Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI
December 31, 1992, Page 20
Transcribed by Sharon Stelloh Schulte
Index of "Oldies" Articles
By Dee Zimmerman
The Town of Weston's first snowplow purchased in 1937, a FWD which was assembled by a firm in Clintonville. Paul Hagedorn was the first operator and Henry Heiman was the wingman. Lyle Armitage and Herman Hagen ran it later.
The wing, visible in the photo, was attached to the right side of the machine and was manually operated. The wing blade moved the snow out beyond the reach of the front V-blade pushing the snow further across the ditch. When the next snowfall came, there had to be room to blade that snow out, also.
As a youngster, having lived on a farm in the ‘40’s, the sight of the snowplow coming down a snow blocked country road was a welcome sight. Our farm was one-fourth mile from the township road with the driveway leading to the buildings. When the snow drifts became big enough to block the driveway, the snowplow operator would recognize that and steer the machine up to the buildings, turning around by the barn. At the first sight of the snowplow coming over the town road hill, the words were announced, “The snowplow is coming.” My mother would add some wood to the cook stove and prepare the coffee pot for brewing fresh coffee. By the time the snowplow was turned around, my dad was out to greet Bud and offering him some hot coffee to fill his thermos and some sandwiches. Dad would ask Bud “How much do I owe you for the driveway?” Bud would say, “Whatever you think Earl.” Chances were that dad had not more than five dollars and many times less in his billfold, but he gladly gave whatever he had for the service.
The snowplow operators ran long hours, day and night, after a major snowstorm. He usually had to run the roads a second time to wing the snow out farther or widen the roadway after a large snowfall or storm. At that time, the townships in our area didn’t have their own snowplows. The township roads were plowed by equipment from the nearest village – town that your mailing address or post office was located.
By the end of March, as many of you remember, there were years that the top of the snowbanks weren’t far from touching the telephone wires that ran parallel above.
A gristmill in retirement on an area farm south of Neillsville.
(Photo courtesy of William Joyce of Loyal.)
Click to enlarge
Is the gristmill a familiar sight of the past for those of you who grew up on a farm? How many of you (as boys and girls) had to help with grinding feed for the dairy cows? My dad always chose Saturday for that chore during the winter months. An old tractor or pump jack type motor provided the power to turn that heavy flywheel on the side of the grinder. The gristmill was mounted on a platform, sometimes mobile so it could be moved around in by the granary.
More than one person was needed for “feed grinding day.” Someone had to shovel the oats or corn into the hopper for grinding. Another person, (usually a youngster) had to hold the top of the burlap sack (gunny sack) open while the ground grain was shoveled into it. Once the sack was filled, the top had to be folded just so, then tied shut with a length of binder twine. That sack had to be tied by a certain style knot and with some strength or you can imagine what happened when that sack was thrown on the wheelbarrow or wagon to be transported to the feed manger. As we think back to those days, we realize why dad picked a day when the kids were home from school so as he needed their help. We can also surmise another good reason why those teenage farm boys were so strong and muscular – those feed bags had to be lifted up on a shoulder to be carried, thrown from one place to another. There was no need for the workout – exercise equipment to build muscles as feed sacks and such did the job. (Gristmill and Cunningham Creek photos courtesy of Eugene Crockett. Photos were taken in his parent’s, Allan Crocketts Century Farmstead.)
A winter Scene on Cunningham Creek as it winds through the back of some farmland. This serene spot has escaped the invasion of man, keeping nature's setting through the ages of time.
Compiled by Terry Johnson
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO
In the November 23, 1967 issue of the Press, Jenni Floral ran a full page ad for its Annual Christmas Open House. The Open House was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, November 25 and 26 from 12 to 5 p.m. each day.
Part of the ad read: “Jenni’s Greenhouse and Display Room will be transformed into a veritable land of Christmas Fantasy. You’ll love the hundreds of colorful centerpieces, plants and unusual items you find there! You’ll get hundreds of ideas of how you can make your home more full of the true significance and beauty of this precious season.”
