MERRILLAN, JACKSON CO., WISCONSIN, 1879
NEWS EXCERPTS PERTAINING TO CLARK COUNTY FROM THE WISCONSIN LEADER
Introduction: The Wisconsin Leader was established in 1878 by Mr. Byron J. Castle at Merrillan, a growing logging and railroading junction.
Mr. Rulef H. Gile moved to Merrillan in 1878 to work for Mr. Castle. By the end of that year, Gile had purchased Castle's interest
and was operating the business. He and his family maintained the publication, in addition to a large business form volume, until 1929.
In these clips when you see a reference to another newspaper, that was a common practice of one community's paper repeating the news
from another nearby town, as the newspaper was, in addition to word of mouth, the best communication of news. The dates, volumes, and
numbers prior to the article are the reference to the Wisconsin Leader's edition. (The entire record of the Leader is on file at the
Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison.) As the reader can tell, the Wisconsin Leader served a large business and geographical
area, partly due to the lack of local competition except for Neillsville and Black River Falls, and to the position of Merrillan as an
important railroad junction with lines extending in 5 different directions by 1882.
Contributed by Bob Gile.
Vol. II, No. 42, 2/7/79:
The name of Frankville post office at Hatfield station on the G. B.& M. road, has been changed to Hatfield, and C.A. Ecker appointed postmaster.
Vol. II, No. 43, 2/14/79:
Clark County, Neillsville Press- Last week was not down as a very discouraging one for loggers, yet some of the hauling done was remarkable. The largest we have heard of was done by a team in McKinley's camp, which hauled 2,960 feet by actual scalement, weighing 20,000 pounds. This, done on a day as warm as spring, when there was hardly a particle of snow to be seen on the ground, may be set down as one of the curiosities of loggers. It was the ice roads that did it. The sprinkler had been there the night before.
A very bold theft was committed recently in Coleman's camp on Four-mile creek, near King's mill. A man whose name we suppress at the request of our informant, slipped in and stole sixty five logs from the skidways while the crew was at work all around him. There appears to be but one cheeky thing that he did not attempt. He did not ask the crew to help him load, being magnaminous enough to do that for himself. The logs were recovered and , we understand, the thief paid pretty dearly for his brief ownership.
The lumbermen on the Black River are once more cheerful and as full of hope and energy as ever. Last Sunday afternoon the weather turned cold and the next morning and forenoon about five inches of snow fell. Tuesday took a part of it off again but though the days continued warm enough to thaw a little, the nights have been very cold, and by aid of sprinkler and snow shovels every morning of this week has found the roads better than they were the morning before. All that loggers ask for now is ordinary weather for the season, with snow or no snow, and they will do one of the best winters work ever done on the river. With any kind of weather from this out they will come out whole, and there are still abundant chances for good profits.
Humbird seems to be a popular resort for tourists just now.
A number of Merrillan young people visited Humbird Tuesday evening, for a sleigh ride.
See the new advertisement of Doty & Wicker, proprietors of the Humbird and Merrillan Harness Shops. If you want anything in their line, give them a call. They can fit your horses and suit you, for style and for price.
Over 100,050,000 feet of logs have already been banked on Black River. With fair hauling loggers expect to get in as much more.
Vol. II, No. 44, 2/21/79:
Neillsville is to be incorporated as a city.
Just before the snow came, week before last, Wm. Mathews, working for C.N. Paine & Co., made one of the biggest hauls on record, hauling at one load 4,383 feet of logs. (Note: Paine's Mill was northeast of Merrillan near the Town of Dewhurst line and no doubt a lot of their logging was done in Clark County.)
WEATHER INDICATIONS: For Upper lake region, upper Mississippi Valley, rising temperature, falling barometer, winds mostly from southeast to southwest, and partly cloudy weather, with snow. (Note: This is the first listing of weather forecasting in this paper.)
A Humbird Yarn - E.D. Carter has the best logging road we know of-four miles long, solid ice, level as a house floor, and teams averaging 2,000 to 3,000 feet at a load.
The Good Templars held a matinee Wednesday evening, and entertained numerous visitors from Merrillan and Fairchild. While the fun was going on, it was discovered that the floor was settling. The few who knew it kept cool and got all hands over to Carter's Hall safe, where the fun continued.
