Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 18, 2019  Page 9 

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman

 December 1929


Saturday, the annual winter fire was started in the coal stove that stands in the enter of C.C. Sniteman’s Drug Store. Mr. Sniteman states that the stove was placed in service at the store when it was built thirty-three years ago and previously had been used by Mrs. Sniteman. In that period, it has only had one set of grates and still is in excellent condition.                                                                               


If you have ever visited the office of John H. Irvine, county clerk, at the courthouse, probably you have seen Heinie and heard him sing. Heinie is a canary bird, and for the past four years, has made his home in Mr. Irvine’s office. The bird spends little time in his cage, preferring to fly about the office, to be close to those who are working and seems happiest when he is seated near someone who will listen to his singing. Although the door is open Heinie never ventures into the halls nor tries to escape when the windows are open in warm weather.                                                                                     


Geese are off in their ways sometimes. It’s only a couple of weeks since Arthur Opelt found that a wild goose had been injured in such a manner that it came to light among his chickens. That is easy enough to understand, but during the same week a goose belonging to Wayne Short, and kept on his father’s farm in the same neighborhood, turned from a perfectly well-mannered tame domesticated goose into a wild goose by some stoke of magic and flew away. At least, at the present writing, no one, in the neighborhood has seen or heard of it.


Do you suppose it’s safe to go to bed nights without locking up the cows and pumpkins?


The city has made a most excellent investment, a considerable section of snow fence, which has been set up along North Grand Avenue. Every winter, heavy snowfall has seen that street blockaded with drifts, causing much expense to keep it open. This snow fence should overcome much of this trouble.


Complaints are being made by the parents of some of the younger children that some of the big boys heckle the smaller ones while skating or sliding on O’Neill Pond, so some of the little fellow will no longer go to the pond to play. The Press is informed that the names of the big boys who are making the trouble are well known and if their offense continues they will be reported to the police.         


A bunch of Neillsville men had an engineering problem on their hands last week when O.W. Lewerenz’s ton and a-half truck went through the ice into a pond made by a beaver dam on one of the drainage canals south of Highway 10 in the Town of Mentor.


Mr. Lewerenz and Pete Warlum conceived the idea of driving the truck down the canal to get some Christmas decorations for the streets of Neillsville. The ice was 8 to 10 inches thick and all went well until the truck ran across a beaver tunnel where the ice had been weakened. Just at this critical place the truck engine died, and while efforts were being made to start it, the ice gave way and the truck went into the pond, the water being deep enough to almost submerge it. Bill Goldhamer, who was driving Bill’s truck, and his brother, A.R. Goldhamer of Abbotsford who was riding along, then saw it was hopeless to raise the “submarine,” so drove back to Neillsville in Bill’s truck. This was Thursday afternoon, and it was then too late to send out a relief expedition.


The next day, Lewerenz’s wrecker and two men and five of Pete Warlum’s crew went out, erected a derrick made of poles, hosted the truck out of the mud and water, then towed it home.


A wedding of much interest in this community was solemnized late Thursday afternoon when Miss Hazel Marie Siverts of this city and Henry Leo Hauge of Neillsville were wed. The Rev. M.E. Hauge, pastor of the First English Lutheran Church, officiated, and the five o’clock ceremony took place at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. Elma Siverts.


Relatives and very close friends of the family were in attendance at the wedding.


Immediately following the wedding, a bounteous wedding dinner was served at the bride’s home.


The bride is the youngest daughter of Mrs. Siverts and is well known here. She is a graduate of the local high school.


Mr. Hauge is the son of Mrs. Alfred Hauge of Neillsville. He served his country overseas in World War I. He is now in the fuel and oil station business.                                     


A railroad repair crew is stationed at the depot in Neillsville, staying in bunk cars while doing work in this locality, such as fixing up the stockyards and on other repair jobs in this area.


Just a Reminder!


Colder weather is due here after the holidays. Better fill your coal bins. We do not handle all grades that are mined, but we do have some of the choice kinds, such as O&N High Test, Elkhorn, Splint, Commander, Briquets and Petroleum Coke, and with a ton or more of coal paid for, you are entitled to a fine Scooter for the kiddies for 98˘.



O & N Lumber Co. H.O. Huckstead, Manager.                                                           


Bill Hemp Jr., in the role of Santa Claus, handed out boxes of nuts and candy at the First National Bank, Tuesday. It kept Santa on the jump and then he went broke about 15 minutes to 3 o’clock, having handed out 700 packages for the kiddies.                                                         


Jack Kearns has been kept busy the past week setting up Christmas trees in front of his store for motorists to back into and breaking off. Jack states he can look out any time and see one of his Christmas trees lying on the sidewalk. Mr. Kearns has begun working on a Christmas tree with a rubber trunk, which he believes would be more durable against the onslaught of auto drivers.                


Clark County bankers, following the example set by bankers in several other Wisconsin counties, met at the Merchants Hotel Friday evening to organize a force of what is coming to be known as Community Guards. While spoken of as “Vigilantes,” these guards are not that in the old sense of being a volunteer organization of men who take the execution of law into their own hands but are the men who are duly sworn in as deputy sheriffs and have all the powers and responsibilities of other deputy sheriffs, not only in pursuing and arresting of all criminal laws. They are organized primarily, however, to take a strong hand in suppressing bank robberies. The past summer has witnessed one bank hold-up after another in the state; one sheriff and a few deputies in each county and local police of small cities and village marshals being in force entirely inadequate to pursue or intercept bank robbers.‘


(After “Black Tuesday” in the fall of 1929, when several banks closed and the Great Depression began, there soon came the desperation for money that resulted in the beginning of the “robbery mobs” that worked within the states. These mobs also targeted banks that were still in business. Local law enforcement officials had a difficult time covering all of the Clark County area with their regular duties plus being on the lookout for possible robbery attacks. However, with Neillsville being the site of the sheriff’s headquarters, that may have helped keep robbers away from the city.


