Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 11, 2016, Page 11

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

May 1936


The Neillsville Opera House was sold to a new company, the Neillsville Armory, Inc., this week, according to reports.  Herman North is said to be interested in the new organization and it is stated the new owners purchased the structure with the idea of providing Neillsville with a first class building for public affairs.  A number of improvements are contemplated.


Carl Roder’s car, which was stolen from in front of John Hauser’s home on North Hewett Street last week, was found parked in front of the hospital.  A fishing reel had been stolen, but the car was undamaged.  Kaiser Grap noticed the car and reported to Mr. Roder.  No clues as to the thief have been found.      


Potatoes!  Planting Time is here!


Early Cobblers, Early Bryers and late Dusty Rurals, Free from Frost; Can be purchased at - Andy’s Texaco Grocery


The City of Neillsville has eight requests from needy people for garden plots, ranging from a small plot to eight acres.  The aldermen will make the assignments Sunday.                                        


Paul Brenner, restaurant proprietor, this week received a letter from his brother, Max, in Germany, which came over on the new dirigible Hindenburg, commanded by Dr. Hugo Eckener.  The letter was written on thin paper so as not to exceed a weight limit of 5 grams.  The postage was 75 pfennigs.  A pfennig normally is worth one-fourth of a cent.


C. S. Gassen has bought from Judge O. W. Schoengarth the corner lot on Grand Avenue and Seventh Street, with the old building thereon, formerly known as the Ruddock blacksmith shop.


This building is now being torn down and will be replaced by a modern structure 26x62 feet, all of fire-resistant material, and will be used by Mr. Gassen to carry on his welding, and allied businesses.


The new building will face Seventh Street and will be set back 34 feet from the street line, making a good working space in front.


The old blacksmith shop marks one of many trials and failures in establishing a milk plant in or near Neillsville. According to Judge Schoengarth, it was built nearly 50 years ago, on or close to the southwest corner of what is now the Fullerton Lumber Co. yards, as a cheese factory.  After, many efforts to keep going, the enterprise was abandoned, later sold and moved to its present site, where it was used as a blacksmith shop.


For many years L. D. Ruddock carried on his business in this shop.  The days when there was a great deal of teaming, Mr. Ruddock, who was a noted horse shoer, had a big line of customers, and after his death, his son, Frank, who had long assisted in the shop, carried on the work until the growth of the automobile industry made horseshoes a thing of the past.


The new industry, to be built up on the corner, is one of great value to this city and the farming community, and will doubtless grow and expand.


In the late 1800s and early 1900s there was more than one blacksmith shop in Neillsville.  Frank Lear owned such a shop on Grand Avenue, between the 500 and 600 block, now the site of Associated Bank’s parking lot.  After Lear’s blacksmith shop went out of business, the building was then the location of the Chevrolet garage in the 1920s.


The contest staged last week by W. F. Schiller in honor of Mother’s Day, in which he offered a chair to the mother living the longest time in the same house, brought out some interesting information and revealed that a large number of Neillsville folks have enviable records for long established residences.


Mrs. Johanna Lepke, who was 92 years old Satruday, won first prize, having lived in her home on Court Street for 62 years.  Mrs. Lepke, who was born in Festenberg, Germany, in 1844, came to America with her husband in 1872.  Their first place of residence was the Henry Neverman home on South Hewett Street and then they lived with Mrs. Lepke’s brother, Michael Lorentz, for a time previous to building in 1874, the home in which she still lives.


Mr. Lepke died in 1918.  Five of the 14 children in their family are living.


Mrs. Lepke is in good health and very active, despite her years.  She continued to do cleaning work at the Neillsville Bank once a week, a task she has performed for more than 10 years.                   


Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Bollom and family, Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Bollom and Raymond Fradette drove to Mondovi Sunday to spend the day with relatives, a part of the family driving to Alma to see the government dam under construction there.


Henry Frantz, Jr., left Tuesday morning for Detroit, Mich., where he will get his brother, Ed’s, new Terraplane car and drive in it to Portland, Ore. where Ed lives.                                                          


Verne Suckow was the lucky fisherman around these parts Sunday, landing a 38-inch Muskie, trolling from a boat when the fish struck.  It required nearly an hour to land him.  With Mr. Suckow at the time were his father, Rudolph, brother, Roy, and William Vine.                                                                                          


Bruhn and Feuerstein, proprietors of the B & F Machine Shop, have plans for a new building to be erected on the lot where they now have temporary quarters built after the fire last winter.


Their lot, which was bought from the Kintzele estate, fronts 100 feet on East Sixth Street, and extends south to the alley.


The new building will be 50 by 60 feet and will be of faced brick and tile, with steel window frames.  There will be a space of 20 feet on the west side of the building and 30 feet on the east side, which will be cleared and landscaped.  All storage of materials, not in the building, will be upon the back part of the lot, which is on the high level.


Part of the work will be left to contractors but for the most part the proprietors will buy materials and do the construction themselves.                                                                                           


W.F. Roberts, director of the Clark County relief office, received notice this week that he has passed a state civil service examination for food inspector and been appointed to act as such in the 14 counties comprising the northwest section of the state beginning June 1.                                                                                   


Clean Sweep Removal Sale, starting Friday, May 22!  Everything Must Go! 


On account of giving up my downtown location, my entire stock of variety goods will be sold regardless of cost, Nick’s Variety Store                                                                                                       


Federal officials on May 9 arrested a local man in connection with the large still raided in the Town of Hewett recently, they reported.                                                                                                        


The first blow at the slot machine racket in Clark County, which is reported to have reached startling proportions, was struck Saturday night when Fred Rossman, Chief of Police, George Creamer, Police officer and Bert Dresden, alderman, swooped down on Keller Brothers tavern west of the city on Highway 10 and confiscated three machines filled with money.


