News: Neillsville - Prock Park To Be Dedicated (Sep 2021)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Prock, Petkovsek, Listeman, O’Brien, Keller

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 8/25/2021

Prock Park To Be Dedicated (2 September 2021)

Prock Park To Be Dedicated September 2

There will be a ceremony next week to dedicate Prock Park in Neillsville. The park celebrates the history of the Prock family, which owned the Northside Store on the same property decades ago.

By Ryan Spoehr

Neillsville’s newest park will have its official dedication after being established more than a year ago.

Prock Park will officially be dedicated in a ceremony Thursday, Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. The community is invited to attend.

The park is on the sliver of land on the north side of Neillsville just before the city limits along Highway 73 between Hewett Street and Black River Road.

It is a site of historical significance in the city. The land was owned by Harold and Pearl Prock who operated Prock’s Northside Store from 1950 to 1973.

The dedication will be a culmination of an effort by the city’s beautification committee to make the park a reality.

“The park is a work-in-progress and will develop over the next year or two,” wrote Barb Petkovsek, a member of the committee, in an email. “The beautification committee is grateful for a grant from the Listeman Foundation and a gift from Caroline Prock O’Brien, which allows us to display a first impression as people enter our great city on the north end of town.”

The first impression is a “Welcome to Neillsville” sign with the façade facing the north for people coming into Neillsville to see. The back has a message inviting people to come back to the city.

Pictured is one of the plaques on a stone in Prock Park that explains the history of the site and what it has meant to the community. Ryan Spoehr/Clark County Press photos

Also, there are two plaques on either side of a large rock at the park, which will be on display during the dedication.

One of the plaques references the history of the store and information about the Prock family.

“There were five children in the family, three of which had disabilities that required the use of wheelchairs,” the plaque states. “The Prock Park proudly remembers fun loving and faith living individuals.”

That plaque will also have a replica of a drawing of Prock’s Northside Store, as well as an explanation of the business.

“Prock’s Northside Store that stood on this parcel of land offered general grocery items, fresh meats and Dolly Madison dairy products to the Neillsville community and surrounding area,” that plaque states.

The other plaque will have an image of the five children, three of whom are in wheelchairs, to represent the Prock children.

Accompanied by that image will be the statement, “Challenges overcome, and diversity celebrated… Proven by the Neillsville community with their compassion and support of the Prock Family.”

The city bought the property that now contains Prock Park in 2018. The beautification committee soon went to work on the banner sign that now sits on the property. Eventually, local artist Chris Keller’s design was chosen. Also put in were shrubs, flowers, a retaining wall and a flagpole that has the American flag and the Wisconsin flag. There are also Artificial birds by the sign for décor.



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