Jenni Floral Co., was owned and operated by Roland and Janet Jenni, who still reside at Neillsville. Jennies later sold their floral business and greenhouses to Kent and Mary Luedtke.
The November 30 Press carried a front page picture of Janet Jenni holding a centerpiece entitled, “Silent Night”, which depicted a scene of carolers surrounded by white-flocked evergreen boughs. The Press reported that between 1200 and 1500 persons attended the Open House.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Gas rationing went into effect for “pleasure cars.” The Press reported, “For the last two days before rationing went into effect, station attendants pumped as much gasoline as they had in a whole month previous. The stations enjoyed brisk business such as they had not known since the era before tire rationing forced many a car from the road.”
“The 1942 deer hunting season passed into history at sun-down last Sunday as one of the best in many years. …reports of successes to The Press were about 35 percent greater than last year… Warden Alva A. Clumpner reported that the illegal kill was far less than in any previous year of his experience in Clark County. He highly commended hunters in their sportsmanship and their care.”
“Granton. A son, the eleventh child, has been born to Mr. And Mrs. George Williams, formerly of Granton, but now living at Nasonville.”
“Garulous Gerties’ Gossip. Mrs. Emil Hinkle entertained company from Humbird and Marshfield last Sunday.”
SVENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
“Hewettville. Lon Cook and Willie Dux are clearing land for George Jacques. They have built a shanty up in the woods.”
“East Washburn. Thanksgiving was observed at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Wm. Kauth in the good old way, when ninety of their friends and neighbors gathered in. A grand dinner was spread and there were but very few things in the line of eatables that were not there. Turkey, goose and chicken in plenty, with all other things as well. We all went to our respective homes wishing we might enjoy another happy day together next Thanksgiving.”
“East Weston – West York. Those who were lucky enough to get a deer were Earl Holt, Ed. Joyce, Will Joyce and Roy Sischo… Joe Zazaz had a merry chase after his horses last Saturday… Will Joyce bought three pigs of Herman Meseke.”
“Pleasant Ridge. Mr. And Mrs. Jim Hughes and Mr. And Mrs. Henry Brantz autoed to Marshfield last Friday, taking with them their sons to have adenoids removed at the hospital. The women and boys remaining until Sunday… O.E. Counsell had electric lights put in his house and barn last week.”
“Tioga. Ye Scribe was too busy last week cooking for hunters to get any items in time for the paper.”
“Christie”. Wm. O’Neill went to Oconomowoc Wednesday night to spend Thanksgiving Day with his parents… F.J. Zickert bought the Ben Harper farm in the town of York last Tuesday… R.B. Armitage has been very busy the past two weeks blowing out stumps on a five acre field. He surely has done a fine job… Lon Shaw was at Augusta between trains Friday.”
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
“The Aid Society of the M.E. Church will give an oyster supper at the residence of Mrs. Kamery, on Wednesday, December 7. All are invited.”
“When you get your steriopticon fixed on the fact that this office requires about a cord of wood a day during cold weather, you will ax no farther questions but saw wood.”
“Marsh Bros. Open a big special handkerchief sale and will continue it through Friday, Saturday and Monday.”
“Last Saturday, a couple of local hunters saw three deer at Ross Eddy in the woods opposite the large barn.”
“The skating at Ross Eddy, Turner’s Eddy and other points on the river has been excellent for two weeks past.”
“Friday afternoon and evening last saw a lively snowstorm raging through these parts. It had a damaging effect on the MacManus lecture which was put off, but the Unitarians seem to like bluff weather and turned out well to the sociable at H.M. Root’s.”
“The Junior C.E. Society of the Presbyterian church will give a soap bubble sociable at Mrs. Oakley’s next Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3rd, from 2:30 until 4:30 o’clock. The small fee of 5 cents will be charged for the fun.”
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