Vol. II, No. 47, 3/21/79:
The attention of our village readers is called to the marked difference in the proceedings in our streets (Merrillan) this year and last year when the loggers broke camp. A strong temperance lecture can be found in the comparision and an unanswerable argument in favor of no license.
Vol. II, No. 48, 3/28/79:
Neillsville Press: A meeting of the directors of the Black River Railroad Company was held last week, at which the secretary was instructed to correspond with the G.B.&M. and Northwestern railroad companies and a number of La Crosse gentlemen as a third party, soliciting propositions from each for the completion of the road by them. At this writing only one reply has been received and that from the G.B.&M. That company evinces a desire to build the road, but is at present unable to make any definite propositions. The inference to be drawn from the letter is that this company will build the road as soon as it can, which will be some time in the near future.
Vol. II, No. 51, 4/11/79:
Neillsville Press: Revolvers and Things - A shooting affair took place at the residence of Wm. Schultz, about three miles west of this place, last Saturday night, which may yet be attended by fatal results. On the evening mentioned there was a dance at the residence of Mr. Schultz. A party of young men, not noted for sobriety, attended it, without invitation, as we understand. They were more or less under the influence of liquor. They were in fact feeling well, and bent on a good time if it broke up the dance. They insisted upon taking part in the dance without paying for tickets, and upon being refused began a general muss. One of them, Fred. Drake, made an attack on E.B. Brown, the floor manager, when the latter drew a revolver and shot him in the head. The intruders then left. Drake walked to his home, several miles distant, and got up and did his usual chores, during the day found it necessary to send for a physician. Dr. Teller was called and extracted the bullet finding the skull so badly fractured as to make the removal of a portion necessary. The operation was successfully performed, but the patient still lies in a very dangerous condition with about even chances between living and dying. Brown, who is an inoffensive old man, was arrested on Monday and was bound over to await the result of Drake's injuries. The general opinion is that should death ensue, the case would prove to be one of justifiable homicide.
A severe accident at Carter's Mill near Humbird, is reported to us as occurring on Monday evening. Orin Allen, who was at work in the mill, while passing the saw, stumbled and fell on the saw, striking on his side. Several bad punctures were made in his side, the teeth cutting in between the ribs, and his hip ripped open badly. One foot also struck the saw cutting off the fibula at the ankle, and otherwise injuring the foot. The steam had just been shut off, the saw only running by its own momentum, and this fact alone saved his life, for had the saw been running under full head, he would have been cut in twain. Dr. Moore, of this village assisted by Dr. Burt of Humbird, fixed up his injuries, and hopes to save his foot.
Humbird Yarn - Susan B. Anthony is billed to speak at Carter's Hall, Friday evening.
Vol. II, No. 52, 4/18/79:
At a meeting of the stockholders of the Black River Railroad Company last week, the directors of last year were re-elected as follows: N.H. Withee, James Hewitt, R.J. MacBride, Daniel Gates, R.F. Kountz, James L. Gates, Geo. L. Lloyd, and E.D. Lindsay. On the same day a meeting of the directors was held and the following officers elected for the ensuing year; N.H. Withee, President; James Hewitt, Vice President; R.F. Kountz, Secretary; Daniel Gates, Treasurer; Jas. L. Gates, General Manager.
The pay car on the C.St.P.&M. railroad went down on Wednesday, leaving a young deluge of green backs in its wake.
H. H. Pray has been appointed Postmaster of Pray post-office at Tremont Station on the Green Bay railroad, vice (sic) Charles Harley, resigned.
A Kansas gentleman was in town yesterday to make arrangements for several hundred thousand feet of lumber to be shipped to that State.
A valuable stallion, which had just been imported from Scotland and was enroute to Wausau, was burned to death in a freight car between here and Hatfield on Wednesday afternoon. A spark from the engine caught in the hay in the car, and before it was discovered had made such progress that the horse could not be got out. He was valued at $1,500.
Banner: W.H. Kountz, of Neillsville, an attorney at law, will open a law office here next week.
Vol. III, No. 1, 4/25/79:
Clark County, Neillsville Press: Frank Roberts, of this place, got among the logs in the Hemlock Island dam last Monday morning and went through the sluice with them. Utterly impossible as such a feat would seem to be without fatal results, he came out of the angry flood below the dam after a long disappearance and swam to shore without having received an injury.
