a
skin ailment one year. An elderly Indian lady announced that she could cure the
trouble and George agreed. She gathered some cranberries, mashed them and bound
the paste around George’s arm in an old pillowcase, and lo, he recovered.
“The settlers themselves found a
considerable amount of their medicines growing wild in the woods. Each fall they
collected wild herbs, boneset, catnip, lobelia, Bloodroot, peppermint, and wild
mustard. And each spring, the kids got their doses of sulphur and molasses.
“Those were the years, in George’s
boyhood, when Father Frantz would often build a fire by firing cotton batting
from his shotgun and use the blazing was for a match. And they’d sometimes load
that faithful blunderbuss with gravel and shoot ducks on the farm pond.
“When George was 10, he went to his
first circus at Neillsville. It wasn’t big, but it was a circus, with bareback
riders, fine horses and acrobats. There was even a menagerie consisting of one
tired, old buffalo.
“The traveling packmen were another
trademark of those times. They came through in the spring, the summer and into
the fall, dispensing needles, ribbons, cloth and other oddments for the ladies.
“James Hewett was building big
bateaux in the logging times, capable of handling 14 to 16 loggers as they went
up and down the river on their various jobs. And in the spring the good townsmen
would gather along Neillsville’s main street to watch the logging horses being
brought back from their winter’s work in the camps to the north.
“Getting back to his logging
experience, George recalled the big Hatfield dam. There were four million board
feet of lumber caught in the narrows where the Hatfield Dam now stands. Dynamite
and peavey poles wouldn’t break the locked timbers, though George and a host of
lumberjacks fought to clear the towering jam.
“The old Dells Dam, now gone and the
Hemlock Dam were opened and the flood lifted the mass, ripped through it and
carried the tons of timber southward toward the Mississippi.
“George had more tales of
merrymaking in the old days; the masquerades at the armory. George went as Uncle
Sam several times, and again as a lumberjack, but never took a prize in the
packed hall that was shaking with the tread of perspiring schotischers, waltzers
and square dancers.
“George purchased his first car in
1915, a model of 1912 Ford. His wife said he could buy a car if he could also
swing the purchase of a house, and George managed both.
“And there was the old fire horse
George remembered, the horse was normally the motive power for the city dray; it
hauled freight from the depot, etc. But let the fire bell ring and the animal
saw her duty and she did it. Dray and all, she would go tearing off for the
firehouse to be hitched up to the city fire pump. The firehouse was known as
“Firemen’s Hall” then, and was on the site of the armory.
Born April 28, 1865, George was a
lifelong resident of Clark County, except two years spent in the state of
Washington, where he worked in logging camps and saw mills.