Post Office & Store--Click to enlarge
Shortville Corners' Businesses
Cannonville Cheese Factory
The General Store;
Shortville General Store (unk date)
a general store, Shortville had, in its earliest days,
a cheese factory and blacksmith shop.
as a creamery, making butter, the business had been
remodeled into a
in 1903, the business operated approximately 60 years.
next to the factory building was part of the factory
property, providing residence for its manager or owner.
its beginning, it was cooperatively owned by area farmers
who hired a manager to run the business. It was closed
for a short time in 1917-1918.
went to private ownership when sold to Rudolph and Elisabeth
Wahlen in 1924. One of their employees was Herman Hediger
who worked in the cheese factory when he first came
from Switzerland. Many remember Hediger for the cheese
factory and business he established in Christie. Wahlen
produced cheddar, cheese, selling the finished product
to a distributor in Marshfield.
operated the cheese factory for 20 years. Their
daughter Irma (Wm.) Rizner resides near Neillsville.
A Sandmeyer owned or operated the cheese factory for
a short time.
1944, Earl and Elsie Hanson bought the cheese factory
business making cheese until they closed the business
in 1951. A daughter, Jan (Bill) Opelt attended the rural
school near the factory.
Shortville cheese factory went the way of many more
throughout Clark county during the 50's, 60's "out of
business", now in the 90's very few remain.
business was located on the west side of the general
store, a blacksmith shop.
Hagie Blacksmith Shop
shop in the Shortville community was located one
fourth mile north of the Shortville corners. The shop
was established by Eugene Hagie in the 1890's.
Hagies had two sons, Floyd and Ed, who attended the
Shortville school and eventually followed in their dad's
footsteps, both taking up the blacksmith trade.
Hagie set up a blacksmith shop in the Dells Dam area.
It was located on the highway 95 curve, one half mile
east of the Black River.
son, Ed married Amelia Cardarelle in 1918 or 1919 after
which they went to live in the Dakotas. Returning to
Shortville about 1921, Hagie built a blacksmith shop
west of the general store building.
rural community welcomed a blacksmith during that time.
The farm machinery was built of simple design such as
the, two bottom plow, hay mower, grain binder, disk
and drag. When any one of those broke, often by hitting
a hidden rock, it could be repaired by welding the broken
parts together. The local blacksmith would do the repair
work, quickly, for his customer.
were used to pull the farm machinery until tractors
became more available after World War II. Hagie shoed
horses at his shop, for area farmers.
Electric started reaching the Shortville area as it
followed the main roads or highways first, in the late
30's. Having electricity to power welding equipment,
saw planer, etc. in Hagie's shop was a great asset to
was very talented as a machinist. He built and welded
together a saw
mill that was set-up in back of his shop, to use
in sawing lumber. After designing his own portable mill,
he built several to order for customers through the
and his brother, Floyd, owned and operated a threshing
machine and steam engine, doing custom threshing, when
they were young men. During the time of the blacksmith
shop, he had a
Rumley Oyl Pull tractor and threshing machine.
The Rumley powered the threshing machine in the threshing
season and the sawmill at other times of the year.
Rumley was a reliable source of power but definitely
not a machine to enter any races, as it moved from job
site to job site at a max of three miles an hour. After
highway 73, in front of Hagie's shop, was paved with
a hard surface, highway officials advised Ed not to
run his lugged steel wheeled, Rumley Oyl Pull on the
highway. A man of inventive ideas, he replaced the steel
wheels with army surplus rubber airplane tires enabling
the tractor to be driven down the highway.
and Amelia had three sons; Douglas, a retired Air Force
Colonel residing in Atlanta, Ga.; Jack, retired, who
lives in Prairie du Sac and Gorden, who is deceased.
They had one daughter, Mary Lou (Meredith), owner/operator
of Mary Lou's Restaurant on Division Street, Neillsville.
from the life of a blacksmith in 1951, Ed and Amelia
Hagie moved to Neillsville. Ed passed away at the age
blacksmith shop closed when Hagie retired, the same
year that the Cheese Factory ceased operation.
general store was operated by the Moennig family for
a brief time after Mortensons.
corner lot where the store stands is now owned by third
generation of the Mortenson family. Having been vacant
for some years, the store has deteriorated and plans
are that it will soon be razed. After 109 years, a landmark
will disappear. A family member has suggested a Historical
marker be placed at the store, site, where Shortville
was located, not to be forgotten. (Photos courtesy of
Mary Lou Meredith and Irma Rizner).
1881 History of Wisconsin; 1891 Biographical History
of Clark & Jackson Co.; Biographical History of Clark
County, Wisconsin (compiled by Franklyn Curtiss Wedge,
c1918); Clippings from the Clark Co. Press; Cemetery,
Courthouse and family Records.
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