Day Corners (Ghost Town)

Levis & Pine Valley Townships, Clark Co., WI

By Sharon Short

 

 

North

 

Pine Valley

Levis

 

1915 Levis/Pine Valley Plat Map

(Click on the map to enlarge it.)

 

 Day Corners was located in the far NW part of Levis sec 2  where Day Creamery was,  the far NE corner of Levis sec 3 along with Pine Valley SW corner of sec 35 and SE corner of sec 34 = Days Corners.  Hwy 95 cuts between sec 34 & 35 in Pine Valley and between sec 2 & 3 in Levis.  Current Day "tavern" fronts Hwy 95 on the east side.

 

 

DAY CREAMERY COMPANY

 *Originally known as the Levis Cheese Factory, later as the Brown Cheese Factory and the Trichel Cheese Factory.

 

Day Cream & Cheese Co. in Levis section 2 in the right

side background Four Corners Tavern on the left side.

 

The Day Creamery Company (Photo) was located in NW corner of section two of Levis Township in Clark Co., WI, on the eastside of the present highway 95, just south of where highway 73 splits off to the east. (On the boundary line between Levis and Pine Valley townships.) That area was known as “Day Corners” (for the creamery) and as “Hutchings Corners”.  The plat maps (which are in conflict with other information) show that the land was owned by: Geo. O. Adams in 1880 (with a schoolhouse located on it); in 1893 by C. R. Stein (no school); in 1906 by A. F. Wesenberg; in 1914 by Eggerman. News article of January 1900: “August Wesenberg bought the quarter section at Hutching’s Corner on which the cheese factory stands from the C. R. Stern Estate.”

 

The 1906 plat map is in error as the Day Creamery Co. was deeded two acres of land in the far northwest corner of section two in early 1904, the deed being recorded on April 9 of that year. The 1912 receipt (for 1911 taxes) and the 1913 receipt (for 1912 taxes) show a land value of $2,060 and a personal property value of $1,000.  Taxes totaled $25.16 for 1911 and $36.63 for 1912.

 

“Day Creamery Company” was originally known as the “Levis Cheese Factory” (not to be confused with the later “Levis Cheese Factory” built by Gregory and Hanold, in May 1900 on the Halvorson land in section 14, sold to Mr. Austreng in March 1901).  The first shipment of cheese was made from the original Levis Cheese Factory in May of 1897 according to a news article, but another news article of January 20, 1897 reads “Mr. Eggerman shipped 50 boxes of cheese from the Levis Factory last week”.  In May 1897 the factory was receiving 1900 pounds of milk daily.

 

The stockholders of the original Levis Cheese Factory Association held a meeting in May 1897 during which the following officers were elected: President, S. E. Hutchings; Vice-President, A. F. Wesenberg; Secretary, J. W. Short; Treasurer, J. W. McAdams.  Directors: P. Marsh, Aaron Oldham, and H. Blum. A meeting of the Levis Butter and Cheese Association was held in January 1900, officers elected: Peter Marsh, President; R. W. Lynch, VP; J. W. Mc Adams, Treasurer; C. E. Austin, Secretary; Directors: H. Blum, D.C. Neff and D. A. Neff.  A meeting of the Levis Creamery Association was held on January 13, 1902 at Mrs. Halvorson’s old house (in sec 14).

 

The surviving two Day Creamery ledgers with July 1903-January 1906 payment records (with many pages missing) and stock issuance indicate that there was a reorganization of the Day Creamery Company in 1902 with new stock issued beginning in 1903.  The following were paid for “old stock” in July 1903: R. W. Canfield, one share $5.00; Mrs. H. Halvorson one share $5.00. In January 1904: R. F. Goss, one share $5.00; February 1904 H. Westby one share $5.00; November 1904 A. Lauber one share $5.00.  1903 dividends to the new shareholders were paid in January 1904 at the rate of $1.50 per share.  Payment and stock records indicate that fractional share “dividends” were issued to the stockholders in lieu of cash for 1904-1913.

 

Officers of the re-organized Day Creamery were James Wallace (J. W.) Short, President and J. W. McAdams, Treasurer.  Each was paid a salary of $25.00 for 1903 on January 30, 1904.  C. E. Austin, Secretary was paid a salary of $15.00 on August 26, 1903 and “balance of 1903 salary” of $20.00 on February 15, 1904, and $25.00 on November 26, 1903 for secretary work.  On January 5, 1905 J.W. Short was paid $40.00 for “part of years salary”.  On July 10, 1905 J.W. Short was paid $15.00 for 3 months salary. 