The maple sugar crop is a very good one, so far, this season. Large quantities of it are being bought for the Milwaukee and Chicago markets. Cole & Pashelles are the principal buyers. They have already shipped several tons. The ruling prices for the best quality is 10 1/2 cents cash, and 12 1/2 in trade. Syrup is worth from $1.00 to $1.15 a gallon.
A.H. Bright has been busy during the past week with the Hemolck Island flooding dam. Though the water has been too low to make anything like a thorough drive, he has got most of the roll-ways and jams broken. He will make a hole through the river, at least, so that whenever we do get half a rise it will, with the assistance of the dam, make a clean drive very easy of accomplishment. There are now but two jams in the main river, one of a mile and a half long just above Neillsville and another of about 80 rods at Ans Green's place. The river has very seldom been so low at this time of the year, and except for the dams all driving operations would come to a standstill, but with their persistent use even at this stage no amount of logs will find their way to the mouth of the river. Capt. Tom LaFlesh has also been doing good work on the East Fork, and has got everything in the best shape possible for a clean drive when sufficient water comes.
Orin Allen who was hurt at Stile's Mill, near Humbird, some time since, is doing nicely, and his physicians think that with proper care he will come out but slightly maimed.
Humbird Yarn - The new planing mill will soon be in operation. The Grange building is to be moved north of the railroad track and fitted up for a Masonic Hall.
Vol. III, No. 2, 5/2/79:
Neillsville Press - Sawyer's dam, on the main river in town 31, was opened last Wednesday and started most of the logs on the upper river. The river is now filled with them from that point to another twelve miles above. About a million of them had been sluiced through on Tuesday morning. Logging matters have once more come to a stand-still for want of water, and the crews discharged. The flooding dams were worked until Tuesday with good success, considering the low stage of water, but work enough could not be done to longer warrant the expense of keeping crews at work. A few logs have been got through to the mouth by means of flooding, but its principal service has been in breaking rollways, which have all been effectually flattened on the main river. But few logs have been got out of Popple river, which is literally full of logs from the falls to South Fork dam, about twelve miles. In fact both branches of that river are about as full as they can be as far up as logs were put in. There has been no driving on the tributaries nor upon the main river above the Hemlock Island dam. The river is as low as it is possible for it to be at this season, and still no indication of rain. Since the above was written there has been a slight rise in the Popple which was taken advantage of and flooding from the Hemlock Island dam was resumed on Wednesday evening. Yesterday the logs were running past this place on the flood from the dam of the night before, but it is expected that this will be the last work of the kind until there is a better stage of water.
Eau Claire County - From the News - Our Fairchild correspondent writes us that the saw mill of M. Pedrick; situated about 2 1/2 miles north of that town, was burned yesterday afternoon, making a clean sweep of lumber, logs, mill, buildings, &c., except three shanties. The fire came from the woods. (Note: Several articles in these weeks about fires in the woods around Merrillan and other towns in the area.)
W. H. Doty has invested in a new buggy, and hereafter will use the same to navigate between the stumps from Humbird to this city.
Vol. 888, No. 3, 5/9/79:
CLARK COUNTY - NEILLSVILLE PRESS: The logs have been left in such shape in the river by the flooding dams that a five foot rise would take down two hundred and fifty million feet. The frame of Gallaher's new saw and planing mill was raised on Wednesday. It presents huge proportions and evinces no little amount of architectural skill in laying it out, which work was done by Mr. Geo. W. Tronger. Every brace, of which there were nearly 300, fits as snugly as if it had grown there. Every joint was perfectly made and keyed to perfect solidity. It is altogether the best frame we have ever seen, and if everything is in keeping with it, the building will be a fine one. A man named Jerry Murphy, better known to rivermen as Stuttering Jerry, was probably fatally injured in a row in a saloon in the town of Hixon, last Wednesday evening, the proprietor, a German named Funk, being the person at whose hands the injury was received. The particulars of the affray we have been unable to learn, more than that the two men quarreled over some unimportant matter, both being too full of whiskey to make a proper use of the small amount of sense they appear to possess. The fight which followed the war of words appears to have ended with a second round, Murphy coming out ahead in the first, leaving Funk badly marked from a kick in the face with a driving boot bristling with corks. In the second round, with the aid of a heavy hoe, Funk knocked Murphy completely out of time. The flow was given with the blade of the hoe, striking the forehead just below the hair, cutting through the skull and into the brain. The piece of skull removed measured two and one half by one and one fourth inches, making an ugly as well as dangerous wound. The injured man was brought to Greenwood, where the wound was dressed by Dr. Thomas. Funk surrendered himself to the authorities at Greenwood on Thursday morning.
