Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 23, 1992, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



By Dee Zimmerman  


The B. F. French home that was located on the northeast corner of Hewett and Fourth Streets.  That is now the site of the Neillsville Public Library.  (Photo courtesy of Clark County Historical Society, picture donated to the museum by Rita Youmans.)


B. F. French (better known as “Doc”) moved to the Hewett and Fourth Street house when he came into town from Levis.


During the time “Doc” French lived there, the garden area was across the street where the Harvey house is located.  The barn for his livestock was on the present lot of the Living Hope Evangelical Church (formerly Christian Science building).


“Doc” French had studied to be a doctor and lawyer, simultaneously, but chose the latter profession for his lifetime work.  Though “Doc” was never a licensed doctor, he responded to medical emergencies whenever called.  Also, he was in the logging business.


Mr. French was a close friend of James O’Neill, both influential leaders of “early Neillsville.”  In searching the 1800s history, we come to realize he was one of our most “colorful” citizens during that time.  It has been said that he was involved, someway, in the “whisky barrel ventures” to keep the county seat in Neillsville.


The building in which “Doc” French held his law practice was located on the east side of the present bandstand.  It was referred to as the Ferrand building in later years, before being razed.


The city purchased the lot where his house was located for the new Public Library that was built in 1914 with a $10,000 Carnegie endowment.  Carnegie libraries were always built on a higher elevation which was the reason for Neillsville’s Library also being built up on the filled in lot.  The house, as shown in the photo, was street level with a boardwalk and white board fence around the lot line.  Previously, the entire “library area” was wholly residential.  (Information provided by Ruth Ebert.)

(LaBonte’s Lunch RR car picture)


LaBonte’s Lunch, a novel eating place was established in renovated railroad passenger coach by Louis LaBonte.  Mr. LaBonte started the business in Stanley, Wisconsin in May 1930.


It was later moved to Neillsville, located on the H. J. Brooks lawn between the Roost Bar and American Legion Hall.


A rather unique feature of the diner was the conveyor track.  The cook in the kitchen area would place the customer’s order on the conveyor.  It was controlled from the kitchen and the order would be sent along the track to stop in front of the customer sitting at the counter. 


The business was owned and operated by Frank Quesnell and his brother, Harvey.  After a time, they sold it to Nell and Hallie Horswell.



Al’-Aboard Frank’s Lunch as it appeared after some remodeling and was in business as diner along Hewett Street, Neillsville.


In the late 1940s, the diner was moved from the Hewett Street site.  (Photos and information courtesy of the Clark County Historical Society and Gertie Hagedorn.)


Does anyone have a picture of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (owner was Tom Bruley) which was located on the corner of Hewett and Sixth Street?  Some of you might remember having purchased ice cream cones or a soda pop there when you were youngsters.  If you have a picture, please let us know.


Compiled by Terry Johnson




“City Girds for Big Weekend:  Sidewalk Day, Governor Visit.”  The annual Sidewalk days was scheduled for Friday.  The Chamber of Commerce had ordered “red straw skimmers” for merchants to wear, so shoppers could more easily locate the cashiers.  He thought this would be easier than “looking for the knobby knees and hairy legs that some of them displayed in their old ‘Crazy days’ get-ups”


On Sidewalk Day, Gov. Warren P. Knowles was scheduled to appear as a guest of the county Republican women at a 3 p.m. tea at the Neillsville Country Club.


The Neillsville Country Club was the site of a Saturday luncheon with Alice-in-Dairyland.  “Alice” was visiting Neillsville for the grand opening of the World’s Fair Pavilion.  Governor Knowles was also scheduled to take part in the dedication and grand opening.  According to the Press, the pavilion “has been relocated on the east outskirt of Neillsville by Howard Sturtz, III, and WCCN.”


The NHS class of 1942 held its 25 year reunion at Steinie’s Club 10.




“Washington – Styles of women’s lingerie have been ordered simplified by the War Production Board.  In an effort to conserve cloth the order prohibits ruffles, all-over pleating or tucking, full sleeves and excessive length of sweep in nightgowns, slips, petticoats and pajamas.  The agency expects to reduce the yardage used by the lingerie industry by 15 per cent.”


“A son, Verlyn Charles, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Everett Shaw on Sunday, July 19th, at their home in the Town of Weston.”


The NHS band was scheduled to give its fourth in a series of summer concerts.  The concerts were held on the high school lawn.  The program was t o include a cornet duet by Robert Scott and Keith Counsell.  A demonstration of baton twirling featured Dixie Graves, Wilmette Russell, and Janet Kunze.


Rearrangement of the Neillsville Hospital:  The Neillsville Hospital is undergoing a rearrangement of its affairs.  It is not receiving patients for a little time, but will open again presently.  The affairs of the hospital are receiving the careful attention of W. J. Marsh, who owns the property and who has taken much interest in its improvement and maintenance.  He expects to arrange for competent management, in order that the community may continue to receive efficient hospital service.”




North Weston News:  “W. E. LaFleur hauled cheese Tuesday… Mrs. Chadwick sewed for Mrs. Louie Barton Monday.”


“Free – Saturday – with every 50¢ purchase (cash) one double wired, bound fly swatter.  Huntley’s”


Red Cross Notes:  Garments finished at Red Cross headquarters to date are: 3 bed shirts, 3 pair pajamas, 10 pair bed socks, 18 triangular slings.”


In 1917, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) urged housewives not to throw away ham gravy or bacon fat.  Instructions were given on a way of making the fat blend in.  “Stir into each two tablespoons of melted grease one-half tablespoon of flour.  The mixture will blend easily into milk soups, stock soups, sauces, or gravies and give an appetizing flavor.”


Wisconsin Business University at La Crosse state:  “We are sending graduates right from the school room at $75.00 per month to begin with.”




Front page – “Republican Ticket:  For President – BENJAMIN HARRISON of Indiana; For Vice President – WHITELAW REID of New York.”… “It is asserted that Harrison will undoubtedly carry Louisiana this fall.”


“Ravochol, the French anarchist, was beheaded Monday.”


Bill Nye on Wagon Roads:  Our wagon roads throughout the country are generally a disgrace to civilization and before we undertake to supply Jaeger underwear and sealskin covered Bibles with flexible backs to the African, it might be well to put a few dollars into the relief of galled and broken down horses that have lost their health on our miserable highways….”


“…to a certain extent every man who does not inherit enough to live on is a slave.  The obligation to labor is upon him.  If he thinks life on these terms not worth having, he ought not to bring any other lives into the world. – Sentinel.”


“Wanted: Good Men to Give Away RAND, MCNALLY & CO.’s New Universal Atlas of the World,  360 Pages, 1890 Census, Regular Price, $5.50.  For particulars, address RAND McNally & Co., 166 Adams Street, CHICAGO.”


“The hardware store at Granton is being moved across the road, and faced the other way.”


“A truck horse of C. Krumrey’s line got frightened Tuesday on Seventh Street and ran away, dashing into or upon the south porch of the Merchant’s Hotel, doing some damage, and finally bringing up against a telegraph pole.  He skinned one of his legs pretty badly, but was otherwise uninjured.”


“The city lock-up, now standing in the alley, is soon to be moved to the west line of the city lot, and nearer the city hall.  It will face the east; so that the morning sun and the overnight son-of-a-gun can commune together.”



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