The Neillsville banks, at that time, were able to stay in business and honored their customers’ losses due to the “crash,” gradually able to pay back those losses during a period of about eight to nine years. Their customers were fortunate. My parents never did recover the $10,000-plus money on deposit in their local bank when “Black Tuesday” struck. DZ)


A circa 1940s view of West 5th Street taken from the intersection of Hewett and 5th, looking westward on a wintry day. (Photo courtesy of Bob Boysen)


December 1949


George Mensik, once a member of the Joe Saltis gang in Chicago, now converted to Christianity, will be a speaker at the Greenwood Rural Missions Church December 6, 7 and 8 , at 8 p.m.


Local jeweler Frank Brown is still partially laid up by his hunting injury, sustained opening day of deer hunting season when Frank attempted to cross a beaver dam, apparently to see what was on the other side.


The hunter fell, twisting his knee, and is still hobbling about at his place of business.


Neillsville city crews have completed work on the decorations designed to attract Old St. Nick’s eye when he makes his annual visit to the city December 25. The four spruce bough streamers crossing Hewett Street are fitted with lights and ready to serve as landing beacons for the old gentleman in the red suit when he swoops into Neillsville and begins filling stockings.


Two truckloads of spruce boughs were donated by county forester Al Covill, and crews fashioned the boughs into steamers, and some were wound about lamp-posts. A large assignment was placed atop Seventh Street lamps.


A Christmas tree will be lit by the public library. Another landing light has been set over the city’s standpipe, by the city’s water department.


Power for the four long streamers over the business section is being provided by hookups with local business concerns. Warlum-Robinson, Henry Becker, Dr. E. Lee, and the Neillsville library are supplying electric current and are charged with turning lights on in the streamers at their locations.



Made on Your Order

Phone Blue 108

State Street, Neillsville

2 Doors South of Hospital


About 200 Lutefisk lovers disposed of 200 lbs. of the Norwegian dish at the American Legion Lutefisk and Lefse supper at the Legion Hall last week. At the same time, they consumed about 300 pieces of Lefse, each piece averaging 12 inches in diameter. Serving began at 5:30 p.m. and continued until 10 p.m., Mrs. Otto Schlimme reported, but the heaviest traffic in lutefisk sales came between 6 and 8:30 p.m.


Along with the Lutefisk and the 300 feet of Lefse, was served ham baked in wine sauce, but the Lefse was the biggest job preparing, it was reported. A crew of five women began Sunday afternoon preparing potatoes, went back at the job Monday afternoon and spent all day Tuesday getting this flat food ready for the table.


An impressive series of tableaux with music by the Neillsville High School band and the combined girls’ glee club retold the Christmas story at the Neillsville Armory Tuesday evening.


A capacity crowd filled the candlelit building to hear the band and glee clubs present a series of Christmas songs that were a musical setting for the pantomimes depicting the nativity. The first Christmas story was narrated by Mary Ann Smith.


The program began with an overture by the Neillsville band under the direction of C. Scott Hunsberger. A processional followed as the girls’ glee club, each member carrying a lighted candle, filed through the darkened auditorium to take their placed before the state.


Gathering in the light of the candelabra before the stage where the band was also seated, the glee club joined with the band in presentation of carols appropriate to each of the eight tableaux appearing on the spotlighted stage.


Laura Lee Rosekrans presented the single solo of the evening, singing, “Holy Night” in one of the high points of a fine program. Carol Wang accompanied Laura Lee with piano. Both girls also played with the high school band.


The program closed with the audience joining in the singing of “Joy to the World.” From planners of this year’s program, it was learned that this impressive  version of the Christmas story is to be presented again next year.


(Apparently, the community attendees of that Neillsville High School Christmas concert so enjoyed the program, they suggested a repeat performance next year. DZ)                        


Talent in profusion was in evidence last Sunday evening at the Christmas concert of the Holy Family Church at Willard, given by the parish choir and band. The Slovenian congregation mixed the English and the Slovenian tongues, both in their printed programs and in their execution. Thus, the concert was unique.


The concert started with “God Bless America,” played by the parish band, which followed with “My Home Land,” speaking for the attachment still felt for the land of their birth. Then the choir rendered three numbers in a light vein, followed by a third number in which William Kuntara played piano accompaniment. Then there were three numbers in which Kuntara played the cither, being accompanied by Frank Sladish on the Hawaiian cithara and in the third by Edward Pekol on the accordion.


In the next section, the Volovsek orchestra took over, and then Sylvester Debevec sang a solo, with mixed chorus helping. In another number, parts were taken by Johnny, Vicky and Maryann Stout. Then Gary Ruzich on the piano and Jimmy Mallmann on the clarinet did a number, followed by a trio, Angeline Ruzich on the piano, Donna Ruzich, flute and Junior Ruzich, clarinet.


William Kuntara sang a bass solo, with the mixed choir and Edward Pekol on the accordion. The concert concluded with singing of “America,” accompanied by the band.


(The cither and cithara are flat musical stringed instruments that resemble ukulele or guitar. DZ)





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