Geroge Hiles, of Dexterville, lost some over $5,000 worth of lumber by fire, one day last week.
The Official Base Ball Guide for 1879 at the Leader News Room. Only 10 cents, by mail 12 cts.
In the course of his rambles the other day, our reported found himself at the mill of Wakefield, Trow & Co. and after looking around some, accepted the invitation of Mr. J.L. Barker to accompany him up to the camps, something over four miles, on the engine used for hauling logs. Climbing up into the cab we were soon under way, through the lumber yards, and into the pine woods. On every side were great heaps of logs and empty skids from which the logs had been hauled into the mill. We arrived at the camp in a short time, the empty cars were set off on a side track, and a train quickly made up of loaded ones. And then the journey homeward was begun, the engine snorting and the dense pine woods sending back the echoes. The mill was quickly reached again, and the logs dumped in the pond, the round trip being made in one hour and thirty five minutes, including stoppages for wood and water. This firm has the best thing out for hauling logs, greatly superior to either horses on a tram road, or horses with sleds and snow. The outlay for the engine is less than horses to do the same work would cost, and the expense of operating is considerable less. The firm think their present supply of timber will keep their mill running about twelve years. The cut of the mill is about 35,000 per day, employing in all capacities from 60 to 70 men. (Note: This mill was located southeast of Merrillan at Trow Lake, but the pinery they travel into was in the Town of Dewhurst. This logging road was built in 1878 and attempts have been made in the past by yours truly and others to find proof that it was actually a railroad with iron rails and not strap rails. If this could be proven, it would be recognized as Wisconsin's first logging railroad.)
Vol. III, No. 4, 5/16/79:
The timbers for the new planing mill at Humbird are nearly all framed, and the building will soon be up and in use.
The late rains have raised the rivers, and the logs are running lively. This should help to shorten up the elongated visages of our loggers somewhat.
The following dispatch from Hatfield to La Crosse on Wednesday evening will give our readers an idea of the condition of the log drive on Black River: Plenty water here and along the river. Big jam here two miles long. One at the mouth of East Fork several miles long. Probably 75,000,000 in both jams here. The jam was broken here at nine o'clock this morning, and logs ran about a quarter of an hour, during which time nearly half a mile ran out, which would leave about a mile and a half remaining at this place. The jam from the mouth of East Fork at noon to day extended up as far as the head of the dalles, or the new bridge across Black River. The logs have continued to run in fast during the day, on the rear of the jam and at this date it tends up to the mouth of Wedge's creek, at which place there is a jam of two miles from the mouth of the creek up towards Hewittsville. There are small jams now forming all along up the river, but they are of little consequence, and soon run out. The river is reasonably clear from obstruction above Wedge's creek, and the logs are running well. There was a small jam at Ross' eddy yesterday, but it was broken during the afternoon. The logs are running nicely at Neillsville and Weston's rapids, and the water is considered at a fair stage. The Hemlock dam is working very nicely and they have been able to let through all the logs that have run into the reservoir. The river as far as twenty-nine has been driven well and in a day or so they expect a drive from Thirty and thirty-one. A very good stage of water exists on the Popple and Rock creeks and as rain continues falling there is no fear that a good driving stage will be maintained. At present every indication is favorable, and if the jams are broken below, of which there can be no doubt as Bright has a crew, of fifty or sixty men working on the head of the jam and is expected to move any minute, there is a very good reason to believe that from seventy five to one hundred million will reach the boom very soon.
Vol. III, No. 5, 5/23/79:
The frame of the new Humbird planing mill is up and part of the machinery in place.
An emmigrant train passed thro' here on Saturday going north to Manitoba, containing ten cars of live stock, seven passenger cars, and a number of freight cars, containing baggage, utensils, and furniture. Nearly 400 people were on board.