 

Employed in the creamery 1903-1905: J. Dudley, butter maker: 1903, July 3 $20.00, July 11 $10.00, July 15 $15.00, July 18 $10.00, July 25 $10.00, July 31 $15.00 then regular $60.00 month salary through the middle of January 1905. $12.00 was deducted from his salary on January 6, 1904 for butter loss.  Hugh Houghton, worker June 17, 1904 $5.00, July 1, 1904 June wages $10.00, May 1905 salary $60.00 butter maker? (Salary the same as Dudley through end of 1906 records); Paul Guse, helper salary: May 1905 $9.50, June 1905 $15.00, August 7, 1905 $17.50; Henry Naedler, helper wages October 4, 1905 $14.26; Ernest Eggerman, worker July 18, 1903 $12.00; Emil Gloff worker 1 ½ day September 5, 1903 $2.75; Henry Wedding worker September 5, 1903 $3.37; Henry Troxel worker September 5, 1903 $3.00; R. L. French worker December 10, 1903 $3.50; Charles Dahnert worker May 23, 1905 $3.00. There was a separate ice house, G. E. Gloff was paid $3.00 to clean it on December 10, 1903, and $2.00 on November 20, 1905 for removing saw dust; John Owens part payment on ice contract $10.00 on February 4, 1904, balance due of $35.00 paid on March 3, 1904.

 

Repair and replacement payments of the original 1897 equipment: Dena Tourigny was paid $17.75 on February 4, 1904 for repairs on the vat and water tank.  John Hading & Co was paid $16.00 on April 9, 1904 for patching the boiler, but a November 29, 1904 payment of $184.04 for a new boiler plus a freight bill of $25.96 shows that a new (wood fired) boiler was purchased. Emil Gloff and Robert Richling were each paid $6.25 for 5 days labor installing the new boiler. A new cream separator was purchased in May 1905, cost of $485.00.  There were many other smaller repair related expenses to keep the equipment running. Other creamery operating expenses July 1903-January 1906 were packaging supplies such as butter tins, tubs and liners, salt and washing powder.  One thousand tubs cost $242.00, those and other like supplies represented a goodly amount of the overhead expenses.

 

1903-04 payments were made to the following for wood: August Liskow, 8 ½ cords of 4’ oak $9.00, 4 ½ cords 30” maple $10.42, 1 ¾ cords oak 4’ & 18’, 30”; R. B. French 4 cords dry pine $5.00, 4 cords $5.00, 11 ½ cords $18.20; J.W. Short 6 ¾ cords $13.50, 2 ¾ cords maple $6.18; R. Lynch wood $19.37; E. Buttery 1 ¼ cords pine $2.19, 11 cords $9.25; Wm. Richmond 1 ½ cords $2.25; P. H. Marsh 5 5/8 cords $14.06; Wlm Meier 3 cords $6.00; Julius Gloff 2 cords $$3.00; Mike Keller 2 cords $2.00; Royal Satterlee 4 ¾ cords kindling $5.00; Carl Dahnert 27 ½ cords $55.00; August Kettlehaute 2 ¾ cords $5.50; F. Eggerman 5 cords $10.00; Wlm Naedler 9 ¾ cords $16.08; Henry Wedding $2.25 for sawing wood; W. Pool and C. Jones for cutting wood at factory $2.00; H. Hougton for sawing wood $2.50.  Much wood was required to keep the boiler for hot water operating to capacity. (Hot water,steam to sterilize milk cans and other equipment.)

 

Only butter was produced at the creamery 1903-1909, the majority of it being sold to the Fox River Butter Company at the wholesale price.  The sales price of butter changed on a monthly basis, the more milk received at the factory the lower the price of butter.  January 1904: 88,149 pounds of milk received, butter produced was 4041.49 pounds; the price per pound: wholesale $.216, retail to patrons $.210, paid to milk suppliers $.186. June 1904: 273,349 pounds of milk received, butter produced was 12,076.06 pounds; the price per pound: wholesale $.168, retail to patrons $.165, paid to milk suppliers $.14.

 

About mid 1910, the creamery began to also produce cheese which was sold the Neillsville Produce Co; C.E. Udell & Co.; Wayne & Low Co; Geo. W. Limm & Son; Leserman Bros; Swift & Co.; Blodgett McCready Co. and Kamfine & Reinhard.  July 1910: 128,675 pounds milk made 11,613 pounds of cheese that was sold for $.1520 per pound.  September 1910: 185,626 pounds milk made 19,864 pounds of cheese that was sold for $.1517 per pound.

 

When the second Levis cheese factory was built in section 14 in 1900 a name change for the original Levis cheese factory was deemed necessary. J.W. Short, President, decided to honor his recently deceased wife Harriet Day Short’s family.  Harriet’s father Archibald Day had settled in the Dells Dam area in about 1865.  Archibald Day was a Levis Township Supervisor, Justice of the Peace, and Fund Keeper in 1866-1873. 

 

“J.W. (James Wallace) Short was the grandfather of this writer, Sharon Short, daughter of Ben Short and Eleanor Delia Thorson Short.

 

*The cheese factory was demolished in the summer of 1947.

 

 

Kurasz farm barn (1958) in Levis section 27: Where “Barn Dances” were held in the Prohibition days. Williams sold the “Happy Spirits” at that time for $8.00 to $12.00 per gallon.  More people were in the business of “moonshine” and many different “recipes” were to be had.

 

 

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