November 4, 2020,  Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"


Extracted by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.


Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Clark County News

November 3, 1927


Pleads guilty – gets life term


Monday forenoon at 11 o’clock about 3 hours before the time set for opening his trial in Circuit Court, Gus Handke expressed the wish to be taken into court and there plead guilty to murder in the first degree. He was taken before Judge Crosby, accompanied by his attorney, A.L. Devos, and there the indictment was read by the District Attorney, V.W. Nehs, Handke pleading guilty without hesitation. It is not known why he came to the decision. He revealed no details of the murder of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Paul Handke, neither in court nor to his attorney. He has remained very cheerful and full of courage until last Friday, when it was noticed that his spirits began to get low and as the time approached for the trial he gradually grew less and less confident. He offered no suggestion when asked by the court if he knew of any reason why sentence should not be pronounced, and accordingly sentence was at once given - confinement in Wisconsin State Prison during the period of his natural life, one day in each year, the anniversary of his crime, to be spent in solitary confinement.


It is probable that as the hours of trial approached, he shrank from facing his hostile relatives and neighbors and probably realized the hopelessness of overcoming the evidence he knew had been obtained against him, and other evidence which he suspected might have been secured.


As a matter of fact, District Attorney Nehs had obtained considerable quite conclusive evidence, besides that presented at the preliminary hearing. On the wall in the stairway, where the body of Mrs. Paul Handke was discovered, was found a handprint in blood, with the index finger- mark missing, indicating without even tracing the ridge marks of the skin, that it was the hand of Gus. Handke, as he had lost the index finger of that hand. The section of the wall with this hand mark upon had been cut out by Dist. Atty. Nehs and was to have been offered in evidence. Mr. Nehs also had taken out a section of the wallboard, showing the marks into which fitted the end of the iron bar found near the steps, and this section of wall he also expected to use in evidence.


During the time when Gus was at his own house after he was found in Paul’s home, it was believed that he had burned some of his clothing. The ashes in the stove were sifted under direction of Mr. Nehs and a full set of overall buckles and buttons and a small piece of unburned cloth was found. Chemists at Madison had examined the spots on Gus’ rubber boots, also the stains on the arm of his jacket, and reported that both were human blood stains. Of course, Handke did not know what evidence had been found, but evidently felt it was useless to make a defense. At the auction sale of farm and personal property a considerable sum of money was realized and as all of his business had not been closed up, he asked for a few days delay in taking him to Waupun to finish up his business affairs, and this was granted. When this is completed, Sheriff Olson will take him to the State Prison at Waupun.


Handke’s plea of guilty came as a surprise to all concerned. The jurors had been summoned to appear at 2 o’clock p.m. on Monday, and as all of them were on their way when he decided to change his plea to guilty, it was too late to notify them until they arrived here, but there being no other criminal case to try they all returned home.


The county has been saved the expense of a long trial by the sudden change in Handke’s plea.


No doubt the court room would have been packed with spectators, as many came before the word went out that it was all over, and many had called by phone to learn the hour when the trial was to start.


Hewett’s case will be settled


It appears from reports in the Stevens Point Daily Journal that the controversy between Harry Hewett and the Police Board of that city is likely to be settled. The terms tentatively agreed upon are that the board will withdraw the charges against Mr. Hewett and pay him the sum of $350; Mr. Hewett on his part is to resign the position of chief of police. It appears that this settlement depends upon the city council voting the money to pay Mr. Hewett, but the indications are reported to be that the council will do so.


Tame fox at large


Last week a young silver fox at Robert Quinnell’s fox farm in west Pine Valley made its escape, and at last reports is still as large. It ran around the neighborhood and appeared quite tame, coming up close to Chris Mohr. At first he did not know what it was and attempted to catch it, but it succeeded in escaping when he almost had his hands on it. A week previous one of the old foxes made her escape from the pens, but was later caught with a trap, the jaws of which were wound with cloth, and the fox again placed in the pen without any injury.


The law now fixes the ownership of silver or black foxes the same as any other domestic animal, so no one has a right to kill or take possession for his own any such fox any more than he would a stray sheep or cow.


Will put on laugh show


Much interest is being created over a great stunt which is to take place here November 22 and 23. It is to be a “Womanless Wedding”. Not a woman in it - all men! Can you imagine our business men, by magic touch of lipstick, rouge and eyebrow pencil, suddenly becoming beautiful girls, charming debutantes, stately matrons and vamping flappers? The only way to believe it is to see it.


A very capable director of the Sympson Levie Company of Cardstown, Ky., will arrive in our town the last of next week to direct this popular production. The Methodist Ladies Aid of this place is sponsoring this affair and are hearty in their cooperation and very enthusiastic over the contemplated success.


The “Womanless Wedding” is being staged all over this section this season by this company, and glowing reports come from other towns that packed houses greeted the performances both nights. In Sparta, a short time ago 1,500 people saw this play.


It is a clean, wholesome bit of old fashioned humor that make the old laugh young again and the young laugh until their sides ache. In other words, it is one continuous roar of laughter. Many beautiful costumes will be worn by our local men, so plan to see the funniest thing ever witnessed in Neillsville. Who would you choose for the beautiful blushing bride?