We understand that a proposition has passed between certain capitalists and the Green Bay Railroad Company by which the capitalists agree to make the road-bed and the company to furnish and lay the iron for the railroad from Merrillan to Spencer, on the Wisconsin Central Railroad, via Neillsville, giving the Green Bay road an important feeder. Probably the road will follow very nearly the line of the road proposed to be built by the Black River railroad company. The business of such a connecting line would be very heavy, and will no doubt pay a large percentage on the cost of construction.
Vol. III, No. 7, 6/6/79:
The Grange building at Humbird has been purchased by the Masonic Lodge of that village, moved up Main street and placed between Macomber's residence and Carter's store, where it will be fitted up and used by them for a hall.
Carter's new Planing Mill at Humbird is quite an addition to that lively village. Numerous improvements are to be made in the vicinity of the mill, among which are a new side track and an additional spur track out to the mill. Mr. Carter is entitled to much credit for his business enterprise, which is adding very greatly to the renown of the village.
Vol. III, No. 8, 6/13/79:
Neillsville Press - We received a call on Wednesday from Mr. Joe Sterling, the efficient manager of the Eau Claire Lumber Co. in the town of Thorpe. (sic) Among his other duties is the management of a farm of 400 acres under the plow. Just think of it, a farm of 400 acres in the northern part of Clark County, counted by most people as a wilderness, but which is not, by a good deal.
Vol. III, No. 9, 6/20/79:
Notice is hereby given, that complaint has been made to me, a Justice of the Peace, for the County of Jackson, that certain boys are in the habit of playing base ball in this village on the Sabbath, against the peace and dignity of the State, and contrary to the statute in such case made, and provided. And also that certain parties, are in the habit of going in swimming, near house, and making themselves a public nuisance. This is to notify all such parties, that if these things are not stopped, I shall cause the arrest of all said parties and shall fine them to the full extent of the law. Merrillan, June 19th, 1879, H.M. Hackney.
Vol. III, No. 10, 6/27/79:
Humbird will nearly all celebrate in Merrillan. (The Fourth)
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary" for a publication day to come on the 4th of July, we will put it off a day, and will issue The Leader on Saturday next week.
Vol. III, No. 11, 7/4/79:
Neillsville Press - The Logging Association have about decided to build, at as early a day as possible, flooding dams at the angles and at Black River Falls, and probably one at Weston's Rapids. The dams already built have proven of such service as to make a complete system indispensible.
Vol. III, No. 12, 7/11/79:
Dan. Buell formerly of the Halstead House, Humbird, has leased the Merrillan House, and after a thorough renovation of the same, will move in. Mr. B. has an excellent reputation as a landlord, and we can safely say he will keep a first class house.
The Independent (BRF) this week relates an amusing story of a man who started for Humbird last Sunday morning on the passenger train to see his lady-love, but got off when the train reached Wrightsville (at that time, a wood stop) , to look around, and before he thought of getting on again the train was gone, so he lost his days visit at Humbird, and spent the rest of the day amid the wooded mazes of Wrightsville hills.
Vol. III, No. 15, 8/1/79:
By the breaking away of the dam to the pond, Carter's mill at Humbird has been obliged to shut down for a few days to repair damages. About 200 logs went through the dam. Some damage was done to Mr. Wolbert who lives just below, but nothing serious. Carter will shortly start up again.
Vol. III, No. 18, 8/22/79:
Rafting and fitting is over on Black River, and the men were discharged last week. It has been one of the largest season's work ever known on the river, and the boys have all taken in a good pocket full of "rocks".
From Humbird - The new passenger coach lately put on the line from here to Neillsville presents a fine appearance, and rolls in on time. --- Charles Meyer who was acting in the capacity of timekeeper for the wood saw crew while on day at Wilson on Tuesday, was standing on the track not noticing a backing train, the caboose of which struck him, with such force that he died in a few hours.
Vol. III, No. 19, 8/29/79:
A train-load of soldiers bound for Indian country stopped here for breakfast on Saturday.
A delegation of Clark county hunters have been making the fur fly out in Garden Valley and Hixton this week. They intend prairie chickens shall be at a premium when they get through.
