News: Notes from Nicole abt. the Site (15 Feb. 2006)

Contact: History Buffs

----Sources: The O-W Enterprise (Withee, Clark County, Wis.) Wed., 15 Feb. 2006; Page 16


A reader bought to my attention a wonderful website for history/genealogy buffs at This unique website, an extension of the Clark Co. Public Libraries, provides volumes of historical information about the history of Clark County. As I was surveying the site I cam across an excerpt from a 1888 edition of the Thorp Courier called "Withee Waifs" recalling daily life at the time pioneers of our county were still breaking ground and making the wilderness into a home. It tells of one Chase Miller who lost a horse, a H. H. Simpson who is busy scaling logs for the camps and reporting that sleighing is good and the lumbermen are pushing things lively, a Mike Ralph who hauled 300 logs in one day with four teams on a three trip road, and an account of scarlet fever in the schools. I also enjoyed the old photos of people, places and events in our area. Here is another historical gem taken from a 1893 issue of the Thorp Courier, looking back on Withee in it’s infancy.

A Clark County Colony

A party of Danish capitalists has purchased 30,000 acres of land belonging to the Spaulding Estate, located near Withee, in Clark County, and will colonized a large number of Danes thereon. The settlers are to be taken from American cities, and not brought across the ocean. Many of them will come from Chicago and all, or nearly all, are more or less Americanized already.

The scheme is to divide the tract up into forty-acre farms, putting a family on each forty acres. More land will be purchased if it can be secured at reasonable figures. Churches, schools, houses and other engines of civilization will be built, and an earnest effort made to better the condition of the colonists who are weary of the city life they have been leading.

Among the settlers will be Rev. A. S. Neilson (probably Nielsen), late pastor of Trinity Danish Lutheran Church in Chicago. Mr. Neilson came to America more than twenty years ago, and for almost two decades he has been president of the Danish Lutheran synod, resigning that office at the last meeting of the synod. He is regarded as a spiritual father of more than ordinary power and saintliness by all Danish Lutheran in this country, and will be the guide and counselor of the new Clark County colony. These people are sober, industrious, and progressive, and the country where they settled will soon blossom into prosperity. - Thorp Courier, April 20, 1893 –

Can you imagine being a part of the building of a whole new community? Being first to set the standards, build businesses, schools, blaze the trail for future generations. What an awesome task that must have been. If you want to play a part in preserving Clark County history, click on this site. Anyone who has photos, articles, personal histories of old-time Clark County can send and post the information on the site. Happy history hunting!



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