Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

September 23, 2015, Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

September 1880


The new schoolhouse in District 1, Town of Hewett, is completed.  It is a good one.  Sam Colway was the contractor and, as usual, he did a good job.                                                                 


Regardless of  the statement of the state geologist, that it would be useless to try for an Artesian well at Black River Falls, the citizens of that place have commenced upon the experiment, and have already drilled to the depth of a couple of hundred feet.                                                                                       


Bernhardt Tragsdorf returned from his visit to the home of his childhood last Friday, having been absent about three months.  He visited Germany and France during his absence.  His father and mother accompanied him on his return, and will become residents of this county, after visiting friends in Washington County, where they are at present.


Hiram Parker killed a deer the first of the week, and as of old, left it hanging in the woods overnight.  Going for his venison in the morning, he found that a bear had been there during the night and devoured it.


A contract for clearing twenty-five acres of land on the County Poor Farm, in the Town of York, will be let tomorrow, at 10 o’clock a.m.  Full specifications of the work will be given at the time of letting the job, at the county farm.


Foreigners wishing to declare their intention to become citizens of the United States can do so, free of charge, by presenting themselves at the office of J. A. Parkhurst, Clerk of the Circuit Court.


D.J. Spaulding of Black River Falls spent the first of this week, in this locality buying cattle and making other preparations for lumbering during the coming winter.                                              


Lumbermen have commenced building and repairing camps, preparatory to an active campaign in the timber during the coming winter.  Should the season prove favorable, an unusual amount of lumber will be put in on Black River and its tributaries during the winter of 1880-81.                                                    


Der Deutsch-Amerikaner made its first appearance last week.  It is a seven-column folio and while we are not one of its readers, we do know that its editor, Mr. Schultz, as the energy and ability necessary to make it a good local paper.


(The Der Deutsch-Amerikaner, printed in the German language, started under the influence of the many German immigrants who had recently settled in Clark County. DZ)             


A crew of shovelers working on the railroad near here loaded a wagon with dirt in twenty seconds, one day last week.  How is that for shoveling?                                                                       


The German Lutheran Church in the Town of Grant burned to the ground last Satruday night.  The origin of the fire cannot be accounted for.  It was a good building and its loss is deeply regretted by the community to whose enterprise its erecting was more than creditable.  There was no insurance.                                                  


James O’Neill Jr. has added to his driving outfit a handsome new top buggy and a splendid harness.  The buggy is from the manufactory of Fish Bros. & Co. of Racine and was purchased from Mr. Bruley at this place.  The harness shows the workmanship of Geo. Luddington of this place from whose shop a poor job is never sent out.


The Wedges Creek Bridge on the Hatfield road will be completed within the next two weeks, but the prospects of an early completion of the Dells Bridge, owing to the delay on repairing the dam upon which it is to be erected, are not flattering.  Mr. Rossman has everything ready to put the bridge in shape as soon as the work on the dam is sufficiently advanced to admit of it.                                                                                                           


A portion of the shanty in Lowry’s camp near Merrillan on the Black River Railway was demolished by falling timber during the storm of last Saturday night.  Two pine trees were blown down, both happening to fall on the dining room, within a few feet of where twenty-five men were sleeping.  The portion of the camp upon which the trees fell was completely demolished.                                                                              


Diphtheria made its appearance in this locality again last week in the family of J. S. Dore, county superintendent.


Another evidence of the refining influence of whisky was furnished in this place last Saturday night.


A crew of about 50 (Native Americans) is now working on the construction of the Black River Railroad between here and Merrillan.                                                                                                         


The new bridge over O’Neill Creek, now completed, is a much better structure than its appearance indicates.


Second Street, east of Main, is beginning to look as it used to, old wagons and wood piles are accumulating.


(Second Street was later named Sixth Street and Main changed to Hewett.  DZ)


September 1940


“Eyes Upon Neillsville,” a color motion picture of Neillsville and the surrounding countryside, will be featured on the screen of the Adler Theater Saturday, Sunday and Monday.


The picture will be celluloid record of local people.  Events and scenery with the Clark County Fair, crowds in the city and activities of groups and businesses, as well as scenes of area farms, crowds attending the Sunday concert of “Heinie and his Grenadiers,” plus many others.


The feature picture showing with “Eyes Upon Neillsville” will be “We Who Are Young,” a romance, starring Lana Turner and John Shelton, with Gene Lockhart and Grant Mitchell.


(Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to view the “Eyes Upon Neillsville” film now?  Another part of our local history lost. DZ)                                                                                                                   


See the New 1941 Buick Fire Ball on display now!  At Zilk Villa Service Station in Neillsville.


Loyal Days - the annual celebration at Loyal will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13, 14 and 15.  There will be exhibits, bands, games, pet parade and amusements, with a band concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.


Auction!  Saturday, Sept. 14, 1:30 p.m.  Household Goods: 2 bedsteads and springs, radiating heater, bird cage, long bench, show case, canned goods, Mason jars, Garden crop, also House for Rent.  O. Knoop, West Fourth Street, Neillsville


Fifty-six aliens residing in Clark County have applied for registration at the post office here under the terms of the Alien Registration act.  Post Master Louis W. Kurth said Tuesday.  Those who have applied to register will be notified shortly when to return to the post office to complete the registration, Mr. Kurth said.  Registration must be completed by December 16.  Other post offices in Clark County at which aliens may register are Thorp and Owen.


Word received by Captain W. B. Tufts yesterday indicates that the local Service Company will be called into Federal Service October 15, 1940.


Present plans call for the unit to remain at the home station from there to 10 days to complete records, start basic training and complete physical examinations of officers and men.