Neillsville Press - The building of another flooding dam on Black River has been fully decided upon and operations already commenced. It is being built at the head of the Dells, about three quarters of a mile above the new bridge. Miller's saw mill is being removed from Greenwood for the purpose of sawing out the necessary lumber, of which six or severn hundred thousand feet will be required. The dam will be finished this fall and, when done will make the flooding arrangements along the whole river very complete. The stock in the new dam will be held by the leading lumbermen. It will be built under the general supervision of H.A. Bright.
Vol. III, No. 20, 9/5/79:
Clark County Courier - Some time ago the bridge across the creek at Ketchum's Mill near Hatfield, was pronounced unsafe, and since then travel has gone around, up and down two bad hills, and corssing on a temporary bridge. Last Friday Mr. Ketchum conculded that that thing had gone on long enough and placed a pile of lumber across the narrow road running through his lumber yard. Since then loaded teams have not been able to get through and others experience much difficulty in doing so. There are several bridges on that end of the road that are in very bad conditon.
Vol. III, No. 21, 9/12/79:
THE BLACK RIVER RAILROAD Neillsville Press 5th - There has been more or less railroad talk here of late which was to have been kept mum by request of interested parties, (for what reason we cannot see) but as Tom Dyson is about to give the thing away in the La Crosse Leader we can see no use in longer witholding this open secret. There has lately been some interest manifested in the projected railroad by other railroad corporations, and notably by the Green Bay & Minnesota folks, who last week sent Mr. Abrams, of that road to this place to look into the matter. At least Mr. A. came as a representative of that road. He made some estimates as to the cost of building and operating the road, and before leaving made a proposition to accept the road bed, graded and tied the whole length, and bind the company to iron, stock and operate it. The offer which is as good as any that has been made with the exception of that of Mr. Greve, of Sparta, will not be accepted. Mr. Greve's offer was to take the road bed with what work there is now done on it, and finish and operate it, but that offer made some time ago, was rejected at the time. From all offers made by other railroads, so far, it would appear that none of them have interest enough in the matter to become of any assistance to the people desiring it, but it must be borne in mind that no matter how great the interest might be, they would first try to get all they possibly could out of the people, and there is a little indication at least that some of the connecting roads have more interest in this project than this will admit. The owners of the Fox River lands, in this county, have become very desirous of a railroad, in the direction of Neillsville, leading from Marshfield, on the Central railroad, through their lands, and for the encouragement there of have offered a considerable portion of their valuable tract. Put that and the natural desire of others lines for feeders together, and it may account for the ripple of interest recently manifested in railroad circles. The indication are that without much effort on the part of the people along the line, there will sooner or later be a road built from Merrillan to the Central, but it will be wisdom on the part of the people interested to take hold of the project themselves. In addition to what has already been done, with a reasonable amount of town aid from Pine Valley, Grant and Weston, the three towns most interested, the grading could be completed between Neillsville and Merrillan, when the Black River Railroad Company could go on and complete and operate it as well as any other corporation, and work to the interest of the people of the county.
Five hotels in Merrillan and a new one going up.
Letters received from Neillsville state that the people there are waking up to the necessity of immediate action if they expect to obtain railroad communication for their village, and that the strongest opponents to voting aid last year were now in favor of aiding the project. It is also stated that a proposition asking $8,000 in bonds is soon to be submitted to the town of Pine Valley (Village of Neillsville), with very favorable prospects for a large majority of votes in it favor. Delays are dangerous, and should the people there neglect the present opportunity, their chances for a railroad connection will be very slim. The company organized last week at Chippewa Falls to build a road from St. Paul eastward to strike some point on Lake Michigan, have capital and mean business, and unless they are headed off by the short line between Merrillan and the Wisconsin Central, will go ahead and build their road. Should the road contemplated by the new company be built, the chances for the construction of the road from here to the Central would be greatly lessened, and Neillsville would probably lose her last chance for a railroad. This short connecting link would complete a direct line from the pineries and forests of Northern Wisconsin to the tree less prairies of Iowa, Minnesota, Dakota and Nebraska, and would in a very short time be the great thoroughfare for lumber, timber and produce, saving over one hundred miles each way. There is no question about the profit accruing from its construction and the people and the company act strangely in dilly-dallying so long. Neillsville will furnish the largest portion of the means necessary. Merrillan will be largely benefited by the road, and when the Neillsville people show that they mean business in the way of dollars our people will not be slow to take hold and help.
