Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 30, 1992, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of  "Good Old Days" Articles.

Good Old Days     

By Dee Zimmerman


In 1900, a book was published stating the charter and ordinances of the City of Neillsville.  We think you will enjoy reading some excerpts from that book.


Chapter one of the Charter:  “From and after the second Tuesday of April 1882, all that district of country in the county of Clark hereinafter described, shall be and remain a city by the name of Neillsville….”


Chapter two:  “All of section fourteen; all of section number fifteen, lying and being east of the center of Black River, all of section number ten, lying and being east of the center of Black River, and all of the south half of section number eleven, laying and being east of the center of Black River, all in town twenty four range number two west, shall be included within and constitute the territory comprising the City of Neillsville.”


“City ordinances published in 1896:  Ordinances pertaining to railroads – the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway Company whose line of road extends through the City of Neillsville shall place and maintain gates on the south side of its track where it crosses Hewett Street, West Street and Grand Avenue… No train or locomotive is to run faster than the rate of six miles per hour.”


“It shall be unlawful for any persons to have/keep, feed or maintain swine in or upon any piece of land within that portion of the City of Neillsville.”


“No person or persons shall blow or sound any steam whistle within the city longer than fifteen seconds at anyone time, and then only four times in any one day, and shall not at any time toot, blow or make successive blasts of any whistle.  Any person or persons who shall violate the provisions of this section, shall forfeit and pay a penalty of not less than one dollar nor more than ten dollars for any one offense.”


“Any person who shall remove ice or cause its removal from O’Neill Creek or Black River and shall neglect to place around the margin of the opening by such removal, a fence by setting posts with fence board not less than three and one-half feet above the ice surface, and have fastened one good lamp or lantern properly lit and kept burning from dark to daylight shall be fine….”


“Any person who shall in any manner disguise himself and go to be in or upon any street, alley, lane, or highway within the city at night time for any purpose whatever, shall forfeit and pay a penalty of not less than five nor more than twenty-five dollars for each offense.”


“Any person who shall put or keep any hay or straw or cornstalks uncovered in stacks or piles within fifty feet of any building wherein fires are kept or made shall forfeit and pay a penalty…”


“Any person or persons who shall ride any animal or in any vehicle or ride or drive any animal or vehicle, or both, on, across or part way across any bridge across O’Neill Creek or the bridges across Black River, of which the City has care and control, faster than a walk, shall forfeit and pay a penalty….”


“Any person who shall have any horse, mule or ox unhitched in any street or alley shall forfeit and pay a penalty….”


“Any person or person who shall ride or drive any horse or horses, mule or mules, in any street, alley or lane in the city faster than at the rate of four miles an hour, or over any crosswalk faster than a walk, shall forfeit…”


“It shall be unlawful for any person or persons between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. to stop, loaf, loiter, stand or congregate in any manner whatever, in or upon any bridge or approaches mentioned…”


The 1890’s charter and ordinances came from a book purchased by Theo Jonkel at a flea market, at Hatfield, recently.  (Thanks for sharing it, Theo.)

Hewett Street, looking north, Neillsville:  Photo taken circa 1900.  On the far left is the W. J. Marsh Dry Goods (5th Street and Hewett corner).  At the opposite side, with only a portion of the building visible is the Tragsdorf building, now the site of Neillsville Professional Building.


(An “oops” on last week’s Al-Aboard description:  Frank Quesnell sold the diner to Julia Reber in 1941.  She operated the business for six or seven years, then sold it to the Horswells.  The diner was moved out of the city in 1955.)


The Columbia depot came into existence when the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Omaha Railroad Company put a railroad through Merrillan to Columbia.


The railroad came through to service the coal kilns in Sidney in 1881.  (Several years later it extended to Neillsville).  Logging company supplies were also unloaded there.  After the railroad extended to Marshfield, there were four trains daily.  Two were mail trains and there were two daily way-freights.  The railroad men sang a song of Columbia:


“Columbia, the gem of the ocean,

The home of the huckleberry tree

Oh! Say, do you know dear, Columbia,

Chicago is jealous of thee?”


(Photo and info courtesy of Ruby Yndogliato)




Compiled by Terry Johnson




Adverse weather made it difficult for hay to be properly cured, so Del Struble, executive head of Lynn Mutual Insurance, issued a caution.  Lynn Mutual was providing each fire department in the area with a thermometer specially designed for testing temperature in hay mows.  Also, farmers could call Lynn Mutual for assistance in checking mows.