The unit will then proceed to a mobilization center, probably Camp Douglas, after which the regiment will move to Alexandria, La., for winter training. 


It is probable that the strength will be increased to 109 men prior to mobilization, in which case approximately 40 additional men can be added to the rolls and go into service with the local unit.


Army regulations prohibit enlistments after midnight of the day preceding the effective date of mobilization, and any enlistments made must come prior to October 12.


Shortages in personnel will probably be filled by draftees, whether before or after going south, is not as yet determined.


The company has at present, in addition to the 57 men authorized by present order, 14 men on the inactive list.  Any other men, single between the ages of 18 and 35, who would line up to go with the local unit, are urged to enlist at once.


(As an expression goes, “Handwriting was on the wall.”   The war building up in Europe and Japan, at that point, put the United States on alert that it could become involved, as it was forced to do after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 1941.  DZ)                                                                                                                    


C.C. Sniteman, Wisconsin’s oldest active druggist and Neillsville’s oldest businessman, observed his 91st birthday Tuesday.  It was a quiet observance, however, marked only by considerable congratulatory mail and gifts from many friends far and near.  But, as far as Mr. Sniteman was concerned, it was just another day.  He started the day’s work in the drug store at 9:30 a.m., and stayed until about 4:30 p.m., as is his usual custom.


Neillsville High School gridders open their 1940 season Satruday against the Chippewa Falls High School “B” team at Chippewa Falls.  Although 33 have reported for practice, the largest squad in many years, according to Coach Vernon Anderson, there will be but two veterans in the lineup.  They are Milton Schoenfeld, quarterback, and Donald Gress, an end.


Describing the team as “light but loyal,” Coach Anderson said, “he expects it to average about 150 pounds per man.”


The home season, and first Chippewa-Black River Valley conference game, is scheduled against Owen next Friday, September 27, on the fairground field.                                                  


See What $1 Will Buy at H. H. Van Gorden & Sons Mill in Neillsville!


Country Girl Flour, 49-lb. sack 99’; Malt Sprouts, 24 % Protein, 100 lbs. $1; 100 lbs. Barley Only $1; 100 lbs. Salt, can be used for pickles, meats and all household uses. 95’; 2 gallons Fly Spray $1


Mrs. James King’s 80 acre farm near Neillsville was sold last week to Frank Wisczek of Thorp, the sale being made by the Richardson-Vinger agency.                                                                          


In this month of October this newspaper is completing its seventy-third years of life and service in Clark County.  Under varying names, and with changes of ownership, it has had continuity throughout this period, reaching back nearly to the end of the Civil War.  Thus the seventy-third anniversary of this newspaper falls in the same month with National Newspaper Week, which will be celebrated October 1 to 8.


While quite a number of newspapers in the country will set up claims to greater age than The Clark County Press, it is perhaps true that there is no institution in Clark County with a more valid claim to continued length of life and service.  The story of Neillsville and Clark County can be read along with the life and service of the men who have owned and edited the succession of newspapers now represented by The Press.


The start came with The Clark County Republican, which appeared on October 25, 1867.  That was a four-page paper, and the pages were not very large either.  In those days, the work of a printer was done by hand, the hard way, and the chief emphasis of a country newspaper was consequently upon mechanical production.  Back in those days, the people called the owner of the newspaper a printer, and that was primarily what he was.


It is a far cry from the four-page paper of 1867 to the 12-page, tightly-packed Press of today, but as the paper has changed, so have the times and so have Neillsville and Clark County.  Today Neillsville is a modern and progressive city of more than 2,500 people, and Clark County has a population of approximately 35,000.  The city and the county have been moving along, and so has The Press.


The publishing business in Neillsville really goes back farther than 1867.  The county’s first paper was the Clark County Advocate, established in 1857, with William C. Tompkins as editor.  That paper had a life of ten years, then discontinued.


During its existence it encountered the Union and Flag, which was produced during the period approximating the Civil War, 1861-64.  It also encountered the Clark County Journal, which ran from 1867 to 1872 and then succumbed.  So the first three papers of the county came to a sad end, and it was left for E. E. Merritt to start the Clark County Republican and to set in motion that publication, which has had a continued existence since 1867.


The Clark County Press, under that precise name, was established in 1873 in Neillsville, and was consolidated with the Republican in 1876, the two continuing as one paper under the name, the Republican and Press.  This combined newspaper then absorbed in 1878 the Langlade Enterprise, which had been established in 1876 at Colby.


While the Republican and Press were developing, the Neillsville Times was growing out of the old True Republican, which dated back to 1879.  A name long associated with the newspaper is that of L. B. Ring, whose words are still read occasionally as communications to The Press.


In 1921, the Republican and Press and the Neillsville Times, under pressure of mounting costs and in accordance with the trend of the publishing business, joined hands in the creation of the Neillsville Press, which brought together Levy Williamson, and George E. Crothers, long identified with The Press.  Also in the merger was Granton News, of which F. J. Baer had been editor.  For eight years, this partnership continued, until Mr. Williamson sold his interests to Dr. W. A. Leason, whose son, Jess, became active in the publication.  The name was continued as the Neillsville Press until a little time after the paper was purchased by the present owners, who went back to the historic name of 1873, The Clark County Press.


(As of October, this year, The Clark County Press will have been in business for 148 years!  Amazingly, we have a bound copy of its first issue.  Though a little worn, the newsprint of that time had some rag content, producing better quality newsprint, not darkening or becoming brittle with age. DZ)


The Loyal Canning Factory, circa 1940, was a booming business at that time.  Peas, green beans and sweet corn were canned with the workforce being made up of employees living in the surrounding area.  (Photo courtesy of Jay Parker)





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