Vol. III, No. 22, 9/19/79:
Winona Republican: Business on the Green Bay and Minnesota railroad is opening well for the Fall, and promises a very good business through the Winter. Lumber shipments are very large at the present time, a new movement having been started by Messrs. Ice & Perry of Tremont (Pray) a station about 110 miles east of Winona. This firm are shipping a million feet of lumber from their mills to Eastmoor, opposite this city, and rafting it for shipment to market down the river. Two additional freight trains will be placed upon the Green Bay road next week to meet the demand of the freight business.
Vol. III, No. 23, 9/26/79:
It is reported that Neillsville merchants have entered into an alliance to buy no goods of travelling salesmen who do not come there by way of the Humbird Stage Line. If this be true which seems almost impossible, the quicker Merrillan merchants make a similar alliance with the horns the other way the better. The distance from Humbird and Merrillan to Neillsville by the wagon road are about equal and the expense of going the same, and if the Neillsville merchants propose to insist on travelers taking in the stage line, our merchants should insist on the claims of our two livery stables to some recognition.
Vol. III, No. 25, 10/10/79:
Neillsville Press - The Green Bay & Mississippi Railroad Company, or rather responsible persons connected with that company, have at last made a definite offer towards building and operating the Black River Railway. They offer, first, to take the right of way and road bed graded, with ties, and bind themselves to iron, equip, and operate the road; or, second they will take the right of way and road just as it is and for a bonus of $10,000 will bind themselves to build and operate the road. This will include a bridge across Black river, and the building of the road to the village limits of Neillsville. The latter proposition is the most favorable of the two, as the persons making the offer being experienced railroad builders can do the work much cheaper than it could be done by others. There is no question as to the responsibility of the parties. They mean business, and no community every procured a first class local road on more favorable terms. The people of Chippewa Falls paid five times as much for their road a mile and a half shorter, and would not lose it again for four times what they paid. Lincoln county pays $50,000 for a road from Wausau to Jenny, but four miles and a half longer than ours, and they think themselves fortunate in getting it for that. It is time for the people of this vicinity to examine this subject carefully and without prejudice. If we need a road at all, we can never get it upon better terms than those proposed wither by the Green Bay folks or the Black River Railroad Company which are about the same. Mr. John Mather, of Tomah, has been in town since Wednesday interviewing those interested in railroad matters, and offering an entirely new proposition for a road directly from Neillsville to Tomah, on a nearly direct line, by way of Warren's Mills, through the town of range 1 west. He represents parties in New York who have the work in contemplation and the ready means to carry it through on condition of receiving a bonus of $30,000 of which this county is asked to pay $12,000. Though hardly as popular in this section as the Merrillan route, it still has advantages over that which would make it preferable as a means of intercourse with the east. It would give connection at City Point with the G.B. & M. road, at Warren's with the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis road, and at Tomah with the C.M. & St. P., giving also a more direct route to La Crosse and the southwest. The proposition, which is a bona fide one from responsible parties, is certainly worthy of careful consideration. The balance of the bonus $18,000 is already assured, and the furnishing of $12,000 by this county would be the signal for the commencement of the road.
Vol. III, No. 26, 10/17/79:
Neillsville people grumble because the farmers there only get 90c., for No. 1 wheat, while neighboring towns on the railroad get from 10c. to 17c. more per bushel, and still they are too short-sighted to vote a few thousand dollars to build themselves a railroad which would give them the same prices. Wheat was quoted in Neillsville yesterday at 70c. to 90c.; in Merrillan to-day our buyers are paying from 90c. for No. 4, to $1.07 for No. 1. With a railroad from here to Neillsville, 1c., or at most 2c. per bushel should represent the difference in the market prices of the two places. We leave for the people there to figure up how many crops of wheat for which they obtain an extra 15 c. per bushel it will take to pay the cost of building the road. On the two items of an extra price for their grain, and the reduction in the prices of merchandise on account lessened freights, the cost of the road would be repaid the first year. If the Neillsville people are wise, they will not neglect the present golden opportunity to secure to themselves a railroad.
The G.B.&M. railroad received a new engine on Friday last. It is the heaviest and most powerful engine on the road, and one of the finest on any road in the west, having a steel boiler and fire-box. It was purchased expressly for hauling heavy freight trains. The cylinders are 17x24 and the engine will sail under the name of "Grand Rapids No. 18".
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