“Boy Scout Troop No. 64 under leadership of E. J. Steiger, scoutmaster, held a cook-out Thursday evening at Wildcat Mound.  Each patrol built a fire and prepared shish-kabob.  Scoutmaster Steiger was assisted by Bob Shaw and Bud Bremer.”  On a campout scheduled for Camp Higachari, Jim Simenson was the cook.


“Members of Neillsville’s Little Leagues will be treated to a trip to Wisconsin Rapids Saturday night where they will watch the Wisconsin Rapids Twins play Quad City in a Class A baseball game.”  Leonard Chaltry was the Little League president.  All managers and umpires were also invited.




“The oldest bridge in Minneapolis – a 70-year-old landmark, is going to war.  The city has given it to the U. S. for its salvage value and its 450 tons of wrought iron will be processed into steel for military equipment.”


Mrs. Herbert Smith and Mrs. Archie Van Gorden attended the U. S. Army Surgical Dressings Institute at Eau Claire Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.”


“Arthur Bardeleben and Harold Milbreit returned Monday from a sight-seeing trip to Milwaukee and Chicago.”


“Dr. Sarah Rosekrans and two daughters have returned from a several weeks’ visit in eastern states.  The doctor left the girls at a camp near Stevens Point on her way home, since she and Dr. Milton are leaving shortly on a vacation trip to Canada.”


“County Line” News:  “F. Leight has added a chicken park to his farm this week.


“Sherwood and Shortville played ball again Sunday.  The score was 10 to 5 in favor of Sherwood.”


“Don’t waste cooking fats.  They are needed for making glycerin, essential in the making if explosives.”




The Clark County Council of Defense was hosting meetings around the country on “Food Conservation.”  The Neillsville area meeting was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 at the “Domestic Science department of the Neillsville High School.”  Topics on the agenda were: “1. Canning of fruits and vegetables by the ‘Cold Pack’ method… 2. Drying of fruits and vegetables…. 3. Packing of vegetables in salt.  Every woman in the city and surrounding country is urged to attend… Bring pencil and notebook.”


North York News; “Several of the young people attended the barn dance at Albert Stry’s Sunday night.”


Levis News:  “The Levis Tigers will play the Hewettville and Shortville teams at the Levis grounds Sunday, July 29.  Come one, come all and support your team.”


Globe News:  “Listen, young girls!  What is the use of getting such a lame back bending over the washtub on those blue Mondays?  Why don’t you try a box of that fine Rawleigh’s washing powder?   Joe Zilk has it for sale.  It will make clothes clean without rubbing.”


West York News:  “Alvin and Percy Vincent attended the dance at the South Star Hall in Heintown Friday night…  John Kelly went to see his best girl one evening this week… Bennie Daehnert (Dahnert) and lady friend were seen in these parts one day last week.”


“Choice new extracted honey for sale.  Wm. Naedler.”


“The Broadway Amusement Co. will present Gene Stratton – Porter’s ‘Freckles’ at the Grand Opera House, July 31, 1917.”


Dew Drop Inn:  The Dew Drop Inn is now ready to furnish you with the best of ice cream and confectionery.  Short order lunches a specialty.  Located opposite Merchants Hotel.  Come and give us a call.  Open day and night.”



The Merchants Hotel was sold in a “three-corner trade.”  Previous owner Joe Muckerheide traded the hotel to G. C. Youmans for property at Randolf, and Youmans traded the hotel to new owner Paul Pernod.  Pernod then rented the hotel to Chas. Dugal of St. Paul, who was “an experienced hotel man.”




“The baseball game Sunday afternoon was not very interesting to the grandstand, somehow, the score going 15 to 5 against us.  The Rice Lakers are a strong team, and won Saturday’s game, 9 to 4.”


“A man with a phonograph on exhibition has been doing a little business at the O’Neill House office, charging 10 cents per head to hear the machine talk.”


“Wheeler Curtis tallies a brand new sidewalk and a new fence.  Sam Miner did the work though this last fact is of Miner importance.”


“Solomon Hugaboom, one of the early pioneers of this section, who for years resided at Dorchester, died on Saturday.  He was buried at Oshkosh, his former home.  He was very well known all along the line, and leaves a large circle of friends and acquaintances. –Spencer Tribune”


“The score of the Neillsville—Black River Falls baseball game Thursday was 17 to 9 in favor of Neillsville.”


“Tuesday forenoon, while at work on Clay Street, doing grading work for the city, Husky Turner and Johnny Sample had a little altercation as to whose team was pulling the most.  The city marshal parted the boys.”



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