Big time at High School


Such a foolishness they had at the high school Monday night when the students put on their Halloween Carnival. There were three floors of fun and amusement, the assembly room being used for a vaudeville show which brought out some good talent. The pantomimic ride in a Ford was particularly laughable and portrayed the entire trip, including flat tires, balky engine, bumps, etc. The basement housed a lot of gags and a sportsman’s paradise, and the main floor was given over to a tea room, chamber of horrors, etc. The evening was an amusing and enjoyable one throughout.


Cows getting scarce


E.E. Dixon of St. Paul was here last week and bought a carload of Holstein cows. Mr. Dixon has bought many carloads here in the past. He buys only good quality and ships a car to Japan, another to Yakima, Wash., and another to Mexico. Mr. Dixon has three brothers all engage in a similar business at different parts of Wisconsin, and he stated that all are agreed that there is a great and growing shortage of cows. This arises from several causes: many are being lost in the area tuberculin tests; fewer heifer calves are being raised because of the high price of milk; a large increase in consumption of milk and milk products, etc. He strongly urges dairymen to raise as many good heifer calves as possible for a few years to come.


Chicken pie supper to be held at Granton


The Granton Ladies’ Circle will hold their annual chicken pie supper and bazaar in the new basement of the Union Church on Tuesday evening, Nov. 8th. Everyone is cordially invited to attend. Mrs. Crandell will display her Art Gift Shop wares, offering many lovely homemade articles to choose from and purchase for Christmas gifts.


Court session over


The case of Ole Bragstad against W.A. Zelm for damages arising from seepage from Mr. Zelm’s cheese factory, on trial last week, was decided in Mr. Zelm’s favor, the jury returned a verdict of “no cause for action”.


The case against Peter Hohenstein for violation of the liquor law went over until next term.


Chicken pie supper


The Ladies Aid of the Presbyterian Church will serve a chicken pie supper in the church parlors Thursday, Nov. 3 from 5:30 until all are served. Menu: Chicken pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash, cabbage salad, cranberry mold, pickles, rolls, dark bread, pumpkin pie and whipped cream, coffee. Everyone welcome.




The Halloween program at the Hewettville school was enjoyed and much credit is due Miss Sharp and her pupils. The pies sold well, together with coffee. Miss Sharp wished to thank all who attended.


Jesse Collins is taking treatments for his eye from Dr. F.M. Garman at Neillsville.


Mrs. H. Albright visited school Friday forenoon.


Henry and Roscoe Hart gave a dance at the former’s home Saturday evening. Otto and Fred Dux furnished the music.


Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Hubbard of Hayward and Mrs. Lon Cook spent Saturday afternoon with Mrs. Green in Neillsville.


Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schultz were overnight visitors at H. Schultz’s.


Pleasant Ridge


Mr. and Mrs. Henry Carter of Crandon visited relatives here Friday.


The entertainment given by Miss Bradford and her pupils Friday evening was enjoyed by a large number. It was one of the best entertainments given by this school. Our teacher certainly deserves much credit for her hard work.


Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Smith were entertained by relatives in Neillsville Sunday.


Mr. and Mrs. Willard Gerhardt and family spent Sunday at the Geo. West home.


Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Vine and family visited Mr. and Mrs. Louis Schultz Sunday.


Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Vine and family spent Sunday at the Ed Waterman home.


Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Suckow and son Francis are visiting relatives in Chicago.


An accident on the Geo. West’ hill put Mr. West’s and Mr. Higgin’s cars out of order. No one was hurt, but this shows the very careless driving by some at night. A young man near Granton drove into both cars.


Ralph Alstot, Forest Selves and Mrs. Spez returned from the harvest fields Wednesday.


Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Magnuson visited relatives at Pray Sunday.


Mrs. Ed Bowen, Lorraine and Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Albaugh and Lucille Wilding attended church here Sunday.




Mr. A. Dressel has moved his family into the house owned by Tony Lopnow.


Mr. Hanson of Greenwood now occupies the Arthur Bruss house, recently vacated by Mr. Dressel.


Albert Davel, proprietor of the Store of Quality, has been confined to the house for several days with the flu.


The married people have organized a Club Dance, a series of which will be held during the fall and winter months at the M.W.A. hall. The first one will be this week Thursday night.


Mrs. Harry Brown entertained the Bridge Club Saturday evening. A very pleasant time was enjoyed by those present.


Earl Gwin, Al Lyons and J.B. Bashford were callers in Greenwood Saturday.


Percy Voight has sold the garage which he built about four years ago. The purchaser was Walter Miles who a few days later sold it to Mr. Goodman.


Clarence Vick will leave this week for Fort Worth, Texas, where he intends to located. We wish him the best of luck in his undertaking. He will join Mr. and Mrs. Wm. McKinzie who are there.


Albert Rinehart, when returning from Neillsville last Friday night met a car, and their lights were so bright as to blind him and he pulled too close to the side of the road and the car turned turtle. The several occupants of the car escaped with minor injuries, but the car was a wreck.


Seif and Hendren


F. Laken called at Bramble’s and Okerl’s Wednesday.




Hmmm ... a sports model for $1,195 to $1,525!





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