For some time the slot machine menace has been growing in Clark County and numerous complaints have been made to public officials.  Recently, a number of machines appeared in Neillsville, but were quickly squelched upon orders of the police department.                                                                                      


A pass on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad, from Dexterville to Neillsville and other points north, was issued to C. C. Sniteman some 40 to 50 years ago and is still in his possession, a reminder of Neillsville’s early boom days.


The only drawback to the pass is that the railroad line on which it was good never materialized.


Mr. Sniteman headed a group at that time, which sought to bring another railroad into Neillsville, the St. Paul road accepting the proposition after Mr. Sniteman had raised $100,000 in pledges locally to assist in the financing.  The line was built from Dexterville to Lynn, the original plan being for the road to come into Neillsville either by way of O’Neill Creek Valley or down the Cunningham Creek Valley.  The idea was abandoned, however, and the road was never extended toward Neillsville, although it was built a short distance northwest to Romadka, terminating in section 10 of the Town of York.  The entire line was dismantled a few years ago.


In discussing early railroad history of this locality, Mr. Sniteman told how Clark County happened to lose the township in it southwest corner.  W. T. Price, Black River Falls, an influential congressman, believed that with the Green Bay railroad and the North Western line crossing at Merrillan, that village was destined to become a large and flourishing city. Mr. Price decided Jackson County ought to take the town under its wing and as the southern section of Clark County was sparsely settled there was little or no opposition in the move.


Thus, the corner of Clark County containing Merrillan became the upper half of the Town of Alma, Jackson County.  During the depression Merrillan was attached to Clark County for relief purposes, Jackson County never having voted to go on the county relief plan.


(C.C. Sniteman had to have been one of Neillsville’s greatest supporters along with James O’Neill, Sr.  He gave much of his own finances to support new factories, city improvements and such, for the betterment of the community. DZ)


May 1956


Pupils of the Cunningham School who will be attending the Radio music festival at Madison May 5 are as follows: Elaine Drescher, Nancy Kuehn, Donna Kissling, Walter Hiles and Yvonne Braatz.  They will be accompanied by pupils and their teachers from Washington, Kurth, Reed and Pine Circle schools.  Parents accompanying are Mrs. Robert Hiles, Mrs. Victor Braatz and Mrs. George Kuehn.                                                          


Walter Wagner, Neillsville High School pitcher, turned in a no-run performance against Cadott here last Friday afternoon as his team won, 2-0.


Only one man reached first base in the regulation seven-inning game.  He was Rykal, Cadott right fielder, who was hit by a pitched ball with two down in the fifth inning.  Siverling ran for Rykal, but died on first when Amelse, first baseman, popped to the infield.


In turning in his perfect game, Wagner received tight support from his teammates.  He struck out seven of the 22 batters to face him and did not issue a walk.


Neillsville scored both of its runs on errors.  In the first inning Tresemer, third baseman, scored from third on a wild pitch; and in the fourth Bob Kunze doubled and came home on Tresemer’s single and an overthrow at home.


Pink Van Gorden and Jim Hauge caught their limit of brook trout last Sunday, and then proceeded to Lake Arbutus and caught their limit of croppies.  With 10 trout apiece and 25 croppies apiece the young men figure that they qualified as real fishermen.


Sometimes the boys, like others, are not quite so good, and this is well known to Calvin Swenson, who has also fished vainly for trout.  So Calvin figured that he would sleep out the trout expedition, but he was up and around for the croppy end of the party and got his limit, also.                                                          


Oscar W. Schoengarth of Clark County is the Dean of All Judges in Wisconsin.


The deanship of Oscar W. Schoengarth rests upon length of service, rather than upon age.  Just as he is now the Judge of longest service in the state, so he was the state’s youngest judge when he was elected in 1906; he was then only 25 years old; had been out of the University law school only four years.


As a law graduate the young Schoengarth came back to solid ground in Neillsville.  The Schoengarth family had been long established here.  Oscar, son of August Schoengarth, was born in a building on the site of the present Ford garage on Fifth Street.  The family lived upstairs; the father had a boot and show store below.  That building was moved away later, making way for the present Ford garage.  It is now the residence of George Rude on South Grand Avenue.  Leaving the shoe business, August Schoengarth went into brick-making.  He furnished brick for many homes in this part of Clark County.  The parents of August were farmers in Grant Township, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Schoengarth.  They rest in the Grant Cemetery north of Kurth corners.


Ready for law practice in 1901, Oscar Schoengarth not only had this family background and a wide local acquaintance, but he had the good fortune to secure a partnership at once with Spencer M. Marsh.  Mr. Marsh had an extensive practice; later went to San Diego, California, and became district attorney and Circuit Judge.


Upon his election as county judge, Oscar Schoengarth left Mr. Marsh and set up for himself.  At that time, the county judgeship was a part time job.  For about 25 years the Judge continued in practice, as well as carrying the judgeship.


This year of 1951 means much to Judge Schoengarth, for it marks the fiftieth anniversary of the graduation from the law school at the university.  His class is preparing for a big golden reunion on June 15.


Twelve marriage licenses in a single week is the record just made in the office of the county clerk, Mike Krultz, Jr.  It is the largest bag made by Cupid in Clark County in many a long month.


(Correction on location of the Joe Nauertz Hotel, which was located on East 6th Street during the 1930s, not on West 7th St. as appeared on the “Good Old Days” page of April 27, 2016.  DZ)





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