News: Neillsville - Bryan Old Folks Home (Closing - 1976)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Bryan, Johnson, Geisler

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/27/1976

Bryan Old Folks Home (Closing - 1976)

In operation for 32 years, the Bryan’s old Folks Home will be closing on June 30, according to the social services committee for Clark County.

The home, located at 118 Hewett St., has been a center for numerous senior aged men for the past three decades. They could often be seen gossiping on the front lawn of the home or busily chatting with young and old alike in Neillsville’s downtown.

According to Gary Johnson, a member of the committee and director for the Clark County social services department, the closing of the home “was not an easy decision.” The home is owned by the county.

The home has room for fourteen men, at present there are nine living there, and this is one of the reasons the home’s life was terminated.

According to Johnson, the lack of resident population and the home’s facing “new standard,” would make it too costly for the county to keep the institution going. Johnson pointed out that toilet facilities and square footage would not meet new state requirements, forcing the county to completely rebuild the home or closed it down.

Of the nine residents at the home, all have made plans for moving. Some have opted for the Merchant’s Hotel in Neillsville, others will move back with relatives and few will be required to enter nursing homes.

Missed most of all will be Cecelia Bryan, who has operated the facility for 11 years and worked previously to that for nearly six more under the previous director.

Johnson stated that the retirement of Cecelia, who will turn 62 in July, prompted the committee to take action on the home. She is “irreplaceable,” Johnson said, adding that she worked in the home 24 hours a day doing a multitude of work that normally required numerous employees in similar homes.

As for Cecelia, her plans include “going back to the farm.” She and her husband, John, have purchased property in the Town of Levis. Cecelia stated she didn’t know much about farming but was ready to find out.

The county purchased the building a number of years ago and operated it and a similar facility in Greenwood, The Geisler home, which houses 26 men and women, is a new structure and will continue operating for some time, according to Johnson.

The property committee of the county now must face the task of either using the building for some governmental purpose or putting the large house on the sale block.



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